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Wyoming 21, Idaho 16

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Trey Smith's breakout game included an 80-yard touchdown scamper amid a personal best 152 yards, helping Wyoming hold on for a 21-16 win over Idaho, the Cowboys' seventh straight victory dating to last season.

It was the first 100-yard game for Smith, a graduate transfer from Louisville. On his long score, he bounced off linebacker Christian Elliss at the line, shook a would-be ankle tackler a few yards farther downfield, regained his balance, then won a footrace down the right sideline.

Smith, whose previous high was 98 yards last season while playing for Louisville, credited his offensive line.

"They kept fighting and finishing their blocks and I'm just really proud of them," he said, adding that the crowd spurred him on. "It felt amazing. To have the fans behind me on that long run - that's a feeling that I'm going to remember forever."

Elliss, the Vandals' second-leading tackler with nine, including one for loss, pinned the defeat on himself for not stopping Smith at the line of scrimmage on the decisive score.

"I got my hands on him, but sadly the tight end kind of cracked me a little bit, and if I would have just blown faster, it would have been a 2-yard gain," Elliss said. "I'm gonna make it up to my team. I'm gonna make it up next week and for the rest of the season."

The TD put Wyoming up 21-13, but Cade Coffey's third field goal, from 24 yards, trimmed the lead to 21-16 with 7:20 to go after Wyoming's Esaias Gandy batted away a third-down pass by Mason Petrino in the end zone. The Cowboys' Solomon Byrd sacked Petrino to stuff the Vandals' next drive, and Smith rushed for a pair of first downs to allow the Cowboys to run out the clock.

Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, who saw his team force six turnovers in its first two games, credited Idaho's effort.

"They did a good job of taking care of the football. We didn't come up with any takeaways," he said. "We had to overcome a lot of self-inflicted wounds. ... When push came to shove, our guys made plays."

Idaho coach Paul Petrino complimented his team's tenacity but lamented key penalties, which included an offensive pass-interference call in the end zone on the Vandals' last drive.

"I told them you can't get 15-yard penalties," he said. "You have to be disciplined, do things right, (but) several of them will look at film and be proud with the toughness and effort."

Austin Conway's 45-yard punt return led to a 10-yard TD run by Smith late in the first half, putting the Cowboys up 14-10. Conway caught the Vandals' coverage team by surprise by scooping up the ball just as it appeared it would roll dead.

Roshaun Johnson's 15-yard TD run gave Idaho (1-2) a 10-0 lead after its first two possessions. Raghib Ismail Jr.'s 12-yard run for Wyoming (3-0) cut the lead to 10-7 moments before Conway's surprise punt return.

Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers, who was averaging 182.5 yards of total offense, was held to 26 yards rushing on 11 carries and completed 4 of 12 passes for 50 yards. Several passes were dropped.

Mason Petrino was 15 of 33 passing for 184 yards but was sacked four times. Johnson had 69 yards on 15 carries.

Tre Walker had 13 tackles to lead Idaho, while Logan Wilson had 11 for Wyoming, including two pass breakups and a tackle for loss. Garrett Crall had eight tackles, including a pair of sacks for the Cowboys.

Associated Press

September 14, 2019