2000 Cowboy Football Informational Press Release And Game Notes

Sept. 6, 2000

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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 Wyoming Football Contacts: Kevin McKinney, Sports Information Director Tim Harkins, Assistant SID

The Wyoming Cowboys(0-1, 0-0 in the Mountain West Conference) vs. The Texas A&M Aggies(0-1, 0-0 in the Big 12 Conference)

Televised Live on FOX Sports Rocky Mountain, Sept. 9, 2000, at 5:00 p.m., M.T. Game No. 2: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000, 5:00 p.m., M.T. Gamesite: Kyle Field (80,322), College Station, Texas Series Record: First Meeting Last Meeting: First Meeting

Wyoming Head Coach: Vic Koenning (Kansas State '83) Overall Head-Coaching Record 0-1 (.000), 1st year Record at Wyoming Same

Opponent Head Coach: R.C. Slocum (McNeese State '67) Overall Head-Coaching Record 102-33-2 (.752) 12th yr Record at Current School Same

Cowboys and Aggies Meet for the First Time in the Two Schools' Histories: The Wyoming Cowboys and Texas A&M Aggies will meet on the gridiron for the first time when they face each other this coming Saturday, Sept. 9.

Last week, Wyoming lost its season opener on the road at Auburn 21-35, while Texas A&M lost its season opener, also on the road, to Notre Dame 10-24.

Wyoming will be the 2000 home opener for the Aggies.

The Cowboys bring a 16-49-2 record versus Big 12 teams into this week's meeting. In the decade of the 1990s, UW posted a 4-5 record against current Big 12 universities. Wyoming has won three of its last four meetings against Big 12 schools. UW defeated Iowa State 56-10 in '97. The Cowboys also defeated the Cyclones 41-38 in Ames, Iowa, in 1996, and won by a score of 45-25 over Oklahoma State in '95. The only loss in those last four games was a one-point loss (19-20) at Colorado on Sept. 27, 1997, in a game that CU later had to forfeit due to playing an ineligible player.

 Wyoming Travel Plans:  The Wyoming Cowboys will depart for the game versus Texas A & M on Friday, Sept. 8.  The schedule for departure is as follows: Friday, Sept. 8 12:45 p.m., M.T. Depart Denver International Airport via Miami Air Flight #660.   4:55 p.m., M.T. Arrive College Station.   5:15 p.m., M.T.      Check in at Del Lago.

Saturday, Sept. 9 5:00 p.m., M.T. Kickoff of Wyoming vs. Texas A & M. 11:00 p.m., C.T. Depart College Station via Miami Air Flight #661. 12:35 a.m., M.T. Arrive Cheyenne Regional Airport.

Wyoming Injury Report: Here are a list of current injuries to Wyoming Cowboys. No. Player Year Pos. Injury 19 DaShawn Abram Jr. FS Broken right thumb, questionable 27 John Levingston RFr. FS Torn ACL, out for the season 46 Aaron Frude Jr. RB Torn ACL, out for the season 54 Herman White Jr. MIKE Hamstring strain, day-to-day 82 Sean Brennan So. WR Injured thumb, day-to-day 94 Daniel Gibson Jr. DT Had surgery on broken foot Aug. 29, 2000 98 Kendrick Rawls Sr. DE Arthroscopic surgery knee, out 6-8 weeks.

Cowboys after an Opening Loss: Wyoming has lost six openers since 1990. It has come back and won game two five of those six times. The last time the Cowboys lost two in a row to begin a season was 1991 when they lost at home to Hawaii in the opener and at Colorado in game two. They have won the second game of the season after opening game losses in 1999 (Tennessee), 1997 (Ohio State), 1995 (Air Force), and 1993 (Oregon State).

The Cowboys lost five openers during the decade of the 1980's.

Cowboys vs. the Big 12: The Cowboys are 16-49-2 against current members of the Big 12 Conference. They have two winning records against Big 12 teams, Iowa State (3-1-0) and Texas Tech (3-2). They have played Colorado more (26 times) than any other school in the league. They are 3-22-1 against the Buffs.

Wyoming has not beaten Nebraska (0-5), Oklahoma (0-2) or Texas (0-2) from the Big 12.

