Entering the football season Wyoming fans generally expected a win total of 4 or 5 with the outside hope of a 6 win season leading to a bowl game. With the loss of Wyoming's top two returning quarterbacks entering the season, the expectations were not set extremely high in coach Craig Bohl's first season in Laramie.
Sure Bohl came to Wyoming with a gaudy winning percentage from his days at North Dakota State but most understood there was a definite rebuild in order for the new coaching staff.
What most didn't expect was to see a team get decimated by injuries the way they did, leading to many true freshman getting major minutes this season. Even with the roster shortcomings to start and then the eventual injuries, the Cowboys still stood a chance to close out the 2014 college season with 5 wins.
Unfortunately that didn't come to life this Saturday with a 36-30 defeat to the hands of the New Mexico Lobos.
Carlos Wiggins returned a kickoff 97 yards for the game-winning touchdown late in the third on Saturday and New Mexico's defense held on 4th-and-goal in the closing seconds to stymie the Cowboys.
The return was the fourth in Wiggins' career, a New Mexico record. It was one of four big scoring plays for the Lobos, who also had a 19-yard interception return for a TD by Cranston Jones, a 75-yard touchdown pass from Lamar Jordan to Tyler Duncan and a 69-yard rushing score from Jhurell Pressley.
The Cowboys had a chance late when quarterback redshirt senior Colby Kirkegaard found sophomore Tanner Gentry for 44 yards to the New Mexico 5 with 38 seconds left.
But Kirkegaard's next four passes fell incomplete. Kirkegaard finished with a season high 366-yards passing and true freshman running back Brian Hill had 163-yards rushing and a touchdown on 29 carries for the Cowboys. Hill also ended the season with 1,000 total offensive yards.
Pressley finished with 101 yards on 11 carries for New Mexico.
Both teams end the season with a 4-8 overall record (2-6 Mountain West) and look upon the off-season to continue to grow as programs into the future with recruiting and strength & conditioning gains.