Colorado State keeps The Boot; Defeated Wyoming 26-7 Saturday afternoon
LARAMIE, Wyo. – Colorado State scored three touchdowns and one field goal on the first four times they touched the ball Saturday at War Memorial Stadium and won the battle for the Bronze Boot for the third consecutive year 26-7 in front of 18,682. The Rams (4-5 and 2-3 in the MW) scored 17 first quarter points and broke the game open early. Wyoming (1-9, 1-4 in the MW) had a another sub-par offensive game. The Pokes’ avoided a shutout with a late touchdown with only 2:25 left in the game on a four-yard run by Brian Hill.
In the battle of the border war, the Cowboys and Rams have fought for the Bronze Boot 48 times since the traveling trophy was established in 1968. The series is now tied at 24 wins apiece.
“I think Colorado State did a great job creating turnovers,” said Wyoming Coach Craig Bohl after the game. “They did a great job neutralizing our rushing game and we had a hard time protecting Nick (Smith). I was pleased with the second half. We did generate a touchdown, but it was too little too late. With a game like this, we needed to start well.”
CSU Head Coach Mike Bobo said his defense was outstanding. “They did a great job of setting the edges and gang tackling Mr. (Brian) Hill, who is a really good running back. They played hard all night.”
If there was one thing that upset Bobo was the number of penalties committed by the rams, 10 for 101 yards. “Penalties are definitely a concern, I’ve got to go back and look at them.”
There were some bright spots for the Cowboys, though. Eddie Yarbrough tied for first all-time with tackles for loss when he sacked Rams quarterback Nick Stevens in the third quarter. He now has 36 tackles for loss, tying John Fletcher (2005-09). Sophomore running Back Brian Hill moved into second place all-time in rushing for a season with his 65 yards on the day for a total this year of 1,327 yards. He now trails Ryan Christopherson by 128 yards. It was the fourth time this season that Hill was held under 100 yards.
“It’s all about your mentality”, Yarbrough said. “It’s not about what happens in life. It’s about what you do in life. The way I was raised, it’s not over until it’s over… You just have to persevere and keep moving forward.”
Another bright spot was the rushing of true freshman Kellen Overstreet, who rushed for a career-high 31 yards on two carries. His runs were 15 and 16 yards, both the longest of his career and the longest runs for Wyoming on the day.
Wyoming Quarterback Nick Smith, subbing for the injured Cameron Coffman, summed it up when he said, “It was just tough to get anything going today. Offensively, we had mistake after mistake with penalties or missed assignments,” he said. “We want to represent the state as best as we can, and we want to make the Wyoming citizens proud. We are just as upset and disappointed.”
Defensively, Redshirt freshman free safety Marcus Epps tied a career-high with 13 total tackles, including 11 solo stops. Junior linebacker Lucas Wacha posted 12 total tackles, just one shy of his career high. Freshman free safety Andrew Wingard had 11 total tackles and he made his first career interception.
Wyoming committed four turnovers in the game, two of which led to CSU scores, and lost the time of possession by 15 minutes as CSU kept the ball in play. The Cowboys only converted 2 of 9 third downs, while the Rams played 37 minutes in the game as the visitors chewed up the yardage and the clock. CSU ran 70 plays to Wyoming’s 55 and rang up 348 yards of total offense to Wyoming’s 239.
CSU’s Dalyn Dalkins carried the ball 25 times for 140 yards. The Rams’ Izzy Matthews scored two touchdowns and CSU quarterback Nick Stevens completed 11 passes for 120 yards and ran for one score.
Wyoming’s Nick Smith completed 10 of 21 throws for 109 yards with one interception.
Colorado St. 17 6 3 0 – 26
Wyoming 0 0 0 7 – 7
In other MW Games today, the Air Force defeated Army 20-3; New Mexico upset Utah State 14-13 and UNLV defeated Hawai’i 27-20. On Thursday Nevada beat Fresno State 30-16; On Friday BYU upended San Jose State 17-16.