Wyoming Football Enjoys First of Two Bye Weeks This Season

Oct. 2, 2014 LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Paniolo Trophy

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The Thursday, Oct. 2 version of Inside Wyoming Football with Craig Bohl will air on ROOT SPORTS at 8:30 p.m., Mountain Time following a Conference USA football game, rather than its normal air time of 6 p.m.

After posting a 3-2 overall record and a 1-0 conference mark through the first five weeks of the 2014 season, the Wyoming Cowboys will enjoy their first of two bye weeks this Saturday. The Cowboys won't play this Saturday, Oct. 4. UW will return to Mountain West Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 11, when the Pokes travel to Hawai'i to face the Rainbow Warriors. Wyoming's other bye week this season will come the weekend of Nov. 15.

Some notes on Wyoming's first five weeks of the season include:
∙The Pokes defeated the University of Montana Grizzlies 17-12 in the season opener.
∙UW began Mountain West Conference play with a home victory over the Air Force Falcons.
∙The Cowboys captured two victories on the final drive of the game versus Air Force (17-13 on Sept. 6) and Florida Atlantic (20-19 on Sept. 20).
∙Wyoming has built a 3-0 home record this season, and has won its last four consecutive home games dating back to the final game of the 2013 season;
∙The Cowboys two losses have come at the hands of two top-10 ranked teams. The Oregon Ducks were ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press media poll and No. 4 in the USA Today coaches' poll when they defeated UW on Sept. 13. Michigan State was ranked No. 9 in both national polls when they defeated the Cowboys on Sept. 27.

When the Wyoming Cowboys return to conference play on Oct. 11, they are assured to be on top of the MW Conference Mountain Division standings. The Cowboys won their only MW game earlier this season against Air Force. Air Force handed Boise State their first MW loss on Sept. 27, and both schools are currently 1-1 in conference play. Colorado State and New Mexico have each suffered one conference loss this season and enter this week with 0-1 conference marks. The Rams lost to Boise State earlier this season and New Mexico was defeated by Fresno State. The sixth Mountain Division team, Utah State, hasn't yet played a conference game and plays its final non-conference game this week at BYU.

Attendance has been outstanding at Cowboy home games this season. An indication of the excitement Wyoming fans have for the Cowboy Football program this season is evident in attendance at UW's three home games to date. Each of Wyoming's home games has drawn over 21,000 fans, including: 25,243 vs. Montana; 21,246 vs. Air Force; and 21,226 against Florida Atlantic. Wyoming is averaging 22,572 fans this season, placing them ahead of Mountain West schools Colorado State (21,202), Utah State (20,297), UNLV (15,797) and San Jose State (12,532) in home attendance.

Wyoming and Hawai'i will meet for the 22nd time in history on Oct. 11. They will also be battling for the Paniolo Trophy for the 21st Time. The Cowboys and Rainbow Warriors first played each other in football back on Nov. 18, 1978, with Hawai'i winning that first meeting in Honolulu by a score of 27-22. The following year, a group of Hawaiian residents, with roots in Wyoming, donated a statuette of a Cowboy preparing to toss a lariat. At the time the traveling trophy was introduced to the rivalry both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, as Hawai'i joined the WAC in 1979.

The traveling trophy was named the Paniolo Trophy as Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for Cowboy. For the next 19 years, from 1979 to 1997, the two teams competed for the Paniolo Trophy. After Wyoming's 35-6 win in the 1997 meeting in Honolulu, the series between the two schools ended. Due to the rotating schedule of the then 16-team WAC, Wyoming and Hawai'i didn't play in 1998. In 1999, Wyoming joined the Mountain West Conference.

The series was interrupted for 15 years. When Hawai'i was invited to join the Mountain West Conference, beginning in 2012, the two schools began discussion of a renewal of the Paniolo Trophy competition. But over that 15-year timespan the Paniolo Trophy was lost, which became a story in itself. Each school searched for it, but it was not to be found.

Enter a new group of Hawai'i fans to continue the tradition. The Paniolo Preservation Society, a 12-year old group dedicated to preserving Hawai'i's rich Cowboy heritage proposed a new trophy. Led by the Society's President, Mrs. Patricia C. Bergin, a bronze maquette, featuring Hawaiian native Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, was donated to the two schools in 2013 to mark renewal of the series. Purdy became the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999.

The bronze is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western sculptor Fred Fellows. The reproduction measures approximately 20" long and 12" high.

The series was renewed in 2013, when Hawai'i joined the Mountain West as a football playing member school. Wyoming recorded a 59-56 overtime victory in Laramie in 2013.

Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy series with 13 wins to Hawai'i's seven victories. The overall series is led by Wyoming 13-8, when including Hawai'i's win in the inaugural 1978 game.

Two current members of the Wyoming football team hail from the state of Hawai'i. Redshirt freshman strong safety Tim Kamana hails from Honolulu, Hawai'i, where he played at Punahou High School. Junior defensive end Siaosi Hala'api'api also is a native of Honolulu, and played his prep football at Kaimuki High. They will both be playing their first game back in their home state as Wyoming Cowboys.