Wyoming falls 36-14 to No. 7 Boise State

Wyoming’s goal of a second-place finish in the Mountain West

fell short against Kellen Moore and Boise State.

Moore threw three touchdown passes, including a momentum-changer

on the final play of the first half, and the Broncos defense held

freshman quarterback Brett Smith and the Cowboys to a season-low

191 yards in a 36-14 victory on Saturday.

Despite the loss, Wyoming’s coaches and players believe they’ll

rebound next week at Colorado State to end their surprising season

on a good note.

”Not a lot of good things about a loss, but I think that we did

enough good things to where we can carry some confidence into next

week,” Smith said. ”The rest we just have to learn from what we

did wrong.”

The Cowboys (7-4, 4-2) came into the game with second place in

the Mountain West on the line, having won four of five and poised

to get even for last season’s 51-6 rout in Laramie.

And for most of the first half, the Cowboys were hanging tough

with the No. 7 Broncos (10-1, 5-1).

Linebacker Luke Anderson gave Wyoming a 7-0 lead when he

intercepted Moore’s pass and ran it back 29 yards for a touchdown.

The defense pressured Moore consistently in the first half, forcing

errant throws and keeping Boise State out of the end zone until the

second quarter.

But when the Cowboys failed to use the final 1:10 in the first

half, Boise State seized the opportunity.

A short punt set up Boise State at the Wyoming 46 with 8 seconds

left. Moore fired an incompletion on the first play, but on the

last play of the half he rolled left and heaved a pass toward the

goal line. The ball was deflected by Tashaun Gipson then dropped

into the hands of Broncos receiver Matt Miller, who was flat on his

back in the end zone just beyond the goal line.

The touchdown, followed by a blocked extra-point try, gave Boise

State a 13-7 lead at the break.

But the score also changed momentum and the tone of the game.

Boise State scored 23 straight points in the second half to put the

game out of reach.

”It was a six-point game at halftime against the … seventh

ranked team in the country,” coach Dave Christensen said. ”I

think we’d be pretty satisfied if we could keep it close like that

and that was our goal. We certainly played hard and did some good

things.”

But they just didn’t do enough against the Broncos.

Wyoming didn’t get a first down on three possessions in the

third quarter, and the only second-half touchdown came with 5:26

left in the game when Smith tossed an 8-yard pass to Josh

Doctson.

Smith was 17 of 25 for 78 yards and one interception. Sam

Stratton led the team with 54 yards rushing on 14 carries, most

while taking snaps in a wildcat formation.

”I’m not down,” Christensen said. ”Right now we’re 7-4 and

have a chance next week to play for an eighth win. I think less

than 40 teams in the country are going to win eight games, so we’ll

see what we can get done.”