2000 Cowboy Football Informational Press Release And Game Notes

Sept. 12, 2000


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The Wyoming Cowboys (0-2, 0-0 in the MWC)                   vs.The Central Michigan Chippewas (1-1, 1-0 in the Mid-American)Sept. 16, 2000, at 2:00 p.m., M.T.

Game No. 3: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2000, 2:00 p.m., M.T.Gamesite: War Memorial Stadium (33,500), Laramie, Wyo.Series Record: First MeetingLast Meeting: First Meeting

Wyoming Head Coach: Vic Koenning (Kansas State '83) Overall Head-Coaching Record 0-2 (.000), 1st year Record at Wyoming Same

Opponent Head Coach: Mike DeBord (Manchester '78) Overall Head-Coaching Record 1-1 (.500), 1st year Record at Current School Same

Wyoming Hosts Central Michigan in First Meeting Between the Two Schools:The Wyoming Cowboys and Central Michigan Chippewas meet for the first timewhen they face each other this coming Saturday, Sept. 16 in Laramie.

Wyoming lost for the second time in the 2000 season when they fellto the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 9 by ascore of 3-51.

Central Michigan won their first game of the 2000 season last week,defeating Akron 17-7 in a game played at Central Michigan. TheChippewas lost their season opener at Purdue on Sept. 2 by a scoreof 0-48.

Two First Year Head Coaches Faceoff When Cowboys Meet Chippewas: Both theWyoming Cowboys and Central Michigan Chippewas feature first-year headcoaches. For Wyoming, its former Cowboy defensive coordinator Vic Koenning,who leads the UW Football program. CMU's first-year head man is MikeDeBord, who was most recently the offensive coordinator at the University ofMichigan from 1997-99.

DeBord has some familarity with the Wyoming Football program, havingcoached against the Cowboys in 1990 and 1991 when he was the offensive linecoach at Colorado State. In DeBord's first season as offensive coordinatorat Michigan, the Wolverines won the 1997 National Championship.

Injuries Hitting Cowboys Hard in 2000: Injuries have been a big story forthe Wyoming Cowboys early in the 2000 season.

It began early in fall drills when redshirt freshman free safetyJohn Levingston and junior running back Aaron Frude both suffered tornanterior cruciate ligaments and were lost for the season. Levingston wasthe projected starter at free safety entering fall practice, and Frude wasone of the Cowboys top special teams players.

Then junior-college transfer Daniel Gibson suffered a fracture in afoot that required him to have surgery. Gibson was expected to be a bigcontributor on the defensive line for UW in 2000.

The week following the season opener at Auburn, it was determinedthat senior Al Rich, who was Wyoming's No. 1 running back, would have toundergo a second wrist surgery in the last six months and would be lost forthe 2000 season. Rich had moved to running back in the fall after being anAll-Conference free safety for the Cowboys during his career.

Now coming off last week's loss at Texas A&M, the No. 1 and No. 2quarterbacks for the Cowboys, senior Jay Stoner and junior Matt Swansonrespectively, are injured. Stoner having suffered a concussion and aseparated sternum versus A&M, and Swanson suffering from injured ribs.Stoner is definitely out for the Central Michigan game.

Also injured in the Texas A&M game were starting linebackers AdrianHill (leg contusion) and Leo Caires (lower leg fracture), and startingoffensive tackle Rob Kellerman (separated sternum). Caires is out 4-6weeks.

Running Back Tandem: The Wyoming Cowboy offense presented a duo of runningbacks last week at Texas A&M. True freshman Derek Armah started the gamefor the Cowboys. Armah shared time throughout the A&M game with redshirtjunior Nate Scott.

Scott led the Pokes in rushing last week with 50 yards on 13carries. Armah added 26 yards on 12 carries. combined the two runningbacks totalled 76 yards on 25 carries.

Young Guns: When the Wyoming Cowboys took the field in the second game ofthe 2000 season at Texas A&M, five of UW's 11 offensive starters werefreshmen. Malcom Floyd and Ryan McGuffey, two redshirt freshmen, started atwide receiver, and true freshmen Derek Armah, Kolby Drube and Rano Sasastarted at running back, tight end and offensive guard respectively.

Nice to Meet You: When Wyoming hosts Central Michigan on Saturday it willmark the third consecutive opponent that the Cowboys are meeting for thevery first time this season. They had never met either Auburn nor Texas A&Mprior to this season.

The last time that happened was 1979, when the Cowboys opened atWashington, at Northwestern, and hosted the University of Richmond. Theylost to both Washington and Northwestern, and defeated Richmond.

