Sports, as a whole, are great because unlike some things in life, they seem to be little predictable. While no one can predict all sports results, most fans can see blowouts or close games coming.
It is safe to say Wyoming’s shutout win over the Rams on Saturday was not one of those games. While the Pokes were favored by four, a 24-point blowout was beyond the realm of seemingly anyone’s beliefs.
Taking a look at the history of the Border War, it makes this win seem so out-of-whack. The last time Wyoming shut out the Rams was 1959, but that came in the midst of a 10-game winning streak by the Cowboys.
Never before had CSU lost to its northern rivals so badly in a game where they thought they had a chance. After the game, Head Coach Sonny Lubick was not quite sure what happened.
“I really felt that we had a chance coming up here,” said a quiet Lubick after the game. “I don’t know what the heck happened.”
Even after the first half, when the game was left at a barn-burning 3-0 score, no one could have foreseen Wyoming’s second-half explosion. But then for the last 30 minutes, it was as if Wyoming was taking on the Fort Collins High School Lambkins, not the Mountain West powerhouse of the last 15 seasons.
All three aspects of the game were dominated by the Cowboys in the second half. On six offensive possessions, the Rams split turnovers and punts with three a piece.
The defense, which played unbelievably well in the first half, made only two or three mistakes in the second. Unfortunately for the Rams, Wyoming did what good teams do and took advantage of those mistakes.
And with the exception of Jimmie Kaylor’s nine-punt performance, the special teams looked awful. Eleven total yards on five kick/punt returns. ELEVEN TOTAL YARDS! NFL hall-of-famer Jack Christenson once averaged more than 16 yards a punt return for the Rams. Saturday was the single worst return effort in CSU history.
But getting back to the positives of CSU’s effort against the Cowboys. The white uniforms looked pretty sharp and ummm. well, ummmm. Kaylor really did look good.
History says CSU may bounce back. In fact, the only time a Lubick-led CSU squad has started with two losses in its first three conference games, the Rams won the conference championship.
I hope, for Ram fans, history will repeat itself this year or the Rams will be in for a long season.
Sports editor Mike Donovan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.