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Wyoming Cowboys football

Josh Allen Didn’t Declare For NFL Draft Early Because He Owed Coach Bohl Respect

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s something you don’t hear every day in the world of professional athletics.

Appearing on a popular national sports program on Friday, former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen said he didn’t declare for the NFL draft his junior year because he thought he owed Cowboys football coach Craig Bohl the respect to stay.

Allen, who was subsequently drafted 7th overall the next year in the 2018 NFL draft, told ‘Bussin’ With The Boys’ hosts Will Compton and Taylor Lewan that he was aware if he declared in 2017, he would be drafted high — as high as number two overall.

But he couldn’t do it.

Astonished, the hosts asked him why.

“Coach Bohl was the only guy who stuck his neck out for me,” Allen said. “He came to my family, he came to my house in the middle of nowhere. I just felt I owed him the respect to come back for one more year.”



It took awhile for the hosts to process Allen’s answer. One said if loyalty was a component on the Madden football video game, Allen would have a score of 99 (the highest score possible).

It’s not as though Allen didn’t think about it. He said he did. In fact, he was leaning on leaving after his junior year after he saw mock drafts that had him as the second highest draft overall. That and he was getting numerous calls from agents.

When he tentatively made a decision to enter the NFL draft early, he couldn’t sleep that night. 

When Bohl called him the next morning, he declined to answer it because he was wrestling with the decision.

“I just couldn’t tell Coach Bohl no,” he said.

The conversation then turned to hypotheticals and they asked him if Bohl were to have been offered a more prolific job in Division One football, did he think the coach would have taken it despite Allen’s decision to come back.

Allen didn’t think so. He said Bohl had told him he was going to retire at the University of Wyoming and had just signed a contract extension the year before.

Lewan and Compton left impressed with Allen’s decision.

“That is a good guy,” Compton said. “That is a good guy move.”

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University of Wyoming 2022 Football Schedule Announced

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The 2022 Mountain West Conference Football television schedules were released on Thursday in connection with Mountain West television partners CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) and FOX Sports Networks. 

The Wyoming Cowboys will have at least 10 of their 12 games televised this fall, including five games on CBSSN, two on FS1, a third game on one of the FOX Sports Networks, one game on one of the ESPN Networks and one on the Big Ten Network.

Wyoming’s home schedule will feature three home games in September, including two early afternoon kickoffs: versus Tulsa on Sept. 3 at 1:30 p.m., M.T. and televised on FS1 and versus Northern Colorado, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m., M.T.; and a nationally-televised Friday night game against longtime rival Air Force on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

The months of October and November will see the Cowboys host the last three Mountain West Conference champions in San Jose State on Oct. 1 (2020 MW champion), Utah State on Oct. 22 (2021 MW champ) and Boise State on Nov. 19 (2019 MW champion).

Thursday’s announcement came at the same time several other FBS conferences were releasing their television packages for the upcoming season.  Wyoming’s 2022 television schedule and game times include the following.

2022 University of Wyoming

Football Schedule

Date Opponent
Sat., Aug. 27 at Illinois
Sat., Sept. 3 TULSA
Sat., Sept. 10 NORTHERN COLORADO
Fri., Sept. 16 AIR FORCE*
Sat., Sept. 24 at BYU
Sat., Oct. 1 SAN JOSE STATE*
Sat., Oct. 8 at New Mexico*
Sat., Oct. 15 BYE
Sat., Oct. 22 UTAH STATE*
Sat., Oct. 29 at Hawai’i*
Sat., Nov. 5 BYE
Sat., Nov. 12 at Colorado State*
Sat., Nov. 19 BOISE STATE*
Fri., Nov. 25 at Fresno State*
Sat., Dec. 3 Mountain West Championship Game+

Home Schedule

Of Wyoming’s six home games, the first two will feature early afternoon kickoffs.  The home opener on Saturday, Sept. 3 vs. Tulsa will kick off at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time from Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium and will be televised nationally on FS1.  Wyoming and Tulsa have played each other six previous times with the series tied at 3-3.  Tulsa won the most recent meeting in 2019 in Tulsa by a 24-21 margin.  The last time the two teams met in Laramie was 1994, with the Cowboys winning 17-7.

Wyoming’s second home game of the 2022 season will be on Saturday, Sept. 10 when  UW will host Northern Colorado in a 2 p.m. kick.  Television or streaming coverage of that game will be announced at a later date.  The series vs. UNC dates all the way back to 1895.  Wyoming holds an 18-5 advantage in the series with three ties.  The two teams have not met since 2013 when UW won 35-7 in Laramie.

A nationally-televised Friday night game on Sept. 16 will highlight the 60th meeting in the Wyoming-Air Force rivalry when the Falcons travel to Laramie to face the Cowboys.  That game will be televised on CBS Sports Network and kick time is set for 6 p.m.  The series between the two Front Range rivals is extremely close, with Air Force holding a mere four-game advantage in the series, with 30 wins to Wyoming’s 26.  There have been three ties in the series.

The next three Wyoming home games of 2022 will feature the last three Mountain West Conference Champions.  On Saturday Oct. 1, the San Jose State Spartans come to Laramie to face the Cowboys in another CBSSN televised game.  Kickoff of the Wyoming-San Jose State game will be 5:30 p.m.  The Spartans won the MW title in 2020.

The lone Wyoming home game time that has not been set is the Saturday, Oct. 22 meeting versus Utah State.  That game will be televised on one of the FOX Sports Networks.  The game time and exact FOX Sports Network will be announced at a future date by FOX.  This year’s meeting will be the 72nd in the series between Wyoming and Utah State.  The Aggies won the MW championship a year ago in 2021, but the Cowboys came away with a 44-17 victory in Logan, Utah, last season handing USU one of its only three losses.

The Cowboys will conclude their six-game home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 19 hosting Boise State in a 5 p.m. game that will be televised on CBS Sports Network.  The Broncos were the 2019 MW champions.

Road Schedule

Wyoming’s 2022 season opener will be on the road at Illinois on Saturday, Aug. 27 and will kick off at 2 p.m., Mountain Time.  That game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.  It will be the first meeting between the Cowboys and Illini in football and the first time since 2017 that Wyoming has played a Big Ten team.  The Pokes traveled to Iowa in 2017. 

The Cowboys’ other non-conference road game in 2022 will be played at old rival BYU on Saturday, Sept. 24.  That game will be televised on one of the ESPN Networks.  Game time and the specific ESPN network will be announced at a later date by ESPN.  This year’s meeting will be the first between the two teams since 2016 when they met in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.  The Cougars won that last meeting 24-21.  BYU is Wyoming’s third oldest rival in terms of games played behind only Colorado State (113 meetings) and Utah (83).  This year’s meeting between UW and BYU will be the 79th in the series.  Wyoming has won 30 of the previous meetings, BYU has won 45 and there have been three ties. 

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Pokes will be in Albuquerque, N.M., to play the New Mexico Lobos in a 5:00 p.m. game televised on CBS Sports Network.  The Cowboy-Lobo series is the fourth longest for Wyoming, with this season’s meeting marking the 75th in the series.  The Pokes lead the overall series with 39 wins to New Mexico’s 35.

Wyoming will have its first of two bye weeks on Oct. 15.  Following a home game versus Utah State on Saturday, Oct. 22, UW will travel to Hawai’i on Saturday, Oct. 29.  After hosting the Rainbow Warriors in 2020 and 2021, Wyoming will make its first trip to Honolulu since 2018.  Game time and television coverage will be announced by Hawai’i in the future.

UW will enjoy its second bye week after returning from Hawai’i.  The Cowboys will use that time to prepare for the annual “Border War” with rival Colorado State on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Fort Collins, Colo.  CBS Sports Network will televise the “Battle for the Bronze Boot” in a game kicking off at 5:00 p.m.  The longest rivalry for both schools, the 2022 meeting will be the 114th in history.  Wyoming is coming off a 31-17 victory over the Rams in 2021.

Wyoming will conclude the 2022 regular season with a Friday night road game at Fresno State the day after Thanksgiving.  That Nov. 25 game will kick at 8 p.m., Mountain Time and will be televised on FS1.

2022 Schedule Filled With Bowl Teams

There are seven teams on Wyoming’s 2022 schedule who, like the Cowboys, earned bowl bids last season. 

Those 2022 Wyoming opponents who earned bowl bids a year ago include non-conference teams BYU and Tulsa and Mountain West Conference opponents Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai’i and Utah State. 

Four of those postseason teams will play in Laramie — Tulsa, Air Force, Boise State and Utah State.  The Cowboys concluded the 2021 season with a bowl win of their own, defeating Kent State 52-38 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

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Wyoming Cowboy Linemen Picked Up As Free Agents on Dolphins & Buccaneers

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By Tracy Ringolsby, WelcomeTo7220.com

Defensive end Garrett Crall and center Keegan Cryder, who were anchors for the Wyoming defensive and offensive lines the past four seasons, have received opportunities to continue their time on the gridiron.

Crall was picked up by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent, and Cryder received a similar opportunity with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The two join former Wyoming middle linebacker Chad Muma, who was selected by Jacksonville with the sixth pick in the third round of the draft, in having the door to the NFL opened.

Crall started 40 of the Cowboys 54 games from 2017 to 2021. He earned Honorable Mention All-Mountain West honors in 2021. A walk-on at Wyoming, Crall earned the respect of his teammates, who voted him a team captain for the 2020 and 2021 season.

