Three Stars of the Game: Pokes vs. Mountaineers
LARAMIE -- There was only one question when compiling this brief list of Wyoming standouts in Saturday night's improbable 22-19 victory over Appalachian State: Does the No.1 star go to the one who blocked it or the one who scored?
That's probably a win-win situation if you were to ask the more than 21,000 in attendance inside War Memorial Stadium.
That's if they have even had time to digest what they just witnessed.
Here's our objective lists of stars from the Pokes' third win of the young season:
1st star: DeVonne Harris - Defensive end
DeVonne Harris is a quirky guy.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl says the junior defensive end goes to the beat of his own drummer, often wearing colorful sweatpants. He even tucks them into his socks. Affectionately known as "speed goggles," the Minnesota product rocks a pair of specs on the field.
Bohl loves to impersonate Harris, raising his voice and belting out words in a nasally tone.
Saturday night, he served as the Cowboys' "secret weapon."
With App State lining up for a 47-yard field-goal attempt with 2:02 remaining in the fourth quarter, Harris blew off the ball, crashing between the left guard and the center before extending his left hand.
That penetration, along with a low trajectory, led to a key block that bounced into the hands of speedy cornerback Jakorey Hawkins, who ran away from the pack, cruising into the end zone from 62 yards out.
"So, I palmed it and then I'm twisting (to the ground) and I just see out of the corner of my eye J-Hawk picked the ball up," Harris said. "I was like, 'that's a touchdown. That's a touchdown right there.'"
Harris also had a key stop on a 4th-and-1 in the first half.
Nate Noel, the second-leading rusher in the country coming into Saturday night, took the handoff around midfield and ran right into No. 93.
He went backward.
"That one surprised me because, you know, I'm playing the right end and I shut him off and (Noel) is sitting right there. I hit him, my glasses fell off -- they popped out a little bit ... It was a pretty nice moment."
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound edge rusher capped his night with nine tackles, a sack and a QB hurry..
"Just a simple way to put it, that's DeVonne," Linebacker Easton Gibbs joked, referring to his fun-loving teammate. "He's that awkward guy who somehow is always in the right spot at the right time and is always making plays. We love him. You know, he's a playmaker. This is what he does."
2nd star: Jakorey Hawkins - Cornerback
Something told him to move to the right side of the line of scrimmage.
That intuition led to history.
In 126-plus years of football at Wyoming, a blocked field goal had never been returned for a score.
"Had" is the keyword.
That Harris block we talked about above was scooped up by Jakorey Hawkins. The senior cornerback blazed 62 yards down the east sideline for the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
"When I saw Jakorey pick it up, I was like 'ain't nobody going to catch him,'" Bohl said with a smile. "It was mad chaos."
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
Hawkins, who transferred to UW from Ole Miss after the 2021 season, wasn't done there.
With 1:45 to go, App State still had plenty of time to reach field goal range and force a tie. On the third snap, quarterback Joey Aguilar reared back and fired a shot into the end zone. Hawkins, on the coverage, did just enough to prevent Kaedin Robinson from making the grab. More importantly, he kept his hands to himself, not drawing a pass interference penalty.
Hawkins finished the night with five solo tackles and a pair of pass breakups in the win.
3rd star: Harrison Waylee - Running back
Craig Bohl said last Monday Harrison Waylee was the unquestioned No. 1 running back on this roster.
It was earned.
Just two days earlier, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound junior busted a 62-yard touchdown run against Texas on just the second carry of his Wyoming career. The Northern Illinois transfer underwent "knee reconstruction" in the offseason and was sidelined against Texas Tech and Portland State.
Against the fourth-ranked Longhorns, Waylee averaged 6.1 yards per carry while racing for 110 yards on the night.
He was back at it in Laramie.
On the Cowboys' first offensive snap after tossing a pick-six early in the fourth quarter, Waylee gave this offense life, coasting through the App State front four and outracing everyone to the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown.
"You know what, he's a weapon that we have not had for a long time," Bohl said. "... He hit that crease, and once he got in that second level, he was gone."
That was the longest in the Mountain West so far this fall. It was also a career long for the Iowa product.
"You know, Harrison Waylee has a great sense of where he's at," UW's left tackle Frank Crum said. "He fits into our schemes. Then (he has a) great bursts, obviously. We saw that."
PRESS PASS: Roaming The War
-PRESS PASS: Roaming The War