The 2010 Season Opens for the Wyoming Cowboys With Only the Seventh Night Game in War Memorial Stadium History

Sept. 1, 2010


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    The 2010 season opens for the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Southern Utah with only the seventh night game in War Memorial Stadium history. This will also be the first of two night games this season for the Cowboys, as UW's next home game on Sept. 18 versus Boise State will kick off at 6 p.m.

    The last time Wyoming hosted a night game was 2004, when nationally-ranked Utah came to town. The first-ever night game played in War Memorial Stadium was back in 1988 when the Cowboys hosted BYU and defeated the Cougars 24-14 on way to Wyoming's second consecutive Western Athletic Conference Championship under Paul Roach.

    Saturday's game will also mark the Grand Re-Opening of War Memorial Stadium, and the debut of the new Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites.

    Entering this season, the Wyoming Cowboys have won three of their last four games. Wyoming won road games at San Diego State (30-27) and at Colorado State (17-16) to finish the 2009 regular season with a 6-6 record and earn a bid to the 2009 New Mexico Bowl. In the New Mexico Bowl, Wyoming defeated Fresno State, 35-28 in double overtime. The only loss in the final four games of last season was, oddly enough, the only home game during that stretch when the Pokes lost to then No. 4 ranked TCU by a score of 45-10 here in Laramie.

    Wyoming is 72-39-2 (.646) in 113 season-opening games. They are 53-17-1 (.754) in season-opening games at home and are 19-22-1 (.464) in road games to begin the season. Against non-conference opponents, the Cowboys are 58-23-1 (.713) in season-opening games. That breaks down to 44-10-1 (.809) at home against non-conference foes, and 14-13-0 (.519) on the road. Wyoming will be opening its season at home for the fifth consecutive season. The last time UW began a season on the road was at Florida in 2005. The Cowboys have won 17 of their last 21 home openers, dating back to the 1989 season. Wyoming has won its last seven home openers in a row. UW's most recent loss in a home opener came during the 2002 season, when UW lost 13-35 to Boise State. The only other three home-opening losses over the past 21 years came versus: Louisville (1989), Hawaii (1991) and Oregon State (1993).

    This week's opponent is Southern Utah University from Cedar City, Utah. SUU plays football at the Football Championship Subdivision level -- the same level as Montana and Montana State. Southern Utah is a member of the Great West Conference which also includes Cal Poly, UC Davis, North Dakota and South Dakota.

    All four starters return to Wyoming's defensive secondary in 2010. Senior free safety Chris Prosinski and senior cornerback Marcell Gipson lead the way for the Cowboy defensive backfield. They are joined by junior cornerback Tashaun Gipson and sophomore strong safety Shamiel Gary. Entering this season, Phil Steele's College Football Preview ranked the Cowboy secondary the 29th best in the nation. Among the Top 30 defensive backfields ranked by Steele's publication were four secondaries that the Cowboys will face this season. Ranked No. 1 was the Texas secondary, followed by UW opponents TCU (No. 16), Boise State (No. 17) and Air Force (No. 24).

    Prosinski is not only the leader of the Wyoming secondary, but he is among the greatest defenders in school history. He enters this season with 265 career tackles and needs only 10 more tackles to move into Wyoming's Top 10 in career tackles. He trails former Cowboy great Aaron Kyle, who had 275 tackles as a defensive back from 1972-75.

    To celebrate Saturday's rare night game and to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of War Memorial Stadium, fans are encouraged to remain after the game for a fireworks display that will begin approximately 10 minutes following completion of the game. The fireworks will be shot off just north of War Memorial Stadium and will last for approximately 8-10 minutes.