As a senior, Crawl made 44 tackles, 24 of them solo shots, picked up 2.5 sacks, 6.0 tackles for a loss, four quarterback hurries and two pass breakups. During his Cowboy career he made 101 total tackles, 95 of which were solo, 15 sacks, 27 tackles for a loss, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles and recovered three fumbles.

A quarterback at Hicksville, Ohio High School, Crall went from a 180-pound freshman to an impact defensive end, who was a nominee for the 2021 Burlsworth Trophy, which goes annually to the most outstanding FBS football player who began his career as a walk-on.

He joins former teammate Marcus Epps, a safey with the Philadelphia Eagle, as Cowboys who went from being walk-ons to playing in the NFL. 

Cryder was a three-time All-Mountain West Conference selection, and a two-time team captain for Wyoming. He started 44 consecutive games during his career — four at offensive guard in his redshirt freshman season of 2018 before moving to center, where he started the final eight games of that first year through the end of the 2021 season.

Including the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl victory in December, Cryder started 40 consecutive games at center for the Cowboys.

He was on the Outland Trophy Watch List the last two seasons, and was also on the Remington Trophy Watch List. Cryder was a First Team All-Mountain West Conference selection in 2020, and a second-team selection in 2019 and 2021. He was a four-time Academic All-Mountain West honoree.

He was voted a team captain in 2020 and 2021 by his teammates, and was the leader off an offensive line that was ranked No. 20 among FBS teams in rushing offense in 2021, No. 14 in the nation in 2020 and No. 23 in 2019.

During his career, Wyoming won the 2017 and 2021 Famous Idaho Potator Bowl, and the 2019 Arizona Bowl.

And now, with a tip of the hat to what playing for Wyoming meant to them, Crall and Cryder are taking the next step in hopes of taking their football ability to the next level.

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University of Wyoming’s Chad Muma Selected By Jacksonville Jaguars In 2022 NFL Draft

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Former Wyoming Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 70th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday night.

Muma was the sixth pick in the third round of the NFL Draft.  Muma becomes the eighth Cowboy selected in the NFL Draft in the past eight seasons since Craig Bohl took over as head coach at Wyoming.

Muma was recognized as one of the top defensive players in college football in 2021.  

He is coming off a 2021 season in which he was named a Second Team All-American by both the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Pro Football Focus (PFF).  He was a Third Team All-America selection by Associated Press. 



A native of Lone Tree, Colo., Muma was one of only six national finalists for this year’s Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s best linebacker, and he was one of 18 national semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, recognizing the nation’s outstanding defensive player.  

For the past two consecutive seasons, Muma was selected First Team All-Mountain West Conference by conference head coaches and media.

Earlier this year, he was selected to and played in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl.  Muma was also invited to and participated in the 2022 NFL Combine.

Muma ranked No. 3 in the nation in solo tackles (6.5 per game) and ranked No. 4 in the nation in total tackles (10.9 per game) for the 2021 season.  

He also tied for No. 2 in the nation in interceptions returned for touchdowns, with two “pick sixes” on the year.  Muma recorded double figures in tackles in 11 of 13 games during the 2021 season.  

He was credited with 142 tackles for the 2021 season, which ranks as the fourth best single-season total in school history behind only linebacker Galand Thaxton, who had 158 tackles in 1986 and 143 in 1987, and free safety John Salley, who had 143 tackles in 1982.  For his career, Muma totalled 267 career tackles.

He first made his mark as one of the nation’s top linebackers in 2020.  He ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.8 tackles per game.  He also ranked No. 16 in the nation in solo tackles, averaging 5.5 per game.  He was selected First Team All-Mountain West by MW head coaches and media in 2020.

Muma helped lead Wyoming to two bowl victories during his Wyoming career — the 2019 Arizona Bowl Championship and the 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl title.

Muma became the eighth Wyoming Cowboy to be selected in the NFL Draft during the first eight seasons Craig Bohl has been the head coach at Wyoming.  

The previous NFL Draft picks during the Bohl era include: 2015 Mark Nzeocha, Dallas Cowboys, 7th Round, 19th Pick; 2017 Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons, 5th Round 12th Pick; 2017 Chase Roullier, Washington Commanders, 6th Round 15th Pick; 2018 Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, 1st Round, 7th Pick; 2019 Marcus Epps, Minnesota Vikings, 6th Round, 18th Pick; 2020 Logan Wilson, Cincinnati Bengals, 3rd Round, 1st Pick; 2020 Cassh Maluia, New England Patriots, 6th Round, 25th Pick; and now 2022 Chad Muma, Jacksonville Jaguars, 3rd Round, 6th Pick.

Muma will join 16 other former Wyoming Cowboys who were on NFL rosters at the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season  — some on active rosters and others on developmental squads. That was more than any other Mountain West Conference school.

Those Cowboys and their NFL teams at the end of last season were: Josh Allen (quarterback, Buffalo Bills), Marcus Epps (safety, Philadelphia Eagles), Austin Fort (tight end, Tennessee Titans), Rico Gafford (wide receiver, Denver Broncos), Tanner Gentry (wide receiver, Buffalo Bills), Tashaun Gipson (safety, Chicago Bears), Carl Granderson (defensive end, New Orleans Saints), Tyler Hall (cornerback, Los Angeles Rams), Brian Hill (running back, San Francisco 49ers), Jacob Hollister (tight end, Jacksonville Jaguars), Mark Nzeocha (linebacker, San Francisco 49ers), Mike Purcell (nose tackle, Denver Broncos), Chase Roullier (center, Washington Commanders), Logan Wilson (linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals), Andrew Wingard (safety, Jacksonville Jaguars) and Eddie Yarbrough (defensive end, Minnesota Vikings).  

Since the end of the 2021 season, Gafford moved to the Green Bay Packers and Hollister moved to the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Gold Team Captures 26-22 Win Over Brown In Wyoming’s Annual Spring Game

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It was a Spring Game that featured an exciting day of football, with numerous big plays on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and five lead changes before the Gold Team secured a 26-22 win over the Brown Team on Saturday in Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium.

The Gold Team featured the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense, while the Brown Team was anchored by the No. 1 defensive unit and No. 2 offense.

After a scoreless first quarter, Brown would take the first lead at 7-0 in the second quarter only to have Gold tie the game at 7-7 on the very next possession.  With 3:46 left in the second quarter, Gold would add a field goal to take a 10-7 lead and would convert a second field goal with only 24 seconds remaining in the half to take a 13-7 advantage into the locker room at halftime. 

It wouldn’t be until late in the third quarter before the Brown squad would recapture the lead at 14-13 for the second lead change of the game.  The fourth quarter would see three more lead changes before Gold prevailed 26-22.

In terms of explosive plays, the Gold Team had a 67-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Peasley to tight end Jackson Marcotte, a 35-yard TD pass from Peasley to wide receiver Jaylen Sargent and a 64-yard touchdown run by running back Dawaiian McNeely.  The Brown Team added a 51-yard touchdown scamper by running back Joseph Braasch and a 32-yard pass completion from quarterback Jayden Clemons to Braasch.

“There were some really good things out there today and then obviously things to work on,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl in his postgame press conference.  “To the naked eye some of the things that became apparent to me is we have some really good speed at the tailback position. 

“(Andrew) Peasley is learning our offense and is still a work in progress, but I do think he has some maturity as a college quarterback.  I think he is resourceful with the football.  It’s going to be important that he has a good summer.  I was pleased with his body of work during the spring.

“I thought our defensive line did some good things today.  I was pleased with the push up front.  I was a little bit concerned about where we’d be (with that group). 

“We did come through the game without any significant injuries.  I am a little bit concerned about Caden Barnett (offensive tackle).  He’s got a thumb issue that they’re going to take a look at.

“I want to say thanks to the fans who showed up and to you guys also (the media covering the game).  It is great to be playing college football again.”

Among the standout offensive performances on the day was an outstanding day by transfer quarterback Peasley, who completed 12 of 21 passes (57.1 percent) for 201 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Gold Team. 

Running back McNeely rushed for 96 yards on 13 carries, including a 64-yard TD run for the Gold squad, and Gold wide receiver Joshua Cobbs caught six passes for 58 yards.  Peasley’s two touchdown passes went to tight end Marcotte for 67 yards and wide receiver Sargent for 35 yards.

For the Brown Team, running back Braasch carried the ball 14 times for 80 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns of five and 51 yards.  Braasch also caught two passes for 34 yards to lead the Brown Team in receiving.  Quarterback Clemons completed 5 of 10 passes (50.0 percent) for 63 yards and added 46 yards rushing on seven carries.

Top defensive performances went to three Cowboys who intercepted passes on Saturday.  Cornerback transfer Jakorey Hawkins intercepted one pass that he returned 17 yards for the Brown Team.  On the Gold Team, cornerback Kolbey Taylor intercepted one pass for no yards and linebacker Brent VanderVeen intercepted a pass and returned it two yards.

For the Brown defense, linebacker Connor Shay recovered a fumble that was forced by safety Miles Williams.  That turnover later turned into a Brown touchdown.  Four Brown defenders each recorded four tackles to lead their defensive unit.  Those four were: cornerbacks Cameron Stone and Hawkins, linebacker Shay and defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole.

The Gold defense had three Cowboys lead their team with four tackles.  Those three were: cornerback Zaire Jackson and linebackers Nic Talich and Micah Young.

Bohl was asked about Hawkins performance in Saturday’s Spring Game and about Hawkins performance as a transfer throughout spring.  “Jakorey (Hawkins) is learning our defense and is applying the skills that Coach (Benny) Boyd is teaching him.  Jakorey has meshed in well in our locker room, has good speed and play-making ability.”

