To me, the day belonged to the defense in Wyoming’s 42-10 home-opening win over Idaho Saturday.
Eight tackles for loss, seven quarterback sacks, seven three-and-outs, four straight to start the game and two turnovers that led to touchdowns. Granted, Idaho wasn’t very good but the defense set the tone for this win as the offense struggled to get going.
The 344 yards of total offense allowed was the fewest UW has given up since Nov. 19, 2011 against New Mexico (396).
Here’s what coach Dave Christensen had to say about the defense, and about the game in general.
I get into the defense more in my column in Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also at wyosports.net.
Quarterback Brett Smith continued his climb up the UW record books. He threw for four touchdowns, and now is responsible for 72 touchdowns in his career. That is a new school record. The old mark was 70 by former quarterback Casey Bramlet of Wheatland (2000-03).
Sophomore Shaun Wick had his second straight 100-yard game with 110 yards.
Senior receiver Robert Herron caught five passes for 123 yards, and junior receiver Dominic Rufran caught three touchdown passes. A source told me that a scout from the New York Giants was at the game to see Herron. He showed good speed after a couple of his catches.
Nice to see senior running back Tedder Easton get his first-ever touchdown run, a 13-yarder in the second quarter. A walk-on that has paid his dues and never complains.
Interesting note on Idaho that sophomore cornerback Jayshawn Jordan tied for its leader in tackles with nine. He was a former UW commitment who changed his mind and switched to Idaho. How do you think he is liking that right now?
In garbage time UW went with true freshman quarterback Tommy Thornton over senior Colby Kirkegaard. Thought it might try to keep the redshirt on Thornton, but apparently not.
I also found it interesting that not long after senior guard and co-captain Tyler Strong was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a UW touchdown in the second quarter, he didn’t return. I didn’t get a chance to ask coach Dave Christensen about that, but will on Monday.
In all, a good win for UW. Idaho was a team it should have defeated like this. Next is FCS foe Northern Colorado and Christensen said he will be sure to let the players know how many FCS teams have beaten FBS teams this season. Most UW players should just look back to last year’s loss to Cal Poly.
For more game coverage, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.