2000 Cowboy Football Informational Press Release And Game Notes

Oct. 16, 2000


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The Wyoming Cowboys (1-6, 0-3 in the MWC)                 vs.The UNLV Rebels (3-3, 1-2 in the MWC)Oct. 21, 2000, at 5:00 p.m., M.T.                 (4:07 p.m., P.T.)

Game No. 8: Saturday, Oct. 21, 2000, 5:00 p.m., M.T. (4:00 p.m., P.T.)Gamesite: Sam Boyd Stadium (36,800), Las Vegas, Nev.Series Record: The series is tied a 4-4-0Last Meeting: UNLV won 35-32 on Oct. 9, 1999, in Laramie, Wyo.

Wyoming Head Coach: Vic Koenning (Kansas State '83) Overall Head-Coaching Record 1-6 (.143), 1st year Record at Wyoming Same

Opponent Head Coach: John Robinson (Oregon '58) Overall Head-Coaching Record 110-46-4 (.700),14th year Record at Current School 6-11 (.353), 2nd year

Young Wyoming Offense Making Improvements: The young Wyoming offenseenjoyed its best output of the season last week versus Air Force. Wyomingscored a season-high 34 points in a 34-51 loss to the Falcons.

This week's likely offensive starting lineup for the Cowboys willinclude:

     Seniors (2) -- Jay Stoner, QB, Arlen Smith, TE     Juniors (2) -- Bill Bullert, OT, Pat Hutchinson, OG     Sophomores (4) -- Adam Goldberg, OT, Mike Irvin, C, Rob                       Kellerman, OG, Brock Ralph, WR     Freshmen (3) -- Derek Armah, RB, Malcom Floyd, WR, Ryan                     McGuffey, WR

In addition to its highest point output of the year, Wyoming threwfor a season high 339 passing yards. The 339 passing yards was the thirdhighest single game output by senior quarterback Jay Stoner during hisfour-year career. Stoner's career high is 357 passing yards versus UNLV in1998. He also threw for 349 vs. Utah in 1999.

Cowboy Defense Decimated With Injuries in 2000: The Wyoming defensive unithas been hit hard by injuries during the 2000 season. Two formerAll-Conference defenders -- free safety Al Rich, who is lost for the season,and noseguard Jeff Boyle, who is out indefinitely.

Three other starters have been lost for the season in startingweakside linebacker Leo Caires, starting defensive tackle Damon Roark andstarting middle linebacker Herman White.

A sixth player, John Levingston who was listed as a starter atsafety coming out of 2000 spring drills, was lost for the season early infall drills with a torn ACL.

Jay Stoner Becomes Only the Second Player in Wyoming History to Throw forOver 7,000 Yards and Accumulate Over 7,000 Yards of Total Offense: Wyomingsenior quarterback Jay Stoner moved into No. 2 on the Wyoming Career TotalOffense list on Oct. 7, 2000, versus San Diego State, and against Air Forceon Oct. 14, he became only the second player in school history to accumulateover 7,000 yards in total offense and pass for over 7,000 yards.

Stoner's career total offense entering this week is 7,136 totalyards, ranking him No. 2 behind Tom Corontzos. Stoner's career passingtotal now stands at 7,250 career passing yards, also ranking him No. 2behind Corontzos.

Corontzos ranks No. 1 in Total Offense for UW with 7,642 careeryards. Stoner needs 507 yards of total offense to pass Corontzos. Stonerwill need to average 126.8 yards in Wyoming's remaining four games to breakthe record. Stoner is averaging 165.2 yards of total offense per game thisseason.

Stoner moved into No. 2 on the Wyoming Career Passing list on Sept.23, 2000, versus Nevada. Entering this week, Stoner has 7,250 careerpassing yards.

