LAS VEGAS -- The Cowboys of old showed up Thursday at Sam Boyd Stadium, and the result is no bowl game for Wyoming.
Wyoming turned the ball over three times, including one crucial interception that led to a UNLV score, as the Rebels kept their bowl hopes alive with a 22-14 win over the Cowboys.
“It was the same old deal. The new ‘Pokes became the old ‘Pokes again at the wrong time” said Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn on the postgame show on the Cowboy Sports Network. “We didn’t go through our reads correctly on a couple of those throws … we know better. You don’t win close games when you aren’t firing on all cylinders.”
The loss dropped Wyoming to 1-6 in Mountain West Conference play and 4-7 overall, while the Rebels moved to 2-5 and 5-6, UNLV can get bowl eligible with a win over San Diego state next week. Wyoming, meanwhile, hosts Colorado State, where the only thing at stake for UW is pride and the Bronze Boot.
Wyoming freshman quarterback Chris Stutzriem had guided the Cowboys to two straight wins by being efficient, albeit not spectacular. On Thursday, he had the best game of his career statistically by going 12-of-21 for 143 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw two interceptions, the last by Quinton Pointer in the end zone with 4:52 left as the Cowboys went for the potential tying points.
The Cowboys’ Brandon Stewart also had the ball stripped and recovered by UNLV’s Terrence Lee on a punt return with 1:41 left in the game that ended any Wyoming hopes of a comeback.
The Rebels surprisingly also out-rushed the Cowboys in the game (16t6-151), as Summers ran for 75 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. UNLV finished with 323 yards in total offense, while Wyoming had 294 yards of offense.
Summers' 1-yard touchdown around the right side on the first play of the fourth quarter gave the Rebels a 15-14 lead. Summers carried the ball eight times for 25 yards on the drive. The touchdown was set up by a pass on a fake punt from Dack Ishii to Jerriman Robinson for 19 yards to the Wyoming 30.
On UNLV's following offensive drive, Clausen throw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rodelin Anthony to make it 22-14 with 12:15 left in the game.
UNLV improved to 2-0 under freshman quarterback Mike Clausen. He was 16-of-30 for 138 yards and a touchdown and ran for 52 yards on 13 carries.
Senior Devin Moore led Wyoming with 91 yards rushing.
The Cowboys, coming off an emotional victory at Tennessee five days earlier, took a 14-9 lead on Stutzriem's 28-yard pass to senior Chris Johnson with 12:34 left in the third quarter.
The Rebels led 9-7 at intermission, with Kyle Watson making field goals for 38, 36 and 38 yards. Wyoming took a 7-3 lead on Stutzriem 8-yard pass to senior Greg Bolling in the left corner on the first play of the second quarter.