The Gold offense generated 399 yards of total offense on 58 plays — 188 rushing and 211 passing.  The Brown offensive unit accounted for 249 total yards on 56 plays — 162 rushing and 87 passing.  The Brown defense forced two turnovers (one interception and one fumble) and the Gold defense also forced two turnovers (two interceptions).

Bohl also mentioned that with new NCAA rules that now allow coaches to spend some time with players in the summer, providing them instruction, that the added time will be valuable for the continued development of his team.

“The NCAA allows us some time with the players during the course of the summer,” said Bohl.  “We can have up to two hours of meeting time and some field work.  Utilizing that time effectively is going to be important for our team.”

Saturday’s spring game began with the Gold team receiving the opening kick off.  Peasley started at quarterback for the Gold team. 

After an incomplete pass on first down, running back McNeely carried for two yards followed by Peasley’s first completion of the game of 11 yards to wide receiver Wyatt Wieland for a first down.  Peasley followed that up with an eight-yard run. 

After a run of three yards by running back D.Q. James, Peasley was sacked for six yards.  Wide receiver Will Pelissier gained four yards on a jet sweep to take the ball to the Gold 47. 

The first big play of the game came on the next play when Brown Team cornerback Hawkins intercepted a pass from Peasley that was intended for wide receiver Wieland.  The pass was on target, but Hawkins came away with the ball at the Brown 38-yard line.  Hawkins returned the pick 17 yards to the Gold 45.

After Brown was unable to move the ball, Gold took over at its own 43-yard line.  Gold’s second possession started with a six-yard run by McNeely. 

Peasley then completed a pass of 17 yards to wide receiver Cobbs down to the Brown 38-yard line. 

After a four-yard loss by running back James and a four-yard pass completion from Peasley to running back Titus Swen the Gold team faced a fourth and 10 at the Brown 38.  Place-kicker John Hoyland came in to attempt a 55-yard field goal but he missed the kick wide left.

The two teams exchanged punts on their next series, and the first quarter ended with the game scoreless.

On its first possession of the second quarter, the Brown team, with Clemons at QB, moved the ball 30 yards in eight plays to the Gold 49-yard line.  Clemons completed 4 for 6 passing for 29 yards on the drive and had one rush for 12 yards. 

He completed two passes to wide receiver Caleb Cooley for 10 and eight yards, one to tight end Colin O’Brien and one to tight end John Michael Gyllenborg for five yards.  Wide receiver Ryan Marquez also added a five-yard run.  But the Gold defense stiffened and forced a punt. 

Brown punter Ralph Fawaz unleashed a 44-yard punt that was fair caught at the Gold five-yard line by wide receiver Sargent.

On first down, Gold running back James broke through the line of scrimmage for nine yards, but Brown safety Williams knocked the ball loose from James and linebacker Shay recovered the fumble at the Gold 12-yard line and carried it for 10 yards down to the two.

Brown running back Braasch lost three yards on first down back to the five-yard line, but on second down Braasch powered his way into the end zone for the first score of the game.  Luke Glassock added the extra point to give Brown a 7-0 lead.

Gold was quick to respond.  On first down, McNeely carried for eight yards out to the Gold 33.  On second down, Peasley dropped to throw and found tight end Marcotte down the middle for a 67-yard catch and run and after Hoyland’s point-after-touchdown the game was tied at 7-7.

After tying the game at 7-7, it was time for the Gold defense to come up with a turnover.  The Brown offense was facing a third and 14 at its own 21-yard line when quarterback Evan Svoboda dropped back and tried to connect with wide receiver Cooley, but Gold linebacker VanderVeen picked off the pass at the Brown 30-yard line and returned it to the Brown 28.

Gold running back James would break a 22-yard run down to the Brown six-yard line.  It was there that the Brown defense would make its stand and place-kicker Hoyland would come in on fourth and goal and make a 22-yard field goal to give Gold its first lead at 10-7.

On the Brown Team’s ensuing drive, Clemons would lead his team on a six-play, 30-yard drive to the Gold 45-yard line.  He completed a 12-yard pass to Marquez.  Braasch broke a 13-yard run, and Clemons had a run of five yards.  But on a fourth and five from the Gold 45, they were not able to convert on fourth down and had to turn the ball back to the Gold team on downs, with 2:27 remaining in the first half.

Peasley proceeded to guide the Gold Team on a 10-play, 45-yard drive.  He completed his first four passes on the drive, including completions of 12 yards to McNeely, nine yards to Cobbs, nine yards to Wieland and 17 yards to Cobbs. 

McNeely also added two runs of two and 10 yards, and Peasley had one rush for six yards on the drive.  The drive stalled at the Brown 10-yard line and Hoyland came in to make his second field goal of the game, this one from 27 yards to give Gold a 13-7 lead with 24 seconds remaining in the half.  That is how the first half would end.

The Brown team received the opening kickoff of the second half, but it was the defensive units for both teams that took control of the third quarter.  Neither the Brown nor Gold teams were able to cross the 50-yard line on each of their first two possessions of the third quarter.

On the third possession of the period for the Brown Team, they took over with good field position at their own 42-yard line.  After a first-down incompletion, the Brown squad ran the ball five consecutive plays.  Clemons had runs of 9 and six yards. 

Braasch rushed for five and minus two yards, and Cooley added a two-yard run.  On fourth and four at the Gold 38-yard line, Clemons found Braasch on a wheel route for 32 yards down to the Gold six.  The very next play wide receiver Cooley carried the ball in from the six to give the lead back to Brown at 14-13, and that is where the score would remain entering the fourth quarter.

Gold and Brown exchanged punts on the first two possessions of the fourth quarter.  Gold began its second drive of the final period with excellent field position at its own 49-yard line.  James would start off the drive with a six-yard run. 

Peasley followed that up with a 10-yard completion to Cobbs.  On first and 10 at the Brown 35-yard line, Peasley would find redshirt freshman wide receiver Sargent in the end zone for a 35-yard TD pass and Gold regained the lead but their two-point attempt failed to give them only a five-point lead at 19-14, with 8:17 remaining in the game.

The Gold lead would not last for long, however.  The Brown team went back to its running game and ran five straight rushing plays. 

Braasch gained one yard.  Clemons ran for six and eight yards.  Wide receiver Isaac Sell gained nine, and then Braasch exploded through the Gold defense for a 51-yard TD gallop to put the Brown back in the lead at 22-19 after a successful two-point conversion on a pass from Clemons to tight end Colin O’Brien.

With only 5:52 left in the game, the pressure was back on the Gold squad.  Peasley couldn’t connect with Cobbs on a first down pass attempt.  James gained 11 yards on second down for a first down out to the Gold 36.  T

he next play called was a sweep right to McNeely.  He turned the corner up the sideline and no one would catch him as he sped down the field for 64 yards into the end zone.  The PAT kick from Hoyland gave Gold a 26-22 lead with 4:39 on the clock.

Brown would get two more possessions to try and swing the game in their favor, but their final possession would end when wide receiver Marquez’ pass attempt was intercepted by cornerback Taylor with only 12 seconds remaining.

The final score would be Gold 26, Brown 22.

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Wyoming’s 2022 NFL Pro Day Will Be Held Tuesday, March 29 and Will be Open to the Public

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By Tim Harkins

 University of Wyoming Football will hold its annual NFL Pro Day on Tuesday, March 29 beginning at 10 a.m. in Wyoming’s Indoor Practice Facility.  The event will be open to the public.

Draft-eligible Cowboys scheduled to participate are: Garrett Crall (defensive end), Keegan Cryder (center),  Ayden Eberhardt (wide receiver), Esaias Gandy (safety), Logan Harris (offensive guard), Chad Muma (linebacker) and Trey Smith (running back).

The testing will include: 225 bench press, vertical Jump, 40-yard dash, broad jump, 3-cone test, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle and specific position drills.

Following the testing portion of the day, Cowboys may be requested for individual meetings with representatives from NFL teams in attendance.

Pro Day Testing in the Indoor Practice Facility Will be Open to the Public

The Indoor Practice Facility will have a fenced area available for fans and family members of players to view the testing.  That fenced area will be as you enter the main entrance on the west side of the Indoor Practice Facility.  Fans and family members viewing the Pro Day will need to stay behind the fence.

This is an important day for the former Cowboy players being tested, and we want NFL personnel to be able to evaluate those former Cowboys with no distractions.  Due to the importance of the day to the players being tested, fans are asked not to interrupt or attempt to speak with players or NFL representatives during the time the testing is being conducted.

Parking

Individuals attending may park in the Stadium Lot east of War Memorial Stadium and south of the Indoor Practice Facility without the need for a parking pass.

The 2022 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Nev.

A total of 16 former Wyoming Cowboys were on NFL rosters at the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season — some on active rosters and others on developmental squads. 

Those Cowboys and their NFL teams at the end of last season were: Josh Allen (quarterback, Buffalo Bills), Marcus Epps (safety, Philadelphia Eagles), Austin Fort (tight end, Tennessee Titans), Rico Gafford (wide receiver, Denver Broncos), Tanner Gentry (wide receiver, Buffalo Bills), Tashaun Gipson (safety, Chicago Bears), Carl Granderson (defensive end, New Orleans Saints), Tyler Hall (cornerback, Los Angeles Rams), Brian Hill (running back, San Francisco 49ers), Jacob Hollister (tight end, Jacksonville Jaguars), Mark Nzeocha (linebacker, San Francisco 49ers), Mike Purcell (nose tackle, Denver Broncos), Chase Roullier (center, Washington Commanders), Logan Wilson (linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals), Andrew Wingard (safety, Jacksonville Jaguars) and Eddie Yarbrough (defensive end, Minnesota Vikings).  Since the end of the 2021 season, Gafford moved to the Green Bay Packers and Hollister moved to the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Wyoming Cowboys Announce Full 2022 Football Schedule

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By Tracy Ringolsby, WelcomeTo7220.com

The Wyoming Cowboys will kick off their 2022 schedule in “Zero” Week on Saturday, Aug. 27 when they will travel to Champaign, Ill., to play the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.  Wyoming will have four of its first six games at home in 2022.