The only Cowboy to rank ahead of Stoner on the UW Career Passinglist is also Corontzos. Corontzos threw for 7,945 yards from 1988-91.Stoner needs 696 yards to pass Corontzos and become Wyoming's all-timeleading passer. To reach the 696 additional yards, Stoner will have toaverage 174.0 yards passing in Wyoming's remaining four games of 2000. Heis averaging 188.0 yards passing per game this season.

Despite missing two entire games due to injury in '99, he ranked No.21 in the nation in passing efficiency with a quarterback rating of 136.7.Stoner also ranked No. 45 in the nation in total offense, averaging 196.1yards per game.

Stoner was named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of theweek for two consecutive weeks in November of '99, while leading Wyoming tovictories over Utah and BYU.

As a sophomore in '98, he ranked No. 40 in the nation in passingefficiency (126.1) and No. 34 in total offense (216.1 yards per game).

Last Week: Here are some facts following last week's game versus Air Force.

*Prior to its 339 passing yards versus Air Force last week, the lasttime Wyoming passed for 300 or more yards in a game was Nov. 13, 1999, whenJay Stoner threw for 302 against BYU in 31-17 victory.

*Wyoming's 421 yards of total offense versus Air Force marked thesecond time this season that UW has recorded over 400 yards of total offensein a game. Wyoming tallied 435 yards of total offense against Nevada in a28-35 Wyoming loss.

*Jay Stoner's 339 passing yards today was the third best single gameof his career. He previously threw for 357 vs. UNLV in 1998 and 349 vs.Utah in 1999.

*Stoner's 28 completions versus Air Force last week tied for his single-gamebest. He also completed 28 versus Fresno State on Nov. 22, 1997, in a 24-7loss at Fresno.

*Jay Stoner's 72-yard pass to Brett Ralph was the longest pass playof the year for the Pokes, and the second longest offensive play of the yearfor the Cowboys. Nate Scott ran for a 95-yard TD versus Central Michigan.

*Aaron Elling's 52-yard field goal vs. Air Force was his longest ofthe year. He is now 2-3 from 50 or beyond in the 2000 season, he also madea 50-yarder versus Central Michigan. For his career he is now 6 of 8 from50 or beyond. His career best was a 56-yarder against Colorado State in1999.

*Elling is now 12 of 12 in extra points for the season. He has madehis last 28 consecutive extra points, and he is 66 of 68 for his career.

*Malcom Floyd caught a career high seven passes today for a careerhigh 78 yards.

*Wyoming's three freshmen receivers -- Malcom Floyd, Ryan McGuffeyand Brett Ralph -- combined for 18 catches for 243 yards and one TD againstAir Force last week.

*Redshirt freshman Ryan McGuffey has now caught at least one pass inall seven career starts. He has caught at least three passes in every game.His best day was at New Mexico -- eight receptions for 101 yards.

*Wyoming lost its third consecutive home game of the season lastweek. UW's home losses this year have been to: Nevada (28-35), San DiegoState (0-34) and Air Force (34-51). The last time Wyoming lost threeconsecutive home games was the 1985 season when the Pokes lost to Wisconsinon Sept. 28 (17-41), Hawai'i on Oct. 12 (18-26) and Colorado State on Oct.26 (19-30).

*Wyoming has not lost three home games since 1992, when UW posted a3-3 home record.

*Prior to this season, the Cowboys had not started the season 1-6since 1985 when they went 1-7 and finished the year 3-8 for the year.

*Prior to this season, the Pokes had not lost four in a row since1990, when they lost their last four games of the year.

*Prior to this season, UW had not begun 0-3 in league play since1985, when Wyoming lost its first five conference games and finished 2-6 inleague play.

*Prior to giving up 432 rushing yards to Air Force last week, thelast time Wyoming gave up 400 or more yards rushing was Sept. 28, 1996, whenUNLV rushed for 486 yards in a 33-21 Wyoming victory.

*Before giving up 625 yards of total offense to Air Force, Wyominghad not surrendered 600 or more yards of total offense since they gave up619 yards of total offense to Western Michigan on Oct. 12, 1996, in a 42-28Wyoming win.

