It’s become an all too familiar story for the Wyoming football team.
The Cowboys’ defense allowed a season-high 642 yards of total offense in a 51-44 loss at San Jose State Saturday night at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
The defense got off to a good start — three straight three-and-outs and then a fumble recovery. After that, it did virtually nothing.
Senior quarterback David Fales missed on just 10 of his 37 pass attempts. He threw for 482 yards and five touchdowns. The Spartans also ran for 160 yards, and it seemed like more.
Fales scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 8 seconds left. Here’s the video of that play.
The offense did some good things. Junior quarterback Brett Smith threw for three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Shaun Wick had 234 yards, and senior receiver Robert Herron had a school-record 93-yard touchdown reception where he simply outran everyone from San Jose on a short pass. It was similar to what he did last year at Texas on his 82-yard touchdown run and catch. The 93-yard play was the longest in UW history — touchdown or not.
But it wasn’t enough.
UW couldn’t get to Fales enough with just two sacks and little pressure other than that. The secondary gave up scoring pass plays of 76, 60 and 30 yards. It also allowed San Jose to make both of their fourth-down conversions.
To UW’s credit, it played much better than its 52-22 home lost last week to Colorado State. But a loss is still a loss and I got the impression this one hurt the players even more than last week’s debacle. It was especially tough on Smith, who always wears his emotions on his sleeves — win or lose. He looked even more dejected after this loss than the others I’ve seen.
Coach Dave Christensen simply said the defense has to get better. But how does it? There is no magic potions or schemes out there, and there are no players hidden on the sidelines that can come in and give any immediate help.
A couple of other quick notes:
–UW led 23-14 at halftime and lost for the first time in five games when it has led at the half.
–UW’s season-high 322 rushing yards was the most since it had 382 at home against Texas State in 2011.
–Senior running back Brandon Miller caught his fifth-career touchdown pass.
–Sophomore Rafe Kiely started at center, but junior Albert Perez also played.
–Redshirt freshman guard Chase Roullier shared playing time on the left side with senior Tyler Strong.
–True freshman cornerback Tim Hayes dropped what looked like to fairly easy interceptions. He dropped one against CSU.
–It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that UW’s leading receiver, junior Dominic Rufran, caught his first pass. He ended up with two catches for 21 yards, but did a good job of blocking for much of the game.
UW is off next week before it hosts No. 15 Fresno State on Nov. 9. When is UW’s next going to come? Then, later or will there be another one?
For more game coverage, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.