Wyoming Offense Stalls, Pokes Lose

The Cowboys held BSU All-American running back Ian Johnson in check throughout Saturday night's game. Instead, it was Broncos quarterback Taylor Tharp who picked apart the Pokes' defense. Wyoming struggled to move the ball as Boise State racked up 24 points in a disappointing Cowboys loss.

It took more than three quarters for the Cowboys' offense to find its stride. By that time, the damage had been done.

Talyor Tharp threw two touchdown passes and Jeremy Childs had four receptions for 88 yards and a score as Boise State beat Wyoming 24-14 Saturday night.

The Broncos' defense pitched a shut out for three quarters while building a 21-0 lead. Wyoming (2-1) outscored BSU (2-1) 14-3 in the final period, but it was too little too late for a frustrated Cowboys team, which struggled to move the ball for much of the game.

The Wyoming defense held Heisman candidate Ian Johnson to a less-than-stellar performance. The normally dominating back had just 83 yards on 24 carries, but it was Tharp who made the Cowboys pay. After starting the game 0-for-5, he completed 15 of his next 25 passes and, more importantly, did not throw an interception.

Neither team crossed midfield until Tharp found Toshi Franklin at the Wyoming 46-yard line on the last play of the first quarter. The drive ended abruptly four plays later, however, when Wyoming's Mike Juergens forced a fumble on Tanyon Bissell and the Cowboys recovered.

Both offenses continued to stall until midway through the second quarter when Tharp connected with Childs on a 15-yard pass that took the Broncos inside the red zone for the first time in the game. Johnson rushed up the middle for 10 yards to the Wyoming nine-yard line on the next play, and two snaps later running back D.J. Harper found the end zone on an eight-yard scamper. Kyle Brotzman's extra point made the score 7-0, and both teams' defenses held the opposition to punts the rest of the half.

On the Broncos' second possession of the third quarter, a streaking Childs pulled in Tharp's perfectly thrown 52-yard touchdown pass, and another extra point extended Boise State's lead to 14-0.

A long kickoff return by Wyoming's Troy Lewis on the next play gave the Cowboys their best field position of the game to that point, opening up the drive on the BSU 46-yard line. A pass interference call on Boise State's Tim Brady and a four-yard catch by Hoost Marsh gave the Pokes their first chance to put points on the board, but two incomplete passes from quarterback Karsten Sween left Billy Vinnedge with a tough 52-yard field goal that sailed wide left.

The Cowboys failed on a fake punt try the next series, and Tharp found tight end Chris O'Neill on a nine-yard touchdown pass seven plays later. The extra point made the score 21-0.

Wyoming tried to make it close in the fourth quarter, and Sween engineered a 5-play, 65-yard drive early in the period that culminated in a 21-yard scoring strike over the middle to running back Devin Moore. Vinnedge added the extra point to pull the Pokes within 21-7.

The Broncos responded immediately, however; Rashaun Scott returned the Wyoming kickoff 59 yards to the Cowboys' 40-yard line, and Boise State proceeded to run the clock down to 3:51 before Brotzman connected on a 26-yard field goal that made the score 24-7.

Wyoming's offense clicked again on the Pokes' ensuing drive. Sween completed five passes—three of them to wide receiver Greg Bolling—and Wynel Seldon found the end zone from two yards out. Vinnedge made the extra point, and the Cowboys were within 24-14.

Time was not on their side, however, and Boise State's Austin Pettis recovered Wyoming's onside kick with 53 seconds remaining, sealing the Broncos' victory.

Sween finished with 227 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception. Moore led Wyoming's running game—which was dismal all evening—with eight carries for 27 yards. Bolling led all Cowboy receivers with six catches for 59 yards. Most of those came in the waning moments of the game, however, when Wyoming was already too far behind to catch up.

The Cowboys will try to bounce back next weekend when they go on the road to face Ohio.

Cowboy Blitz Top Stories