Turning Point, Unsung Hero and What’s Next for UW Football
LARAMIE -- You weren't the only one who was caught off guard when Andrew Peasley tossed an 11-yard out to Joshua Cobbs with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter and the Cowboys planted on their own 24-yard line.
Craig Bohl typically sends the offense out to take a knee before jogging off to the locker room for halftime adjustments. The murmurs from the crowd, often audible.
Not this time.
"(I was) definitely a little bit shocked, but it's something we practice for every week," Wyatt Wieland said postgame.
That's a good thing, because the next throw was heading his way.
The junior wide receiver ran a post pattern and Peasley delivered a perfect 39-yard strike. The Cowboys, in the blink of an eye, were at Utah State's 26 with just seven ticks left on the game clock.
"I told him to run a corner post before half," said Wyoming's quarterback, who connected on 13-of-26 passes for 199 yards. "He did it and he caught that, so I was happy."
With just one timeout remaining, surely Bohl would opt for the field goal, right?
Peasley fired a corner route in the direction of Alex Brown. It was out of his reach and there were still three seconds remaining. John Hoyland trotted on to the field and calmly drilled a 43-yard attempt at the buzzer, giving the Cowboys a 17-7 lead at the break.
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One to err on the side of caution and follow the analytics -- Conservative, for short -- Bohl went for it. What's gotten into him?
"We knew we had two timeouts," Bohl said. "While there wasn't a lot of time left, we felt good about maybe if we could get a couple things going. I thought we did a nice job on the first play and got out of bounds. Then we came up with a big play to Wyatt. Then we hit another field gold. John has been really, really consistent. To come up with a field goal right at the end of the half, it gave us a real shot in the arm."
Was Peasley surprised to hear a pass play called on the first snap?
"I was pumped," he said. "I was on the sideline like 'hey, let's go. Let's go score.' I think we had two timeouts so we had a good situation. You know, a big thing for coach (Tim) Polasek is just kind of getting a two-minute drive started. So he called a quick pass and I hit Josh on a little route and got it started."
Having one of the top field goal kickers in the country doesn't hurt, either.
"He came out and knocked that down," Peasley continued. "That was a good momentum swing for us there."
Wieland, who finished the night with a career-best 94 receiving yards, said that final possession of the half just proved this offense can be explosive.
"I think we showed that we have that capability of scoring with just 19 seconds," he said. "I'm proud of our team."
Wyoming 28, Utah State 14
This honor is going to Colin O'Brien.
The 6-foot-6, 241-pound tight end is rarely a factor in Wyoming's passing game. Entering Saturday night, he had just one catch for six yards this season. That came two weeks ago in Albuquerque. O'Brien, a junior, who spent his first collegiate season at Saddleback Community College (Calif.), now has just four grabs over the last two seasons at UW.
On the Cowboys' third drive of the night, Peasley rolled to his right and found O'Brien 46 yards down field. Three snaps later, Titus Swen busted a 30-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.
That was nice, but where the Mission Viejo native has really shined during his time in the brown and gold is in the run game. That was on full display again against Utah State.
Wyoming rushed for 330 yards. Swen accounted for 160 of those. DQ James added 120 on his career night. This tight end group takes pride in blocking.
“He was not going to play unless it was an emergency. He exceeded our expectations to even be available in an emergency situation this week. But it would have been extremely careless to put him out there."
-- Utah State head coach Blake Anderson explaining his decision not to play quarterback Levi Williams against his former team. Williams suffered a high ankle sprain in last Saturday's win over Colorado State
"The captain for Utah State, No. 78 (Jacob South), I'm going to be the best man in his wedding. We walked out together and we texted the other day, too, like, this is going to be weird. He might have said a few mean things and started laughing. I started laughing. But other than that, it was all love on the field. Got to go to war today with my brothers and got a W."
-- Wyoming quarterback Andrew Peasley talking about playing against his former Utah State teammates
Wyoming will make the 3,320-mile trip to Honolulu to take on Timmy Chang's Hawaii Rainbow Warriors next Saturday. That game is scheduled to kickoff at 10 p.m. Mountain Time and will be aired on Spectrum Sports Hawaii PPV. The Pokes (5-3, 3-1) and 'Bows (2-6, 1-2) have met 26 times and UW leads the series 15-11. The last meeting was a forgettable one for Cowboys fans. Hawaii rolled into Laramie -- in late November no less -- and cruised to an easy 38-14 victory in the regular season finale. Hawaii fell at CSU Saturday, 17-13.
Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium
- Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium