Wyoming vs Fresno State

A Wyoming fan adjust the sunglasses on top of his hat during the Pokes game against Fresno State at War Memorial Stadium Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.

Josh Galemore, Star-Tribune

CURRENT SCORE: Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14

FIRST QUARTER: Wyoming 21, Central Michigan 7

Wyoming began the game at its own 45 after a long kickoff return from Tyler Hall. Following two short Trey Woods runs, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, making his first start in a month, was hit on a third-down incompletion, which Central Michigan nearly intercepted. Tim Zaleski punted Central Michigan to its own 7.

The Cowboys' defense recorded a tackle for loss on its first play. Running back Jonathan Ward ran for 13 yards on the next, but an offensive pass interference penalty held the Chippewas back, and the Cowboys took over in Central Michigan territory after the punt.

Allen began the next drive with his first completion since Nov. 11, a 5-yard pass to Austin Conway. He found James Price for 7 yards on third down to give Wyoming its first first down of the day. Then, following an 11-yard Kellen Overstreet run, Allen rocketed a perfect pass to freshman Jared Scott for a 23-yard touchdown. Scott now has two touchdowns on two receptions in his career. Wyoming 7, Central Michigan 0.

The Chippewas picked up an early first down on an 11-yard completion by Shane Morris, but a strip sack from Nela Lolohea was recovered by Sidney Malauulu on the Central Michigan 24.

Wyoming's average starting field position on its first three drives was the Chippewas' 41-yard line. Overstreet began the third drive with runs of 4, 9 and 3 yards. Allen then ran the ball on consecutive plays. The first was called back on a holding penalty on Alonzo Velazquez. Then, Allen ran for 7 yards on a keeper. On third down, Allen scrambled and threw another laser of a touchdown pass to Austin Conway. Wyoming 14, Central Michigan 0.

After Milo Hall forced a fumble on the Chippewas' kickoff return, Central Michigan began the drive at their own 15. Morris found Tyler Conklin for a 9-yard gain on the second play of the drive, moving the chains. Then, Morris found a wide open Ward streaking down the sideline for a 74-yard gain. It was ruled a touchdown upon review. Wyoming 14, Central Michigan 7.

The Cowboys began the next drive at their own 35-yard line. Woods picked up 7 combined yards on two runs up the middle before Allen found Conway for a 13-yard completion on third down. The sophomore made a tough one-handed grab to secure the ball. Then, Allen threw a 45-yard bomb of a touchdown to C.J. Johnson. Wyoming 21, Central Michigan 7.  

On the third play of the next Central Michigan drive, Logan Wilson forced a fumble that Marcus Epps recovered at the Chippewas' 18-yard line. Drew Van Maanen closed out the quarter with his first career rush, gaining 5.

SECOND QUARTER: Wyoming 27, Central Michigan 7.

Overstreet was stuffed on third-and-2, and Cooper Rothe hit his first field-goal attempt of the day from 27 yards out. Wyoming 24, Central Michigan 7.

Faced with an early fourth-and-1, the Chippewas chose to risk it deep in their own territory and picked up 2. Morris' third-down pass was tipped at the line by a Cowboy and fell incomplete.

Woods ran for 5, and Allen completed a 4-yard pass to Johnson to set up a third-and-short, which Allen converted with a rush. But the Cowboys were less successful on their next third down, as Allen had to throw the ball away after a scramble. 

Following a penalty on the punt, Central Michigan began the next drive at its own 9-yard line. The Chippewas gained some yardage on a Tyler Hall pass interference, but Andrew Wingard intercepted his fifth pass of the year to give Wyoming its fourth drive beginning in enemy territory. 

The Chippewas' defense held in the red zone again, though. Rothe hit his second field goal of the day, this time from 28 yard. Wyoming 27, Central Michigan 7.

The Cowboys appeared to end the Chippewas drive on a third-and-long completion to Ward that fell short, but Carl Granderson was flagged for his hit on the quarterback. But the drive wouldn't last much longer before Youhanna Ghaifan, who had a sack earlier in the drive, tipped a pass that landed in Wilson's hands. It was Wyoming's fourth takeaway of the game.

The Cowboys couldn't take advantage this time, though. Allen was sacked on third down to knock Wyoming out of field goal range. Zaleski punted the Chippewas to their own 11-yard line after a running into the kicker penalty. Central Michigan ran out the remaining 39 seconds before halftime.

THIRD QUARTER: Wyoming 30, Central Michigan 14

The Chippewas found success moving the ball on their first drive of the half. Central Michigan took its first three snaps in Wyoming territory before Tyler Hall intercepted a pass from Morris, the Pokes' fifth takeaway.

The next drive, the Cowboys converted on third-and-1 with an 18-yard rollout pass from Allen to Tyree Mayfield. Nationwide sack leader Joe Ostman took down Allen but Central Michigan was flagged for taunting to give Wyoming a first down. Overstreet broke a 20-yard run on the next play. The Cowboys were stuffed on their next two runs and called timeout before third-and-goal from the 5. Allen pitched to Woods, who was stopped at the 3. Rothe hit from 20 yards. Wyoming 30, Central Michigan 7.

Central Michigan managed to protect the football on its next drive, driving 65 yards in 7 plays, nearly half of which came on a 30-yard Corey Willis reception. On Central Michigan's third red zone snap of the day, Ward ran in his second score from 3 yards out. Wyoming 30, Central Michigan 14.

FOURTH QUARTER: Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14

Following a Wyoming five-and-out, Central Michigan drove 48 yards, 43 of which came on a pass to Mark Chapman, before Carl Granderson scored on a 58-yard scoop and score. Ghaifan forced the fumble on a sack. Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14.

The Chippewas punted their next drive and Wyoming then went three-and-out for the second time all game. 

Central Michigan's next drive ended in a Marcus Epps interception, the Cowboys' seventh turnover of the day. Then, following another Wyoming three-and-out, Andrew Wingard forced a fumble that Jalen Ortiz recovered, setting a new school record with eight Wyoming takeaways.

Wyoming pulled Allen, who announced after the game he is declaring for the NFL Draft, and the Cowboys kneeled out its first bowl win since 2009. 

Follow University of Wyoming athletics reporter Brandon Foster on Twitter @BFoster91

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College Sports Reporter

Brandon Foster reports on University of Wyoming athletics. He joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and covering Mizzou athletics for two years. A St. Louis native, he lives in Laramie.

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