Three stars of the game
FORT COLLINS, Colo., -- It's hard to talk about stars when the Cowboys' were on the wrong side of the scoreboard against their most hated rival.
At times, it wasn't pretty. Others, it looked like the road team would find a way.
In the end, turnovers, penalties and a rough night on the line of scrimmage, cost the Pokes in a 34-24 loss to Colorado State.
Let's find a silver lining:
1st star: Ayden Eberhardt
This was a career game for the senior from Colorado. He snagged seven balls for 132 yards. They weren't the easy kind of catches either. Eberhardt gave up his body all night long over the middle. He took shots. He slid to make catches. He reeled in a perfectly thrown pass from 56 yards out and nearly stumbled into the end zone. It's easy to overlook the returning players at the wide receiver spot. In 2019, Wyoming was on par to finish behind Air Force in total passing yards. That's not a good thing. Eberhardt finally had his breakout game. There's zero question he deserves the No. 1 star.
2nd star: Xazavian Valladay
Stop me if you've heard this one before -- Valladay is really good. How good? The junior, for the 10th time in his career, eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards. Tonight, he plowed through, over and past CSU defenders all night to the tune of 147 yards on 28 carries. He had a long of 38 yards and even scored a touchdown, his third in two games. Valladay now has 397 yards on the ground through three games. He's special.
3rd star: Levi Williams
Now, stick with me here because you're probably thinking I'm nuts. The redshirt freshman threw an interception for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. Five plays later, he was strip sacked. Wyoming was in an early 17-0 hole. Most players, they would've thrown in the towel. It just wasn't our night. Not Williams. He completed 19-of-31 passes for a career-high 321 yards. He also scored a touchdown early in the fourth. Williams took a beating tonight. He was sacked six times behind a line that was missing starters Logan Harris and Rudy Stofer. All he did was kept getting up. He earned my vote with his play, but his postgame press conference solidified it for me. "It pissed me off, frankly," he said about watching CSU run to the UW sideline to claim the Bronze Boot. "We should’ve won this game. We shot ourselves in the foot way too many times: stupid penalties, not finishing in the red zone, miscommunication with personnel. You name it, we did it in this game." That's a leader. One who will be in Laramie a long time.