WYOMING - 35
TEXAS TECH- 33
Most Wyoming fans were expecting to take a big loss in their opener to the Red Raiders.
Craig Bohl had different plans, as the Cowboys executed nearly perfectly and got the best of the 14.5-point favorite Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The most crucial stat in last night's game that propelled Wyoming to the win was time of possession. UW had 34:02 minutes of possession, while Tech had 25:58. The Red Raiders led the nation in offensive plays per game, and they were looking to break their previous record again in 2023. They did get 80 plays off, two more than Wyoming, but the football stayed out of Tyler Shough’s hands for the most part.
Peasley didn’t quite shine… but he did his job. He failed to throw an interception this game, a very good sign, and again, kept the ball out of the Raider's hands. For some reason, He thought he was Lamar Jackson last night, being Wyoming’s leading rusher with 15 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Some big sacks were made, both Braden Siders and Devonne Harris picking up a sack each, and even the freshman Jaden Williams taking down the QB once. For the most part, the pocket was clean for Shough, but when UW needed a sack their front seven got it done and made some clutch plays.
Up until the tying field goal in the fourth, Wyoming did not allow any points after the first quarter. The defense was locked in after their shaky first quarter.
John Hoyland punched through his career-best field goal as well, a 56-yarder to begin the second quarter.
A Shaky Start
Through the first quarter, it was rough.
A lighting delay pushed this game back a little bit, and it seemed to help the Red Raiders out in the first frame. The Cowboy offense went four and out to start the season off, and right after gave up a 33-yard score from Myles Price. Ouch.
Their new running back, Jamari Ferrell was poised to show Laramie what he’s all about, but fumbled on the Cowboy side of the field, and led to great field position for the Raiders. They followed this up with an absolute moss job on Wyett Ekeler from their fourth-string tight end to take the lead 14-0. Not the start you like to see after all the preseason hype behind this Poke defense.
Bohl decided to give D.Q. James a shot at running the rock, but he sadly fumbled as well. Despite this, he would go on to have a great game, it looks like the starting back role is between him and Sam Scott. Anyways, this fumble led to the Raiders pushing down the field but punched in a 54-yard triple.
The Climb Back
Wrook Brown got this team fired up, picking off Tyler Shough on a play where he read the quarterback like a Kindle. This gave the Cowboys all the momentum in the world, and they were finally able to put together an offensive drive where the fullback Caleb Driskell was able to get into the end zone for Wyoming’s first touchdown of the season.
One thing that we can take away from this game is that the offense lives by this defense. The backside makes the plays so the offense can finish it off. A truly beautiful combo.
It was common for Peasley to take a few big shots downfield during the first half, but it was clearly not the key to scoring on the Raider defense. The Cowboy QB was just slightly off on most of these bombs downfield and something had to change.
This is exactly what Craig Bohl and company did, they realized that slow and methodical drives were the key to beating a team that is all about hurry-up offense. It was clear that Tech was getting impatient with this style of play, and began to take bad penalties, ending with seven for 69 yards.
It also helped that Texas Tech’s kicker Geno Garcia couldn’t hit a field goal to save his life. To close regulation he finally put one in, and sent this game into overtime.
They traded off touchdowns in the first extra frame, but to start the second overtime, Tech couldn’t get it done on their two-point conversion. This was a big opportunity for Wyoming to slay the dragon and send Texas Tech home. An all-out blitz came, and Peasley got the pass off to John Michael Gyllenborg to set up for the two-point. Sam Scott rushed that two-point try in and Laramie erupted. One of the biggest wins for Wyoming was complete, a Big 12 win nobody thought was possible.
Wyoming was in the football Gods hands last night, as some fortunate field goal misses helped propel the Cowboys to victory.
This defense is so good. That’s all I can say. The defense’s hype going into the season was for good reason, and I expect this unit to be one of the best if not the best in the Mountain West. It could've been ugly if this defense wasn’t in its bag. It should be really exciting to see what they do this year and you know what they say… defense wins championships.
If this back unit can stump a power five offense like that, imagine Mountain West play.
Peasley did exactly what he needed: zero interceptions, patient and slow drives, and took advantage of his legs. The receivers got locked down quite a bit, but instead of forcing a pass and getting picked off, he ran the ball and made the most out of a collapsed play. Something you love to see from the veteran QB.
Big things are coming for the Cowboys, and this is just the first sample of it.
The Cowboys will face off with Portland State back at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 9, looking to improve to 2-0.