Cow­boy offense ropes a con­fer­ence win over UNLV

altThe Wyoming Cow­boys, (1−2), took the field with the hot UNLV Rebels ‚(2−1), at War Memo­r­i­al Sta­di­um hop­ing to earn a con­fer­ence win ear­ly in their sea­son, Sat­ur­day.

True fresh­man quar­ter­back Austyn Car­ta-Samuels had his first start in col­lege foot­ball and it also marked the first time the Cow­boys have had a true fresh­man quar­ter­back start since the 70’s. A large amount of pres­sure was on the young-gun, being that the offense has strug­gled through­out the sea­son so far let­ting their defense do all the work.


Right out of the gate, the Pokes put three points on the board after a UNLV fum­ble on their own sev­en-yard line, as fresh­man kick­er Ian Watts made his first ever field goal attempt from 29-yards. Wyoming had failed to get into the end zone on their first five dri­ves of the game with Car­ta-Samuels not play­ing to his full poten­tial. The young quar­ter­back was not con­nect­ing on any of his throws and it was begin­ning to look like anoth­er all defen­sive game for the Cow­boys.

Trail­ing UNLV 6–13 with less than six min­utes to go, Car­ta-Samuels drove his offense 80-yards where he con­nect­ed a 19-yard touch­down pass to wide receiv­er Bran­don Stew­art for the Cow­boys first offen­sive touch­down in 10 quar­ters, last time being the Weber State game ear­li­er in the month. That touch­down must have been the moti­va­tion the team need­ed, because the offense explod­ed on the field after that dri­ve.

Car­ta-Samuels went 24–37 pass­ing with 3 touch­downs and 234-yards. The green­horn quar­ter­back man­aged to work out all of his fresh­man jit­ters ear­ly in the game and didn’t look back once he gained up some con­fi­dence and fig­ured out the Rebel defense.

[blockquote]“I’m kind of one of those quar­ter­backs where the first dri­ve of the game is not always my favorite, I like the third or fourth, once you see what they’re com­ing out In I can adjust for it.” stat­ed Car­ta-Samuels.  [/blockquote]

UNLV kept scor­ing, reclaim­ing the lead two more times in the sec­ond half, but Wyoming kept answer­ing back with scor­ing dri­ves of their own, even­tu­al­ly tak­ing a 30–27 lead with 4:21 to go in the game call­ing on Watts for the third time. Watts went 3–3 kick­ing field goals with the game win­ner under his belt in just his first game.

The Rebels were unable to get in the end zone on their last pos­ses­sion and fum­bled the snap for the poten­tial­ly game tying field goal from 50-yards out with just 1:19 to go.  The ball was recov­ered by Wyoming’s Corey Orth and UNLV was unable to get anoth­er chance.

Wyoming closed out UNLV 30–27 mak­ing Wyoming’s record 2–2 and 1–0 in the Moun­tain West Con­fer­ence.  UNLV dropped to 0–1 in the con­fer­ence and 2–2 over­all.
“We just stepped up today, that’s what we need to do every time, we need to progress up this game and con­tin­ue to build,” said wide receiv­er David Leonard who had 89-yards receiv­ing and 1 touch­down.