BOISE, Idaho (AP) When Montell Cozart transferred from Kansas to Boise State for his senior season, he had two goals: help the team win and have fun.
Cozart did both on Saturday night, accounting for three touchdowns – two running and one passing – in a platoon role to lead the Broncos past Wyoming 24-14.
”In fall camp, we sat down here as a team and I just told them that I wanted to do whatever it took to help our team be successful,” Cozart said. ”Whether it’s running sweep motions or going out and catching the ball, I just wanted to get back to having fun playing the game.”
Cozart, who rushed for 52 yards and passed for 73, split more time than usual with starter Brett Rypien, who had 104 yards passing.
After pulling an upset last week on the road against San Diego State, the Broncos (5-2, 3-0 Mountain West) appeared flat early, mustering only 118 yards in the first half – just 29 of that through the air.
Trailing 7-3 to start the second half, the Broncos cobbled together an 18-play, 71-yard drive that consumed nine minutes, 46 seconds and ended on a 4-yard touchdown run by Cozart.
”That drive was the biggest difference,” Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson said. ”We couldn’t get off the field on third down to start the second half.”
Wyoming (4-3, 2-1) answered with a 20-yard scoring strike from Josh Allen to Austin Fort to take a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter.
But in the fourth, Boise State took control of the game on both sides of the ball.
Cozart scored on another 4-yard run and, just more than two minutes later, hit Cedrick Wilson for a 24-yard touchdown.
The Broncos defense held Wyoming to 22 total yards in the final quarter.
Allen, who led the Cowboys with 62 yards rushing, threw for 131 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. However, in the fourth quarter, he struggled against Boise State’s relentless pressure.
Wyoming: Last season, the Cowboys’ stunning win over Boise State ultimately knocked the Broncos out of the Mountain West conference championship game. It also paved the way for Wyoming to play for the title. The roles could very well be reversed this season, though Wyoming is still in good position should Boise State falter down the stretch as it has done the past two seasons.
Boise State: While the Broncos have languished near the bottom of the conference in total offense, they seem to be getting more comfortable with their two-quarterback system – and it’s paying dividends. Brett Rypien and Cozart were swapped out regularly, often multiple times during each drive.
The change of pace between the stronger pocket passer in Rypien and the dual threat of Cozart was just enough to put Wyoming’s defense on its heels late and might prove to be the winning formula for the Broncos moving forward this season.
Boise State running back Alexander Mattison made a highlight reel play in the fourth quarter, hurdling a Wyoming defender on a 22-yard reception from Rypien.
”Defensive backs like to chip at running backs shins a lot, so you just set them up,” said Mattison, who ran the 110-meter hurdles in high school. ”When I got a feel for it, I just made the play.”
Wyoming: The Cowboys will host New Mexico for homecoming next Saturday.
Boise State: The Broncos will return to the road for the third time in four games, facing Utah State on Saturday.
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