A Marvelous Program: Not many programs have been any more successful than Texas A&M. The Aggies have appeared in three consecutive bowl games, The Cotton, Sugar and Alamo. They played in eight bowl games in the decade of the 1990's.

In nine of 10 seasons during the '90's, A&M was ranked in the final AP Top 25 poll, and in three of those seasons it finished in the Top 10. The Aggies also posted the sixth best winning percentage in collegiate football at 94-28-2. The only schools ahead of them were Florida State, Nebraska, Florida, Tennessee and Penn State.

Last season, A&M ended the year ranked No. 23 in the final AP poll and No. 20 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Aggies played Penn State in the Alamo Bowl, losing 24-0. A&M became a charter member of the Big 12 in 1996. Prior to that it was a member of the Southwest Conference since 1915.

Scouting Texas A&M: Head Coach R.C. Slocum is in his 12th season with Texas A&M, and the Notre Dame loss last week was only the third time the Aggies had lost a season-opener under his direction. The loss knocked them out of the Top 25 for the first time since the 1996 season. The 24-10 loss to Notre Dame came before the largest opening crowd in A&M history.

The Aggies rolled up just 255 yards of total offense last week against the Irish while giving up 327. They had 119 on the ground and 165 through the air. Sophomore quarterback Mark Farris completed 16 of 28 for 165 yards and an interception. He did not throw a touchdown pass. He was the first quarterback off the bench a yefar ago, and won the starting job this fall. He spent five seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system. He originally signed with A&M in 1994. He reached the Pirate AA level.

The top running back after one outing is Rich Whitaker, a redshirt freshman whom everyone expected would make an immediate impact. He carried 13 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. He gained over 5,000 yards as a high school running back.

The top receiver vs. Notre Dame was Robert Ferguson, a junior college transfer from Tyler junior college. A juco All-American who originally signed with the Aggies in 1998, Ferguson caught five passes for 79 yards.

The returning team leader in receptions, Chirs Taylor, was next with four catches for 35 yards. A high school quarterback, this senior is a game-breaker, and is a All-Big 12 contender. He has caught seven touchdown passes over the past two seasons. Amazingly, the average length of Taylor's seven scoring plays is a stunning 58.5 yards. That doesn't include a non-scoring 84-yard kickoff return against Oklahoma State in 1998. He owns the record for the longest offensive play from scrimmage with a 96-yard catch and run against Tulsa in 1999. He also has TD's of 81, 78 and 61 yards. One of the top o-linemen is junior center Seth McKinney. He has started every possible game of his career. He is the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts offensive line starter Steve McKinney, has started 26 consecutive games and is a pre-season All-Big 12 Conference selection.

The Aggies have many, many outstanding players on defense. It is a defensive unit loaded with tremendous athletes. The top two tacklers in the Notre Dame game were Cornelius Anthony, a senior inside linebacker and outside linebacker Jason Glenn, also a senior. Anthony had 10 total tackles, including a tackle for a loss and a sack, and Glenn had nine.

The success of the Aggies' secondary will likely be linked to how well its two top returning defensive scorers perform. Senior Michael Jameson and junior Jay Brooks each scored three TD's last season. They were also high school teammates at Killeen Ellison High Schoo, and even lived int he same house. They combined for seven tackles against Notre Dame.

About Head Coach R.C. Slocum: Slocum begins his 12th fall along the Texas A&M sidelines with a career winning percentage of .753, ninthy highest in college football history of a coach spending his entire career at one school. Knute Rockne is number one on that list.

When he won his 100th career game midway through the 1999 season, Slocum joined an elite group of head coaches who won the 100th game of their careers in 11 seasons or sooner. Since 1960 only two caoches reached 100 faster than Slocum. . .Oklahoma's Barry Switzer and Nebraska's Tom Osborne.

Slocum is a 1967 graduate of McNeese State. He has a record of 102-33-2 at A&M. He was an assistant there from 1985 through 1988 before taking the job. He also had stops at Kansas State, USC and the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

As an assistant coach and as a head coach he has been involved in 17 bowl games.

Maybe his greatest season came in 1994 when his team went 10-0-1, the first unbeaten A&M seasons since 1956 when Paul "Bear" Bryant finished with a 9-0-1 mark. The team ended up ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and Slocum was named Southwest Conference Coach of the Year. At one point he went four years without losing a SWC game. . .28-0-1.

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