Wyoming Utah St Football

Wyoming tight end Josh Harshman (33) gets tackled by Utah State cornerback DJ Williams (7) and safety Troy Lefeged Jr. (3) during the first half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP)

LOGAN, Utah – While it won’t be any consolation following another tough loss, University of Wyoming redshirt senior linebacker Logan Wilson made history Saturday.

Wilson, a Wyoming native and Butkus Award semifinalist, tied former San Diego State linebacker Kirk Morrison for fifth-place on the all-time Mountain West tackles list. Wilson now has 384 career tackles.

Wilson, who accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl earlier this week, also scored a touchdown Saturday. He intercepted Utah State’s Jordan Love on the first play of the second quarter and ran it back 10 yards for a score. It was his fourth career defensive touchdown, which is tied for the most among all active players in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The accomplishments weren’t enough to make Wilson feel better about the outcome of a 26-21 loss, however.

“(We have to make sure) that we’re not losing the game ourselves,” Wilson said. “You wish to have some of them back, but that’s just the nature of football.”

Wilson wasn’t the only one who made history Saturday. Junior defensive tackle Javaree Jackson intercepted Love during the first quarter by tipping a pass to himself. With the interception, Jackson became the seventh UW defensive lineman to intercept a pass since 2016.

Senior tight end Josh Harshman had a career-best 76 receiving yards and tied his career-high with six receptions. He led all UW receivers in both yards and receptions.

After the game, Harshman was quick to defend starting quarterback Tyler Vander Waal, who was responsible for four turnovers against the Aggies and threw a costly interception on the team’s final drive with a chance to take the lead.

“I went up to him and said, ‘Man, you’re our quarterback. We’re going to ride for you no matter what happens. Just keep your head up,’” Harshman said. “We’re all going to have to rally around him. He is an adult. He knows what he has to do. (The end of the game) might hurt his confidence a little bit, but he knows we have a game Friday.”

Welcomed returns

Junior offensive lineman Alonzo Velazquez, who missed the last three games for the Pokes with a right leg injury, played Saturday, though he did not start. Redshirt freshman lineman Zach Watts made his season debut against the Aggies. He started three games a season ago and was supposed to miss the season with a knee injury he suffered during spring practice.

Bridger’s Rifle stays in Logan

The Bridger’s Rifle, which is awarded annually to the winner of the matchup between Utah State and Wyoming, will stay in Utah for the second consecutive year. Utah State has won two in-a-row in the series with Wyoming, and leads 40-26-4 overall. UW had won the previous two meetings in 2016 and 2017.

Valladay continues hot-streak

With another 114 yards rushing against Utah State, Valladay continued his streak of 100-yard games and has now reached the century mark in four straight games. Valladay has 115 carries over those four contests, including 25 on Saturday. Valladay briefly left the game after an awkward tackle and was spelled by freshman Brett Brenton. Brenton, a Casper native, was the team’s second-leading rusher with 22 yards. He gained 25 yards on an explosive third-quarter run where he hurdled a Utah State defender before being brought down. His other three rushes went for a combined minus-3 yards.

Marcotte carted off

Freshman tight end Jackson Marcotte caught two passes for 12 yards before being carted off with a left leg injury in the first quarter Saturday. His status going forward is unknown.

No rest for the weary

Wyoming’s “24-hour rule” won’t apply this week; instead, the Cowboys will have to get over their loss faster. Colorado State comes to town Friday night in a primetime ESPN2 matchup of the Border War. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Following Saturday’s close loss, head coach Craig Bohl was expressed disappointment.

“I have a bad taste in my mouth. We got beat by a good football team,” Bohl said. “We had an opportunity to win and we didn’t get it done. That’s it.”

He’ll have a chance to get that bad taste out of his mouth in just six days.

Michael Katz is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached at mkatz@wyosports.net or 307-755-3325.

Follow him on Twitter at @MichaelLKatz.

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