Oct. 6, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys will carry a two-game winning streak into Saturday's meeting with the New Mexico Lobos in what will be the 85th Homecoming game in University of Wyoming history, and the 60th Homecoming game to be played in War Memorial Stadium. UW's overall record in Homecoming games is 40-41-3 (.494). Wyoming's Homecoming record in War Memorial Stadium is 35-22-2 (.610). Saturday's game will kick off at Noon, Mountain time.
Wyoming, 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Mountain West Conference play, is coming off wins over UNLV (30-27) in Laramie and Florida Atlantic (30-28) on the road. Wyoming's last two-game winning streak came in 2008 with wins over San Diego State (35-10) in Laramie and at Tennessee (13-7). The last time Wyoming won three games in a row was the 2006 season, when they defeated New Mexico (14-10) in Albuquerque before recording home wins over Utah (31-15) and Colorado State (24-0). The 2006 win over the Lobos in Albuquerque was Wyoming's only victory in its last nine meetings versus UNM. The Pokes are looking to break a four-game home losing streak to the Lobos. UW's last home win over New Mexico came back in 1999.
New Mexico is 0-5 overall and 0-1 in the MWC this season.
Both teams are led by first-year head coaches. Dave Christensen is in his first season as head coach at Wyoming. He most recently was the offensive coordinator at Missouri. Mike Locksley is the head coach of New Mexico. A year ago, Locksley was the offensive coordinator at Illinois.
The Cowboys and Lobos will be playing each other for the 62nd time in the two schools' histories. Wyoming leads the overall series 32-29.
The two teams have played similar schedules to date in 2009. Both teams have faced two Big 12 opponents. Wyoming lost to Texas and Colorado, while New Mexico lost to Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Both have also played one conference game entering this week. Wyoming won its one conference game over UNLV. New Mexico lost at home to Air Force, 13-37.
Some of the nation's top defenders will be on display on Saturday. Wyoming is the only team in the country to have three players ranked among the Top 30 tacklers in the NCAA this season. Four other teams have two players each ranked among the Top 30. Those four teams are: Baylor, Houston, Minnesota and Toledo. Leading the way for Wyoming are sophomore inside linebackers Gabe Knapton and Brian Hendricks 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, Knapton is tied for No. 10 in the nation, Hendricks is tied for No. 15 and Prosinski is tied for 30th. A fourth Cowboy, freshman strong safety Shamiel Gary ranks No. 6 in the MWC and No. 77 in the nation. The individual who is leading both the MWC and the nation in tackles this season is New Mexico middle linebacker Carmen Messina. Messina is averaging 13.8 tackles per game to rank No. 1.
The Cowboy offense features the league's leading receiver in junior David Leonard. Leonard is averaging 7.6 receptions per game to rank No. 1 in the MWC and No. 9 in the country. His 13 receptions last week versus Florida Atlantic ranks as the seventh best single-game performance in UW history.
Saturday's game will be televised live by The Mtn. The Cowboy Sports Network will, as always, broadcast the game on radio beginning with the pregame show one hour prior to kickoff, or 11 a.m. this Saturday.