Josh Allen, Wyoming shock Rams in comeback victory

Justin Michael

LARAMIE, Wyoming- Despite stifling an extremely electric Wyoming offense in War Memorial Stadium, Colorado State lost its second consecutive conference game, 16-13. 

“I’m disappointed for our football team. They played their guts out,” head coach Mike Bobo said. “The (Wyoming) quarterback (Josh Allen) was the difference – their quarterback run game, being able to get an extra hat in the box. And then offensively, for us, not being able to finish drives. We controlled the clock, the game was playing in our hands how we wanted and we just couldn’t finish on either side of the ball.”

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LARAMIE- Colorado State running back Izzy Matthews dives into the end zone in the second quarter of the 2017 Border War. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian

In a game that featured two of the best quarterbacks in the league in Wyoming’s Josh Allen and CSU’s Nick Stevens, the 107th installment of the Border War was highlighted by defense. Having to endure intense winds and wet snow, both offenses failed to get much momentum going Saturday night and the defensive units were able to capitalize.

While the game was primarily a struggle for the Rams’ offense, CSU did get the scoring started with a 41-yard field goal from Wyatt Bryan on the opening drive of the game. The Rams were only the third team this season to score on the Pokes in the first quarter, joining Oregon (Sept. 16) and Utah State (Oct. 14).

It was a struggle for the rest of the half though, as the Rams battled adverse weather conditions and a stout Wyoming defensive effort.

After taking a slim 10-6 lead into halftime, the Rams came out in the second half and looked to take the air out of the football.

Relying primarily on the ground attack, CSU was able to control the tempo and keep possession of the football. In total, the CSU offense held possession for over 20 minutes in the final two quarters alone and more than doubled the Cowboys’ time of possession. It would not be enough though, as a late rushing touchdown for the Cowboys secured the victory for Wyoming.

Senior running back Dalyn Dawkins led the way for CSU, finishing the evening with 29 carries for 154 yards. On the season, the Louisville, Ky. native has now rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his collegiate career. 

Colorado State Running Back Dalyn Dawkins moves the ball down the field during the snowy third quarter in Laramie, Wyoming on Nov. 4. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian)

Along with a strong performance from Dawkins, junior running back Izzy Matthews found the end zone for a 13th consecutive conference game. With 26 career rushing touchdowns, Matthews is now tied for fourth most in program history with Kevin McDougal and Bradlee Van Pelt. The California native now only trails Cecil Sapp (29), Kapri Bibbs (31) and Steve Bartalo (46).

For the Pokes, Allen finished 10-of-20 for 138 yards through the air. The senior quarterback also led Wyoming in rushing with 12 carries for 60 yards.

“We’ve lost two in a row to two of our rivals. It hurts,” Bobo said. “I like the fight of the team today. They played their tails off, we just didn’t make enough plays.”

Following the loss to the Cowboys, Colorado State will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 11 for an 8:30 p.m. kickoff against Boise State. The Rams will be wearing their new Colorado-themed alternate uniforms for a national TV audience on ESPN2.

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Collegian sports director Justin Michael can be reached by email at jmichael@collegian.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.