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UNLV destroys Wyoming 42-16 in not so shocking upset

I say not so shocking because Wyoming lost to New Mexico last week and a lot of people were expecting a close game. I personally picked Wyoming in the Mountain West Connection Pick Em' game this week simply because Wyoming had more talent and experience with winning from last year then the Rebels. It ended up that UNLV did what most of us didn't expect, whip the Cowboys. They simply ran away from them, outscoring Wyoming 21-3 in the second half. But their always is things that both teams did bad, I'll go over them after the jump...

Wyoming started this game off great and it looked like they were well on their way to snapping their 5 game losing streak. a 72 yard run on the first play from scrimmage by Alvester Alexander gave the Cowboys a 7-0 lead. Although the Rebels weren't planning on giving up just yet. UNLV scored almost as easily going 5 plays for 46 yards and a 7 yard rushing touchdown from Tim Cornett.

Not until the end of the first quarter did anyone score again when Austyn Carta-Samuels completed a 32 yard Touchdown pass to T.J. Smith with 36 seconds left in the first quarter. For whatever reason, Ian Watts missed the extra point and the game remained a 6 point margin in favor of the Cowboys.

A long, sustained drive that took about 6:00 off the clock was UNLV's quick response in which Tim Cornett ran 3 yards for his second touchdown of the day. Wyoming went 20 yards before punting the ball and pinning UNLV at their own 15. A 13 play, 85 yard, 10 minute touchdown drive that was capped off by a 21 yard touchdown catch by Phillip Payne ensued to give UNLV a 21-13 lead with 30 seconds left and needless to say, Wyoming ran out the clock to head into halftime.

UNLV got the ball first in the second half and Tim Cornett capped off a quick 6 play drive with a 1 yard touchdown run. Wyoming took another 4:30 off the clock, getting a field goal and closing the gap to 12. Little did we know that, with 7 minutes left in the third quarter, would be the last time Wyoming score in the game. Wyoming's offense came close to scoring again after a three and out by UNLV but could not get in the endzone on 4th and goal from the 3 yard line.

Another three and out by the Rebels led to another long drive by Wyoming down to the UNLV 11. An offensive interference call on Wyoming on 4th and 4 pushed the Cowboys back to the UNLV 26 and Ian Watts missed the field goal.

UNLV's next drive was 3 plays, but resulted in a touchdown. The drive consisted of a 1 yard run by Tim Cornett, a 17 yard pass from Omar Clayton that had a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty tacked on to put the Rebels at the Wyoming 41, and a 41 yard pass from Omar Clayton to Marcus Sullivan for a touchdown. At this point, Wyoming has squandered opportunity after opportunity and the Rebels have now opened up a 35-16 lead with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Austyn Carta-Samuels would be intercepted on the third play of the next drive and UNLV would literally run the ball play after play, taking up 7:30 and resulting in a 12 yard pass from Omar Clayton to Tim Cornett for a touchdown to seal the game's fate, UNLV now up 42-16. Wyoming simply ran three running plays to run out the remaining 2:04 and UNLV moved up to 2-8 (2-4) on the season while dropping Wyoming to 2-9 (0-7) on the season.

I don't think many of us expected the standings at this time to look like this:


Position Team Record Conference Record
1 TCU 11-0 7-0
2 Utah 8-2 5-1
T-3 San Diego State 7-3 4-2
T-3 BYU 5-5 4-2
5 Air Force 7-4 4-3
6 UNLV 2-8 2-4
7 Colorado State 3-8 2-5
8 New Mexico 1-9 1-5
9 Wyoming 0-7 2-9

 I know I definitely didn't expect Wyoming to be down at the bottom of the list, or UNLV to be 6th. Another thing is somehow BYU is now tied for 3rd in the conference with San Diego State... How did that happen?

Anyway, UNLV's defense looked great on the stat sheet, holding Wyoming to 271 yards on the day. But in reality, they gave up a 72 yard run for a touchdown, and two long drives that they got lucky on when Wyoming couldn't turn them into points on either. Tim Cornett scored four touchdowns albeit he only had 82 yards.

The bottom line is that if you look at the box score of this game, UNLV looked like they dominated. What really happened is Wyoming made some huge mistakes when they were down double digits that would have allowed them to easily stay in the game and UNLV finally was able to sustain a few long drives.


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