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Wyoming’s Arizona Bowl win over Toledo sends head coach Craig Bohl into retirement with a victory

The members of the Western Thunder Marching Band spell out "WYO" on the Cowboy's football field in front of packed stands.
Sarah Gordon
Sarah Gordon

In a thrilling grudge match on the gridiron, the Wyoming Cowboys came out on top over the Toledo Rockets in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl on Saturday. Cowboy kicker and MVP of the bowl game, John Hoyland, made a 24-yard field goal to make the score 16-15 as time expired. Wyoming quarterback Andrew Peasley fought through several injuries but managed to lead the Cowboy offense when it mattered most.

With the win, Wyoming finished the season with a 9-4 record. It was their first nine-win season under Coach Craig Bohl as he steps away from the program into retirement.

The Cowboys set the tone early on both offense and defense. Wyoming quickly forced Toledo into a three-and-out series and proceeded with a 13-play 77-yard drive that ended in a field goal. Toledo threatened to score on their second drive but were quickly stopped as Isaac White intercepted Toledo’s Tucker Gleason’s pass.

Wyoming would go on to score another field goal in the first quarter while Toledo answered with a field goal of their own and a touchdown late in the same quarter to make it 10-6. Wyoming went into the half down by four.

The second half leaned heavily in Toledo’s favor. After a safety and a field goal in the third quarter, Toledo led 15-6 going into the fourth. With the help of an inspiring defensive performance, the Pokes were able to gain their momentum back. They kept Toledo from scoring in the fourth quarter while managing to score a touchdown of their own on offense. With one second remaining, Hoyland scored his third field goal of the night, winning the game and giving Coach Bohl a fairytale ending.

Offensively, Wyoming tallied 170 yards rushing and 184 yards through the air. Peasley completed 80 percent of his passes for 168 yards despite battling an oblique injury and eventually getting pulled on the last drive in the fourth quarter. Harrison Waylee contributed with 91 yards on the ground on 18 carries while Wyatt Wieland hauled in 5 catches for 55 yards.

The Cowboy’s defense also stepped up to lead the team to a victory with 20 different defenders making at least one tackle, including linebacker Shae Suiaunoa who ended the game with a quarterback hurry and five tackles. Safety Isaac White also contributed with his interception at the Wyoming two-yard line, stopping Toledo’s drive in the first quarter.

The Wyoming Football program saw sustained success under Bohl. In his 10 year tenure, the Pokes appeared in six bowl games, winning four of them. Coach Bohl also helped the Cowboys to six winning seasons and developed more NFL talent in his time than any other coach in program history.

In this upcoming 2024 season, the Wyoming Cowboys will welcome Jay Sawvel as their new head coach.

Paityn is from Colorado and has always had a love for sports. Growing up, she loved to watch and play them and she hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism/broadcasting. Paityn is currently a freshman at the University of Wyoming studying journalism and working as a sports intern at Wyoming Public Radio. She enjoys watching all kinds of sports, especially hockey, spending time outdoors and hanging out with her friends and family!
As a Texas native, Weston is no stranger to sports. His love for football has motivated him to pursue a career in sports broadcast journalism. Weston is a senior at UW majoring in Communication with the anticipation to graduate in May 2024.
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