Turning point, unsung hero and what’s next for UW football
LARAMIE -- Wyoming was already leading.
Not comfortably. That doesn't happen with this team, right?
Leading 13-10, the Cowboys just completed their 17th straight run to start the game. Yes, Wyoming ran the ball seventeen times in a row. It was mostly effective, but still.
Play No. 18 would give the Pokes a much-needed cushion and vault them into an unheard of 53-point offensive outburst.
Sean Chambers took the snap under center, faked a hand off and lobbed a perfect pass to a streaking -- and unbelievably wide open -- Josh Harshman, who dashed down the middle of the field 56 yards for his second-career touchdown.
Watch this beauty:
It also lit a fire under the hearty crowd of 23,000-plus, packed into War Memorial Stadium on a balmy 57-degree night that featured wind gusts of more than 30 miles per hour.
That was the Cowboys second straight touchdown drive. They would score on their next four.
Wyoming took a 20-10 lead and never looked back.
Despite throwing the ball just 12 times, Chambers wrapped up a nice day at the office with five completions for 124 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. The redshirt freshman also scored twice on the ground and tallied 102 rushing yards.
It was the fifth time Chambers has eclipsed the century mark in his young career.
Wyoming 53, UNLV 17
Tyler Hall couldn't go Saturday night. He was in concussion protocol all week after taking a nasty hit late in the fourth quarter in Tulsa.
Enter freshman Jordan Murry.
The 5-foot, 10-inch, 150-pound Riverside, Calif., product played like a seasoned vet in his first extended action of his collegiate career. He blanketed receivers all night and laid the wood on several occasions, including the one that sidelined Rebels' leading rusher, Charles Williams, in the second quarter.
Murry came in low, propelling himself into Williams' legs. He tried to get up on his own. He couldn't.
UNLV head coach Tony Sanchez said Williams suffered a sprained knee, but without him in the game, the Rebels were forced to go one dimensional and get away from their typically potent run game.
He finished with just 5 tackles, but when you are filling the shoes of the best cornerback on the squad -- and maybe the Mountain West Conference -- you better make plays.
That's exactly what Murry did.
He even garnered a new fan.
"That's a tough spot," Logan Wilson said of Murry filling in for Hall. "I was talking to Cassh (Maluia) about this earlier, he reminds me a lot of Tyler Hall when he got thrown into the fire his true freshman year ... He's got confidence and a little bit of swagger to him. You can't really teach that.
"He's a hard-working kid. For him to step in and be a corner for us on a day like today when we are dwindled at that position is huge."
"Really and truly, it's probably disrespectful to our coaches. It looks like they don't coach us at all, which is not the case at all. The coaches did a great job this week -- the last two weeks -- of telling us what they are going to do. I said it early in the week; they are going to run the ball. They ran it down our throat and did whatever they wanted to do. They passed whenever they wanted. Simple as that. That looks like our coaches don't know what they are doing because were displaying what our coaches teach us. Our coaches do not teach us to play like that."
-- UNLV captain and senior linebacker, Javin White, after the blowout loss to the Cowboys.
A week off. A much-needed week to heal up some bumps and bruises. Saturday night, Wyoming played without Hall, Josiah Hall, Logan Harris, Alonzo Velazquez and Trey Smith. They won't get Smith back anytime soon, but the other four should be ready to go when the Pokes travel to San Diego Oct. 12 for a meeting with the Aztecs.
San Diego State was off this week. They face Colorado State in Fort Collins next Saturday night.