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(Saturday, September 22)
Final Score: Wyoming 40, Idaho 37 (OT)
Moscow, ID (Sports Network) - Brett Smith threw five touchdown passes, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Wyoming Cowboys defeated the Idaho Vandals, 40-37, in non-conference action at the Kibbie Dome.
Smith finished the afternoon 23-of-35 for 365 yards, eight of his completions going to Chris McNeill who turned his receptions into a career-high 219 yards and a score for the Cowboys (1-3) in their first win of the season.
The Vandals (0-4) were paced by Dominique Blackman who converted 34-of-46 passing for 306 yards and three TDs, adding another 30 yards and a score on the ground as well. Najee Lovett reeled in eight catches for 73 yards and two scores, while Ryan Bass contributed a game-high 121 yards on 19 rushing attempts in the team's seventh straight setback.
Wyoming wasted little time in kicking off the game's scoring as Jason Thompson found his way into the end zone on an 11-yard run at the 13:31 mark of the first quarter.
Idaho responded with a pair of field goals by kicker Trey Farquhar who knocked through attempts from 26 and 53 yards to cut the deficit to a single point at 7-6.
With just under three minutes remaining in the opening frame, Smith threw the first of his TD strikes for the Pokes, a 73-yard connection with McNeill.
Trailing by 14-6 in the second quarter, Blackman locked up with Lovett on a five-yard TD pass and then the quarterback slipped into the end zone on a one- yard run of his own to make the score 20-14 at the break.
Both teams scored TDs in the third period, the first coming from Wyoming's Dominic Rufran who caught a four-yard score from Smith, but the PAT was blocked, which left the Cowboys with a 20-20 tie.
The Vandals countered less than three minutes later with a 19-yard TD pass from Blackman to Lovett to regain the lead at 27-20.
Smith registered touchdown passes of 15 and eight yards to Justin Berger and Brandon Miller, respectively, in the fourth quarter to push the visitors back ahead at 34-27 with 3:37 remaining in regulation.
Idaho refused to give up and marched down the field, making it into the red zone but needing four chances from the eight-yard line to cross the goal line as Blackman hooked up with Mike Scott with no time remaining to tie the game at 34-34 after a successful PAT.
The Vandals were forced to kick a field goal in overtime from 49 yards away, giving them a brief three-point edge before Smith hooked up with Jalen Claiborne for the game-winning 25-yard TD pass play.
The scoring outburst by Idaho was seven more points than the team had in all three of the previous games so far this season combined.
09/22 22:23:41 ET