The Wyoming Cowboys never lost faith on Saturday against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Wyoming, No. 2 in this week’s Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings, fell behind 17-0 in its season opener and rallied to win, 35-33 in double overtime.
“That’s a Cowboy-tough win,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said.
Even the gritty Cowboys, though, didn’t look so tough after falling behind by 17 after one quarter.
“Every checkpoint I talked about in the pre-game meal about what we wanted to do, it then was 17-0 and I thought, ‘Did these guys even listen to that?’ Bohl said. “We were a one or two series away from having a real hard time and having to change our whole DNA.”
A true Cowboy, though, never changes his DNA.
“Andrew Peasley, he’s as tough as boot leather,” said Bohl of the Cowboys’ quarterback.
Peasley was 18-of-34 for 149 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 68 yards and another score to rally his teammates. Wyoming won the game on an 11-yard touchdown catch by John Michael Gyllenborg on a 4th-and-seven pass and the subsequent two-point conversion run by Sam Scott.
“It wasn’t just me,” Peasley said. “It was a lot of guys making plays.”
Peasley said the Cowboys were confident in overtime.
“It was just take them (Texas Tech) to the deep end of the pool and they were going to fold,” Peasley said. “That’s exactly what we did.”
Fresno State claimed the No. 1 spot in the rankings with a 39-35 victory at Purdue. New starting quarterback Mikey Keene was 31-of-44 for 366 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Erik Brooks caught nine passes for 170 yards and two scores.
“It started with the (offensive) line,” Brooks said. “I told them if they protect, then they (Purdue) can’t cover us on the back end.”
Fresno State, last year’s Mountain West champ has now won 10 games in a row.
“Everyone is here for a reason,” said Keene, a 5-foot-11 sophomore who transferred from Central Florida after last year. “We just get our playmakers in space and play within the offense. The system is fabulous.”
No. 3 Air Force whipped Robert Morris. The Falcons rushed for 374 yards and five touchdowns as 15 different players carried the ball.
Air Force outgained Robert Morris 469-156 and had more first downs (24-9).
No. 4 San Diego State improved to 2-0 with a 36-28 win over Idaho State. Aztecs quarterback Jalen Mayden had touchdown runs of 56 and 24 yards and was 13-of-19 through the air for 87 yards.
The game was close despite the Aztecs running for 302 yards and controlling the ball for 34:28.
No. 5 Boise State was run over by Washington, 56-19. Washington was up just 28-19 in the third quarter before scoring the final 28 points.
“By no means, the end result is not the standard,” Boise head coach Andy Avalos said.
Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer, a former Fresno State head coach (2020-21), said, “It just felt like we were in control.”
Ashton Jeanty stood out for Boise State, rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and catching four passes for 109 yards and a 50-yard touchdown from quarterback Taylen Green.
Green, a 6-6 sophomore, though, was just 19-of-39 for 244 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
“I’ll stand by TG (Green) every day of the week,” Avalos said.
No. 6 Utah State dropped a 21-14 decision at Iowa but had more yards than the Hawkeyes, 329-284.
Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas was 32-of-48 for 213 yards and a touchdown. Former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara, a Damonte Ranch High graduate, was 17-of-30 for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his Iowa debut. The 6-foot-1 McNamara is now 14-3 as a starting quarterback in the Big Ten.
No. 7 San Jose State fell to 0-2 with a 42-17 loss to Oregon State. The Spartans lost at USC 58-26 in their opener a week earlier.
No. 8 UNLV destroyed Bryant, 44-14, in its opener.
New Rebel coach Barry Odom became the first UNLV head coach to debut with a victory since John Robinson beat North Texas in 1999.
Former Pittsburgh running back Vincent Davis scored on a 69-yard run to open the scoring for UNLV on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
UNLV’s offense had the ball for just 19:46. Bryant had more yards (409-394).
“I wanted it so bad for this group of players just to get started on the right foot,” said Odom. “We have a ways to go but we are thrilled to be 1-0.”
Odom, Arkansas’ defensive coordinator the last three years, was 25-25 as Missouri’s head coach from 2016-19.
“We can build this into an elite college football team in the city of Las Vegas,” said Odom, who must bring his Rebels to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play the Wolverines this Saturday.
“Now it’s a sprint to see how good we can get between Week One and Week Two,” Odom said.
No. 9 Nevada fell at USC, 66-14, on Saturday.
“We have a long season ahead of us,” said Ken Wilson, who is now 2-11 as Nevada’s head coach, losing 11 in a row. “We have to see where we are going with this program.”
The Pack this week is headed back to Mackay Stadium to host Idaho on Saturday.
No. 10 Colorado State opened its second year in the Jay Norvell era with a disappointing 50-24 loss to Washington State at home. Norvell’s Air Raid offense had the ball for just 20:51.
No. 11 New Mexico was blitzed 52-10 by Texas A&M while No. 12 Hawaii fell to 0-2 with a 37-24 loss to Stanford at home.
The Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings for the week of Sept. 4-10 . . .
1. FRESNO STATE (1-0, 0-0). Last week: Fresno State 39, Purdue 35. This week: Eastern Washington (0-1) at Fresno State, Saturday.
2. WYOMING (1-0, 0-0). Last week: Wyoming 35, Texas Tech 33, OT. This week: Portland State (0-1) at Wyoming, Saturday.
3. AIR FORCE (1-0, 0-0). Last week: Air Force 42, Robert Morris 7. This week: Air Force at Sam Houston (0-1), Saturday.
4. SAN DIEGO STATE (2-0, 0-0). Last week: San Diego State 36, Idaho State 28. This week: UCLA (1-0) at San Diego State, Saturday.
5. BOISE STATE (0-1, 0-0). Last week: Washington 56, Boise State 19. This week: Central Florida (1-0) at Boise State, Saturday.
6. UTAH STATE (0-1, 0-0). Last week: Iowa 24, Utah State 14. This week: Idaho State (0-1) at Utah State, Saturday.
7. SAN JOSE STATE (0-2, 0-0). Last week: Oregon State 42, San Jose State 17. This week: Cal Poly (1-0) at San Jose State, Saturday.
8. UNLV (1-0, 0-0). Last week: UNLV 44, Bryant 14. This week: UNLV at Michigan (1-0), Saturday.
9. NEVADA (0-1, 0-0). Last week: USC 66, Nevada 14. This week: Idaho (1-0) at Nevada, Saturday.
10. COLORADO STATE (0-1, 0-0). Last week: Washington State 50, Colorado State 24. This week: Idle.
11. NEW MEXICO (0-1, 0-0). Last week: Texas A&M 52, New Mexico 10. This week: Tennessee Tech (0-1) at New Mexico, Saturday.
12. HAWAII (0-2, 0-0). Last week: Stanford 37, Hawaii 24. This week: Albany (1-1) Duquesne at Hawaii, Saturday.