The Wyoming Cowboys return to War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8 to host their 2012 home opener against the Toledo Rockets in a 2 p.m. kickoff. Saturday's matchup will feature two teams that both earned bowl appearances a year ago. Wyoming lost to Temple 15-37 in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and posted an 8-5 record. Toledo defeated Air Force 42-41 in the Military Bowl and ended the season 9-4.
The two teams feature some of the top quarterbacks in the country. Wyoming's Brett Smith ranks 26th in the nation in passing yards (276.0 ypg) and 26th in total offense (294.0 ypg) this season. Toledo rotates junior QB Terrance Owens and senior QB Austin Dantin. Owens ranks No. 6 in the nation in passing efficiency (169.2 rating) this season, and Dantin ranks No. 20 (149.7 rating).
Wyoming is one of the favorites in the 2012 Mountain West Conference race, being picked fourth in the 10-team Mountain West by conference media members to begin the season. The Rockets were picked by Mid-American Conference media to win the West Division of the MAC entering this season.
Wyoming and Toledo will be meeting for only the second time in the two schools' histories. Wyoming won the first meeting in Toledo on Oct. 2, 2010, by a score of 20-15.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from tough opening week road losses. Wyoming lost at No. 15 ranked Texas, by a score of 17-37. Toledo lost at Arizona by a score of 17-24 in overtime.
Cowboy junior wide receiver Robert Herron was recognized by CollegeFootballPerformance.com as this week's National Wide Receiver of the Week. Herron caught five passes for a career high 173 yards and tied a personal high with two touchdown receptions versus Texas. His opening-week performance ranks him No. 4 in the nation in receiving yards this season.
Defensively, senior linebacker Korey Jones led the way for the Cowboys in the season opener versus Texas. Jones registered the first double-figure tackle game of his career, with 13 stops against the Longhorns. Jones is tied for No. 12 in the nation in tackles.
UW head coach Dave Christensen was an assistant coach at Toledo from 1992-2000. Cowboy assistant coach Jim Harding played offensive tackle for UT from 1997-2000, and was an All-Conference performer and team captain in 2000.
Matt Campbell is in his first season as head coach of the Toledo Rockets after serving as the Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach for Toledo in 2010 and `11. He is the youngest NCAA Division I (FBS) head coach in the country at age 32. He served his first game as a college head coach in the 2011 Military Bowl, guiding Toledo to a 42-41 win over Air Force. In 2007 and 2008, he was an assistant coach at Bowling Green under current Wyoming Offensive Coordinator Gregg Brandon. Campbell served as Brandon's Offensive Line Coach in 2007 and was promoted to Run-Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach in 2008. He originally joined Brandon's staff as a Graduate Assistant Coach in 2003 and `04. For the 2004 and `05 seasons, he returned to his alma mater, Mount Union College, as the Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach
The Wyoming Cowboys will be hosting their 116th home opener this Saturday. In the previous 115 home openers, the Pokes have a record of 78 wins, 34 losses and three ties for a winning percentage of 69.1 percent. Wyoming has won nine consecutive home openers dating back to the 2003 season.
Wyoming has had a great deal of success hosting teams from east of the Mississippi River. Wyoming is 7-1 since 2000 versus teams from east of the Mississippi. Among the wins were a 37-32 victory over Ole Miss of the SEC in 2004 and a 23-3 win over Virginia of the ACC in 2007.
Toledo will be the ninth team from east of the Mississippi that Wyoming will have hosted since 2000, and the fourth member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) to visit Laramie since 2000. UW defeated Central Michigan (31-10) and Ohio (21-20) of the MAC before losing to Bowling Green (16-45) in 2008. The head coach of Bowling Green at the time of that game is now Wyoming offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon.
There is no television coverage of Saturday's game, but tickets may be purchased at www.WyomingAthletics.com or by calling 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261).
The Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game live on radio over its 25 affiliate stations, beginning with the pregame show one hour prior to kickoff.