Cowboys explode in the second half for a 52-38 Potato Bowl win

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Wyoming quarterback Levi Williams versus Kent State in the 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. (University of Wyoming photo)

December 22, 2021 — The Wyoming Cowboys concluded their 2021 season with their biggest offensive performance of the season, scoring 52 points in a 52-38 win over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday in Boise, Idaho. The 52 points were the most Wyoming had ever scored in a bowl game and were the most UW had scored this season. 

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The Cowboy trails 24-21 at the end of the first half but would score 21 straight points in the third and early in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

For the game, Wyoming would rush for 404 yards on 53 carries and pass for another 127 yards. Kent State’s offense was also top-notch, totaling 319 yards rushing with another 337 passing yards.

Wyoming’s offensive attack was led by quarterback Levi Williams, who scored four rushing touchdowns and threw for a fifth TD while rushing for 200 yards. Williams became the first quarterback in college bowl history to rush for 200 yards, score four rushing touchdowns, and pass for one TD in a bowl game. He also tied the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl record of four rushing TDs and set a Potato Bowl record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. For his efforts, Williams was named the MVP of the game. 
 
The win marked Wyoming’s third consecutive bowl victory and second Potato Bowl Championship, having also won the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl and the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Head coach Craig Bohl has now won three bowl games in his years at Wyoming, the most by any coach in the school’s history.
 
“First of all, what a great experience for our players,” said Bohl. The City of Boise and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl do such a great job. Our players have really enjoyed it, and we were excited with the invitation. We are really pleased with the win. Kent State is a great offense. It was important for us to make big plays, and this group did that. We played well and accepted the challenge.” 
 
Other game highlights

In addition to William’s record-setting day, Cowboy running back Xazavaian Valladay became only the fourth Wyoming Cowboy to record two 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His 87 rushing yards against Kent State gave him 1,071 rushing yards this season. He rushed for 1,265 yards in the 2019 season. 

The Pokes’ other two touchdowns were scored by wide receiver Isaiah Neyor, who caught a 42-yard  TD pass from Williams, and by senior running back Trey Smith on a 49-yard touchdown run, his first of the 2021 season.

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Wyoming’s remaining points were scored by place-kicker John Hoyland, who kicked a career-long field goal of 44 yards.
 
Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma recorded his 11th double-figure tackle game of the 2021 season, with 13 against the Golden Flashes, including a half-sack.  That improved his season total to 142 tackles, which ranks as the fourth-best single-season total in Wyoming school history.