Cowboys unable to pluck the Ducks

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Joel Moline
jmoline3@uwyo.edu

Wyoming Cowboys lost to the Oregon Ducks by a score of 13 to 49 on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at War Memorial Stadium.

Wyoming received the ball to start the game. Tyler hall returned the ball 19 yards to the 23-yard line.

Milo Hall’s 2-yard rush was followed up by a 5-yard reception by Austin Conway. Quarterback Josh Allen was sacked on third down leading to a Wyoming punt.

Oregon opened up their drive on its own 45-yard line. Twelve plays and almost four minutes later Oregon scored its first touchdown on a 1-yard rush by running back, Royce Freeman.

During the drive, Wyoming had the Ducks in third and about ten two different times but was unable to force fourth down.

Following three incomplete passes in a row and punt by Wyoming, Oregon got the ball back on their own 49-yard line.

Oregon took the ball 51 yards in just under two minutes for another rushing touchdown by Freeman, this one from three yards out.

This put Oregon up 14 to nothing with 6:41 remaining in the first quarter.

Wyoming once again went three and out on the following drive.

On the punt, Oregon receiver Charles Nelson mishandled the punt leading to the ball being recovered by team captain, fullback and replacement long snapper, Drew Van Maanen.

This allowed the Cowboys to start a new drive on the Oregon 25-yard line.

Five plays later Allen steps up the pocket then runs for a 10-yard touchdown making it a one-possession game.

The Wyoming defense stepped up again on the following drive. On third and eight Wyoming defensive end, Carl Granderson was able to sack and strip the ball from Oregon quarterback, Justin Herbert. Defensive end Kevin Prosser recovered the ball on the Oregon 21-yard line.

Wyoming was unable to get a first down, leading to a Cooper Rothe field goal that was good from 30 yards out. This brought the score to Wyoming 10 and Oregon 14. The score would remain the same the rest of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Oregon offense would explode for 28 unanswered points.

Oregon’s first scoring drive was 75 yards in 14 plays. It was capped off by a nine-yard rush by Herbert.

Wyoming got its first down but was unable to move the ball any farther and was forced to punt the ball away.

The Wyoming defense forced the Oregon offense into three and out, which led to a punt.

Once again the Wyoming offense would go three and out, giving the ball back to Oregon.

This drive resulted in a touchdown for Oregon. It was a 7 play, 82-yard drive finished off by a 20-yard pass being thrown by Herbert to Taj Griffin.

After another three and out, Oregon would take 11 plays to go 70 yards. Freeman ran in for the score from one yard out.

On the following drive, Josh Allen fumbled the ball after a yard gain. The ball was recovered by Oregon safety, Tyree Robinson. Robinson then returned the ball 30 yards to the Wyoming 4-yard line.

Following a penalty by Wyoming, Oregon punched the ball in from the 2-yard line. This time it was Kani Benoit with the score. This brought the score to Wyoming 10, Oregon 42.

The score remained the same at half time.

At half time, the Cowboys were able to gain 81 rushing yards but threw for only 15 yards. Oregon had a productive first half with 149 rushing yards and 195 passing yards.

Oregon had two turnovers, both fumbles, and Wyoming had one lost fumble.

The Wyoming defense started out strong during the third quarter. On Oregon’s opening possession, Wyoming held the Ducks on fourth down causing a turnover on downs.

Wyoming was unable to move the ball on this drive leading to another punt.

On the following drive, Oregon drove the ball down to the Wyoming 26-yard line. Oregon quarterback, Justin Herebert, was intercepted by Rico Gafford who returned the ball eight yards to the Wyoming 28-yard line.

Eleven plays and 47 yards later, Cooper Rothe would make a 42-yard field goal, providing the only points in the quarter.

At the end of the third quarter, Oregon was leading Wyoming 42-13.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Josh Allen scrambled for more time but had his pass tipped from behind, leading to an interception by Oregon linebacker, A.J. Hotchkins. Hotchkins then returned the ball three yards.

Following a 15-yard penalty, Oregon started the drive on their own 45-yard line. This is where the final scoring drive started. Oregon took the ball 70 yards in 9 plays ending with Benoit rushing for the score from four yards out.

Neither team was able to score the rest of the game leading to the final score of Oregon 49, Wyoming 13.

Oregon ended the game with 558 yards of total offense, 307 rushing and 251 passing, while Wyoming’s offense was only able to gain 117 yards on the ground and only 66 yards through the air giving Wyoming 183 yards of total offense.

Oregon was able to convert many first downs during the game. The Ducks converted 9 of their 17 third downs, six of nine in the first half, where the Cowboys were able to only convert four of their 15 first downs, one of eight in the first half.

Six of Wyoming’s drives ended in three and outs with another two drives ending in turnovers and one drive consisting of only three plays and a field goal. This meant that on nine of the Wyoming drives did not result in a first drive and only six drives had a first down, many ending quickly.

Defensively both teams ended with 2 sacks each. Oregon ended with three turnovers, one intercepted pass and two lost fumbles, while Wyoming ended with two turnovers, one interception and one lost fumble.

Following the game, both players and coaches expressed their displeasure with their lack of execution and look to bounce back next week when Hawaii comes to Laramie to open up conference play.

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