Three stars of the game: Pokes vs. Aggies
LARAMIE -- When you rack up 529 yards of total offense, including 330 of those coming via the ground game, the big guys up front deserve plenty of love.
Game balls for Frank Crum, Jack Walsh, Nofoafia Tulafono, Zach Watts and Eric Abojei.
If you religiously follow this program, you know the tight ends deserve a tip of the cap, too. Jackson Marcotte, Colin O'Brien, Treyton Welch and Parker Christensen all did their part in vaulting the Cowboys to 3-1 in Mountain West play after Saturday night's 28-14 victory over visiting Utah State.
You also have to give a milk bone to the bulldog in the backfield, Caleb Driskill. The fullback with the old-school neckroll is making the Razor City proud.
All work, little recognition.
All of these guys above, along with some help from the wideouts, are responsible for two of the guys who landed on the list this week. The other made life miserable for a young quarterback, making his first collegiate start.
Here are our three stars of the week:
1st star: Titus Swen - Running back
Was there ever a doubt?
Early in the week, Titus Swen had a different look in his eye, tone in his voice. His message was short, sweet and simple: I need to be better. Boy, was he. The junior from Fort Worth ran by and through the Aggies to the tune of 160 yards rushing. He also scored three touchdowns, including one from 31 yards out to open the scoring.
Swen was named the Mountain West's Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
He said he wasn't hitting the holes hard enough through Wyoming's first seven games. That changed Saturday night in a big way.
"Titus, obviously, he's just a dog," UW quarterback Andrew Peasley said. "He has something special and he's very explosive."
"Seeing him in the huddle, screaming and getting up and flexing on dudes -- I wouldn't want to block for anyone else," wide receiver Wyatt Wieland added.
Swen averaged 5.7 yards per carry and added a catch in the win.
Before the game, UW head coach Craig Bohl said he walked with Swen from the team hotel to War Memorial Stadium. The two chatted about life. They talked about mindset. Bohl said he was convinced a big night was coming from his top back.
"I saw a real focus," Bohl said. "Not that he hasn't been focused, but he was really determined ... I thought Titus Swen played his best ballgame."
So did he.
"You get me turnt up, you get me turnt up to the max," Swen said, flashing his trademark smile.
You think Utah State has seen enough of this guy. In his last two outing against the Aggies, Swen has rushed for 328 yards on 43 attempts and scored five touchdowns. That's nearly eight yards per tote. Ouch.
2nd star: DeVonne Harris - Defensive end
The sophomore defensive end from Big Lake, Minnesota entered the season with zero sacks on his resume.
Through eight weeks, DeVonne Harris now leads the Cowboys with seven quarterback takedowns, which is the best mark in the Mountain West Conference.
Against Utah State, Harris dusted 6-foot-7, 325-pound left tackle Alfred Edwards for a game-high three sacks. Knowing he couldn't go toe-to-toe with the senior, Harris said he simply relied on his speed to beat Edwards around the edge.
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Wyoming sacked true freshman Bishop Davenport six times in the victory. Harris and the Pokes now sit atop the league with 25 total sacks, seven ahead of Fresno State.
"He's really continued to improve," Bohl said of Harris, who also has 32 tackles and a pass breakup this season. "He has good length. He's able to long-arm and he runs well. We were concerned about his strength level and he picked up some really solid lean muscle mass this offseason."
3rd star: DQ James - Running back
Bohl tasked his staff with "recalibrating" some things during the Cowboys' first bye week of the season.
One of those changes was getting DQ James more involved in the offense, according to Bohl.
A nagging right hand injury for Dawaiian McNeely opened the door. James kicked it off the hinges.
The redshirt freshman from Lancaster, Texas, torched Utah State for 120 rushing yards on just 10 carries. You don't have to be a match major to know that's an eye-popping 12 yards per carry.
The 5-foot-7, 172-pound back had just 10 rushing attempts coming into this one. He rolled up just 23 yards on the ground, though he did add four catches for 42 yards, including a critical 23-yard grab late in regulation in a double-overtime win over Tulsa.
James' burst is impressive. Time and time again, he hit the edge and exploded into the Utah State secondary. You'd think with his stature he'd get down or fly out of bounds. Nope.
James welcomed contact.
"I don't say too much," James joked. "I just say, 'I'm sorry.'"
In all seriousness, this is what we've all been waiting for since James flipped his commitment from Hawaii to Wyoming before the 2021 campaign.
"It means a lot, knowing that I put all the hard work in and finally see that it paid off," James said, always sporting a wide, boyish grin. "You know, I just trusted the process, that's all. Your time will come."
Bohl said James earned it.
"DQ has continued to practice better and he added a different element tonight," he said. "He's got an extra gear and certainly made some big, big plays."
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