LARAMIE, WYOMING (October 16, 2020) — A season-best 524 yards of total offense by the Wyoming Cowboys combined with a stifling Poke defense that gave up only 17 points to Georgia State helped Wyoming record a 38-17 win in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl to finish the 2019 season on a high note.
Wyoming’s 38 points were the most the Cowboys had ever scored in a bowl game.
Cowboy football fans can re-live the 2019 win in the Arizona Bowl this Saturday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m., M.T. when the radio call of the game will be re-broadcast 1360 KRKK and streamed at 1360KRKK.com.
The Arizona Bowl began with Georgia State scoring first, driving 75 yards in six plays on its first possession and scoring on a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dan Ellington.
Wyoming responded with a score of its own on the Cowboys’ first possession. The Pokes capped off an 11-play, 39-yard drive with a career long 53-yard field goal from senior place-kicker Cooper Rothe to make the score 7-3. The Wyoming defense would not allow the Panthers another score in the first quarter, while the UW offense would score two touchdowns on an 18-yard pass from true freshman quarterback Levi Williams to senior wide receiver Austin Conway and an eight-yard TD pass from Williams to sophomore running back Xazavian Valladay. The score at the end of the first quarter was 17-7 in favor of the Pokes.
In the second quarter, Georgia State would once again score on its first possession of the period, concluding a 13-play, 57-yard drive with a 25-yard field goal by place-kicker Brandon Wright. Late in the second quarter, Williams would throw his third TD pass of the game — this one a 51-yarder to junior wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt, who made a spectacular run after the catch. The first half would end with UW leading 24-10.
The third quarter saw Wyoming extend its lead on a five-play possession covering 86 yards. The big play of the drive was a 63-yard pass play from Williams to Valladay down to the Georgia State one-yard line. Valladay would carry the ball into the end zone on the next play to build a 31-10 lead for the Cowboys. But that 21-point lead would only last for 35 seconds. The Panthers’ Ellington would complete a pass of 31 yards on first down followed by a completion of 44 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the drive to cut the Wyoming lead to 31-17. That would be the final score of the game for Georgia State. Wyoming would add one more third quarter touchdown on a four-play, 74-yard drive that featured a 62-yard run by Valladay and a six-yard TD run by Williams to give the Cowboys 38 points — the most it had ever scored in a bowl game. Neither team could find the end zone in the fourth quarter and Wyoming had captured its second consecutive bowl victory, this one by a final score of 38-17.
The offensive attack for the Cowboys featured a balance of rushing and passing. Wyoming ran for 290 yards and threw for 234. UW’s defense in addition to holding Georgia State to only 17 points saw First Team All-Conference seniors Alijah Halliburton and Logan Wilson record 11 and seven tackles, respectively, to lead the Pokes. Halliburton also intercepted a pass in the first quarter that would later lead to a Wyoming touchdown.
The Cowboy rushing attack was led by another MW First Team All-Conference player in Valladay, who ran for 204 yards and one touchdown. Valladay also led all Cowboy receivers with three receptions for 91 yards, including a long reception of 63 yards that set up his rushing TD. The sophomore would add an eight-yard touchdown reception in the game. He would end the day with 295 all-purpose yards.
Halliburton was named the NOVA Home Loans Defensive Player of the Game, and Valladay was named the Offensive Player of the Game. At the conclusion of the college bowl season, Valladay’s performance also earned him a spot on the Associated Press All-Bowl Team. He was one of only three running backs named to the team, joining Penn State’s Journey Brown and Florida’s Lamical Perine.
True freshman quarterback Williams made his first career start in the game. He completed 11 of 26 passes on the day for 234 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 53 yards and another score and accounted for 287 yards of total offense.
Saturday’s re-broadcast will feature a pre-game segment with the Cowboy Sports Network’s radio broadcast team of Dave Walsh and Kevin McKinney reminiscing about the game followed by the original broadcast of the game and the original postgame interviews conducted the day of the game. Walsh and McKinney will also have some closing comments at the end of each broadcast.
This Saturday’s re-broadcast will be the final Cowboy Classic of the fall as the Wyoming Cowboys’ will kick off the 2020 college football season on Saturday, Oct. 24 live from Reno, Nev.
The Cowboy Sports Network will be broadcasting the 2020 season opener versus the Nevada Wolf Pack over the CSN affiliate stations beginning one and a half hours before kickoff.
Next Saturday’s kickoff from Reno will be at 5 p.m., Mountain Time and the pregame show will begin at 3:30 p.m., M.T.