Shades of 2009?
Wyoming won at San Diego State in 2009 30-27, and came back from a 27-6 fourth-quarter deficit. Saturday night was the same final score for UW, but this time it hung on for the win.
“We’re very excited about this win and what it means to the conference for us,” said junior receiver Chris McNeill, who posted career-highs with eight catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half.
Never seen such a contrast in halves. UW had 396 yards and 30 points in the first half, and zero points, 104 yards and five first downs in the second.
UW gave up 539 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Hillman. You had the feeling that the Cowboys would let this game slip away in the second half.
But they didn’t.
The win in 2009 lifted this team to a bowl game, will this one do the same. At 5-2, UW needs two more victories to become bowl eligible. New Mexico at home and Colorado State on the road to end the season look like very winnable games.
But who is to say next week at home against TCU or at Air Force after that aren’t winable if the Cowboys can put together a game where their offense executed like it did in the first half against SDSU, or how the defense continued to make stops in the second half.
True freshman quarterback Brett Smith was the last player the media talked to after the game, and as players walked past him near UW’s locker room, there were a lot of pats on the back and backside. This kid has really earned this team’s respect.
Throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns, and running for two touchdowns doesn’t hurt, either.
Thought UW’s defensive line was great in this game, and all three of its sacks came from linemen — DE’s Josh Biezuns and Gabe Knapton and one by DT Kurt Taufa’asau.
The screen and option games were a big part of the game plan this week for UW’s offense due to SDSU’s aggressive 3-3-5 defense. They all worked well, but there wasn’t much option on the second half. Smith said the play-calling on offense didn’t change much from the first and second half. He said SDSU played better defense.
A great quote by SDSU coach Rocky Long: “For some unknown reason people didn’t give Wyoming the credit they deserve. Wyoming is a good football team. I guess everybody knows it now. Nobody wanted to admit it going into the game.”
One last nugget comparing the 2009 win here to this one. In 2009, UW started conference play 2-0. The 2011 Cowboys are now 2-0 in conference play.
Could this season be a repeat of 2009 in terms of the postseason? We shall see.