Cowboys Limp Across Finish Line in Win Over Portland State
LARAMIE -- Wyoming's offense technically ran 12 plays in the fourth quarter.
Two were nullified by penalty. The first, a personal foul that erased a 33-yard jaunt by Wyatt Wieland. Next came a holding call. That wiped a modest four-yard gain by DQ James off the board.
One snap went for just a yard. Five others, negative yardage.
With back-up quarterback Evan Svoboda under center, the Cowboys (2-0) gained a grand total of eight yards (minus-14 with penalties) over the final 15 minutes of play. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore didn't attempt a single throw.
"Yeah, we had too many negative plays," Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. "If you're going to run the ball, and you're going to be a zone team, you can't have negative plays. We had way too many."
While the Cowboys struggled to close this one out, Dante Chachere and the Vikings' offense rolled up 136 yards of total offense. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior signal caller connected with Maclaine Griffin on a 10-yard touchdown toss with 7:03 to go to make this a 14-point contest.
He added another 10-yard scoring strike to Craig Quincy with roughly a minute to go.
That one was erased thanks to an illegal-formation penalty. The two incompletions that followed allowed the Cowboys to escape with a 31-17 victory.
Bohl was asked if he liked his team's mindset during the fourth quarter.
"No," he said bluntly. "You know, I didn't. I was concerned at halftime ... I think this is a great opportunity. Even though some guys have played a lot of football, there's an opportunity to hunker down and get better."
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Getting to the finish line Saturday afternoon in front of 21,000-plus inside War Memorial Stadium was troubling, especially when it came to the Cowboys' ground game.
Portland State (0-2) was credited with seven tackles for loss on the afternoon, two each from defensive tackle Dino Kahaulelio and edge rusher Kennedy Freeman.
The visitors, who allowed Oregon to run wild -- 348 yards on 34 attempts -- in an 81-7 opening-day beatdown, held the vaunted Wyoming rushing attack in check, allowing just 170 yards on 39 carries. That's an average of just 4.4 yards per.
Sam Scott rolled up 70 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Andrew Peasley scrambled six times for 43 yards.
The other Wyoming running backs -- DQ James and Jamari Ferrell -- managed just 51 yards on 19 handoffs. That's an average of only 2.7.
"That's another thing we're going to look at," said Bohl, adding that film study Monday won't include a "chewing-out session."
"... Some of the runs were not super complicated, but some technical missed assignments -- and that's going to get deep into the weeds and five offensive line coaches would argue about it -- but, yeah, we had too much penetration."
Texas, Wyoming's next opponent, allowed No. 3 Alabama to rush for just 107 yards on 35 carries during the Longhorns' 34-24 upset victory in Tuscaloosa. The visitors also tallied nine tackles for loss and sacked 'Bama quarterback Jalen Milroe five times.
Wyoming and No. 11 Texas will meet next Saturday night inside Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. MST and the game will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
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