The Paniolo, Bridger Rifle, and Bronze Boot trophies will all reside in Laramie this season.
The Wyoming Cowboys found a way, yet again, to beat one of their biggest rivals on Saturday night, defeating the Colorado State Rams 14-13 in an ever-so-close finish to the 2022 Border War.
When the Border War kicked off on Saturday night in Fort Collins, the Cowboys got off to another slow start. After a three-and-out on Wyoming’s first possession, the Pokes were forced to punt to prolific CSU receiver Tory Horton. Horton proceeded to take the punt back 72-yards for a touchdown, kicking off scoring for the Rams.
It didn’t get much better for the Pokes after that. On the fifth play of Wyoming’s second possession, QB Andrew Peasley immediately threw an interception, giving the Rams back the ball and all of the momentum. Luckily, the defense came to play for Wyoming. Devonne Harris and Easton Gibbs combined to sack QB Clay Millen on 3rd and 8, preventing any retaliation from the Rams.
The UW offense continued their early struggles, stalling out once again for another three and out. The Pokes punted the ball back to CSU, but with Wyoming pinned back on their own 19, the Rams took over possession on their own 42-yard line.
A long 35-yard drive by the Rams allowed them to bring the ball back within the Wyoming 25-yard line, but the Poke defense stood strong and prevented the Rams from reaching the endzone. After a 40-yard field goal by Michael Boyle, the Rams took a 10-0 two-possession lead into the latter portion of the first half.
But the Pokes would climb back.
After a couple more possessions, Wyoming finally found the scoreboard at the end of the half. With backup Jayden Clemons replacing Peasley under center, the Pokes marched 69 yards downfield to come within three after a gritty 14-yard rushing TD from the previously mentioned Clemons.
After some staunch defense from both sides and a missed field goal, the second half wouldn’t see any scoring until the 4th quarter. A rare John Hoyland missed field goal and another interception from CSU would be all the action that the 3rd quarter would see.
But just when it looked like CSU was finally going to be able to put some separation on the board with an impressive drive, in large part due to some big throws from Rams QB Clay Millen, the Poke defense came up with some big stops inside the Wyoming 10-yard line to hold the Rams to a field goal and keeping the game within reach.
And that was exactly what the doctor ordered.
On 2nd and 9, Jayden Clemons found Alex Brown for a huge 32-yard touchdown reception that gave the Pokes their first lead of the night after the extra point, 14-13. It was the first touchdown reception in WR Alex Brown’s career
The Pokes held onto that lead for the rest of the night.
(But thank goodness the Rams missed a field goal and ran out of time.)
Nonetheless, the Wyoming Cowboys improved to 7-3 and 5-1 in conference play. Wyoming has now won four straight games for their longest winning streak since they won four to open last season’s campaign. It was also the 45th time the Pokes beat Colorado State in the Border War.
This lights-out list will contain our three biggest standout performers for the Pokes in the victory:
1. Easton Gibbs - Gibbs led the Wyoming defense with 13 tackles (3 Solo) and 2 TFLs which included 1 sack. His performance was key in preventing Colorado State from seeing the endzone all night.
2. Titus Swen - Swen returned to the field a workhorse, notching 73 yards rushing on 16 carries, a big reason the Pokes were able to maintain drives.
3. Jayden Clemons - The backup QB came into the game with poise and delivered for the Pokes when they needed him to. He was efficient, going 7-11 for 90 yards and 1 TD through the air, while also rushing for 32 yards on 5 carries and 1 TD.
The Cowboys return to action next week to take on Boise State in a critical matchup in the Mountain West. The game will kick off on Saturday, November 19th in Laramie at 5 p.m. MT on CBSSN.