With 42 seconds left in the second quarter and the Rams leading
the Cowboys 21-14, Bradlee Van Pelt bobbled a snap from center Mark
Dreyer on the Cowboys 2-yard line and lost the ball in a pile of
pads. When the pile cleared, Wyoming strong safety Jay McNeal not
only recovered the fumble, he also captured the momentum needed for
Cowboys to pull off one of team’s biggest upsets in recent
“I think that the fumble at the end of the first half was huge,”
said head coach Sonny Lubick. “We were in scoring position, and we
fumbled. That gave them momentum going into the half.”
On a drive that began on the Rams’ 21, Van Pelt and company
looked determined to add another seven points to the board and take
a 14-point lead into the locker room.
On the first play of the drive Van Pelt found Chris Pittman for
a 24-yard completion. On the next play, Van Pelt took off down
field running over and past Wyoming defenders with ease to the
Wyoming 9-yard line. Next, senior running back Rahsaan Sanders took
a Van Pelt hand-off and carried the ball down to the two.
But on the next play, a bad exchange between Van Pelt and Dreyer
cost the Rams seven points, and possibly the luxury of smooth
sailing for the rest of the game.
“That (touchdown) would have been big,” said H-back Joel
Dressen. “We take the center-quarterback exchange for granted
because we do it a thousand times in practice, but the momentum
went the other way after the first half.”
In the third quarter, the Rams’ offense made an attempt to
regain its form from the first half, but the Cowboys’ defense
stopped CSU’s first drive after seven plays.
That’s when the Wyoming took the momentum and ran with it.
On their first drive of the third quarter, the Cowboys churned
out an 18-play, 87-yard drive that saw senior quarterback Casey
Bramlet’s 1-yard run produce seven points and tie the game at
In all the Cowboys outscored the Rams 14-0 in the third
“They had all the momentum in the first half, and going into the
half down two touchdowns was a big concern for us,” Bramlet said.
“But the defense made a big play, and saved us.”
In all, the Rams had two lost fumbles, a roughing the punter
penalty that gave the Cowboys a first down to allow the Cowboys to
score their first seven points of the game. But it was the fumble
at the end of the first half that seemed to be the key to the
“It was huge,” said Cowboys’ wide receiver Ryan McGuffey of the
fumble. “The defense has been making big plays all year when we
need them to. They bend, but do not break.”
The last time the Rams lost in Wyoming was in 1991, by a score
“This will feel good for a long time,” said Cowboys head coach