LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Facing the top tier of college football teams is nothing new to Cal Poly. Nor is beating them.
For the third time in the last seven years, the Mustangs defeated an FBS team. Deonte Williams rushed for 187 yards, including a 65-yard score on the game's fourth play, and Cal Poly held on for a 24-22 win over Wyoming on Saturday.
Cal Poly (2-0), an FCS team, had claimed a pair of wins over San Diego State in 2006 and 2008, which followed a victory at UTEP in 2003. It was the first 0-3 start for Wyoming since 2002.
"It just describes our heart we have as a team," Williams said. "Cal Poly, we just battle hard. We have heart to finish our games no matter who our opponent is. Seriously, Cal Poly has a history of beating other FBS teams, San Diego State for instance, so to come in and win against Wyoming, it's definitely a great feeling."
Mustangs coach Tim Walsh praised his team's resilience after letting a quick 14-0 lead slip away. His defense held the Cowboys without a first down on the final two possessions.
"I've said it before, you know, good FCS schools against good FBS schools, we probably can be competitive," he said. "Can we win all the time? No. Ten times? I don't know how many times they'd beat us. Tonight I thought we were the better team."
Wyoming struggled with quarterback Brett Smith on the bench after suffering a head injury last week against Toledo. He had been averaging 256 yards of total offense. His replacement, Colby Kirkegaard, making his first start, completed 15 of 23 passes for 123 yards and ran four times for 21 yards but struggled to move the offense consistently. The Cowboys punted nine times and gained only 260 yards after averaging 435 yards in the first two games.
"Colby went out and did the things that we asked of him, to execute the game plan," Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said. "We told the other players that we were going to need them to elevate their level of play. I thought he went out there, worked hard and made the best decisions he could."
Walsh called Smith a great player and said it was unfortunate that he couldn't play.