VIDEO: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about his record-setting performance in last week’s 59-56 overtime win over Hawaii, facing the Mountain West’s best defense this week in Utah State and his thoughts on Thanksgiving during this interview on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo.

For more on the game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to Also, join WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s live chat for the UW-Utah State game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Links are on this blog and at

UW-Hawaii postgame thoughts, video highlights

That was one of the weirdest games I have ever covered or been a part of. Not theĀ wierdest, but it ranks right up there.

I was in the stands — not working — when UW beat San Diego State 52-51 in Laramie in 1990. I covered the 53-45 triple overtime win at UNLV in 2004 where UW rallied and got bowl eligible that year.

UW beat Hawaii 59-56 in overtime Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The announced crowd was 12,227, but there were not that many here. Less than 10,000 in my estimation. And this game had the combination of being entertaining, sad, embarrassing and down-right odd all in the span of four hours and six minutes.

Here are some video highlights, including UW’s last touchdown in regulation, Hawaii’s successful two-point conversion to force overtime and the overtime possessions for both teams.

Still, the few people that were there saw an exciting game. UW and junior quarterback Brett Smith broke all sorts of records. Smith threw for 498 yards and seven touchdown passes, and ran for another. UW had nearly 800 yards of total offense. Senior receiver Robert Herron caught four touchdown passes. He and junior receiver Dominic Rufran both had more than 100 yards receiving — the first UW duo since 2005 to do that.

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UW-Hawaii notes and quotes

Here are some tidbits for Saturday’s football game between Wyoming and Hawaii at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.

–UW (4-6 overall, 2-4 MW) is on a four-game losing streak, which is tied for the second-longest in coach Dave Christensen’s five seasons. The longest is six back in 2010. UW also had a four-game slide last season.

The new Paniolo Trophy awarded to the winner of the Wyoming-Hawaii football game.

The new Paniolo Trophy awarded to the winner of the Wyoming-Hawaii football game.

–The winner will receive a replica of the Paniolo Trophy. The old trophy was lost after the series between the two schools ended after the 1997 season. But a new trophy was constructed. UW leads the series 12-8 and has won five straight. Hawaii is 3-5 in Laramie, with its last win in 1991.

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UW-Boise State postgame thoughts

Talking about Wyoming’s last four football games is beginning to sound like a broken record.

Inconsistent to bad offense. Poor defense.

Those results led to UW’s fourth straight loss in a 48-7 drubbing at Boise State Saturday night.

A season-high four turnovers — three of which led to Boise State touchdowns — and a defense that was on the field for 92 plays and gave up 524 yards.

UW had a season-low 265 yards of offense, and also a season-low in rushing yards (55) and points.

The defense did little to stop Boise State, that had 241 yards rushing and 283 passing. There were some short fields due to the four turnovers, but the Broncos also drove the field on the Cowboys.

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VIDEO: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about the team’s confidence level after losing three consecutive games, and also about the Cowboys’ game at Boise State this week during this interview on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo.

For more on UW football, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to

UW-Fresno State notes and quotes

Here are some notes and quotes about Wyoming’s football game against No. 17 Fresno State at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

— UW coach Dave Christensen and Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter went against each other as assistant coaches in the Mid-American Conference. Christensen was at Toldeo and DeRuyter at Ohio.

— “They’re averaging over 500 yards a game, and the thing that’s impressive is they’re doing it both in the running game and throwing game. That’s a tough combination.” — DeRuyter of UW’s offense.

— “I think if you’re in good shape, it can be a factor if you allow it to be. If you’re not in good shape, it will kill you. … I think our guys will be fine.” — DeRuyter on playing at 7,220 feet of elevation Saturday.

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Carr, Smith have mutual respect for each other

Easily the most dynamic players on the field for Saturday’s game between Wyoming and No. 17 Fresno State are the two quarterbacks.

Brett Smith

Brett Smith


Derek Carr

Derek Carr

UW junior Brett Smith and Fresno State senior Derek Carr are among the nation’s best at their position.

Carr is second nationally in total offense (389.9 ypg), passing yards (382.6 ypg) and touchdown passes (28). Smith is eighth in total offense (349.8 ypg), 14th in passing yards (295.9 ypg) and 14th in touchdown passes (19).

Both players have two of the nation’s top 17 efforts in terms of single-game total offense this season. Smith has the seventh-best and 17th best. Carr has the 14th and 15th best.

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Young ready to help UW defense any way he can

Bill Young, Wyoming’s new quality control staff member in football, got to Laramie Sunday and was quickly put to work.

“I was up at 3:45 a.m. (Monday morning) because Jamar is a worker,” Young said with a laugh about interim UW defensive coordinator Jamar Cain.

The uniform combination for Wyoming's home game with Fresno State Saturday, which UW is promoting as a "white out" game. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

The uniform combination for Wyoming’s home game with Fresno State Saturday, which UW is promoting as a “white out” game. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

Part of the reason Young was up that early is because UW practices during the morning hours this season. The long-time defensive coach and defensive coordinator at the college level attended UW’s Monday morning practice.

So what exactly does a quality control staff member do?

First, Young is not a full-time staff member. NCAA rules allow colleges to have nine full-time assistant coaches. Even though UW fired defensive coordinator Chris Tormey last week, it promoted graduate assistant Dwain Crawford to full-time status for the rest of the season to help cornerbacks coach Renaldo Hill with UW’s defensive backs.

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Turnovers also tell story of UW’s latest struggles

Giving up 482 passing yards and five touchdowns, and 642 yards of total offense were the biggest factors in Wyoming’s 51-44 loss at San Jose State last Saturday.

UW (4-4 overall, 2-2 Mountain West) has lost consecutive games for the first time this season, and while the defense’s poor play is what many fans look at, which is deserved, so is another factor.


UW committed two turnovers against San Jose State — a fumble by senior running back Brandon Miller after a pass completion and an interception by junior quarterback Brett Smith.

Both turnovers came in the second half. Miller’s fumble led to a San Jose State touchdown. San Jose State went three-and-out after Smith’s interception.

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