Courtesy Wyoming Media Relations
The University of Wyoming football team's quest to keep the Bronze Boot for five-straight years fell short Saturday as the Pokes were upended by Colorado State, 52-22, in the 105th edition of the Border War.
Wyoming (4-3 overall, 2-1 Mountain West) had held the coveted traveling trophy for the series from 2009-12, but fell behind by three touchdowns early and couldn't overcome a potent CSU rushing game that racked up 290 yards and four scores.
The UW offense struggled to find a rhythm all day despite a career-high 135 receiving yards and one score from junior Dominic Rufran and 81 yards on the ground and one rush TD from senior running back Tedder Easton. Junior quarterback Brett Smith finished 21-for-36 for 256 yards with one TD and two interceptions.
Defensively, UW was led by junior linebacker Jordan Stanton, who had a career-high 18 stops, good for sixth in school single-game history. Redshirt freshman Lucas Wacha had a career-high 13 tackles.
UW faced a 21-0 deficit late in the second quarter after CSU scored its third TD of the first half. Senior free safety Marqueston Huff then picked off a pass early in the second quarter to quash a CSU scoring threat, but UW gave the ball back with an interception on its next series.
The Pokes finally found the end zone late in the second quarter, when sophomore running back Shaun Wick rumbled in from 11 yards out to cut the deficit to 21-7 with just 55 seconds left in the half. The Rams then tacked on a field goal to lead 24-7 at the intermission.
After a Ram TD early in the third quarter, UW battled back with a season-long 71-yard touchdown reception from Smith to Rufran, and the ensuing two-point conversion made it 31-15 with 12:35 to go in the third quarter. But CSU added a 34-yard TD with 7:26 to go in the quarter to move the deficit back to 38-15, and the third expired with the same score.
After two Ram scores, UW found pay dirt once again in the fourth quarter as Easton sped away from the CSU defense for a career-long 67-yard touchdown run.
The Cowboys hit the road for their next contest, a road tilt versus San Jose State on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT and the game will be televised by ROOT Sports.