Saturday, August 30, 2008

Running game builds momentum

UW photo service
Wyoming senior running back Devin Moore gets into the end zone in the first quarter against Ohio on Saturday.

By Richard Anderson

Wyoming senior running back Devin Moore certainly has fond memories of playing Ohio last season in Athens, Ohio … he had a career high 198 yards rushing in the win against the Bobcats.

There was no career day in line for Moore on Saturday in the return match at War Memorial Stadium, a 21-20 Cowboy win. The Ohio defense, as expected, stacked it up in the middle to try to slow down the Wyoming running game and was successful until late in the game.

As a team, the Cowboys ran for 160 yards on 40 carries, but had just 62 yards in the first half.

“It was good for us to run the football so effectively in the second half -- we didn’t have that many yards in the first half,” Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said. “I said at halftime that I felt the difference in the game would be who rushed the ball better. We came around in the second half. The idea was to work hard on our running game, but also wear them down a little bit. Everything worked our right. We averaged four yards a carry and that is good stuff.”

Moore finished with 82 yards on the ground on 25 carries, but was most effective later in the game, despite getting his lone touchdown run in the first half.

“I wouldn’t say that they were tired, but the offensive line just started opening up holes," Moore said.

Wyoming center Tim Bond said it was the Bobcats’ plan to stop their running game.

“They did a pretty good job,” Bond said. “We got our big plays in and we came out on top.”

When the Bobcats were beginning to wear down a bit defensively, the Cowboys went to their "quick” offense, which was just a very fast huddle.

“Late in the game and being up at this altitude, I knew they were going to be worn out by the fourth quarter,” Bond said. “We started to do our quick offense that worked really well last year. I don’t think they could breath. I think we were more determined than they were.”

The Cowboys finished with 271 yards of total yardage in the debut of new coordinator Bob Cole’s offense. Once they went to more of a power game with fullbacks Greg Genho and Josh Biezuns, the Cowboys began to sustain some drives, including the winning drive that was capped with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Crum to Donate Morgan.

“We thought we had a good shot at running read zones early on, and they did a good job of bottling it up,” Cole said. “We switched gears and went to more of a power game and that helped out quite a bit. They were determined to stop the run and put eight, nine guys in there. To the O-line’s credit, the back and tight ends, we still got it done when we needed to.”

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