LARAMIE, Wyo. — There was no guarantee before the BYU-Wyoming game, and no apologies necessary after.

That much had to be considered a success for the Cowboys.

But the in-between part?

Well, it didn't include any televised appearances by Wyoming's new state bird — yet another small victory, perhaps. And the Pokes had their best passing day of the year and blocked a couple of field goals and, hey, at least they didn't lose by 50.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, those small moral victories are all they could cling to after another Saturday produced another blowout loss to another college football team from Utah.

"We played a pretty good football team," admitted Wyoming coach Joe Glenn after the Cowboys' 35-10 home loss to BYU.

It's safe to say Glenn won't be watching the BYU-Utah football game next Saturday — partly because he has his own "Border War" against Colorado State to worry about. That's become the 5-6 Pokes' bowl game.

But another reason the U.-Y. game won't be high on his TiVo list is, no doubt, because he's seen more than enough of the Utes and Cougars lately. His teams lost to them on consecutive Saturdays by a combined score of 85-10.

After watching his nationally ranked defense surrender 497 total yards to BYU and 505 against Utah — the only two teams to pile up more than 400 against Wyoming — Glenn is predicting a wild shootout at high noon Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

But, sorry, the colorful Cowboy coach isn't making any predictions.

"You can throw the stats out on that game ... Throw out all common scores that you have, and that's a good one," Glenn said. "Man, it's gotta be emotional cause I know how it ended last year and both teams are on a hot streak. I'm not going to pick a winner, but they're both pretty darn good football teams right now."

Which is something the Cowboys, who beat Virginia and TCU early on, can't exactly say about themselves right now after losing three straight and five of six.

"We need to get our chemistry going ... " said Wyoming receiver Michael Ford. "I think everybody's shocked at the turn our season took."

Saturday's wrong turn began against BYU's massive offensive line.

Wyoming credited the Cougars' linemen for giving quarterback Max Hall plenty of time to throw and roam. Hall ended up with 331 yards and three touchdowns on 26-for-37 passing. It was the first time a Wyoming defense allowed a quarterback more than 300 yards this season.

Glenn called BYU's big boys "a great offensive line" and lamented that Hall just "picked, picked, picked" Wyoming apart.

"BYU is one of the most physical teams we have played," Glenn said.

"They were picking up the blitz really well," added Wyoming cornerback Julius Stinson. "Hats off to them."

Wyoming linebacker Sean Claffey said the lack of the Pokes' pass rush led to the Cougars' offensive success and efficiency.

"It was a good quarterback and a very good scheme," Claffey said. "They're very hard to play against."

Stinson and defensive end Mitch Unrein produced a couple of Cowboy highlights. They each got their paws on Mitch Payne first-half field-goal attempts to keep the score relatively close at 21-3 at the break.

Quarterback Karsten Sween heated up a bit in the second half, finishing with the third-most passing yards in his career (217) and setting up the Cowboys' only TD with three big passes. But the Pokes just couldn't muster much offense when it counted. They finished with 277 total yards, including just 9 on the ground.

"We got it going in the second half," said Wyoming tight end Wade Betschart, "but with a team like BYU and their offense, you've got to get it going from the start.'


E-mail: [email protected]