Cowboys vs. the Mid-American: This is only the second time Wyoming hasfaced a team from the Mid-American Conference in the sport of football.The only other time came during the 1996 season when they defeated WesternMichigan, 42-28, at Laramie.

The Mid-American now has 13 teams, and is divided into twodivisions. By state, Ohio is home to six schools, Michigan to three andIllinois, Indiana, New York and West Virginia one apiece. The EasternDivision consists of Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent, Marshall, Miamiand Ohio. The West has Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan,Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.

From Michigan: Saturday's game marks the fourth time Wyoming will bemeeting a team from the state of Michigan.

The Cowboys are 1-2 vs. Michigan schools. They are 1-0 vs. WesternMichigan (42-28, 1996), and 0-2 vs. Michigan State (21-10 in 1976, and34-16 in 1997).

Tough Start: The last time Wyoming opened a football season with an 0-2record came during the 1979 season. That year the Cowboys lost atWashington in the season opener (38-2) and at Northwestern (27-22). Theystopped the streak the following week by beating Richmond (9-7).

The last time the Cowboys opened 0-3 during a season came in 1975,when they lost their first five games of the season under Head Coach FredAkers.

Late Starts: This is the latest the Cowboys have opned the home seasonsince 1995, when they opened Sept. 16. Prior to that came in 1979 when theyopened Sept. 22.

Scouting Central Michigan: The Chippewas enter Saturday's game with a 1-1record having lost at Purdue in the season opener, and bouncing back to beatAkron last week. New Head Coach Mike DeBord has 16 starters returning fromlast year's outfit which was 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Mid-American.

DeBord picked up his first career win with the 17-7 victory overAkron. Sophomore tailback Robbie Mixon had a career game with 265all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns. He rushed 42 times for 164yards and caught three passes for 101 yards. His long play of the day wasan 86-yard touchdown reception off of a screen pass from quarterback PeteShepherd. The play went for 86 yards.

Through two games Central Michigan is averaging 279.5 yards of totaloffense per game, and allowing 366.5. Senior quarterback Pete Shepherd, whois starting for the third consecutive season, has thrown for 255 yards andone touchdown. He is 19 of 32 through the air.

Sophomore Derrick Vickers is Shepherd's backup, and saw action inthe Purdue game completing six of 15 for 68 yards. He also rushed eighttimes for 20 yards.

Mixon, however, has been the top offensive producer. He leads theteam in rushing with 211 yards in 62 attempts. He also is the top receiverwith nine catches for 155 yards. He scored on the ground and through theair last week.

Senior free safety Brian Leigeb leads the team in tackles throughtwo games with 19. He also has four pass break-ups. Junior insidelinebacker Darvin Lewis is next on the team with 18 tackles. He also hasthree tackles for loss. Another cornerback, senior Wayne Dudley has posted15 tackles.

Located in Mount Pleasant, Mich., Central Michigan was founded in1892, as Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute. It becameCentral Michigan University in 1959. It has a student enrollment of 17,700.In addition, CMU enrolls an additional 8,500 working adults.

One of Central Michigan's most notable alums is Emmy Award-winningsportscaster Dick Enberg.

About Head Coach Mike DeBord: New Head Coach Mike Debord was selected asCentral Michigan's 23rd head coach in December of 1999. A native of Gaston,Ind., DeBord earned his undergraduate degree from Manchester in 1978, andhis Master's from Ball State in 1981. He also serves as the team'soffensive coordinator.

DeBord won four letters while playing in the offensive line atManchester. He was all-conference and all-district playing both center andtackle.

DeBord began his coaching career at Franklin College in 1982 wherehe was the offensive line coach. From there he went to Fort Hays asoffensive line coach and offensive coordinator through the 1986 season. Hemoved on to Eastern Illinois as the offensive line coach in 1987, and 1988,then on to Ball State in 1989.

He received a taste of the West, and Western Athletic Conferencefootball during the 1990 and 1991 campaigns coach the offensive line atColorado State. After those years with CSU, he entered the Big Ten andcoached one season at Northwestern (1992) before making his mark. He becamethe Michigan offensive line coach in 1992, and remained at Michigan throughthe 1999 campaign. He took the head coaching job at Central Michigan onDec. 31, 1999.

He was appointed to the Michigan staff in June of 1992 as theoffensive line coach and tight ends coach He was elevated to assistanthead coach for the Wolverines for two seasons (1995-1996). He became theoffensive coordinator and tackles and edns coach in February of 1997.

Crossing the Goal Line: Saturday's loss at Texas A&M marked the first timethe Cowboys did not score a touchdown since Nov. 21, 1998, when they lost atTulsa, 35-0.

The week before that was the last time the Cowboys scored just afield goal in a game, as they lost to Air Force, 10-3 on Nov. 14.

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