The Cowboys’ 2022 schedule will feature six home games and six road games.  

There are seven teams on Wyoming’s 2022 schedule who earned bowl bids last season, including non-conference opponents BYU and Tulsa and Mountain West Conference opponents Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai’i and Utah State.  

Four of those postseason teams will play in Laramie — Tulsa, Air Force, Boise State and Utah State.  The Cowboys concluded the 2021 season with a 52-38 win over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Home Schedule

The home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3 against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.  

That will be the first of three consecutive home games in the month of September.  UW will host Northern Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 10, and will open conference play against Air Force in Laramie on Saturday, Sept. 17. 

The fourth home game in the first six games of the season will be on Saturday, Oct. 1 against San Jose State.  Wyoming will also host Utah State on Saturday, Oct. 22.

The final regular-season home game of the 2022 season will be on Saturday, Nov. 19 versus Boise State.

Road Schedule

In addition to its trip to Illinois, Wyoming will renew an old rivalry on Saturday, Sept. 24 when the Cowboys travel to Provo, Utah, to take on the BYU Cougars.

Mountain West Conference road games for the Pokes will include road trips to: New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 8; at Hawai’i on Saturday, Oct. 29; at Colorado State for the “Border War: on Saturday, Nov. 12; and the regular-season finale at Fresno State on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Future 2022 Schedule Information

Wednesday’s schedule announcement completed the first phase of the 2022 Mountain West football scheduling process.  Televised games, game times and potential moves of some games to Fridays will be announced by the Mountain West at future dates.

Ticket Information

•Season tickets are currently available for purchase to the 2022 Wyoming Football season.  Season-ticket packages start at $159 for adults and $89 for children ages 3-12 years old.

More details on season-ticket sales are available online at www.GoWyo.com/tickets.  Fans may also call (307) 766-7220 regarding season-tickets or email tickets@uwyo.edu.  The main athletics ticket office is located on the west side of the Arena-Auditorium on Willett Drive. 

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Wyoming Grabs National 4-Star Recruit to 2022 Recruiting Class; One Of Nation’s Top Offensive Lineman

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By Tim Harkins

The University of Wyoming announced four new commitments to its 2022 recruiting class on Wednesday, including one of the nation’s top offensive line recruits in Deshawn Woods of Omaha Central High School in Omaha, Neb.  

Joining Woods in the group of new Cowboys announced on Wednesday were: offensive linemen Luke Sandy of Legend High School and Elizabeth, Colo.; safety TJ Urban of Omaha, Neb., who is transferring to Wyoming from Air Force Academy Prep; and long snapper Carson York of Rock Hill High School and McKinney, Texas.  

The regular signing period for NCAA Division I football teams began on Wednesday, Feb. 2 and will run through Friday, April 1.

Woods is rated as a four-star recruit by both 247 Sports and Rivals.  He is the No. 1 ranked recruit in the state of Nebraska by Rivals and the No. 2 ranked recruit in the state by 247 Sports.  

247 Sports also ranks Woods as the No. 12 ranked inside offensive lineman in the nation, and Rivals ranks him as the No. 14 best offensive guard in the nation.  He is projected to play offensive tackle for the Cowboys. 

Wyoming’s four new signees join the Cowboys’ 15 high school student-athletes who signed with the Pokes during the early signing period in December 2021 and five transfers who were announced in January 2022 to bring the total of new Cowboys to 24.

“I believe we met many of our needs,” Coach Bohl said.  “We wanted to continue to strengthen our offensive line, and we identified a couple guys we’re excited about there.”  

“Deshawn Woods is a unique player who we’re really pleased to have in our program.  Luke Sandy is another young man who is going to add value to our offensive line group,” Bohl said.

Select Highlights of the 2022 Wyoming Football Regular Period Signees

 •Deshawn Woods is ranked as a four-star recruit by both 247 Sports and Rivals.  Woods is ranked by Rivals as the No. 1 recruit in the state of Nebraska in the 2022 recruiting class, and Rivals ranks him as the No. 14 ranked offensive guard in the nation.  247 Sports ranks Woods as the No. 2 recruit in the state of Nebraska and the No. 12 inside offensive lineman in the nation.  He is projected to play offensive tackle for the Cowboys.

•Luke Sandy earned Second team Colorado All-State Class 5A honors as an offensive and defensive lineman his senior season.  He is projected as an offensive lineman for the Cowboys.  He led his Legend High team in Colorado to the semifinals of the state playoffs in both 2020 and 2021.  Sandy played at the same high school as former Wyoming Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma.

•TJ Urban is transferring to Wyoming from Air Force Academy Prep where he spent the fall semester of 2021.  Urban is projected to play safety for Wyoming.  He was an outstanding dual-threat quarterback and defensive back at Millard South High in Omaha, Neb.  Urban was ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 12 overall recruit in the state of Nebraska in the 2021 recruiting class.  As a senior, he was named to the 2020 Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska football team for all classifications.  He also earned Lincoln Journal-Star First Team SuperState honors on offense and was named to the Class A First Team All-State offensive team by the Journal-Star.

•Carson York recorded the top overall score as a long snapper at the Kohl’s Texas Showcase as a long snapper and was ranked as the No. 9 long snapper recruit in the country by Kohl’s Professional Football Camps that specializes in Kicking, Punting, Long-snapping, and Athletic Development.

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Wyoming Cowboys Levi Williams, Isaiah Neyor Enter Transfer Portal

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By Tracy Ringolsby, WelcomeTo7220.com

A day after quarterback Levi Williams put together an NCAA-record setting performance in guiding Wyoming to a 52-38 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl victory against Kent State, Williams announced he is entering the transfer portal. 

Williams announcement came on the same day that wide receiver Isaiah Neyor, the Cowboys top receiver, who accounted for five of the nine completed passes thrown by Williams in the game, including the lone touchdown pass. Neyor also gained a net eight yards on three rushing plays.

Williams and Neyor became the second and third Cowboys to enter the portal this off-season, joining Keyon Blankenbaker, who declared on Dec. 4, and was not on the Potato Bowl roster.

Williams became the first quarterback in NCAA post-season history to have a game in which he rushed for more than 200 yards, four rushing touchdowns and a touchdown pass in a bowl game. He finished the game with a team-best 200 yards rushing on 16 carries and the four touchdowns and was 9-for-11 passing for 127 yards, including five completes for 97 yards and the touchdown to Neyor.

He also was the starting quarterback for the Cowboys in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl appearance in 2019 games, and started the final three games of that regular season after Chambers suffered a broken leg.  He completed 19 of 39 passes in those three regular-season games for 343 yards and three touchdowns, and then added 234 yards passing and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ bowl appearance.

Williams, who has three potential seasons of eligibility remaining, took over as the starting quarterback in the final five games of the regular season. In the five starts, the Cowboys were 2-3 with wins against Colorado State and at Utah State, and losses at San Jose State and Boise State, and at home in the season finale against Hawaii. He rushed for 252 yards in those five games and was 59-for-95 passing with four interceptions in those five games. 

Neyor finished the season with 44 receptions in 878 yards and 12 touchdowns, including the bowl game. That came after a freshman season in which he appeared in eight games with eight receptions for 248 yards.

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Wyoming Cowboys Explode for 52 Points to Capture 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Championship

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The Wyoming Cowboys concluded their 2021 season with their biggest offensive performance of the season, scoring 52 points in a 52-38 win over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday in Boise, Idaho.  The 52 points were the most Wyoming had ever scored in a bowl game and were the most UW had scored this season. 

It was Wyoming’s third consecutive bowl victory and second Potato Bowl Championship, having also won the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl and the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 

“First of all, what a great experience for our players,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.  “The City of Boise and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl do such a great job. Our players have really enjoyed it, and we were excited with the invitation.

“We are really pleased with the win.  Kent State is a great offense.  It was important for us to make big plays and this group did that.  We played well and accepted the challenge.  I’m pleased with the effort of the players and coaches coming up with another win.  The future is bright for Cowboy football.  It was heartwarming to see our seniors go out there and compete.”

Wyoming’s offensive attack was led by quarterback Levi Williams, who scored four rushing touchdowns and threw for a fifth TD while rushing for an even 200 yards and completing 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards and no interceptions.  Williams became the first quarterback in college bowl history to rush for 200 yards, score four rushing touchdowns and pass for one TD in a bowl game.  He also tied the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl record of four rushing TDs and set a Potato Bowl record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.  Williams was named the MVP of the game.  ‘

The 200 rushing yards was a single-game career-high for Williams. It was the second 100-yard rushing game of Williams career and his first 200-yard rushing game.  He had 116 rushing yards in a home win over Colorado State earlier this season.  Williams also rushed for the most touchdowns in a single game by a Cowboy since Alvester Alexander had five against Colorado State on Nov. 20, 2010. 

