Honored: Cowboy Freshman Placekicker John Hoyland Earns MW Special Teams Player of Week

Tracy Ringolsby

Talk about making a good first impression. ... Well, then talk about Wyoming place-kicker John Hoyland, a true freshman Broomfield, Co.

He is the Mountain West Special Team Player of the Week for the opening week of Mountain West play. In his college debut, Hoyland converted for all four of his field goal attempts, and was 2-for-2 on PATs.

Not bad for a freshman, who was, you might say, the accidental place kicker.

"It is a crazy year," Cowboys coach Craig Bohl said following Saturday's 37-34 loss at Nevada. "He was quarantined (along with the rest of the true freshman class) so he was not able to do much in fall camp."

And he wasn't in the Cowboys game plan -- until Friday. The original plan an was for Luke Glassock, a red-shirt freshman from Buffalo, Wyo., to handle the placekicking chores, but he suffered a groin pull.

"We were back to John, and boy, did he deliver (Saturday night)," said Bohl. "For a freshman player to just show up, who we didn't know a lot about. ... I thought he did a great job."

It was Glasscock who provided the only scoring in the first half for the Cowboys, who trailed 14-6 at the midway point. He connected on a 27-year field goal late in the first quarter, and a 36-yarder in the second quarter.

Then, in the second half, He followed up Levi Willams' 21-yard toucdown run with 2:50 left in the third quarter by converting an extra point. He also converted the PAT again after Williams and Gunner Gentry teamed up on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 13:13 left in the fourth quartert.

And he capped off a hold-your-breath, 11-play minute-and-seven-seconds desperation drive to deliver a game-tying 42-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining in regulation before kicking a 38-year field goal in overtime.

Nevada answered with a touchdown pass to claim the victory, but did not diminish the success of Hoyland's college debut.

 Mountain West Conference announced its Players of the Week on Monday, and Wyoming true freshman place-kicker John Hoyland was honored as the MW Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the first college game of his career.

Hoyland was a perfect 4 for 4 in field goals and 2 for 2 in PATs on Saturday at Nevada. Hoyland connected from 27 and 36 yards in the first half to keep the game a one score game (14-6) at halftime.

Hoyland’s third field goal came with only 23 seconds remaining in the game. He came in the game in the pressure-packed situation and converted from 42 yards out to tie the game at 31-31.

The fourth field goal attempt for the freshman came in the first overtime from 38 yards to give Wyoming its first lead of the game at 34-31.

Other MWC weekly award winners are:

Nevada sophomore quarterback Carson Strong

Offensive Player of the Week

Strong set career highe with 420 yards passing, 39 completions and four thouchdowns against Wyoming, including the game-winning, nine-yard pass to Romeo Doubs in overtime. 

San Diego State junior linebacker Caden McDonald

Defensive Player of the Week

McDonald had career eights with eight tackles, three tackles for a loss, and 2 1/2 sacks. He led an Aztecs defense that held UNLV to six points, the fewest allowed by San Diego State in a game since Nov. 5, 2016.

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