No, this isn’t a post about UW basketball losing — this was a football score — and one of the oddest games I’ve seen in 20 years of covering college football.
On paper, the Cowboys should have won this game. But games aren’t played on paper, and the areas of the game they did well that enabled them to go 7-2 and 5-0 in the Mountain West failed them — stopping or slowing down the run, winning the turnover battle and possessing the football on offense.
UNLV ran for 401 yards. UW committed four turnovers and forced only one, and its defense was on the field for for just over 38 minutes (not including the overtimes).
Here is coach Craig Bohl after the game:
UNLV (4-6 overall, 3-3 MW) did whatever it wanted offensively. Junior quarterback Kurt Palandech, who hadn’t played a ton this season but started this game, ran for 157 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
UW also didn’t tackle well, didn’t cover well in pass coverage. Aside from a defensive touchdown — UW’s fifth of the season — there wasn’t a lot this group did well.
Although the offense did some good things — two one-handed touchdown catches by senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry who had five catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen led the Cowboys on a nine-play, 97-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:06 of regulation to force overtime. Allen threw for a career-high 334 yards, and threw four touchdowns for the second straight game.
But he also had two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Here is Allen after the game:
This was UW’s 14th overtime game, and fourth against UNLV. It fell to 7-7 in those games.
Wondering when the last time the Cowboys allowed 69 points? It was in a 69-14 loss at Utah on Oct. 15, 1983. Want to see the highlights of UW’s final drive in regulation and sequences in all three overtimes, here you go:
Hard to be optimistic about UW after a game like this, but at 7-3, 5-1, it still controls its own destiny in terms of the Mountain Division race in the MW. Now, however, it is tied with Boise State and New Mexico in the division standings, and probably needs to beat San Diego State at home and New Mexico on the road the following week for that to happen.
Seems unlikely now, but after what happened in all of college football over the weekend, anything is possible — and why games are played on the field and not on paper.
For more coverage from the UNLV game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.