The Wyoming Cowboys (6-4 overall, 3-3 MW) mounted a late rally, but fell just short in a 26-21 loss to Utah State (6-4 overall, 5-1 MW) in Maverik Stadium in Logan, Utah on Saturday afternoon.
The Pokes defense forced a three and out by the Aggies thanks to Redshirt freshman safety Rome Weber’s first career sack giving the Pokes the opportunity to take the lead with two minutes remaining. The Cowboys drove into Aggie territory, but sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal was picked off and the Aggies took the Battle for Bridger’s Rifle.
“We made too many mistakes today,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. “Our players played very hard tonight and we can play a lot smarter. “We were very uncharacteristic with our turnovers today and we normally take care of the football very well.”
Senior linebacker Logan Wilson finished the contest with eight tackles for Wyoming, as he surpassed Kirk Morrison of SDSU for fifth all-time in MW history with 395. He also added an interception in the contest for the ninth of his career. He returned it for a score tying for the NCAA’s active lead in defensive touchdowns with four.
Sophomore nickel linebacker Keyon Blankenbaker tied a career-high with nine stops. Weber added a career-high eight tackles for the Brown and Gold, as he also added two tackles for loss.
Sophomore running back Xazavian Valladay rushed for 114 yards on the afternoon to lead the Pokes. It was his fourth-straight 100 yard rushing performance and the fifth of the season. Senior tight end Josh Harshman tied a career best with six catches for 76 yards. Senior wide receiver Austin Conway added five catches for 64 yards. Vander Waal threw for 185 yards and rushed for two scores.
Jordan Love led the Aggies going 18-of-29 passing for 282 yards. He also rushed for 33 yards. Marniner grabbed four catches for 123 yards and Gerold Bright led Utah State in rushing with 56 yards. Linebacker Eric Munoz recorded 13 tackles and two interceptions.
Wyoming returns home for action next Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Colorado State in the 111th edition of the Border War. The contest will be televised on ESPN2.