A struggling team against a team that has been blowing opponents away. The Utah State-Wyoming showdown was an afterthought for most Mountain West fans, but the game came down to the last minutes. A change at quarterback was nearly enough for the Cowboys, but they could not overcome early offensive struggles. The Aggies escaped with a 24-16 victory. Let’s a take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of this West division contest.
Chambers replaced a struggling Tyler Vander Waal and nearly carried the Cowboys to victory. He only threw the ball five times, but he completed three of his passes for 62 yards. Chambers did the majority of his damage on the ground, where he carried the ball 19 times for 100 yards.
Evans was his normal, efficient self and had to carry the offensive load for most of the game. He finished the game with 25 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown. Evans continued to be the bright spot for a sputtering Wyoming offense.
Thompson was the lone bright spot for an Aggies offensive unit that had dominated the majority of their opponents. Frankly, I was surprised that Thompson did not get more carries considering the struggles of Jordan Love. Thompson finished the game with 17 carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns. A lot of that damage came on the Aggies’ first score of the game.
The electric kick returner was able to help out his struggling offense. Scarver took a kickoff return 99 yards to the house. The return made the game a 24-6 contest, which proved to be more than the Cowboys could overcome.
Cowboys Allowing Easy Points
The Cowboys defense was awesome in this game. The Aggies only had 194 yards of total offense. However, the Aggies were able to capitalize on a short field where they only had to go three yards for a touchdown. They also scored on a kick return. Those 14 points proved to be the difference maker in the game.
The Aggies were trying to share the love between Bright and Thompson, but Bright was not nearly as effective this game. Outside of a 14 yard carry, Bright struggled to get past the line of scrimmage.
This was probably Love’s worst performance as a collegiate quarterback and also a testament to how strong the Wyoming defense is. In 28 passing attempts, Love only completed 12 passes for 53 yards. That is less than two yards per attempt and only four yards per completion. No receiver had more than 14 yards; the Cowboys completely shut down the vertical passing attack of the Aggies.
Tyler Vander Waal
It was kind of the theme of the Cowboy’s season. It felt like they were a good quarterback away from a great season. Vander Waal’s season-long struggles continued against Utah State, and he was benched in favor of Sean Chambers. To be honest, it felt like this move was long overdue.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Stay tuned, as next week I will be covering an exciting contest between Air Force and Nevada.