Cowboys Take Down the Tigers, 37-31
The Wyoming Cowboys rallied from a 14-0 deficit and held off a late rally by Missouri to beat the Tigers 37-31 Saturday night in Laramie in the season opener for both teams.
Wyoming (1-0) scored 34 points in the second and third quarters. That turned a 14-0 hole into a 34-17 lead. Missouri (0-1) rallied with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and got within six with 6:19 left.
The Cowboys got two first down and chewed up some clock, but the Tigers forced a punt with 2:19 remaining.
Mizzou quickly moved from its 25-yard line to the Wyoming 25 in just six plays. After a scramble for five yards, Tigers QB Kelly Bryant was sacked by Josiah Hall. After an incompletion on third down, Mizzou had one shot from the Cowboys 26-yard line. Bryant’s pass over the middle sailed high and UW clinched the win.
It’s the first win for the Pokes over a Power 5 opponent in the Craig Bohl era and the first since 2008 at Tennessee.
Sean Chambers ran for 120 yards and a touchdown. Xazavian Valladay added 118 yards and a TD on the ground. It was the fifth time in the last six games UW has had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game. The Cowboys averaged 7.1 yards per rush.
Chambers struggled through the air, as he went 6-16 for 92 yards. Overall, Wyoming finished with 389 yards of total offense.
Defensively, the Pokes allowed 537 to the Tigers. Bryant threw for 423 yards and two TDs, but Mizzou only ran for 114 yards, a 2.7 per rush average.
Three turnovers aided Wyoming. C.J. Coldon returned a fumble 30-yards for the Cowboys first touchdown in the second quarter. Alijah Halliburton scooped up a fumble late in the first half inside the UW 5-yard line and returned it 79 yards. That led to a field goal that ended the first half. The other takeaway by the Pokes’ defense was Cassh Maluia’s interception in the end zone in the third quarter.
Mizzou scored on its first two possessions for a 14-0 lead. Cooper Rothe’s first field goal got UW on the board with 9:09 left in the first half. Coldon’s fumble return TD occurred three plays later. That was followed by Valladay’s 61-yard touchdown run, which gave UW their first lead at 17-14 in the second quarter.
A field goal by the Tigers tied it at 17-17. Wyoming came right back with Chambers 75-yard TD run. Rothe added his second field goal from 23-yards out on the last play of the first half. It was 27-17 UW at the break.
Grad transfer running back Trey Smith punched in a 1-yard TD that made 34-17 with 4:21 left in the third.
The Cowboys out-scored Mizzou 34-3 in the second and third quarters combined.
The Tigers scored two TDs in the fourth, while UW managed only Rothe’s third field goal from 20-yards out.
Halliburton led the Pokes defense with a career-high 17 tackles. Logan Wilson added 13 and Chad Muma 10.
Wyoming returns to action next Saturday, Sept. 7 at Texas State. The game starts at 5 p.m., Mountain Time.