Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl 2019

In his first career start, Wyoming freshman quarterback Levi Williams threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns and added another on the ground against the Georgia State Panthers during the 2019 Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, more than helping the Cowboys finish their 8-5 season on a high note. 

“For a freshman quarterback, I thought he played with a lot of poise and composure,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl. “We’re glad he’s here.”

The Panthers quickly lit up the scoreboard on Wednesday with a four-yard touchdown by quarterback Dan Ellington after six-drives, gaining 75 yards in the first two minutes of the first quarter. Ellington has been playing with a torn ACL for the past month. 

“(The Panthers) did a couple of things with play-action that kinda froze us up and kudos to them,” Bohl said. “There were a lot of times today when our defense had to come up with some big stops and they certainly did.” 

Cowboys kicker Cooper Rothe answered with a 53-yard field goal in the first quarter, a personal best. His previous record was 51 yards. 

Wyoming wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt scored after catching a 51-yard pass from quarterback Levi Williams to close out the second quarter 14-points over the Panthers. 

“That was a big, big play; it’s like he just kept going,” Bohl said. “There were a lot of key plays but that one changed the complexion of the game.”

The games two MVPs came from Wyoming; sophomore running back Xazavian Valladay and senior strong safety Alijah Halliburton. The New Year’s Eve bowl game was Valladay’s seventh game with over 100 rushing yards this season and Halliburton’s final game.

“It’s my last game and it was such a big game to end the decade,” Halliburton said. “I’m excited for the Wyoming program for the years to come.”

More than 36,000 fans were in attendance at this year’s Arizona Bowl. 

Read more in next week’s edition of the Explorer and Marana News.

 

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