‘Can’t ask for much better’
LARAMIE – Logan Wilson appeared from behind a door like he just left a dog fight.
Eye black was smeared on his cheeks. Water dripped from his
hair, dampening his grey headband. Bright red scratch marks were visible on his
upper right arm.
Indeed, he was in a scrap. A three-plus hour one. Not to mention the water-fight/ party going on in the home locker room.
The grin that creased his face as he spoke with the media illustrated just who won that fight, too.
The mild-mannered, soft-spoken senior linebacker from Casper
didn’t show much emotion, but his words were meaningful and straight to the
point after Wyoming stunned the college football world Saturday night at War
Memorial Stadium with a 37-31 upset over Missouri.
“Ultimately, we weren’t focused on what they were going to
do as much as what we needed to do,” said Wilson, who finished the night with
13 tackles. “We can play better in all three facets. … But our guys came out
That’s what Wilson was preaching all week prior to the game.
This contest wasn’t about mighty Mizzou, it was about a young, hungry home team
who was eager to execute assignments and prove doubters wrong. He didn’t care
that the Cowboys were 18-point underdogs. Wilson calmly answered the same old
questions about how this defense would look compared to the one Andrew Wingard
manned the past four seasons.
Wilson wasn’t surprised at the outcome. Or so he says.
For him, the victory set in motion a time of reflection.
“Probably up top,” Wilson said when asked if this is the
biggest win of his Wyoming career. “For my senior year, in the opener, to knock
off an SEC opponent at home – I can’t ask for much better.”
He didn’t stop there.
“When the crowd was storming the field, I was just looking
around, enjoying the moment,” he continued. “Moments like this don’t always
happen. I was trying to relish that and live in the moment.”
It would be an understatement to say that the Cowboys haven’t had much luck against Power-5 programs in Craig Bohl’s tenure. They were 0-8 entering Saturday night. They weren’t just winless in those meetings the games were rarely close.
It looked like it was headed that way again during the first 15 minutes of play. The Tigers, led by Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant, made the first two drives look easy. Mizzou used drives of 65 and 74 yards to put the Cowboys in a quick 14-0 hole.
Fans were starting to boo the play calling. The moans and groans of the 26,000-plus in attendance were audible in the press box as Tiger running back Larry Rountree fell into the end zone.
It was a here-we-go-again moment for most.
Don't count Wilson as one of those.
As usual, Wilson didn’t do too much talking on the sideline. His calming presence set the tone, according to teammates.
“I don’t have an exact answer for that,” he said about what
happened on the first two Tiger drives. “We settled in and stayed in the fight.
In times of adversity -- down 14 points – we just continued to fight and
execute the game plan.”
By now, you all know what happened next. Wyoming scored 27
points in the second quarter and built a lead that reached 17 mid-way through
But after a pair of lightning quick scoring strikes from the visitors late in the fourth, the Pokes defense was called upon to save this one from the grasp of a painful defeat.
“We’ve always talked about it; we want to be in these
situations where our team relies on us to get a defensive stop, get off the
field and win the game,” he said. “Our goal is to always get the ball back to
They did just that. With just 20-plus ticks left on the game clock, Bryant sailed a fourth-down pass into triple coverage. It harmlessly fell to the Jonah Field turf. The crowd erupted, spilling over the guard rails and into the Cowboys bench. When Sean Chambers took a final knee, he was quickly surrounded by a swarm of fans.
Wilson, he just smiled and watched.
Like the leader and three-time team captain he is, Wilson
went right back into game mode as he concluded his press conference.
This was just one game, he said.
“I think we just kind of had a chip on our shoulder,” he
said. “That’s just kind of how Wyoming teams have been since coach Bohl has
been here. We knew we could compete with them. Obviously, we had to play well.
But to come away with a win is more satisfying for us. We are going to enjoy
this for 24 hours and get ready for Texas State.”