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Defense Leads Wyoming to 35-7 Victory Over Northern Colorado

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No FCS upset this year in Laramie.

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that could have been a disaster the Cowboys (2-1) were able to focus and cruise to a 35-7 win.  It could have played out differently and been a much tighter game.  On the first drive of the game Brett Smith slid and fumbled the ball, Northern Colorado recovered and returned it for a touchdown.  Luckily Smith was ruled down by contact and there was no turnover.  The downside is that Smith injured his ankle on the play and it hindered him the rest of the game.

Despite the pain from his injury Smith was able to play the entire rest of the game and still help the offense put up some points.  It would have been disastrous if Smith would have been severely injured.  Flashes of the Pokes loss to Cal Poly last year flashed into the memories of fans.  Even though Smith was limited he still put solid numbers: 30-47 for 264 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The real difference maker was the defense with not just one but two interception returns for touchdowns.  Jordan Stanton picked off a ball that was deflected by Tim Hayes in the second quarter.  Stanton returned the ball 39 yards and helped give the Pokes a 14-0 lead.  For the second straight game the defense held their opponent scoreless for the first three quarters.  After Northern Colorado scored early in the fourth Wyoming answered with a 20 yard touchdown run by Shaun Wick.  The score was then 28-7 and to put a little icing on the cake redshirt freshmen Cortland Fort later had an interception that he returned 50 yards for a score.

The defense has been vastly improved this year and really been a difference maker in these last two victories.  They held the Bears to 364 yards of offense and allowed just 5 of 18 conversions.

Wick scored two rushing touchdowns and ran for 87 yards.  Unfortunately he felt short of the century mark and had his streak of consecutive 100 yard games broken.  Dominic Rufran had nine catches for 87 yards and a touchdown all in the first half.


Cowboy Joe: Jordan Stanton was a stud in just his second career start.  He finished with 12 tackles, one sack and of course his pick six.  He is helping to prove that the gamble of junior college recruits is paying off.

Cowboy Low: Lucas Wacha left the game in the second half after a hard collision on a tackle.  He was woozy afterwards and trainers took him off the field.   Not sure of his status for next week.  The redshirt freshmen has been impressive this year and it would be a big loss if he missed the Air Force game.

Cowboy Foe: Clarence Bumpas was a solid defender for the Bears. He seemed to be involved in some many plays.  That makes since as he finished with a team high 11 tackles while adding one sack and one pass break up.