UW-Air Force postgame thoughts

Where to start?

Got to be impressed with Wyoming’s 25-17 win, which snaps a five-game losing streak to the Falcons and improves the Cowboys’ record to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the Mountain West.

UW is tied for second place in the MW with Boise State (how about that home loss to TCU today?)

Got to give it to the defense. Sure, it gave up 312 rushingย  yards, but it also allowed minus-1ย  yard passing. That’s unheard of, even for option-oriented offenses like Air Force. UW knocked Air Force starting quarterback Tim Jefferson out of the game after the first series, and senior Connor Dietz was never a throwing threat, although he ran it well for a team-high 85 yards.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen a fourth quarter quite like that, other than maybe the fourth quarter in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl with Fresno State and the overtime before UW won.

The Cowboys forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter against Air Force. My column in Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang is on the defense, and despite some shortcomings still (tackling), this unit has become impressive in crunch time.

And, you can’t say enough again for true freshman quarterback Brett Smith. He threw for 139 yards and a touchdown in 60 mph winds, and ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns. No turnovers again for Smith, and his fourth-and-10 pass for 14 yards to senior Mazi Ogbonna in the fourth quarter on what proved to be the game-winning touchdown drive was epic. He showed no ill effects from being knocked out of last week’s game against TCU.

Great win for the Cowboys, and yet another “biggest win” of the season and in the third season for coach Dave Christensen.

Sad news was seeing junior receiver Chris McNeill lost for the season with what looked to be a left arm or shoulder injury. Christensen said he is done for the season. That will hurt UW going forward.

But a home win over New Mexico (winless as I write this) gives UW seven wins and makes it bowl eligible.

21 thoughts on “UW-Air Force postgame thoughts

  1. Robert – what a great win for the program, and another convincing argument that Brett Smith is the real deal. Defense did what they needed to do, held AFA to (relatively) low rushing and points. In difficult conditions against a team that is always a problem for Wyoming no matter what the records look like, these 2011 Pokes bring home a win for the seniors and put themselves in the driver’s seat for a bowl game. Just awesome.

  2. As long as Wyoming beats NM then I believe Wyoming can’t finish worst than 3rd. San Diego plays TCU next so that may put distance between Wyoming and San Diego. San Diego would go to Ponsettia (Home field), TCU’s win today goes to Vegas, and Boise to Humanitarian? But what another poster on another message board brings up is that if Air Force wins last two (CSU, UNLV), then Wyoming may not get a bowl bid? Rumor is Humanitarian wants Air Force, but if Boise takes it then Wyoming competes with Air Force (who we just beat today) for NM Bowl?

    It seems dumbfounding that Wyoming having a great year even at 7-5 finishing 3rd in Conference and doesn’t go to a bowl?
    Robert, I hope you have some pearls of wisdom here, cause if I think about it too much I may not be sleeping well tonight!

    • Hate to say it but Boise losing and not going to a BCS bowl could cost a MW team that gets bowl eligible. Remember, the placing of a team in a conference doesn’t always make a difference. It’s about what teams will travel well to what bowls. Still think Uw will be ok here.

      RG

      • Well, thinking about it, Wyoming was good for the 2009 NM Bowl and it was sure good to us. Wyoming will travel well there. That is another case of controlling what you can control. Wyoming is in control of their destiny, practice well, just beat NM and CSU!

        I recall stating that each win is THE WIN needed for a Bowl Game. Guess that hasn’t changed.

        I could not believe the wind out at the game today and I lost my voice cheering in the last couple of minutes of the game. Sure proud of the Cowboys!
        Go Pokes.

  3. My head is still numb from the wind assault today…but it was so worth it. Having seen the Pokes have so many bad breaks happen to them at Falcon Stadium over the years (anyone remember the Wynel Seldon ‘fumble’ in 06?) it was very satisfying to see the ball bounce UW’s way in Colorado Springs. That was a gutsy win today and puts 8 wins a reality for this team, which no honest fan would have predicted in August. Smith is such a special player….how can a freshman be so consistently great? Greg Brandon and DC deserve a lot of credit, but I think this kid might just be someone all the BCS schools missed on.

    Hope you had a safe drive back to Cheyenne.

