Wyoming 16, Colorado State 13 – postgame thoughts

It may not have been a work of art or win any style points, but Wyoming’s 16-13 victory over Border War rival Colorado State be talked about for a long time as one of the classic games in this 109-game rivalry.

It will be remembered as the “Snow Game,” and that’s what I wrote about in my Sunday column in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang. Here is the link on wyosports.net. It is free to those who don’t have an online subscription (but I highly recommend you get one).

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/gagliardi-column-wyoming-tops-csu-in-memorable-border-war/article_f42b7e3c-c1ed-11e7-a778-f34187ddf460.html

Here is footage of the Cowboys coming to grab the Bronze Boot traveling trophy after the game, in which I nearly got trampled.

The snow and weather conditions were unique, even for early November at 7,220 feet in Laramie, which made the game even more memorable. But to me, even more memorable was the game-winning scoring drive UW went on in the fourth quarter. The drive was capped by a three-year touchdown run by sophomore running back Kellen Overstreet. Below are highlights of that final drive.

But what made that drive go, and in a lot of ways, what makes this team go, was the play senior fullback Drew Van Maanen made on the first play. He dove to catch a 17-yard pass from junior quarterback Josh Allen. Van Maanen said both of his arms went numb after the catch, and coach Craig Bohl said Van Maanen sustained “multiple stingers” in the game. Yet, Van Maanen was back on the field as UW ran out the clock.

I didn’t get Van Maanen’s catch on video as I was making my way down to the field. But here he is after the game.

The competitiveness of guys like Van Maanen, Allen, sophomore middle linebacker Logan Wilson and countless others is what makes this UW team special and unique. This group doesn’t always look great, but they seem to find ways to make plays — game-winning plays.

Here is Allen after the game:

The defense bent, but rarely broke against Colorado State. The offense had its moments of success, but once again it was limited. Still wish that group could put it all together for a game, but there is still time for that.

And, how about sophomore kicker Cooper Rothe? He made all three of his field-goal attempts and his lone extra point in poor weather. Kudos also to the snaps and holds on those attempts. True freshman Tim Zaleski may rank 99th out of 103 FBS punters in the country right now, but his 48.5-yard average on four punts — none of which were returned — was a big factor in UW’s success.

There still are concerns moving forward. UW lost true freshman nose tackle Ravontae Holt to a knee injury, and Bohl said after the game he expects Holt to be done for the season. The Cowboys are running low on interior defensive linemen, and have been for weeks.

And, UW gets another challenge this coming week at Air Force Saturday night and its triple-option offense.

But for now, UW (6-3 overall, 4-1 Mountain West) keeps the Bronze Boot traveling trophy and keeps its hopes alive to repeat as Mountain Division champs, although UW needs to win out and have Boise State (7-2, 5-0) lose twice.

However, UW is bowl eligible for the second consecutive year, and will play in its second straight bowl game for the first time since 1987-88. Where remains to be seen, but four national websites projects Wyoming going to either the Arizona, Idaho Potato, Hawaii, Frisco or Independence bowls.

For more coverage from the game, including a photo gallery and more video, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on wyosports.net.