The story behind the numbers: Wyoming’s ‘lackadaisical’ defense

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 12:16 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Any other week a winning score of 31-17 would please most college football teams. But not this Saturday’s Wyoming Cowboys.

A team fresh off a nation stunning upset of Texas Tech and facing FCS opponent Portland State was primed for a blowout win. The offense, despite two turnovers, looked decent with some good chemistry building in the pass game.

More points admittedly could have been scored too, Andrew Peasley was pulled after the 3rd quarter. Craig Bohl then rushed the ball 15 straight times in the fourth as well.

One big number for the defense was 344 total yards given up. Craig Bohl did say that the Portland State offense was much better on tape than their 81-7 week one loss to Oregon would indicate. Wyoming’s defense felt that, especially after allowing the Vikings to convert on 11 of 20 third downs. The Cowboys held Texas Tech to 7-17.

“You know our opponent is never out of the fight, we’ve gotta just keep playing our best football until the clock runs out.” Defensive Lineman, Cole Godbout, said. “I think we got a little lackadaisical. They had a spark of life, luckily they’re not Texas so they couldn’t come back, we can’t do that against Texas.”

As many Wyoming fans know, the Cowboys have a habit of struggling against FCS opponents. Now, this game was not necessarily a “struggle” but as the Cowboys said in the post game presser, they played down to the level of their opponent. Portland State was always going to show up and play their hardest. Something FCS transfer, Ayir Asante, knows all to well after his two seasons at Holy Cross.

“Sometimes we would run into that FBS vs. FCS opponent type of thing where we were expecting things to just happen and expecting the other team to just lay down,” Asante said. “They are never going to do that, especially in a game like this. We let a couple of plays get away from us. I think the score didn’t really reflect how we wanted to dominate that game.”

A win is always positive, The Cowboys are 2-0. But, if they allow a 50%+ third down rate to now #4 ranked Texas they will be in for a long night. According to Craig Bohl, this was a valuable opportunity to teach his team some lessons. We will see how well those lessons were received on Saturday in Austin.