Turning point, unsung hero and what’s next for UW football
LARAMIE -- It happened again.
Just when it appeared momentum resided on the Cowboys' sideline, poof, it was gone. Not in the blink of an eye, though. That would be too kind. Instead, for the second consecutive week, the first half came to a close after an extended, double-digit play drive that resulted in a trip to the end zone for the opponent.
BYU marched 76 yards on 13 plays, chewing up 3:38 of game clock. Jaren Hall threaded a 3-yard scoring strike to Brayden Cosper at the boundary, giving the Cougars a 14-10 lead at the half. They would eventually roll to a 38-24 victory.
Saturday night in Laramie, Chevan Cordeiro led his San Jose State squad on a 10-play, 75-yard drive. That took 4:55 off the clock. The Spartans' signal caller took care of the scoring all by himself, walking in from a yard out to give the visitors a 19-10 lead at the break.
"It's a broken record," Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said postgame, referring to a pass defense that has given up 47 completions and 651 yards through the air over the last two weeks. "We've got to take a hard look at it (and say), 'OK, what can we do to change that narrative?' Now some of it is, between BYU and these guys, they have good players and they got good skill players and a quarterback who can put it where it needs to be. I don't know if everybody else can do that, but that narrative has been coming up too many times."
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To make this one hurt just a tad more, Wyoming just wrapped up its first touchdown drive of the evening. Quarterback Andrew Peasley arched a tear drop right into the awaiting arms of Wyatt Wieland from 38 yards out.
The Pokes' offense finally showed signs of life.
How bad was it prior?
That was Peasley's third completion of the night. He would finish with just six on 20 attempts. Wyoming had just 85 yards of total offense to its name before that possession, only three first downs.
SJSU's drive was aided by a pass interference call on UW cornerback Cam Stone. Middle linebacker Easton Gibbs was also hit with a 15-yard penalty for a late hit out of bounds.
"We did some immature things tonight by some of our players," Bohl said. "That's going to be a learning experience."
The Spartans, also like BYU, scored another touchdown on their first possession of the second half. That came two plays after a Peasley interception. Kairee Robinson found the end zone from a yard out.
This one was over.
"You know, we got beat on offense and we got beat on defense," Bohl said. "I thought we probably came out ahead a little bit in the kicking game, but that's not enough to beat a good team."
San Jose State 33, Wyoming 16
Wyett Ekeler was a busy guy Saturday night.
The sophomore safety from Windsor, Colo., tallied a career-high seven tackles in the loss to the Spartans, six of which were solo stops. He was also credited with a pair of quarterback hurries.
Ekeler is the Cowboys' fourth-leading tackler through six games. He has 31 of those to go along with two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
It wasn't a particularly good night for the Wyoming defense. It allowed 456 yards of total offense, 314 through the air. The visitors ran 76 offensive plays, held onto the ball for 36:52 and rolled up 25 first downs in the win. It wasn't pretty.
Still, Ekeler, who had a limited role and registered just five tackles in 2021, is starting to establish himself in UW's secondary. He's fast. He's a sure tackler. He packs a punch.
What else do you want from the free safety spot?
"That film is going to look ugly. It's going to look like we got took to the woodshed. Most of the time I reserve judgment until I watch the tape -- I saw what I saw."
-- UW head coach Craig Bohl said following the 33-16 loss to San Jose State in front of 17,765 fans inside War Memorial Stadium.
"Going on the road and playing a physical team -- and for our skill guys to play with such physicality -- there is so much to talk about. I was proud of how we finished the game ... Our defense played lights out, Chevan was amazing and out wideouts made some plays. It was a lot of fun tonight. I could not be happier for our team, and our staff did a good job preparing the team. We will enjoy this."
-- SJSU head coach Brent Brennan's overall postgame thoughts.
Don't fear, New Mexico week is here. Oh, wait. The Lobos have been a cellar-dweller in the Mountain West since winning nine games in 2016. That should be good news for the Pokes, but we all know better. New Mexico (2-3, 0-2) has won two straight in the series, including an unthinkable 17-16 setback inside Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas during a COVID-19 shortened 2020 campaign. Last October, the Lobos handed UW a 14-3 loss inside War Memorial Stadium. That Rocky Long fella seems to have the Cowboys number, huh? Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. Mountain Time next Saturday inside Albuquerque's University Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. New Mexico lost 31-20 Friday night at UNLV.
PRESS PASS: Roaming The War
-PRESS PASS: Roaming The War