After dealing with five narrow losses the Wyoming Cowboys (1-6,0-3) were buried by the Fresno State Bulldogs (5-3,3-1). The game started off slowly, however once the Bulldogs got going they could not be stopped. Fresno State put up 35 points in the first half thanks to a quick strike offense and some fantastic punt returns.
The Cowboy offense never looked comfortable, especially the running game. The Pokes only had three rushing yards in the first half and saw their third down conversion issues return. On the day Wyoming only converted two of 17 third down attempts.
Brett Smith got the start for Wyoming and Jason Thompson came in a few times in the first half. Once the game was out of hand then the two split series in the second half. On the day Smith finished 18 of 38 for 158 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He didn't seem his usual confident self on the field. The Bulldog pass rush kept him from having much time in the pocket. Smith was forced to scramble or throw the ball away on most plays. His touch on deep passes also seemed to be off which caused him to overshoot his receivers on most long throws. With two concussions suffered this season I can understand Smith may have some hesitation when facing contact.
The Bulldog defense deserves credit for their performance. They were aggressive (as promised) and really seemed to have the Cowboys number all game long. Every run was stopped at the line of scrimmage in the first half. Their pass coverage was tight and and any catches made were for short gains.
Wyoming had plenty of injuries that didn't help the situation. Luke Ruff and Luke Anderson both missed the game. Marqueston Huff was hurt in the first quarter and DeAndre Jones took his place. So without three quarters of our starting secondary Derek Carr was able to pick apart the secondary for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He could have thrown for more but they rode Robbie Rouse hard the second half as he was working to break 4000 career rushing yards.
The MVP for the Pokes was punter Tim Gleeson. He was consistently putting over 40 yards and had a long of 63. He had four punts inside in the 20 and should have another one but a ball skipped through the legs of Blair Burns at the one yard line for a touchback.
This game got out of control quickly and it was a bad loss. It seems like Wyoming has one game like this every year. Last year was the Utah State game, 2010 was Boise State. No point in dwelling over what happened this week. With all the attention that happened on Friday it seemed like something this may occur.
One thing that needs to happen is the Cowboys should never wear those damn white helmets with brown Steamboat and stripe ever again. They don't look good and the Pokes always get crushed. There are plenty of other good uniform combinations available. Please retire that one quickly.