Dave Walsh:  Wyoming Against Air Force Should Bear Fruit Of Good Rivalry 

Dave Walsh writes: The Wyoming Air Force game has become a respectful rivalry and is almost guaranteed to be hotly-contested with great intensity from start to finish.

Dave Walsh

September 16, 20225 min read

Dave walsh Uw

Wyoming vs. Air Force is one of those special games that pops up on the Cowboy Football schedule each year.    It’s special for so many reasons, but I think made so much so, because it’s just so “interesting”. 

The Wyoming – Air Force game is “special” because it is a game against a Front-Range rival.   It’s a game played every year against a school that is located in the same region.  And the Cowboys and Falcons have been playing one another, just about every season since 1957. 

The two programs have also recruited some of the same players over the years.  But that goes with the location factor.  The two programs are located just a few hours apart, and the state of Colorado is common ground.  This rare Friday-niter will be the 6th time the two have knocked heads. 

The Wyoming – Air Force game is “special” because it is a conference game.  These two have played one another as members of the same conference since 1980.   

The first 18 games played in the series were not conference games, but the last 42 Cowboy – Falcon games have been Western Athletic Conference or Mountain West Conference match-ups.  There’s always just a little extra intensity displayed by both teams in a conference game.  So a tad more physicality will undoubtedly be an added  factor in this week’s league game for the Cowboys.  

This particular Wyoming – Air Force game is made a little more “special” because it is the “first” conference game of the year for both teams.  It’s always important to get off to a good start in the long race for a regular season Conference Title. 

And make no mistake, the Cowboys and Falcons both have league championship intentions, and that big goal begins now for Wyoming and Air Force, in this Cowboy – Falcon game. 

The way the Falcons go about things on offense is interesting.  The Air Force offense is unique,

And just how the Cowboys go about defending that interesting offense, is very “interesting” in itself.  Strategy in all phases of the game is very much a part of the broad appeal of the sport.  And how the Cowboy “D” contends with the Falcons “O”, is always a big factor, and a major challenge. 

And on the other side of the ball, when the Cowboys have it, just how the Falcon “D” lines–up and defends the Cowboy “O” is just as interesting. 

These two teams, these two regional and conference foes, are very familiar with one another.  And this particular game, the Wyoming – Air Force game, has morphed into a “rivalry” of sorts.  And that’s “interesting”. 

The Wyoming – Air Force game has developed a bit of an edge to it.  It has the feel of a rivalry game.  It’s not necessarily the feel of a blood feud.  It doesn’t have the nastiness that other rivalries have.  It’s more of a friendly rivalry.  There seems to be a great deal of respect, and less disdain, that one might see in a bitter rivalry. 

At least, that’s the way it looks from here. 

This particular match-up bears the fruit of a good rivalry.  The Wyoming – Air Force game is historically close.  It’s guaranteed to be hotly-contested, great intensity from start to finish. 

The series is almost dead even, the Cowboys have 27 wins, the Falcons have 29, and there have been three ties.  There is a slight home-field advantage for both teams, but the Cowboys have won 12 times in Colorado Springs, and Air Force has beaten the Cowboys 11 times in Laramie. 

I have a special place in my heart for the Wyoming – Air Force game.  One of the best Cowboy Football games I had the privilege to witness and announce was the 1988 game played in Falcon Stadium.  

That was the “biggest comeback ever” game, the game in which the Cowboys scored 31 points in the 4th quarter, to beat the Falcons, 48-45.  

That win made the Cowboys 4-0, and well on their way to an all-time, single-season best with 11 wins.  The ’88 Cowboys would make a perfect 8-0 run through the Western Athletic Conference for a back-to-back league championship.  And just a few weeks ago, the 1988 Cowboy Football Team was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame. 

I have no idea how this week’s game ends up, but I will predict 

this Wyoming – Air Force game will be special. 

And it will be interesting.  

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Dave Walsh

Sports Columnist