This game was closer then the score indicates but it also could have been a huge blowout. TCU (7-2,3-0) piled up 617 yards of offense five turnovers kept them from piling up the points. Two fumbles and one interception happened inside the Wyoming 10 yard line. The score was tied at 17 which TCU knocking on the door before Blair Burns intercepted a Casey Pachall lob pass at the goal line.
For the second straight week the offense sputtered in the second half. This time injuries played a big role in that loss of momentum. Ghaali Muhammad went out in the first quarter which reduced the weapons in the run game. Brett Smith took several big hits during the game and the final one in the fourth quarter from Tank Carder forced him to leave the game. After that the wind and snow arrived and Wyoming (5-3,2-1) could hardly move the ball under backup Colby Kirkegaard who was forced to throw into a strong head wind.
"A lot of people said that changed the momentum of the game," Carder said. "It’s awesome that I was a part of that and able to do that for us so that we can get a win and come out here and go into Boise undefeated in conference."
Not really happy that Tank Card describes a moment where he takes a hard hit on a player and knocks him out of a game as "awesome" and so happy he "able to do that for us". It shouldn't be necessary to injure a player in order to change the momentum of game. Gary Patterson needs to do a better job of keeping his players from saying stupid things and making illegal hits on players.
Smith wanted to come back into the game but Christensen decided against it. I think it was the smart move for several reasons. The offense already struggled all third quarter and faced a tough task of trying to move the ball in to a strong icy windy. The chance of a even more serious injury greatly increases if Smith is put back int the game and isn't fully there. I'd rather have him at full strength for the final four games instead of losing him due to another cheap shot by Carder.
While it was a loss there are certainly big signs of improvement for Wyoming. The last three times these teams met the Cowboys lost a combined 144-17. The Pokes scored that same amount of points in the first half that it took them to score in the previous 12 quarters against TCU.
Wyoming did a great job of being disciplined the entire game. Only one penalty was called against the Pokes for a phantom helmet to helmet hit by Blair Burns. Daniel Sullivan was also perfect on his extra points and hit both field goals including a career long from 48. Air Force looked fairly awful in their win against Army last week. The Pokes just need to regroup and focus on earning that next win.