Wyoming Senior Al Rich Undergoes Surgery in Virginia:University of Wyoming senior Al Rich underwent surgery on his right wrist onThursday, Oct. 12 in Charlottesville, Va. Rich was operated on by FrankMcCue, M.D., one of the foremost hand surgeons in the country.

Rich originally had surgery on his right wrist in the spring of2000, but once fall football practice began in August, Rich was stillexperiencing pain. He played in Wyoming's season opener at Auburn, but thepain persisted.

A First Team All-Conference free safety in 1998 as a sophomore, Richdidn't miss a start in '99, despite suffering with injuries to his wrist anda shoulder. He was moved to running back at the beginning of the 2000season, and was Wyoming's starter at running back in the 2000 season openerat Auburn.

A senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., Rich will be eligible toapply to the NCAA for a medical hardship to gain back a year of eligiblity.He has never redshirted since coming to Wyoming as a freshman in 1997.

Linebacker Peprah Having Outstanding Senior Season: He is the leadingtackler for the Wyoming Cowboys. Senior Kwabena Peprah has made 75 tacklesthrough Wyoming's first seven games of the 2000 season. He has done itwhile playing two different linebacker positions.

Peprah began the season as Wyoming's starting middle linebackeragainst both Auburn and Texas A&M. Following a season-ending injury to UWweak-side linebacker Leo Caires in the Texas A&M game, Peprah was shifted tothe weak-side position where he has started the last five games. He hascalled Wyoming's defensive signals throughout the season.

He was Wyoming's leading individual tackler in the Central Michigan(15 total tackles), Nevada (12 total tackles) and Air Force (14 totaltackles) games.

Last Meeting: The date was Oct. 9, 1999, and the site was War MemorialStadium. Some 19,048 fans came expecting to see the Cowboys to roll overthe 24-point underdog UNLV team.

That would not be the case. UNLV won the game 35-32. The Rebelsjumped out to a 14-0 lead, and extended that to 21-3 in the second quarter.By halftime the Cowboys trailed 21-9. In the third period the Cowboysreduced the lead to 21-16, only to have Duane James return a punt 43 yardsfor a touchdown. An interception return for a touchdown by Quincy Sandersgave the Rebels a 35-16 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Cowboys returned a pair of interceptions for touchdownsthemselves. But, trailing by three with 10:37 left, the Cowboys couldnever take a lead. UNLV intercepted Wyoming four times, the final onecoming with a minute to play to seal the victory.

Wyoming Series Record vs. UNLV

The 2000 Meeting Will be the: NinthOverall Series Record: Tied at 4-4-0Series Began: Nov. 11, 1978Wyoming Record in Laramie: 2-2-0Wyoming Record in Las Vegas: 2-2-0Wyoming Record at Neutral Sites: NAUW Head Coach Vic Koenning vs.: 0-0-0Longest UW Win Streak: 4 (1981-98)Longest UNLV Win Streak: 3 (1978-80)Largest UW Margin of Victory: 24 (1981)Largest UNLV Margin ofVictory: 7 (1980)Most Points Scored by UW: 45 (1981)Most Points Scored by UNLV: 35 (1999)

Other Notes of Interest: UNLV is one of the youngest universities in thenation, being founded in 1957. The Rebel Athletic Department moved up tothe NCAA Division IA level in 1978.

UNLV joined the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1982. ThePCAA changed its name to the Big West Conference in 1988. The Rebels movedto the WAC in 1996, and moved to the Mountain West Conference in '99 alongwith Wyoming.

The Rebel Football program not only began a new era in terms ofjoining a new league in '99, but it began a new coaching era with longtimeUSC and Los Angeles Rams head coach John Robinson taking over the program.

About UNLV: The Rebels enter Saturday's game with a 3-3 overall record, anda 1-2 mark in Mountain West play, after a difficult 20-19 setback atColorado State last Saturday night.

