Tuck’s Takes: Andrew Peasley’s Gritty Performance Propels Pokes
LARAMIE -- There was an inadvertent forearm blow to the head.
Another time saw three defenders converge near the sideline. The body buckled. One tackler high, the other low. A helmet-to-helmet blow from an incoming linebacker followed.
Remember when that 305-pound tackle blew through the line late in regulation? All that weight, piledriving the left shoulder directly into the unforgiving turf. Red, fresh scratch marks were visible on his upper arm. His game pants, stained.
That's just a brief glimpse into Andrew Peasley's Saturday night.
Wyoming's quarterback scrambled, eluded, weaved, slid and dove. He took big shots, the kinds that draw audible gasps from the faithful. He was blasted, inside the white lines and out. Concussion tests were performed, questions asked. So many questions.
Again and Again, he picked himself up, grimaced, and shook it off, quite literally.
"Not a chance, but I was hurting," the 6-foot-2, 218-pound super senior said with a grin when asked if there was any chance he would exit this game. "Coach (Craig) Bohl asked me how I was at halftime and I just said, 'my body hurt.' He said, 'can you run? And I said, yeah, yeah, I got you -- and I did.'"
Peasley completed just 18-of-34 throws. That equated to only 149 yards.
Impressive? Not especially.
The Oregon product did toss a pair of touchdown passes. The first came on a bootleg, resulting in a four-yard scoring strike to fullback Caleb Driskill. The second sent War Memorial Stadium and the more than 26,000 into a frenzy.
Facing an all-out blitz, Peasley hung tough in the pocket before firing a strike over the middle and into the hands of tight end John Michael Gyllenborg. He took care of the rest, diving over the goal line.
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Peasley said he didn't see the culmination of that do-or-die fourth-down throw. Again he was on his wallet, courtesy of a streaking Texas Tech safety. He violently struck Wyoming's signal caller in the thigh pads, twisting him around before yet another collision with the ground.
He heard the crowd reaction first. Then he saw the celebration taking place on the home sideline.
"That's probably the best feeling," he said.
Wyoming was a two-point conversion away from one of the biggest upsets of the young college football season. Sam Scott took on that duty. So did a motivated, young offensive line, featuring a pair of redshirt freshmen.
The seas parted as Scott rolled untouched into the end zone.
Peasley checked into that play at the line.
The Cowboys pulled off the unthinkable, erasing an early -- and seemingly insurmountable --17-point deficit and stunning a Top-25 program that has made no secret it plans to contend for a Big XII championship this fall. Joey McGuire, Texas Tech's second-year head coach, made a bold proclamation last November after an overtime victory over rival Texas.
"The country is going to find out ... everything runs through Lubbock," he said, in part.
Saturday night in Laramie, Peasley ran through Lubbock's team, rolling up a team-high 68 rushing yards. He also slipped right through the Red Raider defense in the opening overtime, finding the end zone from five yards out to give the Pokes a short-lived 27-20 lead.
Peasley knows glory comes with the position he plays. So does criticism. The latter has been more prevalent since he arrived in Laramie. Some warranted, some downright unfair.
"Andrew Peasley is as tough as boot leather," Bohl said postgame. "As much as he got hit, he kept hanging in there ... He was hurt. I mean, he's going to need to get into the training room tonight. He took some hard shots, some body blows."
Frank Crum takes that personally.
"I am extremely proud to call that man my quarterback," Wyoming's left tackle said. "... I mean, having to say your quarterback is so tough, and he's willing to keep getting up, that's on us to protect him. I respect the heck out of him for being tough, but let's take some hits off him."
Peasley's resiliency sparked this performance, Scott added.
"I thought it was everything," the sophomore running back said. "Seeing your quarterback just be able to take a lot and fight through the adversity, it makes you want to fight even more. He's a captain. He leads us."
"Peasley's a super tough guy," defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole added. "Seeing him out there and doing that definitely gave us fuel, because we would see that and then we'd see him run for a first down right after. So, we're like, yeah, we got a dog out there."
While his stats won't often wow and he doesn't possess all the physical tools of the quarterbacks we've become accustomed to around here, no one is respected more inside the Cowboys' locker room.
Now you know why.
You can question arm strength and limitations all you want. Heart, grit and desire are off limits.
Wyoming 35, Texas Tech 33