Sept. 22, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
This Saturday's meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys (2-2 overall and 0-2 in the Mountain West Conference) and the Bowling Green Falcons (1-2, 0-0 in the Mid-American Conference) will be the first-ever football game played between the two schools. Bowling Green will be the second Mid-American Conference (MAC) team that the Wyoming Cowboys will play this season. UW defeated Ohio of the MAC in the 2008 season opener on Aug. 30 by a score of 21-20 in Laramie.
Saturday's game will kick off at 2 p.m., Mountain Time from Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised live by The Mtn. The Cowboy Sports Network radio broadcast will begin at 1 p.m. -- one hour prior to kick off.
Wyoming has a 5-1 record all-time versus Mid-American Conference teams. The Pokes are 2-0 vs. Ohio, 1-0 against Temple, 1-0 vs. Western Michigan and 1-1 against Central Michigan.
Entering this week's non-conference game versus Bowling Green, Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn has built a 14-9 (.609) record against non-conference opponents at Wyoming. Wyoming is 2-0 versus non-conference opponents this season.
Saturday's game will mark the fourth home game this season for the Wyoming Cowboys. Only one other time in school history have the Cowboys played four home games prior to the end of September.
The only other time was in 1991, under first-year head coach Joe Tiller, when Wyoming played Hawaii (Aug. 31), Southwestern Louisiana (Sept. 14), Texas Tech (Sept. 21) and UTEP (Sept. 28) all in Laramie before the end of September. Wyoming's one road game in the month of September in 1991 was at defending National Champion Colorado.
The first season Wyoming played a total of five games (both home and away combined) prior to the end of the month of September was in 1981. Prior to that, the college season didn't traditionally begin until the second week of September at the earliest.
Through the first four games of this season, Wyoming's offense has depended on the rushing attack to lead the way. Wyoming is averaging 153.2 yards rushing per game, while throwing for 103.2 yards per outing. The Cowboys rank No. 5 in the Mountain West Conference in rushing offense. Wyoming senior Devin Moore is No. 2 in the league and No. 30 in the NCAA in rushing yards, averaging 98.5 yards per game. In his last two games, he ran for 145 yards versus North Dakota State and 97 at BYU. Moore is joined in the backfield by fellow senior Wynel Seldon. Seldon has averaged 46.8 rushing yards per game this season to rank No. 14 in the Mountain West Conference.
Moore has become one of the most dangerous all-purpose performers in college football. The senior from Indianapolis, Ind., enters this week ranked among the Top 50 players in the nation in three different statistical categories -- rushing yards (98.5 yards per game), all-purpose yards (137.5 yards per game) and kickoff returns (23.8 yards per return). He leads the Mountain West Conference in all-purpose yards this season, and ranks No. 2 in rushing.
It hasn't taken sophomore free safety Chris Prosinski long to make his mark on the Wyoming Cowboy defense, as well as making a mark in the Mountain West and on the national scene. Prosinski enters this week ranked nationally in three different categories - No. 6 in the Mountain West and No. 21 in the NCAA in passes defended, No. 4 in the MWC and No. 38 in the nation in interceptions and No. 74 in the country in solo tackles. He also ranks among the Top 15 in the Mountain West Conference in tackles.
One is a redshirt freshman and one is a true freshman, but if you were to look at their performances through the first month of the 2008 season it would be hard to tell that Gabe Knapton and Tashaun Gipson, both starters on the UW defense, are freshmen. Knapton, the redshirt freshman, currently leads the Cowboys and ranks No. 6 in the Mountain West Conference in tackles, averaging 8.2 per game (34 total tackles). Gipson, the true freshman, currently has four pass breakups to rank No. 8 in the MWC, and he has averaged 6.8 tackles per game (27 total tackles) to rank No. 18 in the league. Gipson did give up a touchdown to BYU last week, but he has also made some big plays for Wyoming this season, including a forced fumble and three pass breakups versus the Cougars.
Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon will be returning to Laramie for the first time since he was a former assistant coach at UW from 1987-90. Brandon coached the Cowboy receivers for those four seasons.
Prior to the start of the 2008 season, Bowling Green was picked as the favorite to win the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). They tied for first place in the MAC East in 2007 with Miami (Ohio), and earned a bid to the GMAC Bowl where they lost to Tulsa, 63-7. The Falcons have played a difficult schedule to start the year. BGSU began on a high note defeating Pittsburgh on the road in its season opener by a score of 27-17. In the second week of the season, Bowling Green hosted the Minnesota Gophers, but Minnesota proved too much winning 42-17 in Bowling Green, Ohio. Two weeks ago, the Falcons traveled west to play Boise State and lost to the Broncos by a final of 20-7. BGSU had a bye last weekend.