Sept. 6, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After winning their 2007 season opener versus Virginia last week, the Wyoming Cowboys look to continue their winning ways today when they host the Utah State Aggies. Wyoming is looking for its seventh win in its last nine outings when it takes the field this afternoon. During that stretch, which dates back to a road game at New Mexico on Oct. 7, 2006, UW has defeated the Lobos, Utah, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV and Virginia. UW's only two losses during that stretch were against teams that concluded the 2006 season ranked in the Top 25 -- TCU and BYU.
Last week's War Memorial Stadium crowd of 31,620 set a new opening-day attendance record for UW. It also ranked as the fifth largest overall crowd in War Memorial history. The previous season-opening record was 29,134 fans for the Air Force game on Sept. 14, 1985. The largest crowd to ever see a game in War Memorial Stadium was 34,745 for the Colorado State game on Oct. 18, 1997.
Wyoming's win over Virginia last Saturday marked the 180th victory in the head-coaching career of UW's Joe Glenn. Glenn has posted a career record of 180-85-1 (.679) in his 23 seasons as a college head coach.
Several Cowboys had outstanding performances in the season-opening victory over Virginia. Sophomore quarterback Karsten Sween threw for a career best 253 yards and accounted for a career high 267 yards of total offense, while guiding Wyoming's offense to 471 total yards. Running back Devin Moore rushed for 125 yards -- the second best single-game performance of his career. He combined with fellow junior Wynel Seldon for a total of 199 rushing yards on the day. On defense, senior cornerback Julius Stinson had an exceptional day, intercepting two passes and making four tackles. Stinson was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Senior outside linebacker Brandon Haugen led UW in tackles versus the Cavaliers with 10 in his first career start.
In 2006, Wyoming was among the best defenses in the nation, ranking No. 9 in total defense (262.9 yards per game), No. 8 in pass defense (156.3 ypg) and No. 23 in rushing defense (106.6 ypg). The 2007 Cowboy Defense picked up this season right where it left off a year ago. After last week's dominating performance versus Virginia, the Pokes rank No. 2 in the nation in total defense, No. 4 in rushing defense, No. 5 in scoring defense and No. 6 in pass efficiency defense.
A second Cowboy also earned MWC Player of the Week honors in week one. That Poke was senior place-kicker/punter Billy Vinnedge. Vinnedge connected on three of four field goals and averaged 49.7 yards punting versus the Cavaliers. He had not attempted a field goal since high school prior to successfully kicking a 48-yarder in his first college attempt a week ago.
Not only is the Wyoming Defense ranked No. 1 in the MWC entering this week's games, but the Wyoming Offense also leads the league in total yards.
Today's opponent, Utah State, is an old Wyoming rival. The rivalry dates back over 100 years to the first meeting in 1903. This year's game will be the 61st between the two schools. It is the fourth oldest rivalry for Wyoming -- only Colorado State (98 meetings), Utah (79 meetings) and BYU (73 meetings) are older rivals for the Cowboys. Despite the long-standing series, the two Rocky Mountain schools didn't play each other from 1979 to 2000. In 2001, the rivalry was renewed, with today's meeting being the fourth this decade. Wyoming has won the last three meetings in 2001 (43-42 in Logan, Utah), in 2003 (48-21 also in Logan) and last year (38-7 in Laramie).