November 10, 2012
Wyoming Wins at New Mexico 28-23
Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith>/b> threw for 374 yards and four scores as the University of Wyoming football won its second-straight game Saturday, overcoming New Mexico 28-23.
UW (3-7, 2-4 Mountain West) scored 21 second-quarter points to take an early lead, but New Mexico (4-7) fought back with 16 second-half points to make it a close contest with just minutes remaining.
New Mexico tried some trickery on its first possession, driving down to the Wyoming 24 and attempting a fake field goal. But freshman linebacker Siaosi Hala`api`api sniffed it out, and stopped the attempt to give Wyoming the ball back with 7:50 to go in the first quarter. The Wyoming offense, however, stalled out and was forced to punt.
New Mexico got on the scoreboard first on a 7-yard TD pass to go up 7-0. But one play from scrimmage later, UW sophomore quarterback Brett Smith hit junior wideout Robert Herron for an 81-yard catch-and-run TD to tie things up at 7-all in the second quarter.
After a Lobo punt, Wyoming went on a two-play, 91-yard TD drive as Smith hit sophomore Dominic Rufran on a 64-yard bomb for the score. UW went up 14-7 with 9:01 to go in the half.
Smith tacked another scoring pass on after he found sophomore wide receiver Jalen Claiborne in the endzone from 33 yards out to push Wyoming's lead to 21-7 with 5:17 to go in the second quarter. That proved to be the margin as the teams headed to halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, the Lobos drove to the Wyoming 12, but Hala`api`api recovered his first fumble of the season to stifle the threat.
But again the UW offense went three-and-out, and the Lobos tossed a 52-yard TD pass to draw closer at 21-14 with 9:51 to go in the third quarter. New Mexico added a field goal to make it 21-17 with 39 seconds to go in the third quarter.
But Smith and the UW offense found a rhythm as he tossed his fourth TD of the day to Claiborne, a 19-yarder, with 13:23 to go in the ballgame to increase the lead to 28-17 Pokes.
The pesky Lobos would draw closer with 8:59 to go on a 1-yard TD plunge, but senior linebacker Ghaali Muhammad stopped the New Mexico two-point conversion to keep the score 28-23.
New Mexico got the ball with 1:40 to go and drove the ball to their 45, but UW held on fourth down to take over possession. Two kneel-downs by Smith ended the game.
Up next, the Cowboys will take on UNLV on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT in Las Vegas.
Game Notes In Wyoming Win
Wyoming and New Mexico played for the 65th time in the two schools' histories Saturday. It is the fourth oldest rivalry for the Cowboys behind only Colorado State (104 meetings), Utah (83) and BYU (77).
The Cowboys earned their first road win over the Lobos since capturing a 14-10 victory in Albuquerque on Oct. 7, 2006.
UW had back-to-back wins for the first time this season, having defeated Colorado State last week in Laramie, 45-31.
UW QB Brett Smith tossed four touchdowns Saturday, his fifth career game with three or more TD passes.
Smith accumulated 396 yards of offense to move into the No. 7 spot in Wyoming's career offense list. He now has 5,724 yards in just 21 career games.
Junior wide receiver Robert Herron scored on an 81-yard catch-and-run Saturday, his second catch of the season that went for 80-plus yards.
Herron had an 82-yard TD catch versus Texas to open the season. It was Smith's third pass of the season that went for 80 or more yards.
Herron and sophomore receiver Dominic Rufran caught TD passes for the second-straight week.
Rufran finished with a career-high 116 yards receiving.
Freshman linebacker Siaosi Hala`api`api recovered his first career fumble Saturday.
Four Cowboys finished with double-figure tackles Saturday - Ghaali Muhammad, Chad Reese, Eddie Yarbrough and Mike Purcell.
Reese's 11 tackles were a career high, surpassing the sophomore's previous high of nine.
Yarbrough, a redshirt freshman, had 11 stops for a career high. His previous high was six.
Freshman punter Tim Gleeson averaged 44.3 yards per boot, nearly two yards better than his season average.
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