Laramie – On a beautiful high plains fall day the Wyoming Cowboys (1-6, 1-2) won their first game of the 2015 season defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack (3-4, 1-2) 28-21 on Homecoming snapping a 9 game losing streak dating to last season. The performance wasn’t 100% pretty but it was the most complete game of the year the Pokes have put together so far both offensively and defensively. The Cowboy offense exploded to life late in the first half and early in the second half scoring 21 of their 28 points in a five minute and nine second span. The scoring came on a pair of Cameron Coffman touchdown passes down the left sideline to end the first half and a 5 yard TD run (the first of his career) by former high school Parade All-American running back Kellen Overstreet in the second half. He did not score a touchdown but Brian Hill the Mountain West’s second leading rusher entering the weekend had another outstanding game with a career high 33 carries for 188 yards (5.7 yards per carry) notching his ninth 100 yard game in the last 12 games.
With the running game established by Hill and Overstreet, Senior QB Cam Coffman was in what I’m calling “video game mode” with his passing, completing 18 of 20 attempts for 213 yards and three touchdowns. His solid passing display helped Wyoming go 3 for 3 in red zone scoring opportunities and 6 of 12 on third down conversions, two areas the Pokes have struggled with so far in the first six games this season.
The much maligned Wyoming defense eliminated giving up big plays for the most part with Nevada’s longest play of the day only going for 29 yards. This is the first time this season the Cowboys have not given up a play of over 30 yards. The Pokes were paced statistically by a duo of freshman defensive backs CJ Jennings and Andrew Wingard who led the team with 9 tackles apiece. With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter the Wyoming defense stepped up when most needed sacking the Nevada QB and recovering his fumble at the Nevada 46 yard line with 56 seconds left to play to ice the game.
This first win was great for a Wyoming team who hasn’t stopped working hard in practice as the losses piled up. The sounds coming from the locker room were electric as the players celebrated their long coming win. All the news from this day wasn’t good though, on the injury front WR Tanner Gentry suffered a shoulder injury and it is not known at this time how long he will be out. Additionally, junior nose tackle Chase Appleby suffered what coach Bohl said was a suspected ACL injury that would rule him out for the rest of the season.
The Pokes will face a tough task in their next game, traveling to Boise State to take on the Broncos who will be ready to get the taste of a 52-26 road loss to Utah State out of their mouths on the blue turf. Kickoff next Saturday is at 8:15pm MT with the game on ESPN2 or ESPNU.