WYOMING FOOTBALL: A Jaw-Dropping Finish Leaves the Wyoming Cowboys Stunned in Loss to Boise State

Clemons first start of his career ends with a questionable play call, 20-17 loss prevents UW from advancing to the MWC championship game

Wyoming running back Titus Swen ran for an 83-yard touchdown after breaking a tackle. He totaled 212 yards on the ground and 17 yards through the air, 74% of Wyoming’s total yards. (Courtesy photo by University of Wyoming Athletics)

By Kaycee Clark-Mellott

Special to the Wyoming Truth

LARAMIE, Wyo.—With Boise State leading University of Wyoming 20-17 and only 1:48 left in regulation, the game looked to be over Saturday following a UW interception. However, while trying to run out the clock, Boise running back George Holani had the ball stripped and picked up by Wyoming defensive lineman DeVonne Harris who returned the fumble to Boise’s 21-yard line. Now in field goal range, and with 45 seconds remaining and a timeout, the game appeared to be headed to overtime.

On Wyoming’s first play, backup quarterback Jayden Clemons, making his first career start, dropped back to pass. Clemons was 3-for-15 on the day, with two interceptions already. The young quarterback dropped back and fired for the endzone, where Boise’s J.L. Skinner recorded his second interception, ending the game. 

Nov 18, 2022; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys wide receiver Wyatt Wieland (11) scores a touchdown against the Boise State Broncos during the first quarter at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

A shocked and stunned crowd, who had already headed for their cars once before returning after the fumble, yelled and screamed at the Wyoming coaching staff.

“I want to be clear on this, I gave the green light on that play,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said after the game. “Did it come out and [get] executed the way we thought it would be? No, obviously not.”

Wyoming started the game strong, forcing a fumble early in the first quarter which led Wyatt Wieland to score a two-yard rushing touchdown giving the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, kicker John Hoyland extended Wyoming’s lead to 10-0. The Pokes’ defense held the Broncos on a fourth down at the Wyoming 41-yard line. Later in the quarter, Boise drove down to Wyoming’s one-yard line, but were driven back by penalties and the Pokes’ defense. Boise kicked a field goal, making it 10-3.

As time expired for halftime, Boise added another field goal and ended the half trailing by four, 10-6.

After halftime, Wyoming’s Clemons threw his first interception in the endzone. Boise capitalized on the turnover, taking the lead on its first drive of the half with a five-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Taylen Green. The Broncos now led 13-10.

Wyoming responded with an 83-yard touchdown from running back Titus Swen at the end of the third quarter putting the Cowboys back on top, 17-13.

In the fourth quarter, Wyoming had multiple opportunities to extend its lead. Early in the quarter, a deep pass to tight end Treyton Welch was called incomplete, but after being played on the video board, many fans thought it could have been called differently. No challenge or review came from the officials.

Boise followed up with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Billy Bowens, retaking the lead 20-17.

The final plays of the game will now live in infamy for many Wyoming fans; it was a game that looked to be a classic and would have been only the second time for Wyoming to beat Boise State. Instead, the loss takes the Cowboys out of contention for the Mountain West Championship game.

Wyoming’s only offense came from the rushing game, with 278 yards on the ground, while the Pokes could manage only had 30 passing yards. Swen had a great game rushing for 212 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Wyoming’s Wyett Ekeler totaled 12 tackles and Easton Gibbs, 11. Both Ekeler and Gavin Meyer forced a fumble. Wyoming had nine quarterback hurries but did not get a sack.  

Now 7-4 on the season, Wyoming will travel to Fresno State on Nov. 25 to face the Bulldogs at 8 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and the Cowboys Sports Network.

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