Wyoming and TCU Battle for First Place in the Mountain West

Oct. 6, 2005


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The Wyoming Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs enter Saturday's match-up in Laramie atop the Mountain West Conference football standings. Wyoming will host TCU, the newest MWC member, Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1:00 p.m. in a battle to retain first place in the conference race.

Wyoming enters the game 4-1, 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference. TCU is also 4-1 and is 3-0 in conference play. The two schools have met only one previous time on Oct. 31, 1998. The Cowboys won that first meeting by a 34-27 score in Fort Worth, Texas. The two teams have not played any common opponents thus far this season, but they do share some similarities.

Both the Cowboys and Horned Frogs have recorded victories over BCS conference schools on the road this season. Wyoming traveled to Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 24 and defeated Ole Miss by a score of 24-14. It marked the first time that Wyoming had defeated a Southeastern Conference school on the road. TCU began the season with a big upset of Big 12 Conference member Oklahoma on Sept. 3. TCU defeated OU, 17-10, in Norman, Okla.

The two teams are both attracting national attention, as well. They are each receiving votes in all three major football polls. In the USA Today Coaches' Poll, the two teams are ranked nearly dead-even. TCU is ranked No. 34 with 12 points, and Wyoming is No. 35 with 11 points.

A big part of both teams' success has been their ability to force turnovers on defense and protect the ball on offense. The two rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the Mountain West in turnover margin. TCU leads the league in turnover margin, with a +8 margin, and also leads in forcing turnovers, having forced 16 opponent turnovers. Wyoming is No. 2 in the league in turnover margin, with a +5 margin, and leads in fewest turnovers committed, having turned the ball over only seven times.

Two of the most exciting players in the Mountain West will be featured on Saturday. Both individuals are wide receivers and kickoff returners. For Wyoming, Jovon Bouknight ranks No. 3 in the nation among active players in career all-purpose yardage, with 4,704. He should also become Wyoming's career leader in all-purpose yards versus TCU. Bouknight needs only 15 yards to surpass former Cowboy great Marcus Harris in all-purpose yardage. TCU's Cory Rodgers ranks No. 11 in the nation among active players in career all-purpose yardage. He will enter Saturday's game with 4,038 career yards. In Mountain West Conference play this season, Bouknight leads the league in receiving yards, averaging 124.0 yards receiving in two conference games. Rodgers ranks No. 10 in receiving, averaging 78.3 yards in three MWC contests. Rodgers also leads the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 42.4 yards per return, and he has scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns.

Today's game will mark a milestone in attendance at the University of Wyoming as the Five Millionth fan will walk through the gates at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The lucky Five Millionth fan will be recognized at halftime of Saturday's game, and will receive an attractive prize package. The University of Wyoming Athletics Department wants to thank all the great Wyoming fans through the years for coming out to cheer on the Cowboys.

No television coverage is planned for Saturday's game, but as with all Cowboy games the Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game on its 26-station network. The broadcast will begin one hour before kickoff. This week's radio affiliate in the Denver area is KRKS 990 AM.