Turnovers and sacks doom Cowboys
SAN DIEGO ST. 27, WYOMING 24
laramie» Two weeks ago, the University of Wyoming used a balanced, time-consuming offense — along with some big plays — and timely defensive stops to defeat San Diego State.
The rematch in the Mountain West championship game had a different result.
Wyoming had few answers for San Diego State’s defense, at least not until it was too late, in a 27-24 loss in front of 24,001 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Saturday night.
The Cowboys (8-5) lost in their first-ever appearance in the game. It was their first conference championship game since 1996 and their first December home football game since 1902.
Wyoming is expected to accept an invitation to play in the Poinsettia Bowl on Sunday, where it will face former Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference rival Brigham Young on Dec. 21 in San Diego.
San Diego State (10-3) won its second consecutive MW title and is expected to accept a bid to the Las Vegas Bowl.
Wyoming scored 34 points, gained 487 yards (205 rushing, 282 passing) and possessed the ball for nearly 37 minutes in a 34-33 win over San Diego State on Nov. 19. In Saturday’s rematch, San Diego State forced three Wyoming turnovers, all of which were by Wyoming redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen with two interceptions and one fumble. The interceptions were by San Diego State senior cornerback Damontae Kazee — the game’s defensive most valuable player.
Wyoming also ran for just 95 yards, its second-lowest output this season. It also was 2-of-14 on third down and 0-of-3 on fourth down, compared with 9-of-17 and 2of-2, respectively two weeks ago.
Allen and the Cowboys have had a knack of making big plays late in games to secure victories. After San Diego State scored 24 straight points to lead 24-10 after three quarters, Allen made a couple with a 33yard touchdown pass to Tanner Gentry and a 43-yarder to C.J. Johnson.
Wyoming had the ball twice deep in its own territory down 27-24, but gave the ball back on downs both times due to quarterback sacks. San Diego State sacked Allen four times and hit him numerous others. Allen was sacked only twice two weeks ago.
SDSU’s Rashaad Penny and Donnel Pumphrey both ran for more than 100 yards.
Before the game, the school announced that coach Craig Bohl had signed a contract extension. His contract now will run through the end of the 2023 season. His original contract had two years left on it.
Under the new contract, Bohl will have a base salary for the first year of $1.4 million with annual increases and incentives.
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen kneels in pain after being hit by the San Diego State defense in the Mountain West championship game. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post