The game probably shouldn't have been so close.
Still, the Frogs' final missed field goal was exactly the kind of break Wyoming needed to put the finishing touches on a win that appeared to be a sure thing just minutes earlier.
After mounting a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys let TCU back into the game down the stretch before Chris Manfredini's 48-yard field goal in the waning moments of regulation fluttered off course at the last possible moment, glanced off the right goal post and fell harmlessly to the brown turf of the Wyoming south end zone. Final score: Wyoming 24, TCU 21.
In case you missed it, here are a few of the highlights in picture form:
Manfredini's kick was long enough and looked good almost the entire time. Coincidentally, it bounced off the same upright the TCU kicker found on a made 51-yarder in the first quarter.
Despite the last-second drama, the Cowboys looked dominant for most of the game. As in past contests, they found offensive success on the ground with Wynel Seldon and Devin Moore who combined for 235 yards rushing and one touchdown. It marked the most yards ever given up on the ground by a TCU team under head coach Gary Patterson.
Here's D-Mo bouncing it outside on a long fourth-quarter run. Lightning finished the game with 135 yards on just 23 carries.
Even big Chase Ortiz couldn't pull him down without the help of a little helmet. Ortiz got called for face masking on this play, which set up the Pokes' final field goal—one that would end up being the difference in the game.
Seldon had his best game of the '07 season to date. The big man was all smiles after punching in a third-quarter touchdown run and doing a little celebrating with his friends.
Thunder moved into 10th all-time in career rushing yards at Wyoming and eighth all-time in touchdowns. He got a little love from the coaches, too.
As good as the running backs were, perhaps no one was more pleased with his performance than Wyoming wideout Hoost Marsh, who had his best day receiving in a Cowboy uniform. The senior pulled in four catches for a career-high 87 yards and a career-high two touchdowns.
The TCU defenders struggled against his speed all day. He gets past the secondary early in the first quarter here for a 65-yard touchdown—his first of the afternoon.
He put some field between him and the nearest defender after the catch as well. And then he followed up his first-half bomb with this third-quarter score:
Not the kind of guy you want to leave wide open in the back of the end zone.
Wade Betschart liked it.
So did the crowd.
Once again, the Cowboys' defense came to play and shut down the Horned Frog offense—at least for the first three quarters.
Here they are stuffing TCU star running back Aaron Brown, who finished with just 50 yards rushing and no touchdowns.
Julius Stinson had another great game, breaking up a career-high three passes and leading the team in tackles with nine. He now leads the team in three separate categories (tackles, pass breakups and interceptions).
Wyoming's other corner did work Saturday as well. Michael Medina's third-quarter interception led to the Cowboys' (and Marsh's) second touchdown of the game and a 14-6 lead.
Medina's pick was one of three turnovers forced by the Wyoming defense. The Frogs also coughed up two fumbles. John Fletcher dives on this one midway through the second quarter.
Both fumbles were forced by defensive end Mitch Unrein. He lays a hit on Marcus Jackson here, popping the ball out of the quarterback's hands.
TCU's Donald Massey was a bit of a bright spot for the Frogs. His four receptions kept the offense breathing in the first half.
This two-point conversion from QB Andy Dalton to Massey brought the Frogs within 10 late in the fourth quarter.
All-star defensive end Chase Ortiz broke into the Pokes backfield a bit more than Wyoming would have liked. Here he is laying a hit on Karsten Sween.
Sack aside, you could call Saturday's outing a bounce-back game for Sween. He was far from accurate, completing just 12 passes on 26 attempts and throwing an interception on the Pokes' opening drive. He stayed out of trouble the rest of the game, however, and managed to finish with two touchdown passes and 134 yards through the air to complement the stellar play of UW's tailbacks.
The Cowboys will be back in action this Saturday for their Homecoming match-up with conference rival New Mexico. We'll be there too, ready to bring you more message board updates and another game recap and photo gallery. We'll also post preview articles and recruiting updates all week, so remember to log on often.
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