Sept. 29, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys and Florida Atlantic Owls will be playing for the first time in the two schools' histories when they kick off Saturday at 2 p.m., Mountain Time (4 p.m., Eastern Time). Florida Atlantic University is located in Boca Raton, Fla. Wyoming enters this week with a 2-2 overall record and a 1-0 record in Mountain West Conference play. FAU is 0-3 on the season and 0-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
Wyoming is coming off a 30-27 win over UNLV last week in the Cowboys' MWC opener. UW will be trying to win back-to-back games for the first time this season and the first time since defeating San Diego State (35-10) and Tennessee (13-7) on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, 2008.
Florida Atlantic also kicked off their Sun Belt Conference season a week ago, losing at home to Louisiana-Monroe by a score of 25-27. The Owls opened their season with a pair of tough road trips to Nebraska and South Carolina. They lost at Nebraska 49-3 and at South Carolina 38-16. Despite being 0-3, FAU has had success moving the ball on offense this season. The Owls are averaging 387.7 yards of offense a game. They have been especially effective through the air, averaging 264.7 passing yards a game.
The Cowboys will be traveling to the state of Florida for a football game for only the fourth time in school history. Wyoming first played in the state of Florida on Jan. 1, 1951, in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., where it defeated Washington & Lee 20-7. Later that year, on Sept. 15, 1951, UW returned to the state of Florida to play the Florida Gators, losing in Gainesville by a score of 13-0. Wyoming's most recent trip to the Sunshine State was on Sept. 3, 2005, to face the Gators in Gainesville. Florida won that contest 32-14.
When looking at the leading tacklers in the Mountain West Conference and NCAA this season, the Wyoming Cowboys have three individuals who stand out. Leading the way are sophomore inside linebackers Brian Hendricks and Gabe Knapton and junior free safety Chris Prosinski. Hendricks, Knapton and Prosinski rank No. 2, 3 and 4 in tackles in the Mountain West Conference this season. Nationally, Hendricks ranks No. 4 in the nation, Knapton is tied for No. 11 and Prosinski is tied for 17th. Wyoming is the only team in the country to have three players ranked among the Top 20 tacklers this season. Baylor and Penn State are second with two players each ranked among the Top 20.
Offensively, the Cowboys had their best scoring performance of the season in their last outing, scoring 30 points in the 30-27 come-from-behind victory over UNLV. That was the most points scored by the Pokes since a 35-10 win over San Diego State on Nov. 1, 2008, in Laramie. That 35-point total versus the Aztecs was the only time that UW scored 30 or more points in the 2008 season. Wyoming's 30 points against UNLV last week marked only the fourth time in the Cowboys last 28 games, dating back to the start of the 2007 season, that Wyoming scored 30 points in a game.
It has been a positive turnaround in turnover margin for the Wyoming Cowboys thus far in the 2009 season. UW is currently No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference and tied for No. 3 in the NCAA in turnover margin with a per-game average of a +2.00 TO margin. Wyoming has forced 11 opponent turnovers this season, while committing only three. The Cowboys have intercepted eight opponent passes and forced three fumbles. All three of the turnovers committed by Wyoming have been fumbles.
The Cowboy Sports Network radio broadcast of Saturday's Wyoming-Florida Atlantic game will begin at 1 p.m., Mountain Time (3 p.m., Eastern Time), with the pregame show. As with all Cowboy Sports Network broadcasts, Saturday's game can be heard on the 25 affiliate stations of CSN. There will not be any television coverage of Saturday's game.