LARAMIE — Wyoming’s offensive line seemed to put it all together Saturday at Nevada.
The Cowboys allowed two sacks early, but the Wyoming big men were a force on the ground, plowing the way for 401 rushing yards and 540 yards of total offense in the Cowboys’ 42-34 victory.
“It’s huge for us,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “They’re playing extremely well right now and kudos to them. I’m so happy and so proud of these guys for how far they’ve come. It’s awesome to see their development.”
Now, they’ll have to put it together once again.
After starting the same five players for the first seven games of the season, Wyoming will be without right tackle Ryan Cummings on Saturday against Boise State, and likely the rest of the year, because of a foot injury.
Head coach Craig Bohl said there’s a good chance Cummings will undergo surgery.
“They’ve not made that final determination,” Bohl said. “But I would think it’s a great likelihood of that, and that’ll put him out for several months.”
Bohl wasn’t sure when the 6-foot-6, 319-pound junior sustained the injury.
“It was bothering him a little bit, and he made it through and he played well,” Bohl said.
Sophomore Brinkley Jolly is listed behind Cummings on the depth chart, and Bohl anticipates him getting the start Saturday.
“Right now, Brink’s the guy,” he said. “We’ve played him. Unless something goes haywire today, that’ll be our plan. ... I think we’re going to look at what we have now as Plan A. And we’ll see where we go from there.”
Jolly is listed as 6-foot-5, 273 pounds, but Bohl thinks he might be more up around 280 or 285.
He played in one game last year, the season finale against UNLV, and has not yet seen the field this season.
He’ll have his hands full Saturday against a Broncos defense that is tied for fourth in the country and leads the Mountain West with 3.57 sacks per game.
“Well, we’re always concerned about pass rush, and certainly Ryan’s a good, solid player,” Bohl said. “It’s not like we’re going to change drastically what we’re doing, though. We feel good about Brink and his ability, so we’ll go from there.”
The Cowboys have allowed 13 sacks in 2016, seventh in the Mountain West.
Overall, though, the line’s development, especially in the run game, has been a big part of the Cowboys’ three-game win streak to start Mountain West play.
“I know there was a transition within that CSU game,” offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said. “Second quarter in particular, where we were having to handle some different fronts from CSU, and then we were starting to move them at the same time.
“And then I think that carried over against a very stout Air Force and probably took it to a little bit different level against Nevada, but they’re playing at a good level right now and communicating, working together well, limiting our mental mistakes. And that’s what it really takes to have a group gel.”
Wyoming’s 400-yard performance against Nevada was its first since the second game of 2015. The offense could hardly afford any mistakes, and it came through, putting up 42 points and punting just three times all game with no turnovers.
“It was fantastic,” said backup center Du’Ryan Ebbesen. “It’s pretty much what we’ve been working on, what we are pretty much about. And we finally got to show it out there, just running all over them. Showing them they couldn’t stop it. It was awesome.”
Now the question is: Can they show it again?