LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys will make their final road trip of the season this Saturday when they travel to San Diego, Calif., to face the San Diego State Aztecs in a game that will kick off at 8:30 p.m., Mountain Time. It will be the 35th meeting between the Cowboys and Aztecs. Saturday's game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. The Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game on radio beginning with the pregame show one hour prior to kickoff.
The two conference foes first met in 1978, but this year's meeting will be the first in three seasons due to the divisional format of the Mountain West Conference Wyoming holds an 18-16 advantage in the series. The two teams have split the last 10 meetings, with five wins apiece. The visiting team has won each of the last four meetings Prior to that, the home team had won six games in a row.
Saturday's game will feature two of the nation's top running backs in Wyoming sophomore Brian Hill and San Diego State junior Donnel Pumphrey. Hill ranks No. 2 in the nation in total rushing yards, with 1,327 this season. Pumphrey is No. 16 in the nation, rushing for 1,031 yards in 2015. The two are also among the nation's top running backs throughout their careers. Among active players, Hill ranks 19th, averaging 96.5 rushing yards per game over his college career. Pumphrey ranks 10th, averaging 104.3 yards per game. Both are also on this year's Doak Walker Award Watch List, which honors the top running back in the season at the conclusion of each season.
With two regular-season games remaining in the 2015 season, Hill is chasing a number of Wyoming single-season rushing records. He is averaging 132.7 yards per game. The Wyoming single-season record is 121.3 yards per game set by Ryan Christopherson in 1994. Hill has a total of 1,327 rushing yards through the first 10 games of 2015. The school record is 1,455 rushing yards, also set by Christopherson in 1994. Hill needs 129 yards to break that record. He also has 2,123 career rushing yards and needs only four yards to move into the UW Career Top 10.
Wyoming enters Saturday's game with a 1-9 overall record and a 1-5 conference mark. The Cowboys will be seeking to win their third consecutive game in San Diego, having defeated the Aztecs on the road in 2009 and 2011. SDSU is 6-3 overall and 5-0 in the Mountain West. The Aztecs lead the West Division of the MW by two games over Nevada and San Jose State. The Aztecs began the season with a 1-3 record, but won five consecutive conference games in the month of October to improve to 6-3 overall.
Cowboy senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough is one of the best defensive linemen currently playing in the NCAA and will go down as one of the best in University of Wyoming school history. For the past two seasons, Yarbrough was named to the 2014 and 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award and Ted Hendricks Award Watch Lists. He currently ranks No. 13 among all active FBS players at all positions in career sacks, with 18.5. Yarbrough currently ranks No. 37 among all active FBS players at all positions in career tackles for loss, with 36.0. He is tied for the Wyoming school record for career tackles for loss (36.0), and he needs only one half sack to move into the UW career Top 10 in career sacks. Yarbrough leads all Mountain West defensive linemen in tackles this season, averaging 5.3 per game. A two-time First Team All-Mountain West Conference selection, he is vying to become the first Cowboy in Mountain West history to earn First Team honors three consecutive seasons.
One coaching tie exists between the Wyoming Cowboys and San Diego State Aztecs. SDSU head coach Rocky Long was a former Wyoming assistant coach. Long served as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator from 1981-85 under then UW head coach Al Kincaid.
Wyoming has two current members of its coaching staff that will be returning home to California this week. Cornerbacks coach John Richardson is originally from Compton, Calif. He played football at Mt. San Antonio Community College in Walnut, Calif., from 2005-06 before transferring to North Dakota State where he played for current Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl in 2007 and 2008. UW defensive graduate assistant coach Greg Holsworth also played his college football in the state of California. Holsworth played at Occidental College in Los Angeles from 2008-11. He later coached at his alma mater for one season from July 2013 to July 2014.
As the Wyoming Cowboys prepare to travel to San Diego State this week, a check of the Wyoming roster shows 15 student-athletes from the state of California. Of those 15 California natives seven have started games for the Cowboys. The 15 Californians rank the Golden State second in terms of most players on the Cowboy roster from a single state. Only Colorado, with 25 players on the UW roster, has more.
Following Wyoming's road game this week, the Cowboys will have their one bye week of the season next week. The Pokes will conclude the 2015 season on Saturday, Nov. 28 at home, hosting UNLV.