Yes, you read that right. For the first time ever, the Wyoming Cowboys beat the Boise State Broncos. And holy cow, was it a game.
Boise State’s first drive culminated in a rare Jeremy McNichols’ fumble, which Wyoming couldn’t capitalize on. The teams traded punts until the Broncos turned an interception off a tipped pass by Josh Allen into a touchdown.
It seemed like the game would be just like any other BSU-UW game had been as Boise jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Allen and Brian Hill marched the Cowboys down to the Bronco 19 yard line before Wyoming got on the board with a strike to tight end Jacob Hollister. Brett Rypien was not fazed as he made short work of Wyoming’s defense, taking the Broncos 75 yards on eight plays for a 21-7 lead.
Then the winds changed.
Wyoming took the kickoff to the 23 yard line for a 40 yard field goal. Then Rico Gafford picked off Rypien on the next play. Two plays later, Wyoming scored again on another pass to Hollister. Wyoming nearly intercepted Rypien again on BSU’s next play after the kickoff, but Logan Wilson dropped it. Luckily for him, it didn’t matter.
Boise State kept the ball and went into halftime up 21-17.
The second half started with a whimper, with six straight possessions ending in a punt. Wyoming broke the punt streak with a 39yard field goal two minutes into the fourth quarter to come within one point.
Boise responded with a 33 yard touchdown pass from Thomas Sperbeck to Rypien (no, I’m not making that up). They wouldn’t score again.
Allen picked up the reins and drove Wyoming down to Boise’s 29 yard line to hit Tanner Gentry over a Boise defender for a touchdown. Coach Bohl put all his chips on the table and went for two. Wyoming made the conversion, tying the game at 28 with 6:42 to go.
Boise State couldn’t get its offense going on the ensuing drive, failing to record a first down before punting it away.
Wyoming took the punt at its own 23 yard line, making it to midfield before punting it away and setting up the most off-the-wall ending to a college football game you can possibly have.
Boise State and Rypien were backed up at the 10. Rypien’s first pass goes incomplete to Sperbeck. He resets the offense and takes the snap. Wyoming tackle Chase Appleby blows past Archie Lewis and hits Rypien, knocking the ball out of his hands. It rolls out of the end zone for a safety. Wyoming wins 30-28, the students rush Jonah Field, and we at Mountain West Connection are blessed with this gif.
If there’s one thing Wyoming didn’t do well tonight, it was defend the pass. At times, they did well caging McNichols, but Rypien had his way with the Cowboys. Wyoming’s 122nd ranked passing defense did not step up in any way.
Allen finished the night 18/31 with 274 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. Hill rushed for more yards (146) than anyone had against Boise State since Donnel Pumphrey gained 147 on November 14, 2014. Allen added 53 rushing yards of his own. Hollister, who deserves the game ball, caught six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
One last thing I feel like noting is the energy at the game. The student section was more intense and involved than I’ve ever seen them, and the Cowboys clearly fed on it. Take, for example, this video. This was taken right before the Cowboys took the field and the student section didn’t die out at all from that moment on.
Wyoming is now atop the Mountain division in the Mountain West and looks to stay undefeated against Utah State, who just got ripped to shreds by San Diego State’s rushing attack. Expect Brian Hill and Josh Allen to run laps around War Memorial Stadium next week.