LARAMIE, Wyo. | With a new group of receivers this year to throw to, Josh Allen may have picked out a favorite.
Allen targeted Austin Conway 11 times, including six of his first seven passes, as Wyoming shut out Gardner-Webb 27-0 Saturday.
“I can definitely tell you that I think Josh has some confidence in me catching the ball,” Conway, who caught a 27-yard TD from Allen, said.
Conway — a graduate of Aurora’s Overland High School — had 135 receiving yards as well as 53 yards on punt returns.
“Getting him the ball as many times we can a game is really what we’re trying to do because, with the ball in his hands, he’s really electrifying,” Allen said.
Allen completed 22 of 32 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns. His 328 passing yards was the second most of his college career at Wyoming (1-1).
Mentioned by some as a top NFL prospect before the season started, Allen finished the game with a 175.5 passer rating.
“Josh can take the ball places on the field that most defenses do not cover, and as a result when we have that ability, we’re going to take advantage of that,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said.
C.J. Johnson caught six passes for 130 yards and a 29-yard score.
Kellen Overstreet scored on a 1-yard run while gaining 33 yards on 14 carries for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys defense limited Gardner-Webb (0-2) to 195 total yards. It was Wyoming’s first shutout since Nov. 20, 2010, when the Cowboys beat Colorado State 44-0.
Defensive end Kevin Prosser had nine tackles, including five solo, and two sacks for Wyoming.
“I thought the energy level was pretty good on defense,” Bohl said. “…I thought our defensive guys pretty much maintained control of the game the whole way.”
With the one interception on Saturday, Wyoming’s defense now has forced five turnovers in just two games.
Tyrell Maxwell led the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 68 yards on 18 carries. Maxwell completed just 2 of 7 passes for 22 yards and one interception. He was sacked three times.
“We’ve got to run the ball in order to win and we have to get better at executing our passing game,” Gardner-Webb coach Carroll McCray said.
Gardner-Webb: For the second week in a row, the Runnin’ Bulldogs were shut out in the first three quarters offensively.
Wyoming: After finding the going tough against Big 10 Iowa’s defense the previous week, Wyoming had an easier time against the FCS Gardner-Webb’s defense. The Cowboys gained 297 yards in the first half on Saturday, more than the 233 yards it gained for the whole game against Iowa.
HOME SWEET HOME
Wyoming has enjoyed playing at home lately. The Cowboys have now won eight straight regular-season games in War Memorial Stadium and eight of its last nine overall at home.
Gardner-Webb: Returns home to play Western Carolina on Saturday. Western Carolina won the 2016 game 44-14.
Wyoming: Stays home for the second game of a four-game homestand when it hosts Oregon on Saturday.