March 12, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming's 2008 non-conference football schedule was announced on Wednesday and will feature a seven-game home schedule, marking only the second time in school history that Wyoming has played seven home games in a season.
Wyoming recently added a third non-conference home game to its 2008 football schedule in North Dakota State. The Cowboys will host NDSU on Sept. 13, giving the Cowboys seven home games, with a minimum of three home games in the months of August and September.
The Cowboys will also host non-conference foes Ohio (Aug. 30) and Bowling Green (Sept. 27). UW's one non-conference road game in 2008 will be at Tennessee on Nov. 8. The dates for the Cowboys' Mountain West Conference games have not yet been released by the MWC, but will feature four home games against Air Force, Colorado State, San Diego State and Utah.
"We feel our team next season has a chance to be special," said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. "The opportunity to play seven home games is truly exciting."
Wyoming will open the 2008 season at home on Saturday Aug. 30 against head coach Frank Solich and his Ohio University Bobcats. A year ago in Athens, Ohio, Wyoming and Ohio U. played one of the most exciting games of the season with Wyoming scoring the winning touchdown with 2:02 remaining in the game to capture a 34-33 road win.
The Cowboys' meeting with Bowling Green on Sept. 27 will be the first between the two schools. Bowling Green concluded their 2007 season with an 8-5 record and an appearance in the GMAC Bowl versus Tulsa. For Bowling Green, it marked the third bowl game for the Falcons in the last five seasons. They also played in the 2003 Motor City Bowl in Detroit, Mich., and the 2004 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The head coach at Bowling Green is former University of Wyoming assistant coach Gregg Brandon, who coached at Wyoming from 1987-90 under Paul Roach.
The North Dakota State Bison, Wyoming's opponent on Sept. 13, held the No. 1 ranking in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) for seven weeks before losing their final game of the year, finishing with a 10-1 record. The Bison concluded the season ranked No. 9 in the FCS national polls. NDSU captured a road win at Big Ten member Minnesota, by a score of 27-21, last season. The Bison also defeated Central Michigan on the road by a score of 44-14. Central Michigan went on to win the Mid-American Conference Championship before losing to Purdue, 48-51, in the Motor City Bowl. North Dakota State replaces a previously scheduled road game at New Mexico State on the Wyoming schedule.
"North Dakota State is a football program on the rise," said Burman. "They defeated the University of Minnesota last year in Minneapolis and finished the season ranked in the Top 25 among NCAA Football Championship Subdivision teams (formerly Division I-AA).
"With respect to replacing the road game at New Mexico State with a home game against North Dakota State, we had a date conflict with New Mexico State," said Burman. "We asked them to move our game in Las Cruces in 2008 to an open week on their schedule but they were unable to do that. We also worked hard to try and find New Mexico State an alternative opponent to take our place on their schedule, but were unable to secure a school that could play on the date that New Mexico State wanted to play. We appreciate New Mexico State's willingness to work with us."
The only other season that Wyoming played seven home games in a single season was 1990, in Paul Roach's final year as head coach of the Cowboys. Wyoming hosted non-conference opponents Temple, Arkansas State and Weber State that year, along with four conference opponents. UW posted a 6-1 home record in 1990.
This year's appearance by Ohio in Laramie, will mark the conclusion of a two-game, home-and-home series between the two schools. The Bowling Green series is the beginning of a two-game, home-and-home series with the Falcons. Wyoming will play at Bowling Green in 2009.
UW will play its one non-conference road game versus the Tennessee Volunteers on Nov. 8. This year's meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., will mark the end of a three-game contract between the Cowboys and Volunteers. Wyoming played in Knoxville back in 1999 against the then defending National Champion Vols. In the 2002 season, Wyoming sold its home game against Tennessee to the Nashville Sports Authority and played the game in Nashville's Titan Stadium, home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
The 2008 Mountain West Conference football schedule is expected to be released in early April.
Sat., Aug. 30, OHIO
Sat., Sept. 13, NORTH DAKOTA STATE
Sat., Sept. 27, BOWLING GREEN
Sat., Nov. 8, at Tennessee