The Sports Xchange


Just call them the Cardiac Cowboys.

For the second time in three weeks, Wyoming pulled out a victory on its final drive of the game, this time a 20-19 nail-biter over visiting Florida Atlantic.

The Cowboys, who pulled out a 17-13 Mountain West victory over Air Force on Sept. 6 with a nine-play, 75-drive in the final three minutes, this time went 91-yards in the final two minutes to win it on a 18-yard field goal by Stuart Williams with 15 seconds remaining.

Florida Atlantic, the first Florida college team to play at War Memorial Stadium, appeared to have the win wrapped up when the Cowboys failed to convert on 4th-and-22 on their own 11-yard line with 2:09 to go. All the Owls (1-3) had to do was take four knees and run out the clock.

But the Cowboys got the ball back on the next play when linebacker Mark Nzeocha forced a fumble on a designed run by FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson and linebacker Jordan Stanton recovered.

Still, Wyoming, which had just 273 yards in total offense at the time, still had a long ways to go, taking the ball over on its own 8-yard line with only 2:05 left.

Then on first down, quarterback Colby Kirkegaard hit senior wide receiver Dominc Rufran cutting across the middle. Rufran then made a move up the field and went 88-yards to Owls' 4-yard line.

Wyoming tried to score a touchdown on the next three plays -- all runs -- but eventually had to settle for William's short field goal. The Cowboys, who opened the season with a 17-12 home win over Montana, have trailed in the second half of all three victories

The Cowboys appeared to have taken on the hard-nosed personality of first year head coach Craig Bohl, who was hired to replace Dave Christensen after winning three consecutive FCS titles at North Dakota State.

Bohl credited his seniors for not quitting when things looked bleak for pulling out the latest comeback win.

"Guys who have been through here and have had so many ups and downs -- and if you look at the end, it was predominately seniors making plays on both sides of the football," Bohl said. That sends a message to our whole program that you've got to keep trucking, keep believing."

Elsewhere in the Mountain West, defending champion Fresno State finally picked up its first win of the season with a 56-16 home victory over a winless FCS school, Southern Utah, while preseason conference favorite Boise State improved to 3-1 with a sloppy 34-9 victory over visiting Louisiana-Lafayette.

AIR FORCE (2-1, 0-1)

Game: Idle.

Next: vs. Boise State, Sept. 27.

BOISE STATE (3-1, 1-0)

Game: Boise State 34, Louisiana-Lafayette 9. Junior RB Jay Ajayi rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns as the Broncos won their third straight game since a season opening loss to Ole Miss. Senior QB Grant Hedrick completed his first 15 passes and finished 24-of-31 for 237 yards.