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UW Cowboys can’t catch up to UNLV in 20-point loss

UW quarterback Andrew Peasley looks to advance the ball in his team's Friday night loss to UNLV. (via University of Wyoming Athletics)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — It was a game with everything on the line for both teams, as both the Wyoming Cowboys and UNLV Rebels entered Friday night’s game looking to keep their hopes alive to play in this year’s Mountain West Championship Game. When the game came to an end, UNLV had prevailed with a 34–14 home win over the Cowboys, improving to 8–3 while the Pokes’ record sat at 6–4.

The game was one of streaks. UNLV came out of the gate fast, building a 21–0 lead by the end of the first quarter. But Wyoming put on a streak of its own, scoring 14 points on touchdowns in quick succession in the second quarter to cut the deficit to just one touchdown entering the halftime break, down 21–14.

On its final possession of the first half, the Pokes drove all the way down to the UNLV 10-yard line, but UNLV halted the potential game-tying drive by Wyoming with an interception at the Rebel three-yard line just as the half was expiring.

Not only was the score close at halftime, but the two teams had accumulated identical yardage, with 214 yards each.

The second half would see the Rebels reclaim their advantage, while the Cowboys missed their one scoring opportunity on a 52-yard field goal attempt. UNLV added two fourth-quarter field goals to put the game out of reach.

“We came up against a good football team,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said after the game. “We came out sluggish. I had challenged our team before the game to make sure we were set and ready to go. It was obvious that some guys weren’t. We fought back and made it somewhat close, but we couldn’t finish it off.

“UNLV is a good team. We knew that coming in. It was a disappointing loss, but we got beat by a good football team. Barry [Odom] has done a good job of mixing in the remainder of the squad he inherited and then bringing in some transfers. We didn’t make some plays when we needed to make them. We had some guys cramp up, which is befuddling to me, but nonetheless they cramped up. We had some other guys get banged up, but it’s late in the year and when the next guy gets their opportunity to play they’ve got to take advantage of that opportunity.”