The Wyoming Cowboys will host the UC Davis Aggies this Saturday as the Cowboys will be seeking their third consecutive home win and their fourth home win in their last five home games. Both the Cowboys and Aggies will enter Saturday’s game with 1-1 records in 2016.
Wyoming defeated Northern Illinois (40-34 in three overtimes) in the first game of the season prior to losing at Nebraska (52-17) last week. UC Davis opened its 2016 season on the road, losing at No. 24 Oregon (53-28). The Aggies bounced back last week, defeating Southern Oregon (52-35).
Wyoming and UC Davis will be meeting each other for the first time in football when they kick off this Saturday. The UC Davis Aggies are a member of the Big Sky Conference.
A more balanced offense is something the Wyoming Cowboys are striving for this season, and in the season opener against Northern Illinois they accomplished that. The Pokes rushed for 243 yards versus NIU and threw for 245 yards for a total of 488 yards of total offense.
As part of that balanced offensive attack, there was also an excellent balance among individual Cowboys. Junior running back Brian Hill recorded the 12th 100-yard rushing game of his career, with 125 yards against Northern Illinois. Senior wide receivers Jake Maulhardt and Tanner Gentry had 106 and 104 yards receiving, respectively, against the Huskies.
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Cowboys to the triple overtime win against Northern Illinois. Allen earned the honor in his first start of the 2016 season and only his second career start for the Cowboys. The sophomore from Firebaugh, Calif., accounted for 315 yards of total offense, while leading the Pokes to 488 yards of total offense in the victory.
Last week, Wyoming entered the fourth quarter at Nebraska trailing by only seven points, 24-17, but four fourth-quarter Cowboy turnovers were converted into three touchdowns by the Cornhuskers on way to the Nebraska win.
Gentry had his second consecutive outstanding performance of the season, catching seven passes for 124 yards and one touchdown against Nebraska. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the MW and No. 14 in the NCAA, averaging 114.0 receiving yards per game. He is also leading the MW and ranks No. 17 in the country in receptions per game (7.5).
Defensively, sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard led the way against the Cornhuskers with 13 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. On the season, Wingard leads the Pokes in tackles through two games, with 25. He also leads the MW in that category and ranks No. 5 in the nation in tackles, averaging 12.5 per game.
Wingard is ranked among the league and NCAA leaders in forced fumbles, solo tackles and interceptions, ranking No. 3 in the league and No. 19 in the nation in forced fumbles (1 forced fumble), ranking No. 4 in the MW and No. 21 in the NCAA in solo tackles (6.5 per game) and ranking No. 2 in interceptions (1).
Junior running back Hill and senior running back Shaun Wick could both move up the Wyoming career rushing list in Saturday’s game. Hill has rushed for 2,601 career yards to rank fifth in school history. He needs only five rushing yards to pass Marques Brigham for fourth place in school history and needs only 72 to pass Wynel Seldon for third place. ‘
Redshirt senior Wick has rushed for 2,201 yards entering this week to rank No. 7 in Wyoming history. He needs 77 yards to pass Gerald Abraham for sixth place.
The UC Davis passing attack highlights their offense, as the Aggies are averaging 347 yards per game through the air. The Aggies rush for 157.5 yards per game as they average 504.5 yards of total offense per contest.
Defensively, UC Davis allows 587.5 yards of total offense per game. The Aggies allow 349.5 passing yards per game and 238.0 rushing yards per contest.
The UC Davis offense is paced by running back Manusamoa Luuga. He is averaging 120.5 yards per game with five touchdowns. Quarterback Ben Scott averages 342 yards passing per game. He is completing 64.5 percent of his passes this season with four touchdowns and only one interception. Wide receiver Ramon Vargas has 208 yards receiving to lead the Aggies.
Defensively, linebacker Zach Jones and safety Ryan Parenteau each lead the team with 13 tackles on the season. Both have also forced fumbles this season Defensive end Anthony Baumgart has 11 tackles with a team-high two tackles for loss and one sack.
UC Davis plays at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. Since the 2000 season, Wyoming has played 13 games against teams from the FCS level. The Cowboys have posted an 11-2 record in those games. All 13 games have been played in War Memorial Stadium.
Saturday’s game will be live streamed on GoWyo.com, the Mountain West Network and CampusInsiders.com.
The telecast will also be available live on Twitter. In all tweets leading up to and during the game, the official Twitter hashtag for the broadcast will be: #WYOvsUCD
As with all Wyoming Football games, the Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game on its 25 affiliate stations, beginning with the pregame show one hour prior to kick off.