I grew fond of the Wyoming Cowboys during my three months in the state running Mitt Romney’s 67% nomination win in the state in 2008. When I encountered the strong anti-BYU feelings I asked if BYU was considered a rival, only to be told, “Oh no, most of the teams we play like BYU are much better than us, so I just want to try to beat Colorado State.” The team has improved a lot, and Saturday feel just short of a major upset at No. 18 Nebraska.
Nebraska used a big size advantage throughout, with Wyoming linebacker Devyn Harris clinging to Ameer Abdullah (pictured), and then Quincy Enunwa simply screened out the Cowboys smaller backs to seemingly finally put the game away in the fourth quarter.
On a crucial third-and-four quarterback Taylor Martinez simply ran Enunwa straight ahead and played catch for 17 yards to the Wyoming nine. Two plays later, Martinez simply had Enunwa run straight into the end zone, shield his defender again, and hit him to finally apparently put Wyoming away 37-21 with 11:38 left to play.
Years ago Wyoming may have folded, but the 2013 squad was not deterred.
The Cowboys quickly moved from their own 25 to Nebraska territory before Nebraska’s Ciante Evans intercepted a pass at the Nebraska 24 with 9:40 to play – once again seeming to end Wyoming’s effort.
However, the Cowboy’s Taylor Martinez returned the favor by intercepting a Martinez pass at the Wyoming 15 and returning it all the way to the Wyoming 48.
This time Cowboys’ quarterback wasted no time, needing just two plays to throw two passes to Jalen Claiborne to cover the 52 yards and cut the score to 37-27, however his two-point conversion pass fell incomplete to leave it a two-score game.
With 2:01 to play, Marqueston Huff recovered a fumble by Martinez at the Wyoming 38 to give the Cowboys one last chance.
This time it took Smith only three passes and 29 seconds to cover 62 yards, hitting Robert Herron for the final 47 yards to cut the score to 37-34.
Wyoming had all three timeouts left, and forced a three-and-out from Nebraska to get one last shot. However, Sam Foltz may have saved Nebraska by placing a punt out of bounds at the six-yard line with 1:07 to play.
Smith scrambled for 18 yards, and completed three passes, but two holding penalties proved to much to overcome as the clock ran out with Wyoming still far field goal range that could have forced a 37-37 overtime tie.