Cow­boys hur­dle Bob­cats

On a gor­geous Sat­ur­day after­noon, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming Cow­boys 1–0 (0−0 MWC) took on the Texas State Bob­cats 0–1 at War Memo­r­i­al Sta­di­um in front of over 23,000 fans.
The Pokes came out sport­ing their new flat, brown hel­mets with a slight alter­ation. The team had replaced the plain brown Steam­boat on their hel­mets with some­thing a lit­tle more patri­ot­ic. The hel­mets hon­ored those lost in the tragedy of 911 with a US flag Steam­boat.
It was a daz­zling sight to see the flag every­where while many were hon­ored on game day. Those who were hon­ored ranged from those direct­ly involved in 911, to the Wyoming 8 who were killed just days after 911, to Cow­boys foot­ball play­er Ruben Nar­cisse, to the many Wyoming cit­i­zens who had giv­en their lives to defend our majes­tic nation.

A patri­ot­ic glimpse

Wyoming won the coin toss and elect­ed to start the game on offense. The Cow­boys had lit­tle suc­cess on their first dri­ve and were forced to punt and give the ball to the Bob­cats. The Bob­cats cashed in on their first pos­ses­sion with a long dri­ve fol­lowed by a field goal, which put them on the board up 3–0 on the Pokes. Wyoming found their stride in their sec­ond pos­ses­sion and had lit­tle trou­ble mov­ing down the field. Their dri­ve was high­light­ed by a long rush and a rush­ing touch­down. The score put the Cow­boys up for the first time with the score at 7–3 in favor of the Pokes. The Bob­cats start­ed their sec­ond pos­ses­sion with an inter­cep­tion on the first play of the dri­ve. That play gave the Pokes the ball already inside the red­zone. Wyoming quick­ly scored a rush­ing touch­down to notch the score at 14–3 in their favor. The Bob­cats began to dri­ve but gave up a fum­ble to cough up the ball back to Wyoming. The Pokes were unable to con­vert a fourth down attempt and gave the ball back after an incom­plete pass attempt. The first quar­ter end­ed with the Wyoming Cow­boys ahead of the Texas State Bob­cats 14–3.
The Bob­cats wast­ed no time to start the sec­ond quar­ter by march­ing straight down the field with lit­tle resis­tance. The Bob­cats got their first touch­down with a rush by Ter­rence Franks to put the Bob­cats with­in strik­ing dis­tance at 14–10. The rest of the quar­ter was dom­i­nat­ed most­ly by the two defens­es. For­tu­nate­ly, Wyoming was able to dri­ve as the half came to an end and kicked a field goal as the first half expired. The last-sec­ond field goal put the Cow­boys up by a touch­down at 17–10.

The Texas State Bob­cats were led in the first half by run­ning back Franks, quar­ter­back Tyler Arndt, and defen­sive back Xavier Daniels. Banks ran for 44 yards and a touch­down on his five car­ries. Arndt went 5-for-6 for 36 yards but was sacked three times. Daniels had a total of eight tack­les, six unas­sist­ed and two assist­ed.
Wyoming was led sta­tis­ti­cal­ly by quar­ter­back Brett Smith, wide receiv­er Dominic Rufran, and run­ning­back Bran­don Miller. Smith went 9-for-20 with 132 yards in the air. Rufran caught four pass­es for 87 yards. Miller car­ried the ball five times for 51 yards and a touch­down in the half.

As the sec­ond half got mov­ing it looked as though the entire game could be a defen­sive bat­tle. The Cow­boys were ice cold to start the half as the fresh­man quar­ter­back, Smith, threw his first inter­cep­tion of the sea­son. The Bob­cats were unable to score on the turnover and Wyoming imme­di­ate­ly made them pay. With a few big plays down field the Pokes closed the dis­tance to the end­zone quick­ly. The Cow­boys scored by way of a tremen­dous 26 yard rush by Smith in which he escaped two near-tack­les before his score. This put the Cow­boys up on Texas State by a score of 24–10. Before the third quar­ter end­ed, the Bob­cats got the ball back but were forced to punt back to the Cow­boys as the quar­ter end­ed. The third quar­ter end­ed with the Cow­boys up 24–10.
Wyoming start­ed with the ball in the final quar­ter. They matric­u­lat­ed the ball down the field with rel­a­tive ease, along with the two penal­ties which kept their dri­ve alive. Smith hit Alvester Alexan­der for a 40 yard pass out of the back­field to get with­in the red­zone. After a few plays, Smith keeps the ball and breaks a cou­ple of tack­les for his sec­ond rush­ing touch­down of the game and the third of his short career. This put the Cow­boys up 31–10 and put the game out of reach for the Bob­cats. After the Cow­boys held the Bob­cats to lit­tle, if any­thing, they quick­ly scored for the nail in the cof­fin of Texas State. The touch­down pass went to wide receiv­er Chris McNeill increas­ing the dif­fer­en­tial to 38–10. In an extreme attempt to get back into the game the Bob­cats threw in a lit­tle trick-era­tion with an attempt­ed Stat­ue of Lib­er­ty play which led to an inter­cep­tion for the defense on great cov­er­age by the defen­sive back. On the very next play, Smith’s pass is deflect­ed and inter­cept­ed by Texas State. It was Smith’s sec­ond inter­cep­tion of the game. Texas State tried to score to save some pride on the long jour­ney home, but the 30 yard field goal sailed wide-left and kept the score at 38–10. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for the Bob­cats, the Cow­boys didn’t let off the gas. Wyoming pos­ses­sion didn’t last long after a fan­tas­tic run by run­ning­back Ghaali Muham­mad for anoth­er touch­down. The score moved up to 45–10 and that’s what it would be at the con­clu­sion of the game.

Fresh­man QB B.Smith

The game end­ed with Wyoming on top, but it wasn’t for lack-of-effort on the part of the Texas State. The Bob­cats were sta­tis­ti­cal­ly led by Franks, Arndt, and wide receiv­er Dar­ius Bold­en. Franks fin­ished with eight car­ries for a total of 46 yards and a touch­down. Arndt split play­ing time with fel­low quar­ter­back Shaun Ruther­ford. Arndt fin­ished at 7-for-14 with 54 yards and an inter­cep­tion. Ruther­ford went 5-for-9 with 58 yards and an inter­cep­tion. Bold­en fin­ished with four recep­tions and 49 yards.
Wyoming had a vast­ly supe­ri­or day sta­tis­ti­cal­ly than they did last week. The Pokes were led on the ground by run­ning­back Ghaali Muham­mad with ten car­ries for 123 yards and a touch­down. Through the air the Pokes were led by Rufran with five recep­tions for 96 yards. The leader of the pack, how­ev­er, was none oth­er then fresh­man quar­ter­back Brett Smith. Smith went 16-for-31 with 236 yards, a touch­down, and a pair of inter­cep­tions, but he also had two rush­ing touch­downs with 73 yards on nine car­ries.

It was an enor­mous win for the Cow­boys 2–0 (0−0 MWC) after they had strug­gled might­i­ly against Weber State last week. For­tu­nate­ly, Wyoming has been able to col­lect some momen­tum head­ing into their next few games. Next week the Cow­boys will be on the road to face Bowl­ing Green 2–0 (0−0 MAC). Hope­ful­ly, they will be able to keep a lit­tle steam rolling for when they host the #10 Nebras­ka Corn­huskers 2–0 (0−0 Big Ten) on Sep­tem­ber 24th in Laramie.

Cow­boys hur­dle the Bob­cats