Running back Xazavaian Valladay became only the fourth Wyoming Cowboy in the 125-year history of Cowboy Football to record two 1,000-yard rushing seasons.  His 87 rushing yards against Kent State gave him 1,071 rushing yards this season.  He rushed for 1,265 yards in the 2019 season.  Only Brian Hill (1,860 yards in 2016 and 1,631 in 2015), Ryan Christopherson ( 1,455 in 1994 and 1,042 in 1993) and Dabby Dawson (1,119 in 1988 and 1,005 in 1989) had rushed for over 1,000 yards in multiple seasons prior to Valladay.  Valladay also added a three-yard TD run in the win over Kent State.

The Pokes’ other two touchdowns were scored by wide receiver Isaiah Neyor, who caught a 42-yard  TD pass from Williams, and by running back Trey Smith, who scored on a 49-yard touchdown run — the first of the 2021 season for Smith.  Neyor led the Cowboys in receiving in the game, catching five passes for 87 yards.  Wyoming’s remaining points were scored by place-kicker John Hoyland, who kicked a career long field goal of 44 yards.

Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma recorded his 11th double-figure tackle game of the 2021 season, with 13 against the Golden Flashes, including a half sack.  That improved his season total to 142 tackles, which ranks as the fourth best single-season total in Wyoming school history.  Only linebacker Galand Thaxton (158 tackles in 1986 and 143 in 1987) and free safety John Salley (143 in 1982) have ever had more tackles in a single season in Wyoming history.

Other Cowboy defenders who had excellent days in the win over Kent State were linebacker Easton Gibbs, with 11 tackles; nose tackle Cole Godbout, who was credited with a career best 10 tackles and 1.0 sack; free safety Isaac White had seven tackles and 1.0 sack and defensive end Garrett Crall recorded 1.5 sacks.

First Quarter

Wyoming’s defense took the field first for the Cowboys after Wyoming won the opening toss and deferred to the second half.  The Pokes gave up 37 yards to Kent State on the opening drive, but on a fourth and six from the Wyoming 33-yard line UW cornerback C.J. Coldon broke up a pass attempt to give the Cowboys the ball on downs.

The Cowboys were very efficient on their first offensive possession.  Vallady rushed three times for 15 yards, and Titus Swen had two carries for 24 yards.  Quarterback Williams completed two passes — one for nine yards to Joshua Cobbs and one for eight yards to tight end Parker Christensen.  Williams concluded the drive with a five-yard touchdown run to give Wyoming a 7-0 lead.  The scoring drive went for 67 yards in nine plays.

Kent State responded immediately on its first play of the ensuing possession when quarterback Dustin Crum connected with wide receiver Dante Cephas for 80 yards to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:52 remaining in the first quarter.

Wyoming was held to a three-and-out series on its second possession, and after a UW punt Kent State took over at its own 29-yard line.  The Golden Flashes proceeded to move the ball 71 yards in 11 plays capped off by a 12-yard TD run by quarterback Crum to give Kent State a 14-7 lead with 54 seconds left in the first quarter.  That is how the quarter would end.

Second Quarter

The Cowboys were once again held to a three-and-out on its first possession of the second quarter, and Kent State then moved the ball 49 yards in six plays, setting up a 36-yard field goal by place-kicker Andrew Glass to extend the Golden Flashes lead to 17-7, with 12:21 remaining in the first half.

Wyoming quarterback Williams took over on the next Cowboy possession.  He carried for 19 yards on first down on a designed quarterback run.  After no gain on the second play of the drive, Williams would explode down the right sideline on a 50-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown to pull Wyoming to within three points at 17-14 with 5:39 remaining in the half.

The Cowboy defense would come up with a big stop on the next Kent State offensive series.  The Golden Flashes broke a 47-yard run by running back Marquez Cooper on first down that took the ball down to the Wyoming 28-yard line.  But UW’s defense then held KSU to a six-yard pass completion and a one-yard run.  On a fourth and three from the 21, Kent State running back Marquez Cooper was tackled for a five-yard loss by Wyoming safety White, giving the ball back to the Pokes on downs.

After a run for no gain and a five-yard penalty for an ineligible player down field, UW faced a second and 15 from its own 21-yard line.  Williams found Neyor for a 13-yard completion.  On a third and two at the 34, Williams connected with tight end Christensen for 15 yards out to the Wyoming 49.  A nine-yard run by Valladay to the Kent State 42-yard line would set up a 42-yard TD pass from Williams to Neyor that gave Wyoming the lead back at 21-17 with only 1:42 remaining.

Kent State was, however, not finished scoring in the first half.  The Golden Flashes’ quarterback Crum carried for 22 yards, 37 yards and 12 yards on three carries, taking the ball down to the Wyoming four-yard line.  After a one-yard run by Cooper, Crum finished the drive with a three-yard pass to wide receiver Ja’Shan Poke for the touchdown and Kent State would take a 24-21 lead into halftime.

Third Quarter

The third quarter was all Wyoming’s.  The Pokes scored two touchdowns while holding the Golden Flashes scoreless.  UW’s touchdowns came on a 27-yard TD run by Williams and a three-yard touchdown run by Valladay to give the Cowboys a 35-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

A huge momentum swing happened early in the fourth quarter.  With Kent Stat facing a fourth and two at the Wyoming 12-yard line, the Golden Flashes attempted a 29-yard field goal, but the kick was no good.  On Wyoming’s very next play, Williams broke loose down the sideline for 80 yards and a touchdown to build Wyoming’s lead to 42-24.

KSU quarterback Crum would lead the Golden Flashes on a big touchdown drive of 71 yards in four plays that culminated in a six-yard TD pass to tight end Hayden Junker, pulling Kent State to within 11 points at 31-42, with 11:13 left on the clock.  The big play on the drive was a 51-yard pass from Crum to wide receiver Nykiem Johnson.

Wyoming would respond seven plays later when place-kicker John Hoyland would make a career long 44-yard field goal, extending the Cowboys lead to 45-31.

UW would engineer one more scoring drive in the fourth quarter.  After runs of eight and four yards by Williams, running back Trey Smith broke loose over the left side of the Cowboy offensive line and scampered 49 yards for a touchdown.  It was the first touchdown of the season for Smith, and it gave Wyoming a 52-31 lead, with only 3:11 remaining in the game.

Kent State began its next possession at its own 27-yard line and on the very first play of the drive Crum found wide receiver Devontez Walker on a 73-yard catch and run for a TD to narrow the lead to 52-38 with 2:54 on the clock.

Kent State would attempt an onside kick, but the kick traveled only six yards rather than the required 10 yards, and Wyoming took possession at the Kent State 41-yard line.  Runs of nine and 10 yards by Valladay, two and six yards by Smith and a nine-yard rush by Swen ran the clock down where Wyoming only had to kneel down twice and the Cowboys had captured their third consecutive bowl victory.  This one by a score of 52-38.

The win improved Wyoming’s record to 7-6 on the season.  Kent State fell to 7-7.  For UW, it was the third win over a Mid-American Conference team this season.  The Cowboys defeated Mid-American Conference Champion Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Ill., on Sept. 11 by a score of 50-43.  UW also defeated Ball State in Laramie, Wyo., by a score of 45-12 on Sept. 18.  Wyoming averaged 49.0 points per game in the three wins over MAC opponents in 2021.

Wyoming’s win improved the Cowboys’ record in bowl games to 9-8.  The Pokes’ 7-6 record in 2021 marked the fourth time in the past six seasons that Wyoming has posted a winning record and the fifth time in the last six that UW has finished with a .500 record or better.

A First in Wyoming History

This year’s bowl invitation marked the fourth time in six seasons that Wyoming had earned a bowl bid.  That is a first in the 125-year history of Cowboy Football.  The previous best for the Wyoming Football program was four bowl game appearances in seven seasons from 1987 to 1993.

A Coaching First

Head coach Craig Bohl becomes the first head coach in Wyoming Football history to take four Cowboy teams to bowl games.  Bohl was previously tied with UW Athletics Hall of Fame Coach Paul Roach, with both coaches having taken three Wyoming teams to bowl games.

Bohl also recorded his third bowl victory as Wyoming’s head coach.  He improved his Wyoming record for bowl wins as a head coach.  He is the only Cowboy head coach in history to capture three bowl victories — the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl and the 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

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Wyoming to Play in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Today (Tuesday) at 1:30pm

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The Wyoming Cowboys will be making their fourth bowl appearance in six seasons and their second appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl when they face the Kent State Golden Flashes on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at Alberstons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time and will be televised on ESPN. The game will also be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Matchup
The Cowboys will bring a 6-6 overall record into bowl season. Kent State will bring a 7-6 record into the game.

Wyoming and Kent State will be playing against each other for the first time in history. The two teams did play one common opponent this season in Northern Illinois. The Cowboys defeated NIU in DeKalb, Ill., on Sept. 11 by a score of 50-43. Kent State played Northern Illinois twice, losing a home game to the Huskies, 52-47, in the regular season and losing to them in the MAC Championship Game on Dec. 4 by a score of 41-23 in Detroit.

“We are very excited for another outstanding matchup at this year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and we are thrilled to put on a great event in front of fans once again,” said Kevin McDonald, Executive Director of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. “We really enjoyed hosting Coach (Craig) Bohl and Wyoming in 2017 and can’t wait to have the Cowboys and their fans back this year. Welcoming a team for the first time is always a unique experience, and we look forward to showing Kent State and their supporters the very best of Boise.”

“On behalf of Cowboy Football, we are elated to be invited to play in this year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl. “Our team had a great experience in 2017 when we played in Boise. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl staff and the Boise community do a great job of hosting the game and the events surrounding it. Our coaching staff and players are looking forward to the opportunity of playing together again this season.

