To me, that sums up Wyoming’s 20-3 home loss to Utah State Friday night.
Despite falling into a 17-0 first-quarter hole, UW (4-6 overall, 2-4 Mountain West) put itself in position to get closer and even win. The defense allowed 178 yards in the first quarter, and 178 the rest of the game.
The offense moved the ball. It outgained Utah State 363-356, had six more first downs, ran 25 more plays and had nearly a 10-minute advantage in time of possession. But it couldn’t finish.
Two fourth-quarter interceptions by senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard hurt. The first one was a bad read and throw. The second was bad luck on a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage. Still, you can make a case that Kirkegaard needs to be more aware of the defenders around him.
Here’s UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:
I liked the fact UW tried to take some deep shots down the field in the pass game. It needed to loosen up that Utah State defense. A 53-yard catch by sophomore Jake Maulhardt in the second half helped. A dropped touchdown by sophomore Tanner Gentry didn’t help. Stil, I liked the way UW attacked that, just didn’t get enough to go its way.
I was surprised Utah State didn’t run the jet sweep, fly sweep or whatever you want to call it more often after the first quarter. UW couldn’t keep up with the Aggies’ speed. Yes, there were some missed tackles, but on junior JoJo Natson’s 66-yard run on a sweep and his 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, UW didn’t have anyone close enough to miss a tackle — for the most part.
Penalties also hurt. Odd how this team went from one of the least penalized teams — both in number of penalties and yards — to averaging eight penalties for 71 yards over its last four games. Hate to pick on certain players, but penalties by junior offensive guard Jake Jones and senior offensive tackle Connor Rains really hurt the Cowboys.
Cowboys have a lot to work on before its next game, Nov. 22 at home against Boise State, who is just as good or better than Utah State when it comes to defense and being physical.
Here is some more video highlights/interviews from after the game:
For more game coverage, see Saturday’s and Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.