Turning point, unsung hero and what’s next for UW football
RENO, Nev., -- Wyoming was left for dead.
It appeared Ayden Eberhardt was, too.
Trailing 28-6 late in the third quarter, Levi Williams sailed a pass toward the left hash to a sprinting Eberhardt. The ball arrived. So did Nevada safety Tyson Williams.
Williams blasted the Cowboys' senior receiver, laying him out flat on the turf inside Mackay Stadium.
Yellow hanky's started to rain.
Williams was ejected from the game for targeting. He not only lit up Eberhardt, he lit a fire under the visiting bench.
"Very cheap play," fellow receiver Gunner Gentry said. "That kind of fired us up. It let us know that if we are going to come back, it's going to be from the guys on the team. We have to rally together. That really brought us together."
One play later, Wyoming's redshirt freshman quarterback followed a Trey Smith block around the left side and scampered into the end zone to give the Cowboys their first touchdown of the night.
It didn't stop there.
Williams led the Cowboys to three straight touchdown drives and used a Tim Tebow style jump pass to Treyton Welch for the successful two-point conversion, tying the game at 28-28 with 8:30 to go in the fourth.
By the way, Eberhardt lived. He never missed a snap.
Starting quarterback Sean Chambers was injured on the third play from scrimmage. A UW spokesman said he "possibly" broke his left fibula. Craig Bohl said "it's in that category" when it comes to being a season-ending injury.
The Cowboys offense proceeded to pick up just four first downs and 114 yards of total offense after Chambers went down.
If it wasn't for a pair of Nevada fumbles and a four-down goal-line stand by the visitors, the score would've been as lopsided as the first-half stats.
The third quarter didn't start out much better.
The Wolf Pack marched 94 yards on nine plays. Avery Morrow blew through a few lack-luster tackles and scored from 18 yards out. The following drive, Carson Strong hit Cole Turner for his second touchdown of the night.
The rout was on.
That is until the silver crown of the helmet collided with No. 19, sparking a comeback that fell just short in overtime.
"I think it was a very big moment," junior linebacker Chad Muma said. "A lot of guys feed off that energy, especially not having any crowd there."
Nevada 37, Wyoming 34 OT
Luke Glassock was supposed to the Cowboys' starting placekicker tonight.
The redshirt freshman from Buffalo was going to get his big shot to replace the program's all-time leader, Cooper Rothe.
In pregame warm ups, a little guy with a red right shoe was putting the ball through the uprights. A quick scramble to the roster and -- who the hell is No. 46?
Surely he was just practicing some kicks. We've never heard of this guy.
Now we know why.
Bohl said Hoyland was in quarantine throughout fall camp. The true freshman was never around, Wyoming's coach added. Glassock was a late scratch thanks to a groin strain.
All Hoyland did was go 4-for-4, including nailing a 42-yard field goal with 1:07 left in regulation. The Broomfield, Colo., product also drilled a 38-yarder in overtime.
"Boy, did he deliver tonight," Bohl said postgame. "For a freshman player that just showed up, that we didn't know a lot about, I thought he did a really good job."
Did Glassock just get Wally Pipp'd?
I guess we'll see next Friday night in Laramie.
"I know it's been an emotional week for Nevada and coach Jay Norvell. I knew his dad, he was an athletic director at Michigan State. He did so many things for college athletics. It's always tough to lose a game, but if there is ever a game .... I'm happy for Jay Norvell and the Norvell family."
— Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl on the recent death of Merritt Norvell.
Wyoming will open its home schedule Friday night against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. State health officials are allowing 7,000 fans inside War Memorial Stadium for the 7:46 p.m. (MST) kickoff. The last time these two teams met was back in 2018. That was a 17-13 loss for the Cowboys on the islands. Wyoming leads the all-time series, 14-10. Though the schools couldn't be any more different, they do play for the Paniolo Trophy, a traveling bronze statue of a Cowboy on horseback. Hawaii opened the season at Fresno State, knocking off the Bulldogs, 34-19