Norman makes impact in different ways

Wyoming junior receiver Trey Norman was involved only in two pass plays in last week’s 38-31 homecoming win over New Mexico.

Trey Norman

Trey Norman

But they were significant plays — for different reasons.

On UW’s first series of the game, Norman caught a 30-yard pass along New Mexico’s sideline. Officials ruled it a catch, it was reviewed by video replay and it held up. Two plays later, sophomore running back Shaun Wick scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to put UW up 7-0.

Norman said junior receiver Dominic Rufran was the primary target on the play, but he was covered. Norman said in practice that week he often would stop running on that route, and receivers coach Derek Sage got on him about that. Norman didn’t stop running in that particular instance.

“I saw the ball and I just went up and made a play,” he said.

His second catch went for 19 yards in the third quarter down to the New Mexico 1-yard line. However, Norman didn’t appear to be tackled by anyone. That set up a 25-yard field goal by junior kicker Stuart Williams that gave UW a 24-17 lead.

“I ran a dig-route. When I caught it and I was already kind of going down,” he said. “I thought I was in the end zone, or closer to the end zone than I was.”

Norman added he took a lot of good-natured ribbing from receiver Jalen Claiborne and safety Marqueston Huff, who like Norman are from Texas.

Norman started the New Mexico game in place of true freshman Tanner Gentry, who played but injured an ankle in practice. It was Norman’s first start of the season, and he missed two games this season with an injury.

He has caught three passes this season, but for a team-best 19.7 yards per catch. He also returned a kickoff against New Mexico for 27 yards, and is slated to join Claiborne in Saturday’s Border War game with Colorado State as UW’s top two kickoff returners.

This will be Norman’s third Border War, and it didn’t take him long to realize what this rivalry, which goes back to 1899, means to both schools.

“My first game when we went there (in 2010, a 23-19 UW win) I could feel it,” he said. “It’s good competition but you feel the rivalry right away, like you were born into it.

“They say Colorado Sate has a lot of the other things like the city life and everything over Wyoming. We have this game and we want to keep our four-game winning streak going. …¬†We don’t want to lose any game but definitely don’t want to lose this one.”

See Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net, for WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s column on why the date for this year’s Border War is most ideal, and for a closer look at two of Colorado State’s biggest offensive weapons. Can you guess who they are?