Cowboys put complete game together and roll to win on a snowy, cold afternoon in Laramie

(Laramie, Wyo.) –  The Wyoming defense shutout San Jose State in the first half and forced four three-and-outs in six first-half possessions by the Spartan offense, while the Cowboy offense scored 10 first-half points to take a 10-0 lead into halftime on way to a 24-9 home win.

      Wyoming’s offense generated a season high 475 yards of total offense, including 424 rushing yards and 51 passing.  It marked the second straight week that UW had over 400 yards of total offense.  The Cowboys had 407 yards a week ago at Colorado State.  The 424 rushing yards vs. SJSU were the most by the Cowboys since Sept. 12, 2015, when they ran for 430 yards against Eastern Michigan.

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      San Jose State came into the game averaging 332 yards of total offense per game, with 267 of those yards coming through the air.  Wyoming held the Spartans to 244 total yards, and only 173 passing yards.  The Pokes shutout of the Spartans in the first half, marked the second consecutive week UW shutout an opponent in the first half and the third time this season (vs. Colorado State on Oct. 26 and at New Mexico State on Aug. 25.)

      It was the Cowboys’ second consecutive win of the season and improved Wyoming’s record to 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the Mountain West Conference, with two games remaining in the regular season.  San Jose State fell to 1-8, 1-4 in the Mountain West.

      “It was a big win and certainly with the conditions, the wind and snow, it turned it into a game that we needed to leverage our running ability,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.  “It (running the ball) ate time off the clock, kept our defense fresh and had a big impact in the game.

      “On the flip side, I felt our defense did a phenomenal job certainly in the first half, had complete control, so between the three and outs and the offense staying on the field, it kept them (our defense) fresh.

      “When we needed some juice at the end of the game, the defense was up to the task.  The other factor was time of possession.  Looking at the stat sheet, we had the ball for 36 minutes.  When you do that and score points the odds of winning go up.

      “It was an exciting win for our football team.  Every win you get late in the year is important.  We will utilize our upcoming bye week well between practice and rest, plus some recruiting.  We will get ready for Air Force (in two weeks).  We are glad to be playing them at War Memorial Stadium.

      “I wanted to say a big thanks (to the fans who were here today).  I know that we have listeners from all over the state and sometimes the weather is not always great, but wanted to say thanks to the student body and the fans who came today.  They were Cowboy Tough and added an element to the game.”

      Wyoming senior running back Nico Evans became only the 10th Cowboy in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.  He ended the game with 1,166 rushing yards on the year.  He now ranks No. 6 on the UW single-season rushing list.  It was his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season, with 187 yards on the day.

      For the third consecutive game, Evans and true freshman quarterback Sean Chambers each rushed for 100 yards or more.  Chambers had a personal best 129 rushing yards against SJSU.  He has now rushed for 100 yards in each of Wyoming’s last three consecutive games, which is also every game of his Wyoming career.  Both Evans and Chambers had long touchdown runs in the game.  Evans broke a 58-yard TD run in the second quarter, while Chambers had a 64-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.

      Defensively, senior strong safety Andrew Wingard moved into second place on the Mountain West Conference career tackle list.  With five tackles against San Jose State, Wingard improved his career total to 436, passing former UNLV Rebel Adam Seward (433 career tackles from 2001-04) for second place.  He is within 18 tackles of MW record holder Carmen Messina of New Mexico, who had 454 career tackles from 2008-11.  Wingard is only four tackles away from tying former Wyoming great Jim Talich (440 tackles from 1994-97) for second place in Wyoming school history.

      Cowboy junior linebacker Logan Wilson recorded his third consecutive double-figure tackle game.  He led the Cowboys with 10 tackles versus the Spartans.  The previous two weeks, he had 12 tackles at Colorado State and 11 versus Utah State.  Wilson leads the Cowboys in tackles this season, with 89.

      Four Spartans recorded double-figure tackles for the game.  Linebackers Jamal Scott and Ethan Aguayo had 15 and 14 tackles, respectively, while free safety Jonathan Lenard Jr. was credited with 11, and strong safety Tre Webb had 10.

      Tight ends were featured by both teams offensive attacks.  SJSU’s Josh Oliver led all receivers with five receptions for 66 yards.  Wyoming senior tight end Austin Fort had two catches for 28 yards, including a 20-yard TD reception, with 1:09 remaining in the game to seal the win.   Fellow senior UW tight end Tyree Mayfield had one catch for 13 yards.

      The Cowboys have a bye next week.  Wyoming will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 17 when they will host the Air Force Falcons.  The game time for that contest should be released by ESPN Networks on Monday, Nov. 5.

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