New Mexico Slips Past Wyoming, 17-16
The New Mexico Lobos snapped a 14-game losing streak with a 17-16 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
New Mexico (1-5) got their first win under first-year head coach Danny Gonzales. Isaiah Chavez found running back Bobby Cole wide open for a 44-yard touchdown with 6:22 left in the game. It proved to be the game-winner.
Wyoming (2-3) lost starting QB Levi Williams to an injury on the next possession. Freshman Gavin Beerup came in and completed an 18-yard pass to Ayden Eberhardt. Then, on fourth down, Beerup kept the ball on a read-option and raced 38 yards to the Lobos 7-yard line. Two plays later, a fumble by Trey Smith was recovered by New Mexico.
The Cowboys got a defensive stop and forced a punt, but three straight incomplete passes were followed by an interception that sealed the victory for the Lobos.
Head coach Craig Bohl said in a release from University of Wyoming Athletics,
“We certainly have to play smarter and have to capitalize on some things. The stunting that New Mexico did really affected us in the running game tonight. We moved the ball well enough to win it just came to getting those scores in the red-zone.”
Smith ran for 154 yards and a touchdown. John Hoyland added three field goals from 29, 26, and 25-yards. Wyoming finished with 374 yards of total offense. They ran for 283 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per rush. The two quarterbacks were a combined 5-17 for 91 yards and two interceptions.
The Cowboys struggled on third down, where they went 1-for-11. UW also was 1-for-3 on fourth down. They had nine fewer minutes of time-of-possession than New Mexico and went 0-4 on red-zone opportunities for touchdowns.
On defense, Wyoming was led by Esaias Gandy with a career-best 14 tackles and one tackle for loss. Garrett Crall added a career-high 12 tackles.
The Lobos had 315 yards of total offense, which included 223 yards rushing. Cole ran for 131 yards and caught two passes for 53-yards and the one TD. Brandon Shook had 13 tackles, one tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and an interception for the New Mexico defense.
After a fumble recovery by Charles Hicks on a mishandled option pitch by the Lobos, the Cowboys scored on Hoyland’s first field goal. It was 3-0 UW after the first quarter. New Mexico took a 7-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter when Nathaniel Jones ran it in from 21-yards out. Two drives later, Wyoming took the lead back when Smith raced 58-yards for a touchdown and a 10-7 advantage.
The Lobos got a 72-yard kick-off return that set-up the tying field goal. The Pokes came right back with Hoyland’s second field goal. It was set up by a 54-yard Williams to Isaiah Neyor pass play. It was 13-10 Wyoming at halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. On the first possession in the fourth, Hoyland kicked his third field goal for a 16-10 lead. Two possessions later, the Lobos scored on the game-winning TD.
The severity of Williams’ injury is unknown.
The Cowboys will conclude their season at home versus Boise State next Saturday. The kick-off is at 4 p.m.