Dec. 23, 2004
By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer
LAS VEGAS - Corey Bramlet drilled a 12-yard touchdown pass to John Wadkowski with 57 seconds left Thursday night to give Wyoming its first bowl victory in 38 years, a 24-21 win over UCLA.
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.
He kept the drive alive with a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-1 at the Bruins' 27. A pass interference call against UCLA cornerback Matt Clark moved the ball to the 12, and Bramlet found Wadkowski open across the middle.
Wyoming (7-5) had lost six straight bowl games dating to a 1966 Sun Bowl victory over Florida State. The Cowboys hadn't played in a bowl since 1993, when Kansas State beat them 52-17 in the Copper Bowl.
Jovon Bouknight of Wyoming had five catches for 107 yards and threw a touchdown pass.
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.
Maurice Drew rushed for 126 yards on 25 carries for UCLA.
The Bruins (6-6) beat New Mexico 27-13 in the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl, its only win in their last six 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.
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 the Bruins, scrambled to his right and threw accurately on the dead run to Bragg in the right side of the end zone to put the Bruins up 14-10.
Bragg 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 Bruins' 29.
Deric Yaussi's 39-yard field goal got the Cowboys on the board with 5:57 left in the opening quarter. A 56-yard pass from Bramlet to Bouknight to the Bruins' 30 led to the field goal.