The Cowboys were able to defeat the Colorado State Rams on Saturday afternoon in Laramie by a score of 31-17. It was the most complete and all-around performance from the Cowboys all year long as they were finally able to break out of their 4-game losing skid in dismantling their Border War rivals on both sides of the ball. The Pokes will head to Boise next week in hopes of carrying this momentum into their matchup with the Broncos.
The first half almost started as more of the same
At the beginning of the 2021 Border War clash, it looked like the day could result in what we witnessed for almost all of October for the Cowboys. After moving the ball up near midfield on their first drive of the day, the Pokes elected to go for it on 4th & 1 but turned the ball over on a rare strip-fumble lost by RB Xazavian Valladay. Around four minutes later, the Rams would kick off the scoring by turning the costly turnover from Wyoming into six with a touchdown pass from CSU QB Todd Centeio to WR Dante Wright. It continued a pattern of allowing scores off of turnovers, for Wyoming, that was all too familiar in their previous few matchups.
But the legs of Levi Williams & the Poke backfield led the charge
On the ensuing drive, however, following the CSU score, Levi Williams made sure that this conference matchup wasn’t going to fall into the same category as the previous ones. He instantly broke off a 43-yard run up the middle, finding blockers and then the endzone, to tie the game at seven apiece. The defenses on both sides were able to stifle their opposing offense temporarily, until Wyoming RB Titus Swen broke a huge 87-yard run down to the CSU 9, setting up a Xazavian 5-yard touchdown run that would give the Pokes their first lead in more than four weeks. A CSU field goal then made it a four-point game, but the Cowboys would eventually answer that score with a 29-yard field goal from K John Hoyland, set up by another huge run from Williams. The score would hold and remain 17-10, heading into halftime.
And the Cowboys held on to their lead
Holding their first lead in any conference game all season, the Pokes did not want to send their faithful fans at War Memorial home disappointed, once again. After both teams missed their attempted field goals to open the 2nd half, Craig Bohl and the Pokes kept their foot on the gas pedal. The offense capped off an 11-play 80-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Levi Williams over the top to Isaiah Neyor, to extend the Poke lead to 24-10.
And then the unthinkable happened…(kinda)
With only the 4th quarter remaining, Wyoming sealed the victory with not one, but two interceptions. The first came at the very beginning of the 4th quarter with Keonte Glinton picking off a pass over the middle by Centeio. The next was a tipped ball with about eleven minutes remaining that wound up in the arms of none other than All-Conference LB Chad Muma. The Pokes would capitalize off of Centeio’s second interception of the day with Isaiah Neyor’s second touchdown of the day, catching the fade pass from Levi Williams and effectively destroying any comeback desires the Rams may have had.
Colorado State 17
So who stood out?
QB Levi Williams - It would be remiss to not mention how well Levi Williams managed Saturday’s game for the Cowboys. Williams did most of his work on the ground, accounting for 116 yards on 12 attempts and 1 TD. He was also efficient through the air, completing 9 of his 16 pass attempts for 92 yards and adding 2 TD passes on top of that. It was far and beyond the best performance from a Wyoming QB this season.
LBs Chad Muma & Easton Gibbs - Muma & Gibbs were all over the field on defense for the Cowboys. They accounted for 11 tackles each and were the perfect linebacker tandem. It was a near-perfect dual effort from the two.
RB Titus Swen - The only reason I am leaving Valladay off of this list is because of the two fumbles he lost, but thank goodness his partner Titus Swen was able to pick him up. Swen rushed for 166 yards on 21 carries, putting this offense in great shape on nearly every drive.