UNLV scored a touchdown with 34 seconds remaining in the game, andappeared to be sending the game into overtime. But Colorado State blockedthe extra point to preserve the victory.

The Rebels have now lost to Brigham Young, at Provo, by three, andCSU, at Ft. Collins, by one. Their other loss came in the opening game ofthe season at Iowa State, 37-22. Their conference victory was an impressiveone over Air Force, 34-13.

The Rebels have been extremely effective offensively with a balancedattack that has netted 385.5 yards per game of total offense. They rush for216.2 per game and pass for 169.3. They are giving up 339.5 yards of totaloffense.

Much of their offense hinges on transfer quarterback Jason Thomas.Thomas has rushed for 390 yards and passed for another 955. He isresponsible for six rushing touchdowns, and has passed for another eight.However, he may not be available for this game, spraining his right footlast week. His status was doubtful. If he cannot go, Jason Vaughan will bethe man. The Cowboys are very familiar with Vaughan . He threw for 162yards and two touchdowns last season in leading the Rebels to a 35-32victory. Vaughan came in last week to direct UNLV to that final touchdown.He has completed just 9 of 17 for 61 yards and the touchdown.

There are a couple of very talented tailbacks in that Rebelbackfield in senior transfer Kevin Brown and senior Jeremi Rudolph. Brownhas carried 66 times for 409 yards and a touchdown. He had a big dayagainst Colorado State with 134 yards on 17 carries. Rudolph has carried 76times for 357 yards and five touchdowns. Rudolph had a big day againstthe Cowboys at Laramie, last season with 149 yards on 32 carries.

The top receiver is Nate Turner, another outstanding senior, who hascaught 31 balls for 475 yards and six touchdowns. He had five catches for94 yards and a six-yard touchdown pass against the Cowboys at Laramie, lastseason. The other receiver is Troy Mason who has 13 receptions for 323yards and one touchdown.

Defensively free safety Sam Brandon leads the team in tackles with45. Strong safety Randy Black is right behind him with 39. Defensive endsAhmad Briggs, a sophomore, and Anton Palepoi, a junior transfer, lead theteam in sacks with three each. Palepoi has six tackles for losses andBriggs, five.

UNLV may have one of the best kickers in the country in RayCheetany. The senior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a pre-season All-Americawho punts and place-kicks. He was fourth in the nation last year inpunting. He has hit five out of his seven field goal attempts thus far,including a long of 48 yards. He is averaging 40.8 yards per punt on 36attempts.

Head Coach John Robinson: John Robinson, one of the legends of collegiatefootball, is in his second year with UNLV, and has posted a a 6-11 record.This is his 14th season overall. He has posted a 110-46-4.

Robinson, 65, is the nation's ninth-winningest active coach. Inaddition, his 7-1 bowl record gives him a higher winning percentage in thepostseason (.875) than any active college coach with a minimum of eightgames.

Robinson began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at hisalma mater, the University of Oregon. He was there for 12 seasons(1960-71), before moving to USC to direct the school's offense for threeyears. Following that stint her served as backfield coach for the NFL'sOakland Raiders in 1975, under childhood friend John Madden.

He began his career at Southern Cal in 1976, and coached therethrough 1982. He won the 1978 national title with a 12-1 mark, and led theTrojans to three PAC-10 titles.

He then headed to the NFL to coach the Los Angeles Rams for nineseasons. He reached the playoffs six times during that period. He returnedto USC in 1993. His second term lasted until 1997, and featured three morebowl victories, including the Rose Bowl title over Northwestern followingthe 1995 season. He is 4-0 in Rose Bowl games.

He has coached two Heisman Trophy winners, running backs CharlesWhite (1979) and Marcus Allen (1981).

Narrow Losses: The Rebel football program is a relatively young one, sointerestingly last Saturday's one-point loss to CSU was only the sixthone-point defeat in UNLV history, but the third since 1994. The last fivehave come on the road.

The Rebels have been on the winning side of five one-point games butnone since 1991.

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