Nov. 2, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., this Saturday looking for their first Mountain West Conference win of this season. The Lobos are also looking for their first conference win of 2010. Saturday's game is scheduled to kickoff off from New Mexico's University Stadium at 4 p.m., Mountain Time.
Wyoming brings a 2-7 overall record and an 0-5 MWC mark into Saturday's game. Wyoming has lost three close conference games this year. The Pokes led Air Force 14-7 entering the fourth quarter before losing at home by six points (14-20). UW lost by five points (20-25) at BYU, and a week ago trailed San Diego State by only three points, 38-41, with 7:32 remaining in the game before falling at home by 10 points to the Aztecs (38-48).
New Mexico has an 0-8 overall record this season, and is 0-4 in conference play.
For the Cowboys, they will be returning to New Mexico's University Stadium for the first time since winning the 2009 New Mexico Bowl over Fresno State, 35-28 in double overtime, on Dec. 19, 2009.
Home field has been of little advantage in the history of the Wyoming-New Mexico series. Wyoming has a winning record in Albuquerque, leading 17-15. The Lobos have also had success in Laramie, as Wyoming holds a mere two-game lead, 16-14, in games played in UW's War Memorial Stadium. The Pokes lead the overall series by a margin of 33-29.
The Pokes' 37-13 win over New Mexico a year ago in Laramie saw the most points scored by UW against the Lobos since 1999 when Wyoming won 42-28 at home. The most recent win by UNM in the series came on Oct. 4, 2008, by a 24-0 score in Albuquerque. The last time Wyoming won in Albuquerque was in 2006 when the Cowboys captured a 14-10 road win.
For a three-year period from 2004-06, the games between the two longtime rivals were decided by seven points (16-9 UNM win in `04), three points (27-24 UNM win in `05) and four points (14-10 Wyoming win in `06).
The Wyoming Cowboys are coming off a 38-point performance last week versus San Diego State. That was the most points scored by the Cowboys since Sept. 2, 2006, when they defeated Utah State 38-7 in the season opener. Last week's 38 points were the first time this season that UW scored 30 or more points in a game. Unfortunately, those 38 points weren't enough as Wyoming fell to the Aztecs by a final of 38-48.
During the two seasons under head coach Dave Christensen, Wyoming's previous high in points was 37 in a 37-13 home win over New Mexico in 2009. Last Saturday's loss to SDSU was the first time in the Christensen era that the Pokes had lost a game when scoring 30 or more points. UW scored 30 or more five times in 2009 and won all five games.
San Diego State is one of two common opponents that the Cowboys and Lobos have faced this season. Both Wyoming and New Mexico lost by 10 points on their home fields to SDSU. Wyoming lost 38-48 to the Aztecs, and New Mexico lost 20-30 to San Diego State. The other common opponent this year was Utah. UW lost by 24 points (6-30) at home to the Utes. UNM also lost a home game to Utah by a margin of 42 points (14-56).
In Wyoming's last three games, the turnover margin has become a positive for the Cowboys. Wyoming has forced eight turnovers, while committing only one in the last three games for a +7 turnover margin. Included in those eight forced turnovers versus Utah, BYU and San Diego State were six interceptions by the Cowboys. The turnaround in turnover margin through the last three games has also pushed Wyoming's overall turnover margin to a +0.11 for the season, ranking the Cowboys No. 3 in the Mountain West Conference.
Saturday's game will be televised live on The Mtn., beginning at 4 p.m., Mountain Time. The Cowboy Sports Network will begin its radio coverage of the 63rd meeting between the Cowboys and Lobos at 3 p.m. with the pregame show.