Three stars of the game
RENO, Nev., -- Despite the 37-34 overtime loss inside Mackay Stadium Saturday night, a few Wyoming players stepped up and made some plays.
This one had adversity form the third offensive snap of the game for the visitors. Starting quarterback Sean Chambers left the field on a cart after "possibly" breaking his left fibula, trying to elude a tackle in the backfield.
It wasn't a pretty scene for the redshirt sophomore, who has suffered season-ending injuries in his first two seasons in Laramie.
Craig Bohl didn't confirm or deny that Chambers is out for the season, but it doesn't look good, he added.
Wyoming was down 28-6 late in the third quarter and a furious comeback, led by quarterback Levi Williams, came up just short in the extra frame.
Here's who stood out tonight:
1st star: John Hoyland
It's not an oddity to have a placekicker wearing the Brown and Gold earn this nod. For the last four seasons, Wyoming featured one of the best kickers in the nation, Cooper Rothe.
How would life after Rothe look? We were all eager to see.
We are also equally shocked to see No. 46, a guy with a red shoe, no less, trot out on the field for the first field-goal attempt. That man was John Hoyland, a freshman from Broomfield, Colo.
Hoyland, who replaced redshirt freshman Luke Glassock in the lineup tonight, calmly went 4-for-4 on field goals and a perfect 2-for-2 on his point-after attempts.
That would be a good night in itself. But we haven't even talked about the pressure yet.
With 23 ticks remaining on the game clock, Hoyland booted a 42-yard field goal to force overtime. He was iced by the Nevada twice. It didn't matter.
Hoyland also nailed a 38-yard kick in the Cowboys lone possession of overtime.
Pretty solid debut for the rookie who spent the majority of fall camp in COVID-19 quarantine.
"Boy, did he deliver tonight," Bohl said. "For a freshman player that just showed up, that we didn't know a lot about, I thought he did a really good job."
2nd star: Levi Williams
We all knew Levi Williams was going to play, but no one expected it to be every offensive play from the fourth snap on.
Williams, a redshirt freshman who started the Arizona Bowl for the Pokes last December, got off to a shaky start before getting his feet under him late in the third quarter.
That came after a vicious hit on receiver Ayden Eberhardt led to a targeting penalty and a fresh set of downs for the visitors just outside the Nevada red zone.
Williams took the QB sneak around the left side and followed a block from Trey Smith right into the end zone from 21 yards out.
The big Texan rolled from there, throwing a 22-yard touchdown to Gunner Gentry and sneaking another score in from eight yards out.
Williams did throw an untimely interception late in regulation, but then proceeded to lead the Cowboys on an 11-play, 74-yard drive that began at their own 1-yard line and ended with a 42-yard Hoyland field goal to force overtime.
Williams finished with 227 yards passing and connected on 16-of-31 throws in the loss.
"Levi is our guy and we are going to ride him," Bohl said.
3rd star: Sean Chambers
“It really goes to show the kind of person Sean is. He’s the big team-first guy. He really will serve others before he serves himself."
That was a postgame quote from Gentry.
He was talking about the fact that despite Chambers early injury, he wanted to be back on the field with his teammates. He wasn't just there for the front-row seat either.
Chambers was seen numerous times encouraging his teammates on the sidelines. He limped around on crutches, not putting any weight on his left leg. He clapped for his guys. His trademark smile was on full display on the Jumbo Tron when Williams tossed a Tim-Tebow style jump pass into the arms of Treyton Welch on a two-point conversion attempt to tie the game at 28-28 in the fourth quarter.
“He came back and he rallied for us,” junior linebacker Chad Muma said. “He was really there for us as a captain. He did a really good job motivating our defense and offense at the same time.”
There is no official word whether or not Chambers will miss the rest of the season with that latest setback. Either way, you know where he'll be anytime the Cowboys take the field.