    • Made it home safe Mark and glad you were at the game. Nice to see the Cowboys have some good fortune at Air Force. Yes, I remember that Seldon fumble, or non fumble that was called a fumble. Smith is something else. The defense showed me something, too.

      RG

      • Sure felt like at times the refs weren’t helping the Pokes any. I too remember seeing Seldon’s fumble in ’06 and thought I saw the same today! Was it me or was there as much time spent on 2nd replays as the game? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I predicted 8 wins. Rg said it wad mighty optomistic of me. I agreed and still do. We are still 2 very big and difficult games away from it, but i did predict 8 wins. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Time for some tough predictions, especially since you are 0-2 with Wyo games the last two weeks… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Does DC return next year? If DC leaves, can we retain Brandon as HC? and Finally….Does Pittser transfer?…No presure RG……. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I admit I was wrong about UW losing to San Diego State and Air Force, but I did have TCU winning last week. Still glad I was wrong about SDSU and AF.

      No time yet to think DC is going anywhere next season. Could it happen? Sure, but some things and more wins need to still come about. Remember this, his overall record is stil under .500 overall and in the MW. Not saying he’s not doing a good job, but bigger schools need to sell a new hire and that’s hard to do.

      Possibly could keep Brandon and eleveate him in a hypothetical situation. No clue on Pittser, but in this day and age I suppose it wouldn’t surprise me.

      RG

  6. I.ll tell you Gigs I hardly complain about the refs,but I remember them couple calls a few years ago,witch where reviewed and they still went against us,and the replay showed the call was in our favor and they still didn.t over turn them. But today they went in our favor for a change.But why is it every team in blue always bitch and moan to the refs and get there way. The one that made me about jump thru the tv was when they got a penalty for a block below the waist,and there player was bitching to the ref about our player took off there players shoe and while they where having there one of twenty conferences the ref thru a flag after they were bitching.he didn’t see it, he just took there word. I’ll tell you I watched alot of football today I never seen refs stop the flow of a game like these jokers do.I’ts the same in basketball during conference games i’ts a foul called after foul no flow to the games.

    • I agree that the flow of the game was brutal yesterday. It was Biezuns that threw the shoe, and I saw it. … He definitely threw it. About 30 or 40 yards, haha.

      Glad UW could overcome that lack of flow and have some good things happen. They made a lot of good things happen as well.

      Thanks, as always, for your post and comments. Really appreciate it!!

  7. Beautiful.
    I got nothing else. Pokes did it all on Saturday.
    So proud of this team!

    Great reporting Jeremiah.
    My Mom named me after Tim Tebow.

    Timmy.

    • As long as I have awesome followers and supporters on the blog and live chats like you, you can call me whatever name you want. LOL

      Appreciate it and hope to hear from you soon.

      RG (Jeremiah)

  8. Brett smith will be the best QB wyoming has ever had when he is done. Very surprised that Boise state didn’t go after him as they like to hit the northwest for their QB’s. Their loss is our gain. Mark it, we will take the smurfs out this year

  9. A Bowl game is all but certain for the Wyoming Cowboys with hapless New Mexico and Colorado St ahead as well as a deflated disillusioned Boise St squad that will have trouble getting up with their season shot. I would like to see Wyoming go to the Independence Bowl and play an ACC squad to see how they match up against a school from a BCS conference. There are several possibilities for an opponent: Wake Forest, North Carolina, North Carolina St, and Miami FL. A game against Miami FL or North Carolina would be most desirable as it would give Wyoming to get some national recognition against schools that regularly have a strong profile. Shreveport may not be Las Vegas or San Diego, but Wyoming could still be much better off than playing yet another also-ran WAC team in a game elsewhere that will have zero interest east of the 104th Meridian West.

    • Good point on playing an ACC team, Ken.
      Question is, would UW fans go to the game? That’s a big part in all this bowl stuff these days.

      RG

    • Keep in mind, ‘Hapless New Mexico’ only had one win last year. I’m sure DC will kindly remind the boys about that too.

  10. No to the Independence Bowl. We’d have maybe 200 fans there total. TCU is locked into that one I believe. Thats an easy drive from Ft. Worth. Wyoming needs to and should be in a western Bowl, we may end up with a Pac-12 team, so there would be our AQ shot.

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