Behind the numbers
DEKALB, Ill., -- That certainly didn't go as planned.
Wyoming built a 42-16 second-half lead only to see that disappear in less than 8:02 seconds of game time. The Huskies, led by running back Harrison Waylee, nearly pulled off the improbable.
For the Cowboys, it would have been unforgivable.
For the second straight week, quarterback Sean Chambers made plays late in the fourth quarter to bring his team back from the brink of disaster.
"It's just football," UW's redshirt sophomore signal caller said, accompanied by a shoulder shrug. "I go out there and try to give my best to my team and try to be the best leader and best quarterback I can be."
He's been all of that when it matters most for this squad.
Here are a few interesting numbers that stuck out from today's 50-43 victory in DeKalb:
Chambers hit a streaking Isaiah Neyor in the end zone from 33 yards out on the Cowboys' second drive of the day. It was the first-career touchdown grab for the redshirt freshman from Texas. Neyor would snag another one late in the second quarter from 19 out, too, and add a rushing touchdown and a catch on a late two-point conversion.
That's the last season a Wyoming pass catcher snagged more than one touchdown in a single game. On Oct. 28 of that season, Austin Fort hauled in two touchdown passes from Josh Allen. Neyor caught two Saturday.
Titus Swen got the scoring going early for the Cowboys. The sophomore tailback from Fort Worth, Texas waited patiently for a block before accelerating through the hole and into the open to get the visitors on the board with 11:16 left in the first quarter.
Welcome back, Rome Weber. The sophomore strong safety, who opted out in 2019, picked off a Rocky Lombardi pass early in the second quarter, setting the Cowboys up in business just outside the NIU red zone. That was Weber's second-career interception.
That's the number of interceptions by the Wyoming defense Saturday. Weber got one, so did Chad Muma and Miles Williams. Muma returned his gift 23 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
That's how many points these two teams combined to score Saturday. What is it about this matchup? There was the triple-overtime thriller in 2016 and now a 50-43 Cowboys' victory that saw NIU score 27 unanswered points to take a late lead.
Chambers finally eclipsed the 200-yard passing mark just a week after he competed more than nine passes in a game for the first time in his career. The California product was true on 13-of-23 throws and tossed two touchdowns in the win over NIU.
That's how many yards the Pokes rushed for a week after racking up just 151 at home against Montana State. Xazavian Valladay led the way with 101 yards on 21 carries, and Swen carried the ball nine times for 54 yards. Both scored a touchdown on the ground, too. The biggest yards were the final seven. With 43 ticks left and the Cowboys facing a 3rd and 6, Chambers turned a naked bootleg into win No. 2 on the young season.
That's the number of points the Cowboys' put on the scoreboard in the first 30 minutes in DeKalb. The last time a Wyoming team scored that many in a half came last November in Las Vegas when Levi Williams and Co. tallied 28 over the last two quarters in a 45-14 rout of the Rebels.
That's the number of tackles registered by Muma during Saturday's win. Through two games, the Pokes' junior linebacker has 21 stops, two tackles for loss, a sack, a blocked kick, and at NIU, an interception returned for a touchdown. Muma was named the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Week after the opener. Repeat of that coming?
Muma's running mate, Easton Gibbs, also finished the game with 10 tackles. The redshirt freshman outside linebacker also added half of a tackle for loss in just his third career start.
That's the number of point-after attempts John Hoyland booted through the uprights Saturday inside Huskie Stadium. Last year's Freshman All-American is now a perfect 24-for-24 in that category.
For the second time in two games, Wyoming's defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher. Waylee rolled up 182 in the second half alone after being held to minus-3 yards in the first half. The freshman finished the afternoon with two touchdowns in the loss.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players