The University of Wyoming Cowboys (7-3) took on the Fresno State Bulldogs (7-3), Saturday, Nov. 18, at War Memorial Stadium. Gametime was 12 p.m. and while it was a brisk 30 degrees throughout most of the game the skies were clear.
The game served special significance as it was the last home game of the 2017 season, and as such was the senior game for all Wyoming seniors. After winning the toss and electing to defer, the Cowboys were able to start out hot and force the Bulldogs to a three and out on their first drive.
After a 54 yard punt from Fresno State punter Blake Cusic the Cowboys started on their 21. The Cowboys started number 15 Nick Smith at Quarterback this week, and on his first play, he was sacked for a loss of 6. The Cowboy drive also ended as a three and out.
Fresno State was able to put a drive together the next time they got the ball, A 32-yard pass from Fresno Quarterback Marcus McMaryion to receiver Jared Rice brought the Bulldogs to the Poke 10-yard line. Fresno Kicker Jimmy Camacho made a 27-yard field goal to put them ahead 3-0 with just over 8 minutes left in the first quarter.
An incomplete pass to number 13 John Okwoli, lead Wyoming to their second three and out of the game. A Fresno holding penalty on the punt would bring them back to their own 12-yard line to start their drive. After a couple of Bulldog first downs, the Cowboys were able to force a punt.
The Pokes would start their third drive on their own 20 after a touchback. And a 13-yard pass complete Austin Conway would give Wyoming their first first down of the game. The Pokes would drive to the Bulldog 37 before being stopped for a fourth and one, the Cowboys would decide to go for it but would not make it and turn the ball over on downs.
On the first play of the Fresno drive, safety for the Cowboys Andrew Wingard would force a fumble but it was fumbled out of bounce so Fresno would keep possession. Wingard would also move from 9th to 6th on the University of Wyoming all-time tackling list in this game.
The Cowboys would force a three and out. But Conway would fumble the punt and Fresno would recover and continue the drive on the Wyoming 21 yard line. The very next play the Bulldogs would score on a 21-yard pass to receiver Ronnie Rivers, and after Camacho made the PAT the score would be 10-0 Fresno State ahead.
The Cowboys and Bulldogs would trade two three and outs a piece. The Cowboys would eventually break the streak with nick Smith rushing for three yards and a first down. The next play Smith would complete a 25-yard pass to Austin Fort that would bring the Pokes to the Fresno State 42. Smith Would complete a pass the fullback Drew Van Maanen who would fumble and give the Bulldogs possession on their 17-yard line. The half would end shortly after.
The score remained 10-0 in favor of Fresno. Fresno had 146 total yards at the half with Wyoming only having 126. The Cowboys would receive the ball on their 25 to start the half after a touchback but would be stopped for a three and out. The following Fresno drive would end in the same fashion.
The next time Fresno would get the ball they would make a solid drive which included a 30-yard pass complete to Da’Mari Scott to bring them to the Wyoming 5 yard line. The Bulldogs would cap this drive off with a 29-yard field goal from Camacho, bringing the score to 13-0 Fresno State ahead.
Tyler Hall would return the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to the Wyoming 39 yard line. The Cowboys would be stopped and forced to punt. Fresno would start their drive on their 15-yard line, but a 44-yard pass to Jamire Jordan would move them into Poke territory. But a forced fumble from Hall that was recovered by Cassh Maluia would give Wyoming possession. But be forced to punt after only gaining one first down.
The following Fresno State drive would end with them having to punt it away, and Wyoming would gain possession on their 26-yard line, but wouldn’t be able to capitalize and go three and out. Fresno State would start their next drive on their 41 after a Wyoming penalty.
Wyoming was able to score a touchdown with 2:25 left in the game, off a 6-yard pass to Nico Evans bringing the score to 13-7, it would remain this way until the end of the game giving the Bulldogs the victory. Both teams ended the game with over 300 yards of total offense, Wyoming had 303 yards and Fresno had 333.