The Wyoming Cowboys did something they haven’t done in the duration of Craig Bohl’s Wyoming coaching career. The Cowboys led, and won, the Border War.
As the time expired on the clock the Wyoming team ran across the field at full speed and snatched the Bronze Boot away from the Colorado State ROTC and celebrated. Craig Bohl looked like he was having fun on the sidelines for the first time in a long time. The Border War brought out the best in Bohl, as well as the Wyoming football team.
After last week’s disaster loss to Eastern Michigan the season could have been lost and Wyoming could have been beaten soundly tonight in Fort Collins.
Instead the Cowboys showed up for the Border War and decided save their season and bring their boot back to Laramie. In the 108th edition of the Border War the Cowboys went on a 35-3 run to close the game after falling behind 14-3 and never looked back. The final score on the scoreboard was 38-17.
Brian Hill played a huge role in the outcome of this game. Hill rushed for 166 yards and one touchdown. While he was piling up those 166 yards of rushing he also became the all-time career rushing leader for the Wyoming Cowboys. He surpassed both Ryan Christopherson and Devin Moore. He now has 3056 yards rushing for his Wyoming career.
Shaun Wick also moved up the career rushing list to sixth. He now has 2292 yards for his Cowboy rushing career.
Wyoming as a team ran for 317 yards and three touchdowns. Josh Allen added 79 yards and one score, and Shaun Wick added 67 yards and a score. The Cowboys stellar rushing night, especially in the second half, propelled the Cowboy offense.
The special teams unit stepped up big in the game tonight with their sharpshooting punter Ethan Wood who pinned the Colorado State offense at the one yard line twice. Wood had four total punts land inside the 20 yard line.
Andrew Wingard had another terrific game for the Cowboys, as he was a noticeable presence all over the field. He recorded a career high of 17 tackles and a sack. Carl Granderson also added a sack to his count tonight by taking down Collin Hill.
Josh Allen and the passing attack were slowed up, but the strength of the rushing attack wore the Ram defense down throughout the game. Josh Allen finished his night with 165 yards on seven completions. Tanner Gentry hauled in three passes for 91 yards and a score. Allen’s other targets were Jacob Hollister (2), James Price (1) and fullback Drew Van Maanen (1).
While the passing attack was not as effective tonight it moved the ball when it needed to. Key completions, such as the 22 yard strike from Allen to Van Maanen kept long drives moving down the field. The Cowboys ran the ball 49 times vs 18 times passing. Josh Allen was sacked three times.
The Cowboys got on the board first with a 35 yard Cooper Rothe field goal. This would be Rothe’s only attempt of the game, he now sits at 6/11 on the season.
Colorado State would respond at the end of the quarter by going on a seven play 91 yard drive that resulted in a Collin Hill touchdown pass to Nolan Peralta from nine yards out to go up 7-3.
After the Rams forced the Cowboys to go three and out on their following drive, Colorado State would strike again. This time Detrich Clark would run the ball in from 35 yards out and put the Rams ahead 14-3.
Wyoming had a response of their own to follow that up. The Cowboys started with the ball at their own 16 and marched down the field in seven plays. Brian Hill ran for 39 yards and stepped out of bounds at the one yard line. Senior running back Shaun Wick stepped in on the next play and dove across the goal line from one yard out to cut the lead to 14-10.
On the next play Colorado State running back Marvin Kinsey fumbled the football and the ball was recovered by Marcus Epps. This is the second week in a row Epps has forced a turnover. Wyoming capitalized immediately and threw some trickeration at the Rams on a reverse flea flicker that Allen eventually connected with Tanner Gentry from 30 yards out for a Cowboy touchdown.
Up 17-14 the Cowboys weren’t looking back and their foot was firmly on the pedal. After some back and forths the Cowboys would get on the board again before halftime. Chase Appleby, on his birthday, took a Collin Hill pass to the end zone in a Piesman Trophy nominee play for 55 yards. Appleby became the first Wyoming defensive lineman to return an interception for a touchdown since Mike Neuhaus did so in 2008 vs Tennessee.
As the second half got underway Wyoming continued their scoring when Brian Hill again started running down the field uncontained. After a 49 yard rush to the one yard line he would finish his work and punched the ball in from one yard out. 31-17, Wyoming.
Wyoming’s final score of the evening came on another long Cowboy drive that started at their own 20 yard line. Josh Allen moved the ball down the field and eventually decided to take matters into his own hands. Allen ran a designed draw and took the ball to the endzone from 18 yards out.
Wyoming finished the game by keeping the ball away from Colorado State and wearing their defense down. Colorado State had no answer for the Wyoming rushing attack.
With the interception by Chase Appleby the Cowboy defense has no forced ten turnovers this season. The defense forced ten turnovers all of last season.
The Cowboy offense finished with 434 yards, compared to Colorado State’s 481 yards. The Cowboys had the ball for five more minutes than the Rams did.
The Cowboys’ victory in Fort Collins brought the series to 58-45-5 in favor of Colorado State. Since the Bronze Boot has been introduced the Cowboys lead the series 25-24. This will be the final time the game will be played at Hughes Stadium. The Rams will be opening a new on-campus stadium before the next Border War will be played in Fort Collins.
The Cowboys will be back in Laramie next week to take on Air Force for homecoming. The game will be a 1:30pm kickoff. The game can be watched on Root Sports.