Perhaps I am bad luck.
I wrote an article earlier in the week how, despite the team’s record and some of its stats, the Wyoming defense had shown improvement over the last few weeks.
Here’s the article if you want to take a look: http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/coaches-like-progress-of-wyoming-defense/article_3da74bea-7d3a-11e5-ae94-cb4eac92080f.html
But the Cowboys’ defense was dominated by a balanced and good game plan by Utah State Friday night in Logan, Utah. The Aggies ran for 296 and passes for 296. UW had no answer for either one.
Why? Here’s what coach Craig Bohl said after the game:
As you heard, it was Utah State’s passing game. I will admit, the Aggies did a good job with that and UW just couldn’t catch up to the mix of run and pass after that.
UW true freshman safety Andrew Wingard talks more about that.
Despite not having starting quarterback Cameron Coffman and its big-play wide receiver Tanner Gentry due to injuries, I thought UW’s offense held its own. It ran the ball well with sophomore Brian Hill’s 201 yards. He continues to climb up UW’s record books and also is making his own history.
Here is the link to my notebook, which is led by Hill, along with a video interview:
I also thought redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Smith was solid in his first-career start. He was 10 of 18 for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Smith also ran for 53 yards and a score. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over. I thought he managed the game well. I wouldn’t call him a polished veteran at this point, but he’s making good progress.
Here is what Smith said after the game:
I don’t think UW could have gone score-for-score with Utah State last night. It was hanging in there prior to the half before the Aggies blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. To me, that was the key play of the game and the one that changed the momentum. UW would have been down only 24-14 at halftime, but instead was down 30-14.
A couple of other random thoughts:
— Junior wide receiver Jake Maulhardt has really turned into a good wide receiver for the Cowboys. Not just in the two games that Gentry has missed with a shoulder injury, but all season. He uses is 6-foot-6 frame well. He’s shown good hands, and is not afraid to go up and get the ball.
— There wasn’t a lot of highlights for the defense, but I liked how senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough had a season-high 10 tackles. He also had a tackle for loss and recovered a fumble. And, it was another good game for Wingard with 15 tackles and nine solo stops.
— The players admitted after the game this was a tough loss to take. That’s understandable. But perhaps a rivalry game will help this week as Colorado State comes to Laramie Saturday. For a lot of UW players this will be their first Border War.
Here are links to some of the other coverage from me from the Utah State game that was on wyosports.net.