Three stars of the game: Pokes vs. Bears
LARAMIE -- When you hold a team to just 15 rushing yards -- 147 of total offense -- this list is bound to be loaded with defensive players.
Yes, Titus Swen finished with a career-high three touchdowns on the ground, including two late in the fourth quarter. Three different pass catchers -- Wyatt Wieland, Joshua Cobbs and Parker Christensen -- each snagged five passes as quarterback Andrew Peasley completed 63% of his throws.
The guys on that side of the ball got the job done, but it was the defense that made the biggest difference in the Cowboys' 33-10 victory Saturday over visiting Northern Colorado.
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You might be asking yourself: "What about John Hoyland?"
True, the Pokes' sophomore placekicker connected on all four of his field-goal attempts in this one. A week after being named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week, don't be too surprised to see the Broomfield, Colo., product in the running once again.
But ... we expect that from him, right? Let's get back to the defense:
1st star: Shae Suiaunoa - Weakside linebacker
This Houston-area product has patiently waited for his turn.
Admittedly, he couldn't beat out names like Logan Wilson, Chad Muma, Chuck Hicks or even Easton Gibbs. That all changed this offseason when the staff moved Gibbs to the middle. It wasn't all smooth sailing, though.
Suiaunoa still had to beat out Michigan State transfer, Cole DeMarzo.
He did just that.
Through three games, the 6-foot-2, 232-pound sophomore has 21 tackles, which is good enough for second on the roster. In Saturday's win over Northern Colorado, Suiaunoa tallied a career-best eight tackles, including a punishing sack, a tackle for loss and a fourth-quarter interception, also his first.
The former three-star quarterback out of Clear Lake High School has shown his speed and vision in Jay Sawvel's blitz packages. After missing a few tackles in the season opener at Illinois, it appears Suiaunoa is getting more comfortable by the week.
2nd star: Oluwaseyi Omotosho - Defensive end
When Sabastian Harsh suffered a season-ending knee injury before the opener at Illinois, an already inexperienced defensive end room got even younger. DeVonne Harris had four tackles and a pass deflection in 2021. Oluwaseyi Omotosho finished with just one.
Sacks -- nada.
That changed Saturday.
Omotosho, a 6-foot-2, 246-pound redshirt freshman, made life miserable for UNC signal caller Jacob Sirmon in the second half.
After a third-quarter takedown, Omotosho once again blew past his man with 4:02 remaining, hammering Sirmon up high on a 4th-and-10 and forcing a fumble that was recovered by his own running back. The third came on the ensuing possession. This one ended with Sirmon dumped at his own 9-yard line.
"It feels real good," Omotosho said with a smile. "I've been waiting for it, especially after last week. Every time I would hit him, he kept releasing the ball. I was like, I don't know when I'm going to get one, but I finally got it. So, I'm glad about that."
Omotosho now has six tackles on the season. His confidence is building.
3rd star: Easton Gibbs -- Middle linebacker
Is anyone stunned when the sophomore just goes out and -- ho hum -- racks up nine tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a couple QB hurries?
No, because you're spoiled.
Nothing to apologize for. Wyoming, especially under Craig Bohl, simply knows how to find impactful, star middle linebackers. Gibbs could very well be the next.
Would you be surprised?
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound California product was all over the field Saturday, making life miserable on the Bears from sideline to sideline. He didn't just trip up guys, either. He showed up with bad intentions.
Gibbs likely won't make this list very often this season. Why? Like Hoyland, we expect outings like this on the regular. Gibbs leads this team in tackles with 26. He has a fumble recovery. That one came last Saturday against Tulsa when he pounced on a loose ball in the back of the end zone after a Davis Brin strip-sack.
Gibbs, along with Suiaunoa and Omotosho, have their work cut out for them Friday night when the Air Force Falcons pay a visit to War Memorial Stadium.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players