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Wyoming Stuns FAU In Nail-biter



The game was over.

After a huge fourth down incomplete pass in which Wyoming questionably went for a 4th and 23 from their 10 yard line, the Owls took over with a chance to ice the game, leading 19-17, with 2:09 left on the clock.

Rather than playing conservatively with three straight knees and kick a field goal, the Owls appeared to opt for a potential game clinching touchdown that would put them up two possessions instead of one.

What happened next you couldn't script in Hollywood - only in Laramie.

Jaquez Johnson fumbles. Wyoming recovers. Colby Kirkegaard connects with Dominic Rufran for an 88 yard completion to put the Cowboys inside the Owls five yard line.

Moments later Wyoming kicker Stuart Wiliam makes a 19-yard field goal with 15 seconds left to make the score 20-19.

Ball game.

"I've been through tough losses. We will look at it very analytically. It comes down to explosive plays and turnovers," said Charlie Partridge after the game. "You can't turn over a ball when you're headed in with a chance to finish it and we can't give up an explosive play."

"I was surprised they didn't take a knee, but they surprised us and challenged us," said Wyoming linebacker Jordan Stanton.

For the second straight year, FAU will have to bounce back after another gut wrenching loss and hope it doesn't haunt them come bowl season.

Last year it was Rice and Marshall. Today it was Wyoming.

Turnovers were the story of the game as FAU had a hard time holding the ball, losing three fumbles. Wyoming converted three turnovers for 10 points. FAU converted one turnover for three points.

The Owls struggled with consistency on offense as they went 8-18 on third downs and entered the red zone five times, but came away with four Greg Joseph field goals and one touchdown. The touchdown was a 14 yard run by Jaquez Johnson - after Lucky Whitehead's 65-yard punt return - to give the Owls their first lead of the game in the third quarter to put them ahead 13-10.

The Owls defense played tough all game forcing the Cowboys to go 5-15 on third downs, while forcing Colby Kirkegaard to go 10-23, with 161 yards through the air but couldn't make the necessary stop when the game was on the line, as 88 of Kirkegaard's passing yards, was on the game's the biggest play.

"Our defense had a valiant effort today," said Partridge. "We didn't finish it on the last drive."

On the ground is where the defense struggled, as Shaun Wick had 14 carries for 111 yards, and one touchdown.

The first half was a field goal fest, as Joseph converted 30 and 32 yard field goals, while Williams made a 50 yard field goal. Shaun Wick scored the first half's lone touchdown with a one yard run. At halftime Wyoming led 10-6.

The Owls move to 1-3 for the year, and will have to get over this loss and get ready for conference play.

"It's been a while since I have seen a game like that but I've been around some tough losses and the way you bounce back is to coach and go back to work tomorrow," Partridge said.

Running back Jay Warren (pictured) earned hist first start of the season ahead of Tony Moore, finishing with 108 yards on 22 carries - including a long of 30.

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