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Arizona Bowl: Wyoming 16, Toledo 15

Wyoming 16, Toledo 15

BY JOHN MARSHALL
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TUCSON, Ariz. - Craig Bohl closed out the final postgame news conference of his career with several rounds of thanks, raised his hand and gave one final thought: Peace out.

What a way to go out.

Stymied most of the afternoon, Wyoming moved into position for John Hoyland to kick a 24-yard field goal as time expired and sent Bohl into retirement a winner with a 16-15 win over Toledo in the Arizona Bowl on Saturday.

“It’s great to go out with these guys,” Bohl said. “I have a real sense of peace about moving on. It’s time for this Cowboy to ride off.”

Bohl is retiring after 42 years of coaching — the last 10 in Laramie — and defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel will take over next season.

Toledo (11-3) shut down Wyoming’s offense to go up 15-6 before the Cowboys started to find an offensive rhythm in the fourth quarter.

Evan Svoboda got it started after replacing Andrew Peasley, who went out with an injury in the fourth quarter, by scoring on a 1-yard sneak that pulled Wyoming (9-4) within two. Peasley returned to throw a 26-yard pass after the Cowboys forced a punt, but went down again without being hit.

Svoboda then moved the Cowboys quickly down the field — with the help of an unnecessary roughness penalty on Ronald Delancy III — and Hoyland split the uprights to finish off Wyoming’s best season since going 10-2 in 1996.

“They put me in the tent and I tried to peak through to see what was going on,” said Peasley, who threw for 168 yards on 20-of-25 passing. “But I have full trust in Evan. I wish I could have been out there to finish that drive, but all that matters is getting the W, especially for Coach Bohl.”

Toledo played without several key players who entered the transfer portal, including Mid-American Conference offensive player of the year Peny Boone and quarterback Dequan Finn.

The Rockets still managed to shut down Wyoming most of the afternoon, but came up just short after going 4 of 13 on third down and giving up 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we played good complementary football for three quarters,” Toledo coach John Candle said. “We just didn’t quite make the plays we needed to make.”

Both teams were able to move the ball in the first half. Neither was able to reach the end zone until Jacquez Stuart raced through a big hole and dodged a tackle along the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown that put the Rockets up 10-6.

Before that, Hoyland kicked two field goals, including a 52-yarder that hit the crossbar and trundled over. Toledo’s Luke Pawlak also hit one from 33 yards out.

“Once we got down there to their side of the field, just kind of stalled on the drives that killed us,” said Toledo quarterback Tucker Gleason, who threw for 184 yards and an interception.

TD, NO TD

Toledo center Devan Rogers scored a touchdown, had it confirmed then taken away.

Rogers appeared to have scored a 29-yard touchdown when a screen pass went off Stuart’s hands right into his.

Referee Bob Smith initially said the touchdown would count because it went off an eligible receiver’s hands. After meeting with other officials, Smith reversed the call and Toledo was hit with a 5-yard penalty for illegal touching.

The call was upheld after a lengthy review.

“The ruling on the field was correct — the second ruling,” Smith said.

THE TAKEAWAY

Toledo: The Rockets appeared to be in control before unraveling in the fourth quarter to lose for the second time during a three-year bowl streak.

Wyoming: The Cowboys nearly fell flat in their return trip to Tucson after losing 30-27 in overtime to Ohio last year. Wyoming pulled it out by using three quarterbacks in the fourth quarter.


December 30, 2023





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