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Laramie, Wyo. • On a relatively mild Saturday night in early November, Wyoming torched Utah State at War Memorial Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the surging Cowboys to a 52-28 victory over the slumping Aggies.
Wyoming improved to 7-2 overall and 5-0 in the Mountain West Conference with its fifth straight victory.
Utah State slipped to 3-6 and 1-5 in league play after its seventh straight road defeat, dating to last season.
Allen was the catalyst to the Cowboys' win. He completed 12 of 17 passes in the first half, including a 46-yard touchdown to Tanner Gentry with 54 seconds left to give Wyoming a 35-7 lead.
Utah State rallied and got as close as 35-28 with 5:20 left in the third quarter. But Allen's 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jacob Hollister on the next series allowed the Cowboys to regain control.
Asked during the week about Allen's performance this season, Utah State coach Matt Wells said, "It looks like he's playing with a lot of mojo. … When you start watching [him], you're like, 'This kid has got something to him.' "
Wells continued: "Part of playing quarterback is making the 10 around you play a whole lot better. I think he's certainly got that. … He's played well."
Wyoming, which is off to its best start since 1998, dominated the first half of this game.
On the opening possession, the Cowboys needed four plays to drive 75 yards. They scored on a 25-yard pass from Allen to Gentry.
Wyoming made it 14-0 with 6:06 left in the first quarter with another long drive. Taking over at their own six, the Cowboys moved to the 44. From there, junior running back Brian Hill raced 56 yards for another touchdown.
Already Wyoming's all-time rushing leader, Hill also caught Wells' eye as Utah State prepared for its game against the Pokes.
"He is big, thick and strong," the Aggie coach said. "He's very good between the tackles and is a strong runner. … He's a one-cut guy and he'll run through an arm tackle. He's also got really good speed."
In the final minute of the first quarter, Utah State punter Aaron Dalton shanked an 18-yarder.
Taking over at the Aggie 39, the Cowboys needed only three plays to score again. They took a 21-0 lead with 14:18 left in the half on Allen's 15-yard touchdown pass to Jake Maulhardt.
Utah State finally got on the board on its next possession, thanks to three conversions on third down. The Aggies marched 75 yards in nine plays and scored on Damion Hobbs' 1-yard touchdown run.
At that point, Utah State needed a defensive stop to put a little pressure back on Wyoming.
The Aggies couldn't get it.
The Cowboys pounded away, milked six minutes off the clock and built a 28-7 lead with 4:06 remaining in the half when Allen dove over the goal line from the 1.
It got worse for Utah State when, with 1:19 left, quarterback Kent Myers completed a 20-yard pass to Ron'Quavion Tarver. He fumbled the ball away, however, and the turnover proved costly.
On third-and-12, Allen scrambled away from the Aggie rush and lofted a 46-yard touchdown pass to Gentry.
• Wyoming hands slumping Utah State its fifth loss in the last six games, 52-28.
• Cowboy quarterback Josh Allen throws three touchdown passes in the first half.
• Utah State faces New Mexico on Saturday night in its final home game this season.