With a flurry of points in the fourth quarter the Wyoming Cowboys overcame a 27-6 deficit defeating San Diego State 30-27, earning their first victory on the road against the Aztecs since 1995. Wyoming is now 5-5 for the year and has two games left this season (at home vs. TCU, on the road vs. CSU) to attain one more victory to become bowl eligible. Here is a review of the game:
Three Things I Liked
Run, Run, Run:
As mentioned in the preview of the game it was important for Wyoming to commit to the running game. Unlike many spread offenses, the system Wyoming runs is well suited to the running game and balance is needed if the offense is to be successful. The Pokes have averaged 186.4 rushing yards per game in wins this year and only 84.8 yards rushing per game in losses. With 200 yards rushing versus the Aztecs Wyoming was able to wear down SDSU in the fourth quarter allowing the Cowboys to win the game.
True Freshmen Power:
Five true freshmen led the way for the Cowboys in this game. Starting QB Austyn Carta-Samuels (246 passing yards and a TD, 51 rushing yards and a TD), RB Alvester Alexander (74 yards and a TD, TE David Tooley (70 receiving yards and a TD), CB Kenny Browder (recovered a muffed kick return), and last but not least, kicker Ian Watts who booted the game winning 43 yard field goal. With these young players and other freshman stepping up and making plays the future of Wyoming football looks brighter.
Teams tend to take on the personality of their coach and this game shows that the Cowboys are dialing into the persona of coach Dave Christensen. The former Mizzou offensive coordinator is a no nonsense guy who preaches effort and hard work on every play of the game, after this comeback win it is clear they have bought into his message.
A Cause For Concern
Ran on, Ran on, Ran on:
The defense allowed 157 rushing yards to an Aztec team who was only averaging 69 yards coming into the game. If Wyoming is to defeat TCU or CSU in the final two games the rush defense must improve especially against TCU who can run over teams at will. It must be noted that Wyoming was shorthanded at LB with injuries to Brian Hendricks (did not play) and Gabe Knapton (saw limited action) so this has a chance to improve if they are able to get healthy in the next few weeks. If not, the other linebackers need to step up and make plays in order for Wyoming to earn one more important victory.