Notebook: Wyoming football gets payback for blowout loss last year at Utah State
LARAMIE, Wyo. — The Cowboys forgive, but they never forget, Wyoming cornerback Robert Priester said before Saturday’s game against Utah State.
In 2015, the Aggies blew out Wyoming 58-27 in Logan, Utah, scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 34-yard touchdown pass up 30 points.
Wyoming got its revenge Saturday. The Cowboys jumped out to a 35-7 lead and hung on to win 52-28 at War Memorial Stadium.
Making up for last year’s meeting was on senior linebacker Lucas Wacha’s mind.
“It definitely played a role,” he said. “Not just because they’re the next team on our list but because they hung 58 points on us and were throwing fade routes in the fourth quarter last year. It just was definitely a motivator this week, and we know that we’re a better team this year.
“We know that we can play against good teams like Utah State and be able to rebound when things go wrong. Credit to Utah State. They’re a good team, and they were a really good team last year, also. I think we just outplayed them today.”
A year ago, the Aggies gained nearly 600 yards of total offense against Wyoming. Saturday, the Cowboys were the ones with 528 yards and 50-plus points.
“This team that we played tonight took us to the woodshed last year,” coach Craig Bohl said. “Those guys that were there, it was an ugly game, and we won I don’t know, by 24 points, so we’re going to be excited. It was a good win for us.”
Wyoming had a chance to nearly match last year’s score, only flipped, in the fourth quarter with the ball inside the Aggies’ 10-yard line. Instead of trying to run up the score, Wyoming got in victory formation.
“We went out on a good note,” Wacha said. “I think the best play in football is that victory knee.”
Filling the trophy case
The Bronze Boot has some company. After winning one traveling trophy earlier this year against Colorado State, Wyoming picked up another Saturday, earning the “Bridger’s Battle” rifle. The trophy was introduced in 2013, and before Saturday, Utah State had won every meeting with Wyoming since 2007.
“I never really knew what it looked like, because I guess we’ve never won it,” Wacha said. “But it feels good to be able to have another trophy along with the boot.”
The Cowboys’ win was their first in the last five games against the Aggies.
“I do know, talking to (former Wyoming coach Bob) Devaney many years ago, this was a big ballgame between Wyoming and Utah State,” Bohl said. “So it’s great to come up with a win. Like I said, we’re going to enjoy this, but we’ve got a big game coming up this next week.”
After the game Wacha ran off to try to find the trophy, and numerous Cowboys posted pictures on social media of themselves holding the trophy.
“It’s a little bit of a unique one, I can tell you that,” Bohl said. “I don’t know if there’s some rules on campus (that) you can’t have a rifle, so I’d better check on that.”
In the polls
Wyoming received at least one vote in a national poll for the third straight week. The Cowboys received 20 points in the Amway Coaches Poll, up from five last week and good for 31st place. Wyoming received two points in the AP Top 25, down from five last week and good for 36th place.
Wyoming has won five straight games for the first time since 1998, when the Cowboys won seven in a row. ... Wyoming senior receiver Tanner Gentry now has 2,267 receiving yards, seventh all-time. With 93 Saturday, he passed Malcom Floyd (2,411). He also had two touchdown catches and now has 14 in his career, tied with Floyd, Gene Huey and Dewey McConnell for seventh all-time at Wyoming. His 156 career receptions are tied with Michael Ford for eighth all-time at Wyoming. ... Brian Hill is now third in the country with 1,298 rushing yards, behind San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey (1,581) and Texas’ D’Onta Foreman (1,446). ... Wacha recorded his 300th career tackle Saturday. Eleven more would tie him for 10th all-time at Wyoming. ... Josh Allen’s 17 passing touchdowns are second most in the Mountain West. The 146 points he’s responsible for are best in the conference and tied for 17th nationally. ... Wyoming’s attendance of 17,837 Saturday was the lowest this season at War Memorial Stadium.