Wyoming holds off winless Hawaii in overtime
By BOB MOEN
LARAMIE, Wyo. — Despite gaining big chunks of yards on runs and passes and tossing multiple touchdowns in three separate quarters, Brett Smith doesn’t concern himself with the statistics he and his offense might be putting up during a game.
“It doesn’t really register until people are talking about it after the game,” Smith said.
After Wyoming defeated Hawaii 59-56 in overtime on Stuart Williams’ 36-yard game-winning field goal and Smith’s single-game school record seven passing touchdowns, there was plenty of talk about statistics and records.
Wyoming (5-6, 3-4 Mountain West) snapped a four-game losing streak and kept its chances for becoming bowl eligible alive for another week.
“It’s a recharged locker room,” Cowboys coach Dave Christensen said. “It’s been tough around here.”
It remains tough for Hawaii (0-11, 0-8), which is enduring its second longest losing streak in school history at 11 games without a win. It was its second straight overtime loss and fifth loss by 7 points or less.
In a game that featured 10 scoring drives lasting less than 2 minutes each, the offenses of both teams had their way much of the day, combining for 1,417 total yards.
Wyoming gained 793 total yards, a Mountain West record and the second most by a team in the NCAA this season, and the Rainbow Warriors 624.
“It was just really, really bizarre in some instances,” Smith understated.
Smith himself accounted for a conference record 640 yards total offense for the Cowboys, completing 29 of 48 passes for 498 yards and rushing 19 times for 142. His total yardage is the most by an individual NCAA player so far this season.
Smith had two TD passes of more than 70 yards and one 47-yarder. His seven TD passes tied the Mountain West record accomplished by Max Hall of BYU in 2008 against UCLA and is the most by an NCAA quarterback this year.
Robert Herron caught 11 of Smith’s passes for 141 yards and tied a school record with four touchdowns. Dominic Rufran snagged seven passes for 121 yards.
Smith also had a 51-yard run for a score. The eight TDs he took part in are the most by a single player in Mountain West history.
Sean Schroeder led Hawaii, passing for a career-high six TDs and 499 yards. His 33-yard TD pass and subsequent 2-point conversion toss to Chris Gant, who tied a school record with four TD receptions, with 1:18 left in regulation, forced the game into overtime at 56-56.
In overtime, Hawaii got the ball first at the Cowboys 25 yard line and drove down to the Wyoming 4 yard line on four straight runs by Joey Iosefa. However, the Cowboys defense stuffed Iosefa on third and 1 and linebacker Devyn Harris dropped him for a 1-yard loss on fourth down, meaning Wyoming’s offense only needed a field goal to win the game.
“We weren’t going to play for the tie,” Hawaii coach Norm Chow said.
Harris credited UW defensive coaches for the fourth down stop.
“They made the perfect call,” he said. “I came off the edge unblocked. I saw them hand it off, and I just hit him.”
On Wyoming’s ensuing possession from the Hawaii 25 yard line, the Cowboys lost 2 yards on their first two plays, but Smith completed a 9-yard pass to Jalen Claiborne to set up Williams’ winning field goal.
“Right as it went off my foot I knew it was good, and then the mob tackled me,” Williams said, noting it was the first game-winning kick in his football career.
Hawaii1421714 0 —56
Wyoming1322714 3 —59
Haw—Iosefa 2 run (Hadden kick), 9:27.
Wyo—Wick 7 pass from B.Smith (pass failed), 6:17.
Wyo—Herron 23 pass from B.Smith (Williams kick), 3:45.
Haw—Gant 34 pass from Schroeder (Hadden kick), :58.
Wyo—Herron 47 pass from B.Smith (Williams kick), 14:52.
Haw—Iosefa 15 run (Hadden kick), 11:05.
Wyo—B.Smith 51 run (Bruce pass from B.Smith), 5:34.
Haw—Gant 30 pass from Schroeder (Hadden kick), 4:35.
Wyo—Montgomery 72 pass from B.Smith (Williams kick), 4:14.
Haw—Langkilde 6 pass from Schroeder (Hadden kick), :52.
Haw—Gant 29 pass from Schroeder (Hadden kick), 13:23.
Wyo—Herron 20 pass from B.Smith (Williams kick), 2:56.
Haw—Evans 14 pass from Schroeder (kick blocked), 13:09.
Wyo—Claiborne 71 pass from B.Smith (Williams kick), 12:31.
Wyo—Herron 5 pass from B.Smith (Williams kick), 2:52.
Haw—Gant 33 pass from Schroeder (Gant pass from Schroeder), 1:18.
Wyo—FG Williams 36.
First downs 30 34
Rushes-yards 42-125 50-295
Passing 499 498
Comp-Att-Int 37-50-1 29-48-0
Return Yards 4 0
Punts-Avg. 7-44.1 6-33.8
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-3
Penalties-Yards 6-55 3-35
Time of Possession 30:48 29:12
RUSHING—Hawaii, Iosefa 24-91, Saint Juste 7-33, Lakalaka 1-11,
Anguay 1-5, Schroeder 9-(minus 15). Wyoming, B.Smith 19-142, Wick 16-89,
Easton 7-37, Miller 8-27.
PASSING—Hawaii, Schroeder 37-50-1-499. Wyoming,
RECEIVING—Hawaii, Gant 8-174, Harding 7-68, Haynes 6-64,
Iosefa 5-53, Poueu-Luna 4-62, Evans 4-53, Langkilde 2-14, Kemp 1-11.
Wyoming, Herron 11-141, Rufran 7-121, Claiborne 3-97, Wick 3-26,
Gentry 2-14, Montgomery 1-72, Norman 1-19, Miller 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS— None.
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