LARAMIE, WYOMING (Nov. 23, 2019) – On a cold, frosty night in Laramie, the Wyoming Cowboys, and their fans, enjoyed the warmth of another “Border War” victory. Friday night’s 17-7 home win over rival Colorado State made it four in-a-row for the Pokes over the Rams. The win also completed an undefeated home season for the Cowboys and improved the season record to 7-4 (4-3 in the Mountain West).
The Cowboy defense. which entered the game ranked number 15 in the nation in scoring defense, held CSU (4-7 overall, 3-4 MW) to a season low seven points. After seven conference games, Wyoming’s defense is now giving up just 15.57 points per game in MW play (17.64 on the overall season).
“It was a very emotional win,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl. “I couldn’t be happier for our seniors to go out with another win. A lot of emotion in this game, a lot of big plays on both sides. It was back and forth, but our guys made plays when they had to.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Wyoming would put the first points on the scoreboard with an 11-play, 93-yard drive. Quarterback Tyler Vander Waal would complete the drive with a one-yard touchdown rush. The 93-yard drive was the longest scoring drive of the season for the Cowboys.
Colorado State came right back with their own 13-play, 75-yard drive. The final play of the drive was a Patrick O’Brien to Warren Jackson four-yard touchdown pass.
The half would end with the score tied at 7-7
In the third quarter, the Pokes would take the lead on a 10-play, 44-yard scoring drive. Wyoming gained all 44 yards of the drive on the ground with running back Xazavian Valladay, quarterback Levi Williams and running back Brett Brenton all sharing running duties. Williams was the Cowboy quarterback on the drive due to an injury to starting quarterback Vander Waal. The drive ended with Williams scoring his first career touchdown on a one-yard. The Cowboys now led 14-7, which would stand through the end of the third quarter.
Colorado State’s lone scoring threat of the fourth quarter came on its first possession as the Rams drove down to the Wyoming 31-yard line. On a fourth and two from the 31, CSU attempted a 50-yard field goal, but place-kicker Braxton Davis would miss the kick wide left.
With 9:17 remaining in the game, Wyoming took over on its own 40-yard line. The Pokes would proceed to drive 28 yards in 11 plays and put Cooper Rothe in position for a 48-yard field goal attempt. The senior’s attempt was good to close out the scoring with Wyoming leading 17-7 with 3:33 to play.
CSU’s final possession would end with a Logan Wilson interception of an O’Brien pass with 3:10 left on the clock. The Cowboy offense would run out the clock for the win.
Many Cowboy Stars
Senior place-kicker Cooper Rothe became Wyoming’s all-time scoring leader with 328 points, including a critical 48-yard field goal to give UW a 17-7 lead with 3:33 remaining in the game.
Sophomore running back Xazavian Valladay recorded his first 1,000-yard rushing season, running for 154 yards on the night. He has now rushed for 1,023 for the season.
Senior strong safety Alijah Halliburton, who has led Wyoming in tackles all season, had a game-high 13 tackles to record a 100-tackle season for the first time in his career (106 total tackles). Senior Logan Wilson added eight tackles to his career total giving him 404 in four seasons. He becomes only the fourth Cowboy in school history to record 400 tackles in a career. Wilson’s fourth quarter interception gives him 10 career interceptions which ties him for third place in Wyoming history.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal and freshman quarterback Levi Williams ran an offense that did not commit a single turnover. For Williams, it was his first game action of the season.
Bronze Boot/Border War Series
With Friday night’s win, Wyoming still trails in the overall “Border War” series 48 wins to CSU’s 58 wins (there have been five ties). In the Bronze Boot portion of the series, Wyoming now leads 28-24.
“I want to say thanks to all the fans and students who showed up,” commented Bohl. “With that type of weather, they brought a lot of energy and our players certainly fed off of that.”
Attendance for the 111th edition of the Border War was 21,152, improving Wyoming’s total attendance for the season to 138,042. That number, and the season average of 23,007 per game, rank as the second highest attendance figures in school history for a six-game home schedule.
Wyoming will wrap up the regular season next Saturday, Nov. 30, when the Cowboys travel to Air Force. Kickoff is scheduled for noon in Colorado Springs, Colorado.