LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The Wyoming Cowboys simply refused to lose
another bowl game.
Corey Bramlet drilled a 12-yard touchdown pass to John Wadkowski
with 57 seconds left Thursday night to give Wyoming its first bowl
win in 38 years, a 24-21 victory over favored UCLA in the Las Vegas
"I couldn't be happier for our whole team, and I think it is a
shot of spirit for our whole state," second-year Wyoming coach Joe Glenn
After beating Florida State in the 1966 Sun Bowl, the Cowboys
lost their next six bowls and hadn't even been invited to one since
Glenn said a letter from Tom Frazier, a friend of his, helped
inspire the Cowboys.
"Since 1966, we hadn't won a bowl game, and the captain of that
team (Frazier) wrote our team a great letter," Glenn said. "He
said that there's nothing like standing on the field looking at the
scoreboard, walking away as a senior and winning a bowl game in
your last year.
"Now our guys can do that."
Bramlet finished 20-of-34 for 307 yards and two touchdowns. He
took the Cowboys 72 yards to the winning score on a drive that
began with 4:02 remaining, after UCLA's Justin Medlock missed a
45-yard field goal.
Bramlet kept the final drive alive with a quarterback sneak on a
fourth-and-1 at the UCLA 27. A pass-interference call against UCLA
cornerback Matt Clark moved the ball to the 12, and Bramlet found
Wadkowski open across the middle.
"I knew what the coverage was and what they were giving us, and
I knew it was there. John was thinking the same thing," Bramlet
Jovon Bouknight had five catches for 107 yards and threw a
touchdown pass for Wyoming (7-5).
Trailing 21-10, the Cowboys closed within four points on a trick
play early in the fourth quarter, with Bouknight throwing a 22-yard
scoring pass to J.J. Raterink off a reverse.
Bramlet rallied the Cowboys after UCLA reserve quarterback David
Koral threw two touchdown passes to put the Bruins ahead.
Koral, a junior college transfer who hadn't thrown a pass for
UCLA, took over when Drew Olson went down with a sprained left knee
4:47 before halftime and the Bruins trailing 10-7.
Koral's second college pass went for a 17-yard touchdown to
Craig Bragg with 1:50 left in the half, then he connected on a
25-yarder to Bragg midway though the third quarter to build the
lead to 21-10.
"We played a lackluster football game," second-year UCLA coach
Karl Dorrell said. "They (the Cowboys) fought every inch of the
way. They made plays at the end of the game and that was the
The Bruins (6-6) beat New Mexico 27-13 in the 2002 Las Vegas
Bowl, the only win in their last five bowl appearances.
Koral finished 7-of-12 for 89 yards and the two touchdowns.
Olson, who was 6-of-12 for 96 yards and one TD, twisted his knee on
a sack by John Flora.
"Watching on the sidelines was the hardest thing I've had to do
ever," Olson said. "It's a helpless feeling."
Koral said, "It's amazing to get an opportunity to make
something happen. I wish the outcome could have been different,
that just kills me."
Wyoming took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before the favored
Bruins began to come back.
UCLA closed the gap to 10-7 in the second quarter on Olson's
29-yard scoring pass to Junior Taylor. Koral, who had appeared in
two games and taken only five snaps for UCLA, put the Bruins up
14-10 with his first TD pass to Bragg.
Bragg later made a spectacular leaping grab and got his feet
down just inbounds in the end zone for the third-quarter TD that
gave the Bruins an 11-point lead.
The Cowboys jumped out to their 10-0 lead on a 10-yard touchdown
pass from Bramlet to Tyler Holden, set up when Zach Morris
recovered a fumble by UCLA's Chris Markey at the UCLA 29.
Deric Yaussi's 39-yard field goal got the Cowboys on the board
with 5:57 left in the opening quarter.