Wyoming walk-on waltzes into end zone for first-career touchdown
LARAMIE -- The play call is "22 Big Horn."
The concept, a simple one: Run, catch, score.
With just over a minute to go in the first half, that directive made its way from the coaching booth high above War Memorial Stadium, through the headsets on the sideline and eventually into Wyoming's huddle.
It was just three words at that point.
Within a matter of seconds, it was a result.
Will Pelissier, the wide receiver from the northern Wyoming town that birthed that name in the first place, lined up all alone on the outside. With just over a minute remaining in the first half, quarterback Andrew Peasley took the shotgun snap and surveyed the middle of the field before arching a near-perfect pass down the right seam.
Pelissier took care of the rest, hauling in the 48-yard heave and waltzing into the end zone for his first-career touchdown reception. It was also the Cowboys' first offensive score of the 2022 season.
You might have been surprised to see the wheels on the former walk-on. His head coach wasn't.
"I think he's a lot faster than what people think he is," Craig Bohl said minutes after the Cowboys outlasted Tulsa 40-37 in double overtime Saturday afternoon in Laramie. "He's a heck of a lot faster than what the University of Tulsa thinks he is. He can run and we got the look we wanted. He got the guy's hips turned, he separated and ran away from him and made a big play."
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If you really follow this program, you knew this was a possibility.
In the 2021 spring game, Pelissier hauled in four passes for 70 yards. That included an acrobatic 34-yard hook up with former quarterback Levi Williams.
Those results didn't translate to the regular season.
Pelissier appeared in 11 games last fall. He didn't catch a single ball. That would have to wait.
In Wyoming's zero-week opener at Illinois, he got that monkey off his back, snagging a five-yard pass in a lopsided loss to the Fighting Illini. The feat had little impact on the outcome. Wyoming fell, 38-6. To make matters worse, the passing attack accounted for just 30 total yards.
But that doesn't mean it didn't carry weight.
Against Tulsa, Pelissier started his day by taking a jet sweep 18 yards around the edge. He added three catches for 67 yards.
Peasley said he had a feeling Pelissier was going to have a big game against the Golden Hurricane. In fact, he told him as much in the locker room.
"I looked at him and I was like, 'you're catching a post today for a touchdown' and it happened," said UW's quarterback, who finished with 256 yards passing and two long scoring strikes on the day. "We just looked at each other and kind of gave a little nod like, 'I told you.'
"It was good. I'm proud of him. He's such a hard worker and works for what he gets."
Joshua Cobbs was also on the receiving end of a long-distance connection with Peasley in the fourth quarter. That was another go-route -- this time from 51 yards out -- that ended with the sophomore cruising into the end zone all alone to tie the game at 34-34.
Cobbs joked that he is faster than Pelissier during his postgame press conference, but one thing that isn't in doubt is that grab before the half gave this sputtering offense the spark it needed.
"That was great. We all kind of fed off that, you know, seeing him be able to go out there and make a play," he said. "Will is a great player. He works hard everyday he comes out to practice. So, whenever you get to see one of your teammates go out there and score a first touchdown, it's always exciting."
Bohl agreed, adding Pelissier is yet another example of an in-state product simply taking advantage of his opportunity.
"That's a case of a walk-on guy from Wyoming that's worked hard," he said. "He's showing that he can play in a big-time game."
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