“I know our fans remember the great experience they had back in 2017 at the bowl game, and we look forward to seeing them in Boise later this month.

“We know we will be playing a very good football team in Kent State, and we’re excited for the challenge.”

“We’re excited for our players, coaches and fans that we have the opportunity to be playing in a bowl game again this year,” said University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman. “We want to thank the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl committee for inviting us back after we enjoyed such a fantastic experience there in 2017.

“This is the fourth time that Coach Bohl and his staff has taken us to a bowl game, and for some of our players this will be the fourth bowl team they have been a part of, so we are happy our players get to cap off their careers in postseason play.”

A First in Wyoming History
This year’s bowl invitation marks the fourth time in six seasons that Wyoming has earned a bowl bid. That is a first in the 125-year history of Cowboy Football. The previous best for the Wyoming Football program was four bowl game appearances in seven seasons from 1987 to 1993.

A Coaching First
Head coach Craig Bohl becomes the first head coach in Wyoming Football history to take four Cowboy teams to bowl games. Bohl was previously tied with UW Athletics Hall of Fame Coach Paul Roach, with both coaches having taken three Wyoming teams to bowl games.

Bohl will be seeking his third bowl victory as Wyoming’s head coach. He already holds the Wyoming record for bowl wins as a head coach, with two bowl victories in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

Pokes Seeking a Third Consecutive Bowl Win, Making Their 17th Bowl Appearance in School HIstory
UW is seeking its third consecutive bowl victory. The Pokes won the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl over Central Michigan by a score of 37-14 and captured a 38-17 victory over Georgia State in the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

This year’s appearance will be Wyoming’s 17th bowl appearance in history. The Cowboys are 8-8 overall in bowl games.

Cowboys Played a Schedule That Included Eight Teams Who Earned Postseason Berths,
Wyoming One of Only Two Teams Who Defeated Two Conference Champions on the Road in 2021 Season
Wyoming’s 12-game regular-season schedule this season featured eight teams who will be participating in postseason play this year and seven teams who will be participating in bowl games.

UW posted a 4-4 record against those eight teams, including wins over: Mountain West Conference Champion Utah State and Mid-American Conference Champion Northern Illinois, both on the road. The only other team to do that was Western Michigan, who defeated Northern Illinois (MAC Champion) and Pittsburgh (ACC Champion) both on the road.

The Cowboys also defeated Ball State of the Mid-American Conference and Montana State, who is the No. 8 seed in this year’s FCS National Playoffs. UW lost to postseason teams Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State and Hawai’i.

Seniors Have Been a Part of Great Success
For several University of Wyoming senior football players their time as Cowboys will come to an end in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

The program has enjoyed a great deal of success throughout their careers. Here are some of the accomplishments this year’s senior class has been a part of:
•Three eight-win seasons in 2016, ’17 and ’19
•Earned bowl eligibility in 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19 and ’21
•2016 Mountain Division Champions
•2016 Hosted Mountain West Championship Game
•2016 Poinsettia Bowl
•2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions
•2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions
•2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
•A 5-1 record against rival Colorado State
•Defeated SEC member Missouri in Laramie in 2019

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Wyoming Invited to Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to Play Kent State

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 The Wyoming Cowboys will once again be part of the college bowl season as they were invited to the 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Sunday.  

The game will be played on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at Alberstons Stadium in Boise, Idaho, and is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time.  Wyoming’s opponent will be Kent State of the Mid-American Conference.  The game will be televised on ESPN.

Ticket Information

Ticket information to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be available online at GoWyo.com/tickets.  Fans may order tickets by going online, by calling (307) 766-7220 or by going to the UW Athletics Ticket Office on the west side of the Arena-Auditorium.

The Matchup

The Cowboys will bring a 6-6 overall record into bowl season.  Kent State will bring a 7-6 record into the game.

Wyoming and Kent State will be playing against each other for the first time in history.  The two teams did play one common opponent this season in Northern Illinois.  The Cowboys defeated NIU in DeKalb, Ill., on Sept. 11 by a score of 50-43.  

Kent State played Northern Illinois twice, losing a home game to the Huskies, 52-47, in the regular season and losing to them in the MAC Championship Game on Dec. 4 by a score of 41-23 in Detroit.

“We are very excited for another outstanding matchup at this year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and we are thrilled to put on a great event in front of fans once again,” said Kevin McDonald, Executive Director of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  

“We really enjoyed hosting Coach (Craig) Bohl and Wyoming in 2017 and can’t wait to have the Cowboys and their fans back this year.  Welcoming a team for the first time is always a unique experience, and we look forward to showing Kent State and their supporters the very best of Boise.”

“On behalf of Cowboy Football, we are elated to be invited to play in this year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.  

“Our team had a great experience in 2017 when we played in Boise.  The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl staff and the Boise community do a great job of hosting the game and the events surrounding it.  Our coaching staff and players are looking forward to the opportunity of playing together again this season,” Bohl said.

“I know our fans remember the great experience they had back in 2017 at the bowl game, and we look forward to seeing them in Boise later this month,” he said.

“We know we will be playing a very good football team in Kent State, and we’re excited for the challenge.”

“We’re excited for our players, coaches and fans that we have the opportunity to be playing in a bowl game again this year,” said University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman.  “We want to thank the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl committee for inviting us back after we enjoyed such a fantastic experience there in 2017. 

“This is the fourth time that Coach Bohl and his staff has taken us to a bowl game, and for some of our players this will be the fourth bowl team they have been a part of, so we are happy our players get to cap off their careers in postseason play.

“In order to get the best tickets available, we encourage our fans to purchase their tickets through our University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office, and we’ll see you in Boise on Dec. 21.”

A First in Wyoming History

This year’s bowl invitation marks the fourth time in six seasons that Wyoming has earned a bowl bid.  That is a first in the 125-year history of Cowboy Football.  The previous best for the Wyoming Football program was four bowl game appearances in seven seasons from 1987 to 1993.

A Coaching First

Head coach Craig Bohl becomes the first head coach in Wyoming Football history to take four Cowboy teams to bowl games.  Bohl was previously tied with UW Athletics Hall of Fame Coach Paul Roach, with both coaches having taken three Wyoming teams to bowl games.

Bohl will be seeking his third bowl victory as Wyoming’s head coach.  He already holds the Wyoming record for bowl wins as a head coach, with two bowl victories in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

Pokes Seeking a Third Consecutive Bowl Win

UW is seeking its third consecutive bowl victory.  The Pokes won the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl over Central Michigan by a score of 37-14, and captured a 38-17 victory over Georgia State in the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. 

This year’s appearance will be Wyoming’s 17th bowl appearance in history.  The Cowboys are 8-8 overall in bowl games.

2021 Wyoming Cowboys Played a Schedule That Included Eight Teams Who Have Earned Postseason Berths, Cowboys Defeated Two Conference Champions

Wyoming’s 12-game regular-season schedule this season featured eight teams who will be participating in postseason play this year and seven teams who will be participating in bowl games.  

UW posted a 4-4 record against those eight teams, including wins over: Mountain West Conference Champion Utah State, Mid-Amercian Conference Champion Northern Illinois, Ball State of the Mid-American Conference and Montana State, who is the No. 8 seed in this year’s FCS National Playoffs.  The four postseason teams that Wyoming lost to this season were: Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State and Hawai’i.

Wyoming Defensive Highlights

The Cowboys feature one of the top defenses in the country.  UW’s defense ranks No. 7 in the nation in pass defense and No. 36 out of 130 FBS teams in both scoring defense and total defense.  That defense is led by All-America candidate at linebacker Chad Muma and All-Conference performers C.J. Coldon (cornerback), Garrett Crall (defensive end), Easton Gibbs (linebacker), Cole Godbout (nose tackle) and Azizi Hearn (cornerback).

Wyoming Offensive Highlights

On offense, Wyoming’s rushing attack was once again at the forefront, ranking 30th in the nation (195.1 yards per game).  The offense features All-Conference players: Xazavian Valladay and Titus Swen both at running back, offensive linemen Keegan Cryder, Logan Harris and Frank Crum and wide receiver Isaiah Neyor.

Complimentary Admission to Cowboy Joe Club Pregame Event

The Cowboy Joe Club will be offering all Wyoming fans attending the bowl game complimentary admission to a pregame tailgate event.  Fans wishing to attend the pregame tailgate event are asked to RSVP so that the Cowboy Joe Club can plan for food and beverage quantities at the event.  Fans may RSVP through the UW Athletics online ticketing site (GoWyo.com/tickets), by emailing cowboyjoe@uwyo.edu or by calling the Cowboy Joe Club at (307) 766-6242.

More details regarding the Cowboy Joe Club pregame tailgate will be made available in the near future.

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Wyoming’s Chad Muma Named Mountain West Defensive Player Of The Year

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On Monday, Pro Football Focus (PFF) released its All-Mountain West teams and eleven Wyoming Cowboys were named on PFF’s First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention teams.  Included among those Cowboys honored was linebacker Chad Muma, who PFF selected as its Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.  PFF utilizes its grading and advanced statistics systems to make its selections.

In announcing its All-MW teams, PFF’s description of Muma read, “Muma finished the regular season with the third-highest PFF grade at the position at 90.4.  The Wyoming Cowboy is instinctive with a great combination of size and speed at 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds and racked up 59 defensive stops in 12 games, the second-most at the position.”

