LARAMIE -- It was always going to be a long night.
With Wyoming and Northern Illinois scheduled to kick off their seasons at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, they were bound to keep plenty of fans up past their bedtimes.
Then throw in a 110-minute weather delay and three overtimes and, well, you get a game that ended at 2:34 a.m. Mountain Time.
But, in the longest and latest game in school history, the Cowboys made sure the end result was worth the wait.
Josh Allen scrambled the width of the field on a third-down bootleg and dove headfirst into the end zone to cap a 40-34 Wyoming win in triple overtime at War Memorial Stadium.
The Cowboys had had a chance to win the game in regulation, holding a touchdown lead with under two minutes to go. And even after Northern Illinois scored to tie the game at 27-all, Wyoming kicker Cooper Rothe had a 48-yard field goal attempt that would have won it. His first try went through, but NIU iced him with a timeout, and the second went wide right.
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In overtime, Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson, a redshirt freshman from Natrona County, recovered a fumbled snap to end NIU's first drive, but, just needing points, the Cowboys failed to convert. Allen threw two incomplete passes, and Rothe missed a 37-yard attempt.
In the second overtime, Allen found senior receiver Jake Maulhardt for an 18-yard reception and Brian Hill ran in a touchdown from 5 yards out. The Huskies responded in seven plays, however, ending with a 6-yard Joel Bouagnon touchdown run.
Wyoming prevented NIU from getting a first down in the third overtime, and NIU kicker Christian Hagan missed his 38-yard attempt.
Needing just a field goal to win yet again, Wyoming drew up five straight Hill runs before Allen bootlegged. His touchdown secured Wyoming's first season-opening win against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since 2008.
Allen finished with 245 yards on 19-of-29 passing, three total touchdowns and no interceptions in his second start. His two passing touchdowns were the first of his Division-I career.
NIU receiver Kenny Golladay scored NIU's first three touchdowns, gashing Wyoming for 144 yards on 10 catches and 82 yards on six runs.