It was a promising start for Wyoming.
But it was short lived as the Cowboys fell to No. 21 Boise State 45-14 Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.
I liked UW’s first two offensive possessions that gained 151 yards. I thought UW would try and run the ball since Boise State allowed only 158 passing yards per game. But the Cowboys spread them out kind of dinked-and-dunked the Broncos.
The blocked field goal after the first drive was a killer, but a touchdown on the second possession was big.
But that was about it for UW.
One yard on the next five possessions for the offense, and the defense allowed seven scores on nine possessions in the game.
You just can’t do things like that against a nationally-ranked team — or any team — and win.
There didn’t seem to be any lingering effects among the players from coach Dave Christensen being suspended and fined on Monday. It couldn’t have been easy, but the players seemed ready to play and nothing struck me differently about Christensen not being there.
UW’s just not good enough to beat or play with teams like Boise State this year.
Interim coach Pete Kaligis choked up talking about the offense’s fast start and not being able to sustain it. He didn’t like how he became the interim coach, but was gratful for the opportunity.
“To have the opportunity to lead the University of Wyoming and go out there and represent the state today was unreal to me,” he said. “It’s still an honor when I come in and coach (Sunday) and dong what we need to do to get a ‘W.’
Liked how QB Brett Smith hung tough throughout the day under a lot of pressure. His lost fumble in the game hurt, but he looked better than he did last week at Fresno State.
I also liked how junior Brandon Miller played at WR, about the second or third time it seems like he’s moved from RB to WR in his career. Miller led UW with six catches for 66 yards.
I really liked how senior linebackers Ghaali Muhammad and Korey Jones played, despite being in some mismatches at times in pass coverage. Also liked how sophomore safety Chad Reese played with an interception, five tackles and two pass break ups.
However, I didn’t like how the defense gave up 223 yards passing and 214 rushing. The coverage in the secondary once again seemed soft. Tackling wasn’t great, and at times awful. Special teams were horrible across the board.
I would have liked to see UW take a chance late with a throw into the end zone with 8 seconds to play in the first half after Reese’s interception he returned to the Boise State 49. Instead UW punted and the clock ran out. Why not take a shot there? Boise State did last year and it scored a TD. I will admit I didn’t ask Kaligis about that after the game, nor did anyone else.
Starting to sound like a broken record here after these losses. The close ones were tough, but now UW has lost two in a row by a combined 59 points to the top two teams in the conference. Losses are losses, but the blow outs to me are tougher to watch.
For more coverage, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to www.wyosports.net.