Joining Muma as a First Team selection was Wyoming center Keegan Cryder.  Cryder started his 43rd consecutive game last Saturday in Wyoming’s  regular-season finale.  Those 43 starts include every game of Cryder’s career, dating back to his redshirt freshman season of 2018.  He has never missed a game during his Wyoming career.

Four Cowboys earned Second Team honors — two on defense and two on offense.  Nose tackle Cole Gobout and cornerback Azizi Hearn were named to the PFF Second Team on defense, while offensive guard Logan Harris and running back Titus Swen earned the same honors on offense. 

Godbout ranked No. 4 among MW defensive linemen in tackles this season, averaging 5.0 tackles per game.  Hearn was a leader of a Wyoming defense that ranked No. 7 in the nation in pass defense, allowing only 177.5 passing yards per game. 

Harris has been a standout on the offensive line for the past five seasons.  He started his 42nd game last Saturday and has played in 53 career games for the Cowboys.  Swen rushed for 737 yards this season, averaging 61.4 rushing yards per game.

Wyoming wide receiver Isaiah Neyor was selected to the PFF Third Team offensive unit.  He led the Mountain West in receiving touchdowns, with 11, and ranked No. 8 in the league in receiving yards, with 791.

Another four Pokes were PFF Honorable Mention selections, led by running back Xazavian Valladay.  Joining Valladay were offensive tackle Frank Crum, linebacker Easton Gibbs and kick returner Cameron Stone. 

Valladay concluded the regular season with 984 rushing yards, just 16 yards shy of the second 1,000-yard rushing season of his career. 

Crum has started 23 of the 30 career games he has played in for the Cowboys and joined with Cryder and Harris to help pave the way for Wyoming to rank No. 2 in the MW and No. 30 in the country in rushing offense (195.1 yards per game). 

Gibbs was second on the Cowboy team this season in tackles.  He had 79 total tackles in the regular season.  Stone burst onto the scene late in the season against Utah State when he returned a kick 99 yards for a touchdown — the second longest kick return for a TD in Wyoming school history.

Other All-Conference teams will be announced in the days to come, including the official Mountain West All-Conference team as selected by Mountain West head coaches and media covering the conference.  That team is set to be released on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

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Wyoming Cowboys Fall to Hawaii, 38-17

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The Wyoming Cowboys concluded the 2021 regular season with a 38-14 home loss to Hawai’i on Saturday to finish the season with a 6-6 record. Hawai’i finished the regular season 6-7.

Although the Pokes’ regular-season ended with a loss, they posted their fifth bowl-eligible season in the past six years and will now await a bowl invitation when those announcements are made surrounding conference championship games that will be played in the coming week.

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl acknowledged the disappointment of Saturday’s loss after the Cowboys had played one of their best games of the season just a week ago in a win at Utah State. He also gave credit to Hawai’i for its strong performance on Saturday.

“I want to congratulate Hawai’i,” said Bohl. “Coming over here, that’s always a difficult trip and their quarterback (Chevan Cordeiro) played outstanding. Coach Graham calls the defense and had us off kilter. They beat us in all three phases. One time I heard Lou Holtz say you bring a different football team to the stadium every Saturday. Today I agree with him.

“We are going to lick our wounds. Hopefully we have an opportunity to continue to play. Those decisions are obviously not made by us. I know this locker room is disappointed right now but deep down inside they want to keep playing. We have elements of being a good football team.

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma and cornerback Azizi Hearn echoed their coach’s comments on the team wanting to play in postseason.

“(A bowl game) would be huge,” said Muma. “I think that’s what everyone on the team wants. I think everyone hopes we will receive a bowl game. I have a feeling we will, and I think everyone wants to play, and I want to play – end the season on a high note.”

“We still have a game left — God willing — so that’s what I’m going to focus on,” said Hearn. “A bowl game would mean a lot to all of us, from the players to the coaching staff. We lost some tough games, but we won some games people didn’t think we’d win this year. I’d be surprised if we didn’t get a bowl game. I think we deserve one.”

In Saturday’s regular-season finale, Hawai’i jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the play of quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who finished the day completing 19 of 31 passes for 323 yards, three touchdown passes and one interception.

Wyoming scored its first touchdown with 1:36 remaining in the first half on a four-yard touchdown run by running back Titus Swen. Swen’s run capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive that was highlighted by passes from Cowboy quarterback Levi Williams to wide receiver Isaiah Neyor (34 yards) and Joshua Cobbs (seven yards). Williams also had a run of 14 yards, and UW running back Xazavian Valladay had three carries for 15 yards on the drive. UW’s touchdown cut the Hawai’i lead to 24-7.

With the score 24-7 with 1:36 remaining in the half, Hawai’i moved the ball from its own 25 out to 50-yard line in five plays. With four seconds remaining in the half, Cordeiro threw a hail mary to the end zone that was caught by Hawai’i wide receiver Jared Smart with no time remaining, giving UH a 31-7 lead going into halftime.

The Cowboys would score the only points of the third quarter, engineering an 88-yard drive in nine plays that culminated in a 30-yard TD pass from Williams to Neyor to narrow the lead to 31-14 with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter.

Wyoming was unable to get any closer than that, however, and Hawai’i added a touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 32-yard pass from Cordeiro to tight end Steven Fiso to extend their lead to 38-14 with 6:27 remaining. That is how the game would end.

For the Cowboys, Williams completed 15 of 24 passes (62.5 percent) for 161 yards and one touchdown. He would also lead the Cowboys in rushing, with 43 yards. Valladay added 42 rushing yards and 19 receiving. Neyor lead Wyoming in receiving with 78 yards on three catches and one TD.

Cobbs caught four passes for 31 yards and tight end Treyton Welch also caught four passes for 31 yards. Defensively, middle linebacker Chad Muma was credited with nine tackles, as was free safety Isaac White. Defensive end Victory Jones recorded the first interception of his career.

In addition to Cordeiro’s 323 passing yards, he led the Rainbow Warriors in rushing with 86 yards. Wide receiver Calvin Turner Jr. led UH in receiving with five catches for 90 yards. Hawai’i linebacker/safety Khoury Bethley led both teams with 12 tackles.

Wyoming’s one scoring threat of the first quarter saw the Cowboys move the ball from their own 17-yard line down to the Hawai’i 36-yard line. On a fourth and seven at the 36, UW place-kicker John Hoyland came in to attempt a 53-yard field goal. The kick was long enough, but went wide right.

Hawai’i’s third possession of the game carried into the second quarter, and the Rainbow Warriors would score on their third consecutive drive — this one a seven-play, 77-yard drive. Cordeiro connected with tight end Steven Fiso for 19 yards to give Hawai’i a 21-0 lead with 12:39 remaining in the first half.

After two punts by Wyoming and one by Hawai’i, the Rainbow Warriors began its fifth drive of the half at the Wyoming 40-yard line. After a 27-yard pass down to the Wyoming 13-yard line on first down, the Cowboy defense stiffened and forced Hawai’i into a 25-yard field-goal by Matthew Shipley that extended Hawai’i’s lead to 24-0.

The Cowboy offense responded with a big drive of its own on its final drive of the half. On a third and nine at the Wyoming 26, Williams found Neyor down the right sideline for 34 yards to the Hawai’i 40. Williams would carry for 14 yards followed by a completion from Williams to wide receiver Joshua Cobbs for seven, moving the ball to the Hawai’i 19. That was followed by runs of five and nine yards by Valladay to take the ball to Hawai’i five. Swen would carry for one yard and then he scored on a four-yard run to give the Cowboys their first points of the day and cut the Hawai’i led to 24-7 with 1:36 remaining in the half.

After the kickoff, Hawai’i took over at its own 25-yard line. Cordeiro would proceed to complete passes of six and eight yards, moving the ball to the The Rainbow Warriors’ 39-yard line.

The Cowboys would then tackle Cordeiro for a five-yard loss back to the 34. It looked like the score would remain 24-7 at half as Hawai’i faced a third and 15 at their own 34, but running back Dae Dae Hunter would break loose for 16 yards and a first down at the 50-yard line with four seconds remaining.

Wyoming took a timeout to set up its defense. On the final play of the half, Cordeiro launched a pass into the end zone on a hail-mary play and Rainbow Warrior wide receiver Smart would come down with the ball to give Hawai’i a 31-7 lead heading into halftime.

Hawai’i posed a scoring threat midway through the third quarter, but on a second and goal at the Wyoming nine-yard line Cowboy linebacker Easton Gibbs pressured Cordeiro and the quarterback’s pass was intercepted by Wyoming defensive end Victor Jones, who returned it to the Wyoming 12-yard line to end the threat.

That takeaway by the Cowboy defense would jump start the Cowboys’ second scoring drive of the game. Williams would find Valladay on a first down pass for 12 yards.

Then Williams would gain eight yards on the second play of the drive, followed by a 14-yard run by Valladay. Williams would complete a nine-yard pass to Cobbs, and then Williams would pick up three rushing yards for another first down.

The Cowboy quarterback added an 11-yard run and Valladay gained one yard to put the ball at the Hawai’i 30-yard line. The final play of the drive was a 30-yard pass from Williams to Neyor for the score and narrow the Hawai’i lead to 31-14 entering the fourth quarter.

The only scoring in the fourth quarter was a 50-yard drive by the Rainbow Warriors that saw Cordeiro connect with tight end Fiso for a 32-yard TD pass — the second touchdown connection of the game between the two Rainbow Warriors.

The Hawai’i win was its 11th in the series with the Cowboys that began series back in 1978 and has been played 26 times since that over the next 44 seasons. Wyoming leads the series 15-11.

