Sept. 28, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy football team will travel to Toledo, Ohio, this Saturday to face the Toledo Rockets for the first time in the two schools' histories. Saturday's game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m., Mountain Time (7 p.m., Eastern) from Toledo's Glass Bowl.
Wyoming has traveled east of the Mississippi River only 10 times in the past decade to play football. The Cowboys have won each of their last three games played east of the Mississippi. Last season, the Pokes defeated Florida Atlantic by a score of 30-28 on the road. In 2008, UW traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., and defeated Tennessee, 13-7, in legendary Neyland Stadium. The 2007 season saw the Cowboys defeat Ohio, 34-33, in Athens, Ohio. Ohio, like this week's opponent Toledo, is a member of the Mid-American Conference. Wyoming is 4-6 (.400) in games played east of the Mississippi since the 2000 season.
Against teams from the Mid-American Conference, Wyoming is 5-2 (.714) all-time. The last season Wyoming played a MAC team was 2008 when they defeated Ohio in Laramie by a score of 21-20 to open the season before losing to Bowling Green, 16-45, on Sept. 27, 2008.
Wyoming enters Saturday's game with a 1-3 record and an 0-1 conference mark this season.
UW head coach Dave Christensen and offensive line coach Jim Harding will be returning to a very familiar place when the Cowboys play Toledo this Saturday. Christensen spent nine seasons at Toledo as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator from 1992-2000. During Christensen's nine seasons, Toledo won outright or tied for three Mid-American Conference West titles (1997, `98 and 2000) and captured the MAC title in 1995, advancing to the Las Vegas Bowl where they defeated Nevada 40-37. Harding was a former standout offensive tackle for the Rockets from 1997-2000. He started a school record 46 consecutive games, was a First Team All-Conference performer and was elected a team captain his senior season. In his senior season of 2000, he helped lead Toledo to a road win over Penn State, a 10-1 record and a No. 25 national ranking.
The Wyoming defense held the high-scoring Air Force offense 21 points under its scoring average last week before falling by only six points, 14-20, to the Falcons. Air Force entered the game ranked No. 16 in the nation in scoring, averaging 41.3 points per game. Through three quarters, the Poke defense had given up only seven points to the Falcons, and led 14-7. Air Force was able to score two fourth-quarter touchdowns to capture the win. In the Falcons' three previous games prior to playing Wyoming, their scores included: a 65-21 win over Northwestern State, a 35-14 victory over BYU and a 24-27 loss at then No. 7 ranked Oklahoma.
After a tough start to the 2010 season, Toledo has found its stride and won three consecutive road games. They are currently 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the MAC. Toledo began the season with a 41-2 home loss to Arizona, but have since posted wins at Ohio (20-13), Western Michigan (37-24) and Purdue (31-20). The Toledo offense has scored 20 or more points in all three of those wins. Defensively, Toledo has recorded 12 sacks, has intercepted nine passes and has recovered three fumbles. They have a turnover margin of 1.50, which is the tenth best margin in the nation. They average 3.0 sacks a game, which is tied for the 15th best average in the nation.
There is no television coverage of this week's game, but as always the game will be carried live on radio over the Cowboy Sports Network, beginning one hour prior to kickoff with the pregame show.