It almost couldn't be scripted. Wyoming was 17 point underdogs on the road. San Diego State was coming off of a big win against Air Force. We had to play in the Q. Yet, we rose to the occasion. The scene was perfect for us. Only one team could remain unbeaten in conference play and we were lucky to do so.
Down early, Freshman quarterback Brett Smith turned into a football machine. His timing was impeccable, his accuracy like an Army Ranger. He led 5 scoring drives in the first half alone. Smith accounted for 4 touchdowns, 2 on the ground and 2 through the air. Easily playing his best ball of the season, Smith was able to lead his team to a huge lead.
The win doesn't fall solely on Smith's shoulders, however. After being up 30-13 at halftime, things didn't look as promising for the Pokes after the 3rd quarter. We could not stop Ronnie Hillman. Then again, you would be hard pressed to find anybody in the nation that can. He accounted for 305 total yards to accompany 3 TD's. But that wasn't enough. The defense definitely bent, but did not break.
Coach Christiansen's Special Forces proved to be the difference. Much maligned Kicker, Daniel Sullivan, was able to make a critical field goal at the end of the half. That field goal brought the W back to Laramie. In the 4th quarter, San Diego State missed two potential game tying field goals. That was truly the nail in the coffin for the Aztecs.
What can we learn? Our offense gets out to fast starts. Putting up nearly 400 yards of total offense in the first half was remarkable. We could not be stopped. If we can keep getting out to fast starts, the wins will keep rolling in.
What needs to improve? Our killer instinct. If you recall, we had a big lead against Bowling Green as well and they nearly came back to win. Against UNLV, we jumped out to a 20-0 lead before giving them a chance to get back in. These conference games are going to be a test so we need to be able to close them out, both offensively and defensively.