Cowboys 2021 Football Schedule Announced — Adjustments Could be Made for TV

Wyoming's 2021 football season was announced on Saturday.

Tracy Ringolsby

March 08, 20216 min read

UW football
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Tracy Ringolsby,

Laramie _ Wyoming’s 2021 football schedule will open at home against Montana State on Sept. 4, conclude against Hawaii on Nov. 27, and include  visit by Colorado State to Laramie on Nov. 6.

In addition, the cowboys home schedule will include a Sept. 18 matchup with 2020 Mid-American Conference champion Ball State, along with Mountain West games against Fresno State on Oct. 16, and New Mexico on Oct. 23.

 The six road games including conference trips to Northern illinois on Sept. 11, and UConn on Sept. 25. The cowboys are off the weekend of Oct. 2, and after that will travel to Air force on Oct. 9, SanJose State on Oct. 30, Boise State Nov. 13, and Utah State Nov. 20.

Televised games, kickoff times and a possible move to certain game to a Friday kickoff remain to be determened.

2021 University of Wyoming Football Schedule

Date                 Opponent 

Sat., Sept. 4      MONTANA STATE

Sat., Sept. 11     at Northern Illinois

Sat., Sept. 18    BALL STATE

Sat., Sept. 25     at UConn

Sat., Oct. 2        BYE Week

Sat., Oct. 9        at Air Force*

Sat., Oct. 16      FRESNO STATE*

Sat., Oct. 23      NEW MEXICO*

Sat., Oct. 30      at San Jose State*

Sat., Nov. 6       COLORADO STATE*

Sat., Nov. 13      at Boise State*

Sat., Nov. 20      at Utah State*

Sat., Nov. 27     HAWAI’I*

Sat., Dec. 4        Mountain West Championship Game+

BOLD AND CAPS Indicate Home games

*Indicates Mountain West Conference games

+The Mountain West Football Championship Game will be played at the home stadium of one of the divisional champions based on the current MW policy in place to determine the host team.

Last Two Arizona Bowl Champions to Meet in Laramie When Cowboys Host Ball State 

When the Wyoming Cowboys host Ball State on Saturday, Sept. 18 in the first meeting between the two teams, it will also mark a meeting between each of the last two Arizona Bowl Champions.  Wyoming won the 2019 Arizona Bowl, defeating Georgia State 38-17.  Ball State won the 2020 Arizona Bowl over San Jose State by a score of 34-13 in a meeting of the 2020 MAC Champion vs. the 2020 Mountain West Champion.

Season Will Begin With a Matchup vs. Montana State and Former Cowboy Coach Brent Vigen

The 2021 season opener will be against an old regional rival, the Montana State Bobcats.  It will be the first time since 2003 that the two teams have met in football.  The unique facet of this year’s game will be that Montana State will be led by new head coach Brent Vigen, who for the past seven seasons served as Wyoming’s Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.

The 2021 Season Will be the 125th Season of Wyoming Football

The Wyoming Cowboys will be playing their 125th season of college football in 2021.  Since its first season in 1893, Wyoming Football has played games in all but four years.  UW did not play any games in the 1918 season due to a flu epidemic and did not play any games in the 1943, ‘44 and ‘45 seasons due to World War II.

The 113th Edition of the “The Border War” to be Played Nov. 6 in Laramie   

This year will mark the 113th Edition of “The Border War” between Wyoming and Colorado State.  The series began in 1899 and has been played in three different centuries.  The 2021 meeting will mark the 76th consecutive season the two teams have played since the end of World War II.  The two teams will compete for “The Bronze Boot” traveling trophy for the 54th time since the trophy was introduced in 1968. 

About the 2021 Cowboy Football Team

With the NCAA granting student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID shortened 2020 season, Wyoming, like many other FBS teams, will return a very deep and veteran roster in 2021.  Here are some notes on the 2021 Wyoming Cowboys.

Returning Starting Experience:  Wyoming will return 22 of 24 starters from the 2020 season.  In terms of returning Cowboys with starting experience at some time during their college careers, UW has 21 players on offense and 20 players on defense who have started in their Wyoming careers.

Wyoming Defense:  The Cowboys return all 11 starters from a defense that ranked No. 16 in the nation in total defense in 2020 and ranked in the Top 30 in the nation in 10 defensive categories.

Wyoming Offense:  UW returns 10 starters from an offense that ranked No. 14 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing offense and ranked in the Top 35 in the nation in six offensive categories.

Individual Player Highlights

Team Leaders Return:  All four of Wyoming’s 2020 team captains return in 2021 — Sean Chambers (QB), Garrett Crall (DE), Keegan Cryder (C) and Chad Muma (LB).  The 2021 team captains will be selected in the fall of 2021.

All-Conference Returnees:  Eight Cowboys who earned All-Conference honors last year return in 2021, including First Team All-Mountain West honorees Xazavian Valladay (RB), Keegan Cryder (C) and Chad Muma (LB).  The eight All-Conference returnees include: four on offense — Valladay (RB), Cryder (C), Logan Harris (OG) and Isaiah Neyor (WR); three on defense — Muma (LB), Esaias Gandy (S) and C.J. Coldon (CB); and one on special teams — John Hoyland (PK).

Returning Quarterbacks:  Wyoming will return both of its exciting young quarterbacks from the past two seasons in sophomore Sean Chambers and redshirt freshman Levi Williams.  Chambers has started 12 of the 13 career games he has played as a Cowboy, and Williams has started six of the nine career games he has played at Wyoming.

Xazavian Valladay:  Junior running back Xazavian Valladay has led the Mountain West in rushing in each of the past two seasons and earned First Team All-Mountain West honors both years.  He ranked No. 17 in the nation in rushing in 2020 and No. 18 in 2019.  He was named to the 2020 Doak Walker Award Watch List (Nation’s Top Running Back) and the 2020 Maxwell Award Watch List (Nation’s Most Outstanding Player).

Keegan Cryder:  The junior center earned First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2020.  He was named to the 2020 Rimington Trophy Watch List (Nation’s Most Outstanding Center) and the 2020 Outland Trophy Watch List (Nation’s Most Outstanding Interior Lineman).

Chad Muma:  Junior linebacker ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in tackles in 2020 and earned First Team All-Mountain West Conference honors.

John Hoyland:  The freshman place-kicker ranked No. 1 in the nation in field goals made per game in 2020.  He was named to the Football Writers Association of America First Team Freshman All-America Team and earned Second Team All-Mountain West honors.

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Tracy Ringolsby

Sports Columnist