LARAMIE — Wyoming’s game against San Diego State was a microcosm of its season — competitive in the first half but crumbling in the second.
“We have played well in the first half in a lot of games and struggled in the second half,” coach Dave Christensen said. “We’ll analyze that.”
On Saturday, the Cowboys fell in their final game of the season to the Aztecs 42-28 after leading 28-21 at halftime.
Wyoming ended its season 4-8 overall and 3-5 in the Mountain West.
During the course of the season, Wyoming’s offense scored 208 points in the first half, while giving up 221. In the second half, the Cowboys scored 114 points, including overtime points, while opponents scored 180.
Against San Diego State, Wyoming was shut out offensively in the second half while the defense gave up three touchdowns.
“That’s been our problem all year,” quarterback Brett Smith said. “It’s definitely frustrating. I can’t really put my finger on it.”
Smith led Wyoming on Saturday, throwing for 260 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 35 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
His 295 yards of total offense moved him into fifth place all-time on Wyoming’s career total offensive list with 6,417 yards.
His two TD passes gave Smith 27 on the season, ranking him second all-time for TD passes in a single season in school history.
Smith, a sophomore, is one TD pass shy of tying for No. 3 in career TD passes at Wyoming. He has 47 so far.
Christensen noted that Smith will have all but one of his receivers returning next season, including Robert Herron, who caught 10 passes for a career-high 187 yards and two touchdowns against San Diego State.
“So I think offensively we can continue to grow and improve, and I’m excited about the future,” he said.
Defensively, Wyoming has some work to do.
San Diego State gained 564 yards of total offense, including 400 on the ground. The 400 yards rushing is the second most in Aztecs history after the 430 gained in 1991 against Pacific.
“The biggest thing is missing tackles, something we’ve been stressing all year,” Cowboys defensive lineman Mike Purcell said.
Christensen said the season was disappointing and noted some injury issues, especially with Smith, who missed two games and part of another because of concussions.
“The great news is that 18 kids redshirted, they’re going to be ready to play this spring,” he said. “That’s exciting and encouraging.”