Brett Smith Leads Cowboys Past UNLV, 28-23
Brett Smith threw for a new career-high 412 passing yards and three touchdowns, and the Wyoming Cowboys posted their third straight win, 28-23, over UNLV in Las Vegas on Saturday. UW racked up 381 total yards in the first half and held off a late Rebels rally.
Smith went 25-of-33 and tossed TD passes of 5 yards to J.J. Quinlan and two more to Chris McNeill of 33 and 4 yards in the first half. He connected with eight different receivers in the game.
Brandon Miller added 88 yards on the ground and scored the Pokes first touchdown. Wyoming drove right down the field on the game's opening possession and Miller powered in from 1-yard out.
The Cowboys had two more opportunities to score in the first half, but Stuart Williams had a 40-yard field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown by the Rebels that tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. Williams also missed from 42 yards out in the second quarter. Still, Wyoming held a 28-17 lead at the half.
UW caught a huge break when it looked like UNLV QB Caleb Herring was going in for a score. The Rebels faked a field goal and Herring took off for the end zone. It looked like he would score, when Marqueston Huff forced a fumble before he crossed the goal line. The play resulted in a touch-back, and a huge break for the Pokes.
UNLV pulled within five with 5:10 left on Herring's 5-yard strike to Trey Mays. The ball actually went through the hands of UW Safety Darrenn White before Mays hauled it in on his back after it ricocheted off his shoulder pad.
After a UW punt, the Rebels drove to the Wyoming 31 before the Cowboy defense stopped UNLV on 4th-and-11. Two plays later a 66-yard run by Miller sealed the victory for the Pokes.
Wyoming (4-7, 3-4) out-gained UNLV (2-10, 2-5) 507-to-426 in total offense. McNeill finished with 7 catches for 93 yards and the two scores. Trey Norman had a career-highs of 6 receptions and 73 receiving yards. Robert Herron and Jalen Claiborne each ended up with 3 grabs for 95 and 84 yards, respectively.
Eddie Yarbrough led the Cowboy defense with seven tackles, which included three sacks.
UW finished the road portion of their schedule with a 3-3 record away from home in 2012. The Pokes return home next Saturday for the season finale, as they host the San Diego State Aztecs at War Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is at 1:30 pm on Senior Day. Coverage of Cowboy football on KOWB (AM 1290) begins at 10:30 am.