Turning point, unsung hero and what’s next for UW football
LAS VEGAS, Nev., -- "It was a bad read. A terrible read."
That's Andrew Peasley's response to the throw he made just before the end of the first half.
You remember that one.
With the game clock dwindling, Wyoming's super senior quarterback took the shotgun snap and immediately looked to his left. He took a five-step drop and bounced in place, his eyes fixated on Wyatt Wieland.
From the far hash, Peasley unleashed a throw right into the midsection of Cameron Oliver.
He plays for UNLV.
The Rebels' safety jumped the rout and thwarted a scoring drive with just 12 ticks remaining in the second quarter.
Why was that sequence so impactful?
Well, the Cowboys had the ball at the UNLV 10-yard line, for one. Secondly, Peasley and Co. were on the verge of erasing a three-touchdown deficit and tying this game 21-21 at the half. That interception came on the goal line.
Oh, and tight end John Michael Gyllenborg was briefly wide open down the middle of the field.
"We were going tempo and I saw the safety running over to Wyatt. I thought he was late," said Peasley, who completed 11-of-22 passes for 144 yards and an interception. He was also stripped on the Cowboys' second offensive possession of the night, which led to a UNLV touchdown. "It ended up being 'big zone.' (It was a) bad read, played the wrong side."
Why was Wyoming running a hurry-up offense in the first place?
On the previous play, Sam Scott was stopped for a 1-yard gain. The team rushed back to the line and got the next snap off with 17 seconds remaining on the play clock. There was still one timeout at their disposal.
Did Craig Bohl think about taking advantage of that, giving his guys a breather and setting up a play?
"Yeah, we thought about it," Wyoming's clearly agitated head coach said postgame."
What was Bohl's perspective on the play?
"Bad decision," he said. "Next question."
Peasley's answer was a tad more eloquent. He shouldered all the blame, saying he had plenty of options on the route, he just made the wrong one.
"No, I think it's one me," he added. "Coach (Tim Polasek) put it in my hands and, you know, that's a play we've ran a lot ... It was a great play call and a bad read."
Wyoming is now 19-41 away from Laramie during Bohl's tenure. All four losses this fall have come on the road. Because of that fact, The Cowboys' Mountain West Championship hopes were laid to rest Friday night inside Allegiant Stadium.
Ten years, zero titles.
"I understand your question," Bohl said, when asked how hard this is for him personally to accept. "I can tell you this, I'm just more disappointed with how we played tonight. Coaches live in the present, so that's a global-perspective question that you have. Those are some things that you have to take a hard look at. We play in a really great conference. I felt like we had a good football team.
"What has become apparent is that when we got (taken) to the woodshed by Boise and, the same thing happens here, we are not positioned to win a Mountain West Conference Championship and those are the facts. This loss is profoundly disappointing but that's another question, for maybe reflecting, on another day. But a legitimate question."
It sure is.
UNLV 34, Wyoming 14
Tyce Westland sat on the bench in the dying seconds of this one in obvious discomfort. The sophomore defensive end made a late tackle -- one of five on the night -- before grimacing in pain and slowly walking off the field.
Facing a 4th-and-1 at Wyoming's 44-yard line, UNLV quarterback Jayden Maiava took the snap and darted to his left. It appeared he would maybe attempt to pitch the ball off to one of two running backs in the backfield. Instead, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound redshirt freshman hung on to it -- wisely -- and was promptly met by Westland.
It was the Nebraska native's first tackle for loss.
Eleven plays and 51 yards later, Wieland took a jet sweep handoff and dove over the white line. Wyoming, amazingly, trailed by just seven after digging an early 21-point hole.
Westland now has 14 tackles to his credit, to go along with a sack, a forced fumble and a recovery. You can now add TFL to the list.
“I just want to say that this team has had a lot of ups and downs, but whatever people say about us, you know, we will always stick together. This is a true unit of a team and I know it sucks for the fans that we're 0-4 on the road, but, you know, we do care a lot and we put in a lot of effort toward this. So, you can say what you want about me, you can say what you want about this team, but we'll always stick by each other's side."
-- Wyoming QB Andrew Peasley with an unprompted statement Friday night to end his press conference
"It hurts bad. I mean, we know that we needed this one to stay alive. At the end of the day, we just have to move on. We still have two more opportunities -- two more guaranteed -- and then go from there. So, like Andrew said, we have 24 hours to, you know, sulk about this and then we have to move on. We have to get ready for the next game."
-- Wyoming WR Wyatt Wieland on what he wants to see from this team moving forward
"Yeah, I mean, we've just been preaching starting fast all week, and obviously, we didn't go out and do that. That's something you have to do on the road. You know, the other team comes in with that momentum and you kind of have to take it from them. So, we're preaching that all week. We didn't get that done. So, we've got to get back and, you know, really look at ourselves in the mirror and figure out what you just asked. What's so different? Why are we two different teams -- at home and away?"
-- UW linebacker Easton Gibbs when asked bluntly why this team can't win on the road
"I challenged our guys. I said, this team you're going to go in and play, I know their head coach. I said it's going to be a dadgum dogfight and they're going to be set and ready to play. You better understand, you're going in and embrace the competition because you will get thrown out of the saloon. We will get thrown out of the saloon if you're not set and ready to play. That's exactly what happened at the beginning."
-- UW head coach Craig Bohl when asked if benching running back Harrison Waylee for disciplinary reasons in the first quarter led to the poor start
Wyoming (6-4, 3-3) won't be playing for the ultimate hardware this season -- the Craig Thompson trophy -- but it can still add to the case next Saturday in Laramie when the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (3-7, 1-4) pay a visit to War Memorial Stadium. These two, oddly enough, battle for the Paniolo Trophy, a Cowboy on the verge of lassoing a calf. There's a rich Cowboy -- or Paniolo -- tradition on the Islands. Wyoming leads the all-time series with the 'Bows, 16-11. The Cowboys are a perfect 6-0 at home this fall. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
Correction: The original version of this story listed Craig Bohl's road record at 18-51. It is actually 19-41. We regret this error.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players