Turning point, unsung hero and what’s next for UW football
LARAMIE — He's not actually going to go for it here, is he?
That was thoughts coming out of the press box high above War Memorial Stadium on a frigid Friday night on the high plains of Laramie. I'm sure that crept into the minds of some folks back in Fort Collins, too.
The game was tied 7-7. There was still more than 12 minutes left in this third quarter. Colorado State's defense was playing well. Not to mention the Rams are standing on their own 43-yard line.
Why? It was the Rams first possession of the second half.
Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo decided to leave his offense on the field. He was going for a 4th and 1. Make it -- keep the drive alive. Don't, well, pay attention right here.
Wyoming's senior safety Alijah Halliburton blew around the corner just as fast as CSU quarterback Patrick O'Brien took the snap. The 6-foot, 4-inch signal caller, who is not known for his athleticism, got stuffed by the Pokes interior line. Halliburton wrapped his hands around O'Brien's waste and dumped him back even further.
Wyoming's ball at the CSU 43.
Ten plays later, true freshman quarterback Levi Williams was standing in the end zone after scoring his first career touchdown.
Turns out, that was the kill shot.
Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson wasn't shocked by the call.
"No, I mean, it's a rivalry game," he said. "You got to do what you got to do to get some yards."
I suppose ...
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl made no bones about it -- this play was crucial.
"At that point of the game, that's a huge, major swing of momentum and field position," he said. "We got the stop and flipped the field. It was like coming up with a takeaway."
Bobo said after the game that he knew there would be plenty of other opportunities to score. He rolled the dice.
"I decided to go for it on fourth down and got stuffed," he said. "Our defense was playing well. I thought if we could get a drive on the first possession of the second half, get the lead against Wyoming, it would make them do some things differently on the offensive side of the ball."
Differently like what?
Bobo said this about the Cowboys offense.
"They pretty much do what they do since Bohl has been here," he said.
Well, that answers that.
Wyoming 17, Colorado State 7
Let's go with Ayden Eberhardt here. The junior wide receiver from Loveland, Colo., set the tone in this one on the opening kickoff, hammering CSU return man, Anthony Hawkins.
The ball came free. The Rams were lucky to land on it.
Eberhardt is a 6-foot, 2-inch, 195-pound pass catcher. He ran down the field and launched himself into Hawkins like a seasoned linebacker.
I'm sure his sister, Lexi, will get plenty of guff this week over that one. She is a true freshman on the CSU women's basketball team.
Eberhardt also finished with one grab for 14 yards.
“It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life. I've got bragging rights, too. I never lost to CSU. It always sucks to be a CSU Ram. ”
— Wyoming' (normally reserved) senior linebacker Logan Wilson on what it means to him to beat the Cowboys Border War rivals four straight times.
Wyoming (7-4, 4-3) wraps up the regular season with a trip to Colorado Springs to take on the rival Air Force Falcons (8-2, 5-1) Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. Wyoming has won the past three games against the Falcons. If this UW senior class can pull off the upset, they will be the first group in Cowboy football history to sweep CSU and Air Force in four straight seasons.