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Wyoming captures third straight Border War victory

Wyoming Cowboy Sam Scott powers his way through a Colorado State would-be tackler. (via Wyoming Cowboy Football X/Twitter)

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Friday’s showdown between the Wyoming Cowboys and Colorado State Rams was another Border War for the ages in the 115th meeting of the two bitter rivals. In the end, it was the Cowboys who came away with a 24–15 victory.

It was the third consecutive win in the series for Wyoming and the seventh UW win in the last eight Border War meetings, earning the Cowboys the right to retain the Bronze Boot traveling trophy for another year. UW improved to 6–3 overall for the 2023 season and is now 3–2 in the Mountain West this season.

Meanwhile, Colorado State falls to 3–6 overall and 1–4 in conference play with the loss.

Wyoming never trailed in the game, taking a 3–0 lead at the end of the first quarter, leading 10–7 at halftime, holding a 24–7 lead at the end of three and finishing with the 24–15 final score.

The Cowboys came out with a great all-around performance versus their rival Colorado State, and head coach Craig Bohl was very pleased with how his team played.

“We certainly responded tonight,” said Bohl. “This is always such an important game and you can throw the records out. I want to say kudos to our fans. They were unbelievable. It was a great atmosphere, a big-time atmosphere and our players fed off of that.”

Wyoming’s scoring opened with a 30-yard field goal by kicker John Hoyland in the first quarter. UW’s first touchdown of the game was scored on a pass from Cowboy quarterback Andrew Peasley to wide receiver Tanner Gentry.

Gentry missed the entire 2021 and ‘22 seasons due to injuries, and his TD reception against CSU was his first since the 2020 season opener at Nevada.

“It was certainly special,” Bohl said. “Gunner has gone through so much and he hails from Denver. To score that touchdown was great. I know Coach [Tim] Polasek was choked up, and I thought it was a great play by him.”

Another key play in the game came in the second quarter, with the Pokes leading 10–7. Wyoming was pinned back on its own 17-yard line and was forced to punt. It appeared that Colorado State might get good field position, but Cowboy punter Clayton Stewart would uncork his longest punt of the season — a 72-yarder — that was downed all the way back at the CSU 11-yard line.

“That really flipped the field over for us,” Bohl said. “[Tory] Horton is such a great returner for Colorado State, so super job by Clayton.”

In the third quarter, Wyoming linebackers Easton Gibbs and Shae Suiaunoa each came away with interceptions, and the Cowboy offense turned both into touchdowns. Gibbs’s pick came with UW clinging to a 10–7 lead and Suiaunoa’s came with the Pokes up 17–7.

“Those interceptions had a big, big impact,” Bohl said. “We scored on both of those and they were big plays by our defense.”

A fourth quarter fumble recovery by Cowboy defensive end Tyce Westland ended another CSU scoring threat. Westland returned the fumble for 61 yards down to the CSU three-yard line, but Colorado State’s defense held Wyoming out of the end zone on four plays.