September 21, 2021 |
Here’s the big stat: Wyoming is +5 on turnovers this season. The Pokes have recovered seven turnovers, and given up two. The turnover margin was front and center in Saturday’s 45-12 win over Ball State. Quarterback Drew Plitt ran into a buzz-saw. The Cowboy defense was shiny and sharp. They shredded the Ball State playbook.
Plitt, named player of the game in the Arizona Bowl win over Mountain West Champion San Jose State last year, looked like a freshman against Wyoming. Cut down to size. The Cowboy defense kept the Cardinals to a three-and-out on the opening drive, and never let up the pressure. They sacked and stymied Plitt throughout the first quarter until he finally threw an unwise pass into the waiting arms of Keyon Blankenbaker.
It was the second pick six for the Wyoming defense in two weeks. They’d make it three before the game was done. In the process, Plitt was sacked five times. He never saw the field again after half time. It wasn’t because of an injury. Ball State Head Coach Mike Neu said he went to the backup John Paddock to give his beleaguered offense a chance.
Paddock did see some success in the second half, orchestrating two touchdown drives. Wyoming got to Paddock, as well, sacking him one and baiting him into a another Chad Muma pick six.
Chad Muma also had a pick six in Week 2’s win over Northern Illinois. The sack-happy Cowboy defense was led by Ravontae Holt, who notched 2.5 sacks for 13 yards. Easton Gibbs, Victor Jones and Solomon Byrd also recorded sacks. During Monday’s news conference, Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl talked about the importance of the defense in determining the outcome of the game starting with pressure from the front four.
The secondary also did their job. Azizi Hearn broke up an intended pass on a Ball State fourth and four, ending a drive at the Wyoming 32 midway through the second quarter. Hearn talked about the defense working as a unit.
They’ll try to make it all work together this week in Connecticut when Wyoming takes on the Huskies. UConn is 0-2 so far on the season, including an opening week 45-0 loss to now nationally ranked Fresno State.
Fresno State the No. 22 in the AP Top 25 and No. 25 in the USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll.
Talking about nationally ranked – No. 6 Penn State beat Ball State in Week 2 44-13. Wyoming beat Ball State 45-12. The Cowboys are looking solid as they head out on the road. Bigfoot 99 will have the matchup with UConn Saturday beginning with the pregame show at high noon. Kickoff is set for 1:30.