UW-San Jose State postgame thoughts

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.

7 thoughts on “UW-San Jose State postgame thoughts

  1. I , like a lot of fans this could be a magical year. The Conference is down in terms of elite teams, we have a savvy QB and a wealth of talent at receiver, a better than anticipated running attack and a favorable schedule. This has not measured up to what is sorely missing; a strategy for Defense and a leader to counter the oppositions intent. Every business plan starts with a strategy, and then the implementation and changes necessary to meet goals. Pokes are reeling, and San Jose is really mediocre. Many of Fales passes were under thrown and with a little heat in the pocket, he’s merely average. Discouraging, for me be sure. To see Miller drop that fumble on the turf, I felt like we would lose after a pretty potent first half. Smith’s loft up the middle for an oskie was the end. Another dagger to the heart. We simply cannot trust Tormey and our men to stop anyone. We can’t, and the bigger the play is in the game the greater the magnification of disappointment for all of us who want to wrap our heads in hands and wait for the next week. Christensen has brought the goods Offensively, when will he realize that Defense in the end will bring the W’s. I slept better last night comparatively to last week, my expectations are in line with a 5-6 win season and another off season to contemplate “what could have been”. It’s tough being a Cowboy from Wyoming.

  2. Wyoming is close to being a MWC contender and a very solid
    football team. I think that it comes down to someone having enough courage to
    admit that we need to bring in a defensive coach to supplement Dave and his
    offensive group. I tip my hat to Christensen he really has brought the offense
    along way he simply doesn’t understand the defensive side of the ball. If Dave
    could even swallow some pride and admit it himself and ask for help finding a defensive
    coach Wyoming would finally be able to clear the last hurdle facing the
    football program. Wyoming football needs Dave Christensen, don’t get me wrong
    Dave just needs help on defensive side of the football.

    • Thank you for taking the first step in removing Coach Tormey, I would suggest coach Howell of gag BYU his defensive units have been good and he also has produced NFL quality players. Win 2 MWC titles and pay coach Christensen and coach Howell fair market value and you will meet your goal of best land grant programs and dare I say need a larger stadium go pokes good day!

  3. it is time for Tormey to leave, the U and state of Wyoming are not getting any return on their investment with this guy

  4. The all time Wyoming MO……….give up the big play and score just before half, watch the momentum go to the other team.

    DC is right, the defense has to play better…..but it starts with coaching and the defensive schemes. Rush three, drop eight (watch the pass still be complete) will never put pressure on the QB. Keep a back in and that is 2:1 in favor of the offensive line. Advantage O line in the run game as well with more blockers than tacklers. TORMEY……math 101.

    DC has to make the change in defensive coordinator now if we are going to win any more games this year or next.

    DC I hate to see you get “sacked”, but it is going to happen if you don’t make a change. The coaches and players can and deserve to win, make the change.

  5. Agree with all the other comments – lack of consistent play on D was the reason we lost this game, which is the usual problem for the team. The D played solid the first part of the game, they just didn’t keep with it. That to me is a coaching issue.

  6. The first half there was a glimmer of hope=then the second half meltdown came. The defense is getting pushed around, (because they are too SMALL) they gave the San Jose QB all day to throw the ball. I do not understand WHY we don’t blitz. San Jose ran the same plays and gained yards and the Cowboys defense never seemed to catch on to the plays. Brett Smith seemed to struggle in the second half. I just wish that the Cowboys would play four quarters with the energy that they played in the first quarter of the game. I respectfully disagree with not getting rid of DC. I believe that a coach should understand both the offense and defense. DC keeps saying that the defense needs to get better but what has he done to see to it???? NOTHING that can be translated into the game
    IF DC survives this season and is the coach next year he needs to make a complete change in the defense. Having a defensive coach who knows what a blitz is and how to use it. Must bring in bigger and stronger defensive linemen to be able to stop the run. The fundamentals on defense need to be addressed and worked on. Also should use more players on the defensive line to create depth. Hopefully Burman is ready to take action as soon as the season is over to correct all the problems with the football program, even if that means getting rid of ALL the coaching staff and starting anew.

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