That is how you make an impression. That is meeting the significant other’s parents for the first time with a bouquet of flowers in hand and an unparalleled personality in your back pocket.
University of Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers made his first collegiate start last Friday against Colorado State … on the road … in the Border War … the most important game of the season … and flourished. The freshman appeared unfazed with the gravity of the situation, retaining a Bronze Boot so it can stay accustomed to its home in UW’s brand-new, high-altitude training facility for another year.
It took Chambers and the offense an entire half to find a rhythm, but once they did, it soared. The Pokes tallied 28 second-half points en route to a two-score victory.
Chambers dazzled. He commanded the attention of the huddle. Everyone from a senior on down to a freshman had their eyes fixed on Chambers to lead, and he did.
Senior Tyree Mayfield remembers his freshman quarterback entering the huddle, clapping twice and saying, “Hey, listen up,” And the senior tight end thought to himself, “Whatever you say.”
Chambers finished with a stat line of 7-for-10 for 116 yards with two touchdowns through the air, while adding another 101 yards on 22 carries and one score via the ground. He twirled spirals on the move to receivers in stride. He ran through would-be tacklers for extra yardage and first downs.
Chambers showed grit, passion and spunk. Dare I say he resembled Josh Allen at times.
Chambers became the first freshman quarterback in college football to rush for at least 100 yards in his first two games since Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez in 2011. That’s some decent company.
The victory last Friday didn’t just return to the boot to its rightful place in “Laradise” for the third consecutive year. It didn’t just silence a green-and-gold crowd in their brand-new, on-campus stadium. It didn’t just end UW’s four-game losing streak. It didn’t just prove that this offense, with the right quarterback, can move the ball.
More than all of that, the win over the hated Rams gave the Pokes something to play for moving forward.
Wyoming sits at 3-6 overall, and another three wins in its final three regular-season games would make the Pokes bowl eligible. UW’s last three opponents, San Jose State, Air Force and New Mexico, are a combined 7-17.
UW safety Andrew Wingard even said after the CSU game that the team is taking every game from here on out like a playoff. If they are able to go 3-0 in that playoff, a nice reward awaits Wingard and his senior teammates who, for the most part, have endured a disappointing final season.
And while it will be sad to see that memorable senior class move on, Pokes fans can look forward to a future. A future with a dual-threat quarterback with all the tools to grow and succeed. A quarterback who couldn’t of asked for a better place to audition. A quarterback who capitalized on the most meaningful of stages. A quarterback with a Bronze Boot.
• The University of Wyoming women’s soccer team, which claimed a share of the regular-season Mountain West Conference title, fell to New Mexico 2-1 in overtime in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
• UW cross-country runner Paul Roberts won the MWC title Friday, becoming the second Cowboy ever to win an individual MWC crown. The men’s team placed fourth overall and was ranked No. 22 in the latest coaches poll.
• UW’s wrestling program was ranked No. 22 in the preseason poll.