Old rivals BYU and Wyoming were probably expecting a lovely getaway in San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl but the two were met with some uncharacteristically heavy Southern California weather on Saturday night to make life difficult in the first half.
Despite a constant downpour, the Cougars took advantage of the Cowboys’ struggles to jump out to a 10-0 lead heading into the locker room.
BYU tailback Jamaal Williams led the way offensively with 121 yards on the ground in the half but lost a fumble for only the second time in his career early in the first quarter. Quarterback Tanner Mangum wasn’t quite as effective through the air, with the conditions helping hold him to just three completions for 19 yards with an ugly interception to boot.
Things weren’t much better for Wyoming, which kept running back Brian Hill on the bench for the first quarter for unspecified reasons. He bounced back to become the focal point of the offense in the second quarter but one of the Mountain West’s best players couldn’t find much room against a stingy defense.
Special teams were the biggest issue for the Cowboys though, as a dropped punt snap set up BYU in the red zone and Mangum ran it in for the first score of the game. Things didn’t get any better as a later field goal attempt went south when that snap was mishandled too.
It should make for an interesting second half which, hopefully, will be a little crisper in terms of play after a few adjustments.