The Wyoming Cowboy football team is finding ways to win. After falling behind 10-0 in the first half to Air Force, it looked as if the Falcons would win for a fifth straight time in Laramie. But don’t tell these Cowboy football players the odds, as the Pokes rallied for a big 17-13 win over Air Force, beating the Falcons for the first time since 2004, at War Memorial Stadium.
It looked bad early for Wyoming, as Air Force went up and down the field on the Pokes, but Wyoming’s bend-but-don’t break defense wouldn’t allow the Falcons to pull away. Trailing just 10-0 in the second quarter, the Pokes put together their best driver of the first half, as Colby Kirkegaard hit Jalen Claiborne in the back corner of the endzone, for an 11-yard score, cutting the Falcons lead to just 10-7 at the half.
A scoreless third quarter led to an exciting final 15 minutes. The Cowboys forced their first turnover of the year, as linebacker Jordan Stanton forced an Air Force fumble on a fourth down play.
Wyoming would turn that into a field goal, tying the game up at ten. The Falcons would come right back and put three more on the board late, to lead 13-10, but the Pokes had one more drive in them.
With three minutes to play, Kirkegaard would lead Wyoming on a drive for the ages, in the rivalry with Air Force, and with 58 seconds left, Kirkegaard would find J.D Krill in the endzone, to give the Pokes the lead and eventually the win.
The Cowboys still had to survive the final minute, as Air Force drove the ball down the field, needing a touchdown to win. But Wyoming would force a fumble as time ran out, and pick up their second win of the season, in a smany games, to start the Craig Bohl era. Krill, who caught the game-winner, says that they were taught to finish, in every aspect of the game.
The Wyoming defense held the Air Force offense in check on the scoreboard, and on the ground. The Falcons usually gouge opponents with their option attack, but Wyoming held them to just 151 yards rushing. It was the Air Force passing attack that gave Wyoming problems, with 226 yards through the air. Head coach Craig Bohl said they bent, but didn’t break.
Kirkegaard finished 23-37 for 282 yards and two scores, and wasn’t sacked once. He had to be that good, because the Wyoming running game was stymied by the Air Force defense.
UW (2-0, 1-0) will travel to Oregon for their next game on Saturday, Sept. 13 at noon (MT).
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