Turnovers Costly For the Cowboy at Nebraska

by staff–11 Sep ’16

After not committing a turnover in the season opener, the Cowboys recorded six total turnovers in a 52-17 loss at Big Ten foe Nebraska on Saturday afternoon in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. The Pokes fall to 1-1 on the season, as the Huskers improve to 2-0.

“Nebraska did an excellent job of defending our running game, which made us one dimensional, and when you get that one dimensional a lot of bad things happen, UW head coach Craig Bohl said.  “For us to win we were going to need to play error free, create some turnovers and certainly take care of the football. So we’ve got some work to do, but I don’t want to take anything away from the front. Nebraska established the line and tackled well. In terms of composure, I think our guys did a good job of keeping their composure. It was a competitive game, and the Nebraska players played competitively as well.”

The Husker offense recorded 550 yards of total offense on the day with 412 passing yards. The Cowboy offense produced 320 yards of total offense with 189 yards through the air.

Senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry paced the Cowboy offense recording seven catches for 124 yards with one touchdown. He has five career 100-yard games and has 100 yards receiving in back-to-back contests. Sophomore Andrew Wingard finished with a game-high 13 tackles and one forced fumble. He has at least 10 tackles in six of his last seven games. He also recorded his second career interception in the first half.

Nebraska Quarterback Tommy Armstrong was 20-of-34 passing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Husker wideouts Alonzo Moore and Jordan Westerkamp combined for three touchdowns and each recorded 100 or more yards receiving.

The Huskers got on the board first with a 97-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter. A pair of 30-plus yard plays helped Nebraska on a drive that was capped off by a seven-yard touchdown scramble by quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.

After a missed field goal by Cowboy freshman kicker Cooper Rothe, Armstrong connected with Jordan Westerkamp on a 55-yard catch that set up a scoring chance for Nebraska. Wingard ended the scoring threat with the Cowboys’ first interception of the season.

The Huskers added a field goal in the second quarter when a pass breakup by sophomoreMarcus Epps on third down ended the NU drive. Nebraska added another touchdown on a 63-yard pass from Armstrong to Alonzo Moore to make it 17-0 late in the second quarter.

Redshirt freshman Austin Conway gave the Pokes’ great field position in the closing minutes of the first half with a 25-yard return to the UW 48 yard line. The longest punt return since 2014, set up a 35-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Josh Allen to Gentry to make the game 17-7 in favor of Nebraska at the half.

“I thought we had a hard time getting movement on the defensive line,” Bohl said. “We tried some power stuff, but part of the running game that was successful was the jet sweep to Austin (Conway). He was able to get some good yardage. I’m going to credit Nebraska and also our technique a little bit.”

The Pokes opened the second half with a 10 play 65-yard scoring drive that ended with a 27-yard field goal by Rothe to cut the Husker lead to 17-10. The Huskers added another score to extend the lead to 24-10 on an Allen interception returned for a touchdown.

Conway picked the Pokes back up giving UW great field position again this time with a 42-yard rush on an end around to the Nebraska 30 yard line to set up a one yard rush by junior running back Brian Hill to cut the Pokes’ deficit to 24-17. It was the closest the Pokes would get falling to the Huskers 52-17.

Allen was 16-of-32 passing for 189 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions. Hill rushed for 49 yards on 17 carries. He remains fifth in career rushing at Wyoming and is five yards short of passing Marques Brigham for fourth in school history.

Senior D.J. May recorded a career-high two tackles for loss for 10 yards against the Huskers. Sophomore Carl Granderson tied a career-high in tackles with six. Granderson added a sack and has a sack in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.

The Cowboys return to action next Saturday hosting UC Davis in War Memorial Stadium with the game slated to kickoff at 2 p.m.