A disappointing end to 2022 serves as motivation for the returning Cowboys this year

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 12:04 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The 2022 season was somewhat of a roller coaster for the Wyoming football program. They lost their opener before rattling off three straight wins, followed that spurt with back to back losses, and then reinserted themselves into Mountain West title contention with four victories in a row.

Then came the Boise State game. In a sense it marked the beginning of the end; the players haven’t forgotten that feeling afterwards, and used it to push themselves in the offseason.

”Yeah we certainly have a chip on our shoulders. Boise was a tough one, and you know it is what it is. You know we’ve got to move on from it, but I think we collectively as a whole team have been able to do that. Throughout offseason training [we’ve] just been able to come together and know that this is a big year. We can’t necessarily get extremely emotional about it, but we just got to go one step forward every day and get two percent better as Coach Bohl mentions all the time,” graduate tight end Treyton Welch said.

“I don’t let stuff go easy. I kind of am a sore loser I guess, because I hate losing and I love winning. So just knowing that feeling of just losing kind of gives me motivation every day,” senior cornerback Jakorey Hawkins said.

The Pokes entered their game against the Broncos at 7-3; they had just one conference loss to their name, and a win would have put them in the driver’s seat for the Mountain Division.

Instead, they suffered heartbreak-- surrendering a fourth quarter lead and throwing an interception to seal it. That triggered a three game losing streak to end the season, including an overtime defeat to Ohio in the Arizona Bowl.

Wyoming is returning a considerable amount of talent and experience-- particularly defensively-- but they were picked to finish only sixth in the conference by the Mountain West media. Perhaps the press was wary of how things ended in 2022, but the players feel that in 2023 they will clean up the mistakes that came back to bite them last year.

”We definitely didn’t end the season how we wanted to. So you know going into this year we want to start hot. Just kind of get rolling and just kind of prove to ourselves what type of team we’re going to be this year,” junior linebacker Easton Gibbs said.

“[The end to last year] motivated us a lot in the fact that we’ve got to finish plays this year. You know, like we watched that last series-- not overtime-- but the last series [of the Ohio game] where they were driving down to kick the field goal. We’ve watched it so many times, and we had so many missed tackles in that that could’ve ended the game and missed sacks. So that’s like one of our biggest [emphases] is that we’ve got to tackle better and just finish plays,” junior defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole said.

The Cowboys have a chance to make a statement on Saturday against Texas Tech.