Clemons, Cowboys escape Fort Collins with 14-13 victory
* University of Wyoming press release
FORT COLLINS, Colo., – The Wyoming Cowboys (7-3 overall, 5-1 MW) rallied back from a 10-point deficit to defeat the Colorado State Rams (2-8, 2-4 MW) by a score of 14-13 on Saturday evening in Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.
It marked the fifth comeback win for the Cowboys this season. Backup quarterback Jayden Clemons connected with wide receiver Alex Brown on a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth that proved to be the winning score, as Wyoming earned the Bronze Boot for the 45th time.
The Cowboys have comeback wins this season over against Tulsa, Air Force, New Mexico and Hawai’i.
Wyoming has now won four-straight games for the longest winning streak since winning four-straight to open last season. The three-game win streak on the road is the longest since 1999 when Wyoming won at Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe and at Utah. The Pokes have also won six of their last seven contests.
“We certainly dug ourselves a hole in the beginning, but the effort was great and for a young team to go on the road and keep believing was great to see,” UW head coach Craig Bohl said. “It was a very physical game tonight and I’m sure Colorado State feels the same as well. This goes down as one of the classic Wyoming vs. Colorado State rivalry games. We did a good job offensively in the second half getting to the second level on the runs. The quarterback run game was also good for us tonight. But we are going to enjoy the night and start getting ready for Boise State tomorrow.”
Wyoming allowed only six points defensively with the Rams recording 372 yards of offense with 251 yards through the air and 121 yards on the ground. Offensively, Wyoming had 236 yards of total offense rushing for 142 yards and passing for 94 yards. The Cowboy defense recorded five sacks and now have 18 sacks in their last four games.
Clemons finished the game 7-of-11 passing for 90 yards with a touchdown and added 32 yards on the ground with a touchdown. He entered the game in the second quarter and led the Pokes to their first score. Running back Titus Swen rushed for 73 yards to lead the team. Tight end Parker Christensen added four catches for 32 yards to lead the team.
“Clemons certainly played well tonight,” Bohl said. “He hasn’t gotten a lot of repetition, but he has studied well and made some big plays and certainly his pass to Alex Brown was huge.”
The Cowboy defense was led by Easton Gibbs with 12 tackles on the night. He also added a sack and two tackles for loss. Safety Isaac White added eight tackles with linebacker Shae Suiaunoa tacking seven along with a career-high seven from nose tackle Gavin Meyer. Defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole added six tackles and a career-high two sacks.
The Cowboys would open the contest going three-and-out and Colorado State’s Tory Horton would return the punt 72 yards to give the Rams an early 7-0 advantage in the opening two-plus minutes. It was the first punt return against the Cowboys since Boise State in 2014.
The Rams added a field goal to take a 10-0 lead in the opening minute of the second quarter. The Cowboy defense held earning their third sack of the contest to force the field goal from 40-yards by Ram kicker Michael Boyle.
Colorado State threatened once against in the early stages of the second quarter, but cornerback Deron Harrell picked off Colorado State quarterback Clay Millen in the end zone for the first interception of his career.
The Cowboys would get on the board on a 12-play, 69-yard drive ending in a 14-yard run from Clemons to make it a 10-7 game for CSU with 34 seconds remaining in the first half. Clemons, who came in the game for Andrew Peasley, found the edge and glided into the endzone for the first of his career. He threw for 23 yards on the drive, which included an 18-yard strike to wide receiver Joshua Cobbs to set up the score.
The Pokes drove down the fields in the third quarter, but kicker John Hoyland missed from 37-yards to keep it a 10-7 game in favor of the Rams. It was just his third miss of the season. The Rams would follow that by driving 75 yards on 12 plays adding a 23-yard field goal from Boyle to make it a 13-7 game for Colorado State with 12:55 left in the contest.
The Cowboys punted halfway through the fourth quarter, but Horton would muff the punt and Miles Williams picked up the ball for Wyoming inside Ram territory. On the second play of the Cowboy drive, Clemons found Brown down the sideline in stride for the first touchdown reception of Brown’s career and first touchdown pass of Clemons career to give Wyoming a 14-13 lead with 10:47 left in the contest.
The Rams would drive down into Cowboy territory, but the Wyoming defense would hold and force a missed field goal and UW would maintain its 14-13 advantage with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Wyoming would use the rushing attack to chew clock but were forced to punt with 65 seconds remaining.
Colorado State would complete a few late passes, but once again the Cowboy defense, who allowed only six points on the night would get the stop and Wyoming would walk away with the Bronze Boot with a 14-13 win.
The Rams were led by Horton offensively with eight catches for 168 yards. Millen threw for 251 yards on 18-of-26 passing. Running back Avery Morrow rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries. Linebacker Dequan Jackson led the defense with 13 tackles.
The Cowboys return to action next Saturday, hosting Boise State at 5 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.
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