Oct. 7, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys (2-4, 0-3 in the Mountain West Conference) will host the Utah Utes (6-0, 2-0 in the MWC) this coming Saturday, Oct. 11 in a game set to kick off at noon, Mountain Time.
This week's game will mark the 84th Homecoming game in University of Wyoming history, and the 59th Homecoming game to be played in War Memorial Stadium. Two years ago, Wyoming defeated Utah on Oct. 14, 2006, by a score of 31-15, in Wyoming's 82nd Homecoming contest. UW's overall record in Homecoming games is 40-40-3 (.500). The Cowboys' Homecoming Record in War Memorial Stadium is 35-21-2 (.621).
On Friday night Oct. 10, The Mtn. will televise its "Friday Nite Pep Rally" live from Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium. The show is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., Mountain Time and run until 8:00 p.m. Wyoming fans are invited to attend the event, which is free to the public. Qdoba Mexican Grill will be serving free food to Wyoming fans at 7:00 p.m., for as long as the food lasts. Head coach Joe Glenn and select Wyoming players will be taking part in the "Friday Nite Pep Rally." A year ago, Wyoming's Pep Rally was among the best attended in the Mountain West Conference.
The Utes will come to Laramie ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press media poll and No. 13 in both the USA Today Coaches' Poll and the Harris Interactive Poll.
The series with Utah is the second oldest for the Cowboys. The oldest rivalry for the Pokes is versus Colorado State. UW and CSU will be playing for the 100th time later this season. Wyoming will be facing Utah for the 81st time.
The last time Wyoming defeated a Top 25 ranked team was the 2002 season against Air Force. Air Force was ranked No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 22 by Associated Press at the time. The Cowboys defeated the Falcons 34-26 on Oct. 26, 2002. That was also the last time the Cowboys defeated a Top 25 ranked team in Laramie.
The last time Wyoming defeated a team ranked in the Top 15 in the country was 1999 versus BYU in Laramie. The Cougars came to town ranked No. 12 by USA Today and No. 15 by AP. UW won that game 31-17 on Nov. 13, 1999.
The most recent meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys and Utah Utes in Laramie was Oct. 14, 2006. The game began with Wyoming taking the opening kickoff and going on a 10-play, 35-yard drive that resulted in a 47-yard field goal by Jake Scott. On Utah's first drive of the game, quarterback Brett Ratliff was sacked by Wyoming's Ward Dobbs on third down and eight. Ratliff fumbled and UW's Dorsey Golston recovered on the Utah 11-yard line. Three plays later, Wade Betschart carried the ball in on a two-yard run to put the Pokes up 10-0. After holding Utah to a three-and-out series on the Utes' second possession. Wyoming reeled off an 11-play, 64-yard drive resulting in a four-yard touchdown scamper by Karsten Sween on the first play of the second quarter to put Wyoming up 17-0. Later in the second quarter, John Wendling sacked Ratliff and forced Utah's second fumble of the first half. Three plays later, Sween hit Michael Ford on a 24-yard TD pass to give the Cowboys a 24-0 halftime lead. On the first possession of the second half, Wyoming cornerback Julius Stinson intercepted Ratliff on third and four and returned the interception 42 yards to put Wyoming up 31-0.
The Utes would score on a 35-yard Eric Weddle fumble recovery for a touchdown in the third quarter, and would add a second TD on a three-yard pass play with 4:05 remaining in the game followed by a two-point conversion to give them 15 points in the 31-15 Wyoming victory.
Sween ended the day completing 17 of 24 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. Wynel Seldon led UW in rushing with 64 yards, and Michael Ford caught five passes for 92 yards and one TD reception as the Wyoming offense ended the day with 302 yards of total offense. The Cowboy defense held Utah to only 144 yards of total offense led by Dobbs, who had eight tackles, one forced fumble and two sacks.
The Wyoming Cowboys have trailed to start each of their six games they've played season. UW opponents have scored first in all six games. Wyoming was able to come back versus Ohio and North Dakota State to win those two games.
In each of Wyoming's last three games, the Cowboys have given up a touchdown via turnover to the opposing defense on the Cowboys' first offensive possession of each game. Against BYU, the Pokes had driven the ball 44 yards downfield on their first offensive possession before Dax Crum threw a lateral that was picked up by a BYU defender and returned 64 yards for a touchdown. The next week at home versus Bowling Green, Crum attempted to throw a screen pass on UW's second play of the game. That pass was intercepted and returned 20 yards for a TD. Last week at New Mexico, Karsten Sween was intercepted on UW's first play from scrimmage and the Lobos returned it 13 yards for a touchdown.
Saturday's game will be televised live on The Mtn. beginning at noon. The Cowboys Sports Network radio broadcast will begin one hour before kickoff, at 11 a.m., on the 27 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network.