Behind the numbers: Wyoming vs. Toledo
TUCSON, Ariz., -- Twelve plays. eighty-seven yards. Three points. Ball game.
Wyoming's final drive, which began with a 26-yard strike from Andrew Peasley to Ayir Asante, consisted of just three passes.
This offense, which was held in check to the tune of just 96 total yards in the middle quarters, methodically moved down the field, milking more than four minutes off the game clock.
Peasley's best throw of the night was also his last. An injury would prematurely end his Wyoming career during the team's most important drive. The future under center, Evan Svoboda, stepped in. Even third-string QB Jayden Clemons got a snap on that all-important possession after Svoboda's helmet popped off.
That unit grinded all the way to the Toledo 7-yard line. John Hoyland would take it from there:
Fist pump, Wyoming fans. This one was earned.
Cowboys 16, Rockets 15
Here are some important numbers and stats from this improbable Arizona Bowl victory:
That's now Wyoming's all-time postseason record after knocking off the Rockets in Tucson.
Speaking of the Old Pueblo, the Cowboys have now appeared in five bowl games in this city, two Copper Bowls in the 1990's and three Arizona Bowl games over the last five seasons.
That's how many consecutive bowl games this program has played in, a school record. Craig Bohl has led the Cowboys to six postseason appearances over the last eight seasons. His record is 4-2 in those meetings.
Wyoming won nine games this season. That is the most since finishing 10-2 in 1996.
Bohl capped his 10-year tenure on the high plains above .500 with that victory over Toledo. His overall record, including his 11 years at North Dakota State, 165-92.
That's the number of field goals John Hoyland connected on Saturday, including a game-winning 24-yard attempt as time expired. The former All-American had missed 7-of-8 coming into this game. His other makes were from 34 and 52 yards out. The junior has split the uprights 58 times during his Wyoming career, one short of the school's all-time leading scorer Cooper Rothe. Hoyland was named the MVP of the Arizona Bowl.
That's how many fans were in attendance inside Arizona Stadium Saturday to watch the Cowboys take on the MAC Champion Rockets.
That's how many throws Andrew Peasley connected on during his final game in a Wyoming uniform. The super senior finished the afternoon with 168 yards through the air before leaving with an oblique injury on the first snap of the final offensive drive. Peasley had a breakout season in 2023, throwing for 1,991 yards and 20 touchdowns to go along with just five interceptions. He also rushed for 419 yards and seven more scores.
That's how many different receivers snagged a pass against Toledo, who was playing without its top cornerback, All-American Quinyon Mitchell. Wyatt Wieland led the way for the Pokes, hauling in five passes for 55 yards. Tight ends John Michael Gyllenborg and Treyton Welch each finished with four grabs for 44 and 22 yards, respectively.
That's the number of rushing yards running back Harrison Waylee rolled up against the Rockets. The junior carried the ball 18 times and averaged 5.1 yards per tote. He had a long of 18, which sparked the Cowboys lone touchdown drive of the game in the fourth quarter. Waylee caps his first injury-plagued season in Laramie with 947 yards rushing. He also found the end zone five times. Imagine if he didn't miss three games and parts of others?
That's the number of touchdowns Wyoming's offense produced in this one. Evan Svoboda, filling in for an injured Peasley late in the fourth quarter, crossed the white stripe on a QB sneak to make the score 15-13 with 4:03 remaining in regulation.
The number of yards Wyoming amassed against Toledo. Peasley and Co. accounted for 184 of those through the air and the Cowboys rushing attack finished with 170. Jay Sawvel's defense allowed 328 total yards of offense, 80 of which came on a second-quarter touchdown dash by Jacquez Stuart.
Moving the ball wasn't the issue for the Cowboys, who picked up that many first downs, compared to just 14 for the Rockets. Finishing was. On three trips to the red zone, Wyoming was perfect. Unfortunately, two of those possessions ended with a field goal.
Jason Candle said this stat was a determining factor Saturday. Toledo's coach isn't wrong. That's how many first downs the Rockets picked up on third-down attempts. Wyoming was 6-14 and held a 38:59-to-21:01 advantage in time of possession.
That's how many times Wyoming sacked Toledo's back-up quarterback Tucker Gleason on Saturday afternoon. The Pokes defense managed just two tackles for loss, too. The Rockets managed to drop Peasley in the backfield three times and registered eight stops behind the line of scrimmage.
There was just a lone turnover in the Arizona Bowl. That was Gleason lofting a pass down the middle of the field on a 4th-and-15 at the Wyoming 34-yard line late in the first quarter. Isaac White's interception essentially became a really nice punt for the Rockets after he slipped and fell to the turf at the 2. The Cowboys did fumble the ball three times but managed to recover all of those.
Toledo was also perfect in the red zone in Tucson. That, however, equated to a pair of field goals.
That's Wyoming's average starting field position in this one. In the Cowboys' 10 offensive drives on the day, six began inside their own 20-yard line, including four inside the 10.
That's the number of offense yards the Cowboys rolled up in the third quarter, 17 on the ground and just 11 through the air. Wyoming ran just 12 plays and was 0-2 on third down as Toledo's lead grew to 15-6. Peasley was also brought down in the end zone for a safety in a forgettable 15 minutes in the desert.
Wyoming's leading tackler in Arizona was weakside linebacker Shae Suiaunoa. Three of those were solo stops and he finished with a quarterback hurry.
Easton Gibbs, Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole all capped their afternoon with three tackles. Wyoming, as a defense, finished with 37 total tackles. Toledo, 74.
That's the number of tackles Gibbs finished with in his career. The middle linebacker ranks eighth all-time in that category.
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