After making his debut earlier, University of Wyoming true freshman quarterback Levi Williams broke 7-7 tie late in the third quarter.
Needing some kind of momentum offensively, Williams provided just that with his first career touchdown – a 1-yard sneak – to give the Cowboys a 14-7 lead over Colorado State with 6:04 left in the third quarter.
Williams, who appeared for one or two plays on numerous occasions throughout the game before jogging back to the sideline, remained in the game after sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal limped off the field after being sacked.
Williams has six carries for 24 yards and a touchdown thus far.
The Cowboys lead 14-7 as we move into the fourth quarter with the Rams marching downfield.
UW true freshman quarterback Levi Williams made his debut at the end of the first quarter and played a part in the first score of the game.
Williams, a Canyon Lake, Texas, native, opened the second quarter with a 4-yard run and added a 5-yard carry a few plays later to help push UW across midfield.
A pair of Colorado State penalties, including a personal foul and a targeting penalty that resulted in the ejection of CSU defensive end Jalen Bates, gave UW a first-and-goal from the 7-yard line.
Nothing ever seems come easy for UW, and that was the case when it faced a third-and-goal from inside the 1, but sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal shoved his way into the end zone to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead with 11 minutes, 52 seconds to play in the first half.
Patrick O'Brien has shredded defenses in each of his seven starts for CSU this season.
It took the Nebraska transfer until the second quarter to get going against UW on Friday night.
Down 7-0, O'Brien engineered the Rams' best drive of the night with five completions of 10 or more yards. O'Brien found tight end Trey McBride three separate times for 16 or more yards, including an 18-yard pass to push the Rams inside the Cowboys' 40-yard line.
After a flurry of penalties, including unsportsmanlike fouls and personal fouls on both teams, O'Brien threw a 4-yard dart to Warren Jackson, who beat UW senior cornerback Tyler Hall in one-on-one coverage, for a touchdown to tie it 7-7 with 4:52 left before halftime.
O'Brien completed 10 of 12 passes for 124 yards in the first half for the Rams.
If you missed the first quarter of the 111th Border War, you didn't miss much.
Colorado State and the University of Wyoming traded possessions, but they didn't do much else in a rather pedestrian first quarter.
UW's defense was up first and, like many times before this season, the Cowboys came up big despite a lethal passing attack led by Colorado State quarterback Patrick O'Brien. O'Brien was sharp on his first two throws, hitting 6-foot-6 receiver Warren Jackson for 17 yards and tight end Trey McBride for 7 yards.
UW opened its first possession with, of all things, the pass. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal completed his first two throws, including a 13-yard strike to junior wideout Ayden Eberhardt on UW's first play from scrimmage. Vander Waal then threw a 10-yard strike to senior Austin Conway on third-and-9 for another first down, but the drive stalled from there.
The Cowboys' defense came up big again near the end of the quarter. O'Brien found Jackson again for a 17-yard connection to push the Rams inside Cowboys territory, but a disguised UW blitz worked to perfection when junior Javaree Jackson and senior Josiah Hall teamed up to sack O'Brien and force a punt.
True freshman quarterback Levi Williams made his college debut at the end of the quarter in what turned out to be the most intriguing development of the first 15 minutes.
Salutations from a blustery War Memorial Stadium.
We're about an hour from kickoff in the 111th edition of the Border War between Colorado State and the University of Wyoming. Tonight marks the 52nd game between the two programs with the Bronze Boot traveling trophy up for grabs. UW leads the all-time series 27-24 and has won the last three meetings.
Will the Cowboys keep the Bronze Boot for a fourth straight year? We'll find out shortly.
Kickoff is set for 7:35 p.m., so while we have a few minutes, I'll pass along a few pre-game notes to go along with your hot chocolate or coffee.
UW sophomore running back Xazavian Valladay rushed for a 114 yards last week at Utah State. It was his fourth straight 100-yard game and fifth of the season.
UW senior linebacker and Casper product Logan Wilson is just four tackles away from 400 for his career. Wilson is fourth on UW's all-time career tackles chart with 396. Jim Talich (1994-97) sits third with 440. Wilson also could move up the Mountain West career tackles chart by the end of the night. He's fifth entering tonight's game, but is just seven tackles shy of tying New Mexico's Dakota Cox (2013-16) and eight tackles from taking over fourth place all-time.
Fifteen UW seniors will suit up for the final time at War Memorial Stadium tonight. That group has played in two bowl games and was a part of a Mountain West Division title. A win tonight, and they will close out their careers 4-0 in the Border War.
The Cowboys have lost their last four road games by a combined 15 points. The Pokes have played six one-score games this season and are 2-4.
Check back here for updates throughout the night.