Beginning with the second game in the series in 1979, the two teams have competed for the Paniolo Trophy. The traveling trophy is named the Paniolo Trophy as Paniolo is the Hawai’ian word for Cowboy. Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy portion of the series with 15 wins to Hawai’i’s 10 victories.

Wyoming Ends the Season Bowl Eligible for the Fifth Time in Six Years
With its 6-6 record this season Wyoming became bowl eligible for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Cowboys played in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl, won the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and captured the 2019 Arizona Bowl. The Pokes were also 6-6 in 2018, earning them bowl eligibility.

Wyoming Seniors Have Been Part of Great Success at Wyoming
Saturday marked the final home game for several University of Wyoming senior football players. During their time as Cowboys, the program has enjoyed a great deal of success. Due to the NCAA granting players an extra year of eligibility following last year’s COVID shortened season, several current Cowboy seniors have been part of the Wyoming Football program since 2016. Here are some of the accomplishments this year’s senior class has been a part of:
•Three eight-win seasons in 2016, ’17 and ’19
•Earned bowl eligibility in 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19 and ’21
•2016 Hosted Mountain West Championship Game
•2016 Poinsettia Bowl
•2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions
•2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions
•A 5-1 record against rival Colorado State
•Defeated SEC member Missouri in Laramie in 2019

Muma Improves His Season Tackle Total to 129
With nine tackles against Hawai’i, Wyoming middle linebacker Chad Muma improved his season total to 129 tackles. That ranks as the 11th best single-season tackle total in school history. Muma could add to that total in a bowl game.

Valladay in Search of His Second 1,000-Yard Rushing Season
Cowboy running back Xazavian Valladay gained 42 yards rushing in Saturday’s game. That gives him 984 rushing yards this season — only 16 yards shy of 1,000 — with a potential bowl game yet to come. Valladay has one 1,000-yard rushing season to his credit as he gained 1,265 rushing yards in 2019. There have only been 11 Cowboys to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season in school history, and there have only been three to post two 1,000-yard seasons.

Neyor Continues His Great Sophomore Season
Wyoming sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Neyor caught his 11th touchdown pass of the season in Saturday’s game versus Hawai’i. Neyor entered this week leading the Mountain West in receiving touchdowns and he ranked No. 8 in the nation in receiving TDs.

Up Next
Conference championship games will be played in the coming week and bowl invitations will begin coming out surrounding those games.

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Wyoming Hosts Hawaii on Senior Day Saturday

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 It is a series that began back in 1978 and has been played 26 times since that over the next 44 seasons — the Wyoming Cowboys and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will kick off the 26th meeting in their long-standing series Saturday in Laramie.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Both teams are coming off big wins last week.  Wyoming defeated Mountain Division leader Utah State by a score of 44-17 in Logan, Utah.  Hawaii won at home by a score of 50-45 over Colorado State.  The Cowboys will bring a 6-5 overall record and a 2-5 Mountain West record into Saturday’s game.  Hawai’i is 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the Mountain West.

Wyoming Earns Bowl Eligibility for the Fifth Time in Six Years

With its win over Utah State last Saturday, Wyoming earned bowl eligibility with its sixth win of the season.  It marks the fifth time in the last six seasons that Wyoming is bowl eligible.  The Cowboys played in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl, won the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and captured the 2019 Arizona Bowl.  The Pokes were also 6-6 in 2018, earning them bowl eligibility, and are currently 6-5 this season.

Saturday’s Game Will be Senior Day, Wyoming Seniors Have Been Part of Great Success at Wyoming

Saturday will mark the final home game for several University of Wyoming senior football players.  During their time as Cowboys, the program has enjoyed a great deal of success.  Due to the NCAA granting players an extra year of eligibility following last year’s COVID shortened season, several current Cowboy seniors have been part of the Wyoming Football program since 2016.  Here are some of the accomplishments this year’s senior class has been a part of:

      •Three eight-win seasons in 2016, ’17 and ’19

      •Earned bowl eligibility in 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19 and ’21

      •2016 Hosted Mountain West Championship Game

      •2016 Poinsettia Bowl

      •2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions

      •2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions

      •A 5-1 record against rival Colorado State

      •Defeated SEC member Missouri in Laramie in 2019

Muma Named One of Six National Finalists for the 2021 Butkus Award 

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma was named one of six finalists for the prestigious Butkus Award on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.  The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebackers in the nation.  This is the 37th year of the Butkus Award.

The six finalists for this year’s college award include: Muma; Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati; Nakobe Dean, Georgia; Damone Clark, LSU; Devin Lloyd, Utah; and Leo Chenal, Wisconsin

Winners of the college and high school awards are expected to be selected on or before Dec. 7. The pro winner will be announced in early 2022.

This season, Muma is averaging 10.9 total tackles per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 4 in the nation.  He is also averaging 6.8 solo tackles per game to rank No. 1 in the MW and No. 2 in the nation.  Muma is tied for No. 2 in the nation in interception returns for touchdowns.

Valladay Could Become Only the Fourth Cowboy to Post Two 1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons 

Only 11 Cowboys in the 125-year history of Wyoming Football have rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season.  One of those is current Cowboy Xazavian Valladay, who ran for 1,265 yards in 2019.  He will enter this Saturday’s game vs. Hawai’i with 942 rushing yards this season.  He needs only 58 more yards this season to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career.

Only Brian Hill, Ryan Christopherson and Dabby Dawson have posted two 1,000-yard seasons in their careers.  Valladay could become the fourth.

Wyoming’s 1000-Yard Rushing Seasons

1.   Brian Hill                          2016        1,860

2.   Brian Hill                          2015        1,631

3.   Ryan Christopherson      1994        1,455

4.   Nico Evans                      2018        1,325

5.   Gerald Abraham              1987        1,305

6.   Devin Moore                    2008        1,301

7.   Xazavian Valladay         2019        1,265

8.   Myron Hardeman            1977        1,165

9.   Dabby Dawson                1988        1,119

10. Marques Brigham            1998        1,114

11.  Jim Crawford                  1956        1,104

12.  Ryan Christopherson      1993        1,042

13.  Dwight Driver                  1992        1,027

14.  Dabby Dawson               1989        1,005

      Xazavian Valladay          2021           942

Swen Rushes for a Career High 169 Yards at Utah State,

Records Longest Run From Scrimmage in 125 Years of Wyoming Football History 

Wyoming junior running back Titus Swen rushed for a personal best 169 yards at Utah State on Nov. 20, 2021.  Included in that total was a 98-yard TD run that is the longest run from scrimmage in Wyoming school history.  The previous long was 95 yards by former Cowboy running back Nate Scott against Central Michigan in 2000.  Swen’s 169 yards marked the third 100-yard rushing game of his career and second of this season.

Valladay and Swen Form Dynamic Running Back Duo

Wyoming’s offense has the luxury this season of having two premier running backs in Xazavian Valladay and Titus Swen.

Valladay has rushed for 942 yards this season.  Swen has ran for 718.  Combined, the two have accounted for 1,660 of Wyoming’s 2,222 rushing yards or 74.7 percent.  Valladay has four 100-yard games this season, while Swen has two of his own in 2021.

Defense Shines in 44-17 Win at Utah State, 

Limiting High-Powered Aggie Offense to 17 Points

One of the keys to Wyoming’s 44-17 win over Utah State on Nov. 20 was the way the Cowboy defense limited the powerful Utah State passing attack, that was averaging 315 yards per game, to only 181 yards.  Wyoming’s defense also held the Aggie offense, which was averaging 33 points per game, to only 17 points.

The Utah State offense was able to complete only 45.2 percent of its passes (19 of 42) for 181 yards and averaged only 4.3 yards per pass attempt and only 9.5 yards per pass completion.

Utah State rushed for only 181 yards and accounted for 362 yards of total offense.  In the second half, the Cowboy defense also shutout the Aggie offense.

Iron Men — Offensive Line Leads the Way for Wyoming’s Outstanding Rushing Attack 

Wyoming’s offensive line has a group of iron men when it comes to the number of games they’ve started and played in their careers.

Chief among those are senior center Keegan Cryder, who will be starting his 43rd consecutive game Saturday.  That is every game that Wyoming has played over the past four seasons.  Cryder has never missed a start during his college career.  Close behind him is senior right guard Logan Harris, who will be starting the 42nd game of his career on Saturday.

Leading the way for Wyoming’s successful rushing attack in 2020 was a dominant group of offensive linemen.  Entering the 2021 season, Wyoming had eight O-Linemen returning with starting experience.

Returning Offensive Linemen              Career Games Played    Career Starts

Logan Harris, OG                                    52                                     41

Keegan Cryder, C/OG                             42                                     42

Rudy Stofer, OT                                       37                                     25

Eric Abojei, OG                                        33                                     26

Alonzo Velazquez, OT                             32                                     30

Frank Crum, OT                                       29                                     22

Zach Watts, OG                                       20                                       8

Latrell Bible, OT                                       18                                       6

Career Totals (As of Nov. 22, 2021)       263                                   200

Levi Williams Enjoyed a Career Day in Win at Utah State

Cowboy quarterback Levi Williams enjoyed a career best day in UW’s 44-17 win at Utah State on Nov. 20.

Williams threw for a career high 242 yards against the Aggies.  He also completed a career best 80.0 percent of his passes (12 of 15).  Williams threw TD passes of 40 and 17 yards with only one interception.  He added 22 rushing yards for 264 yards of total offense.

Neyor Records Back-to-Back 100-Yard Receiving Games at Boise State and Utah State

Over the past two weeks, Wyoming sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Neyor has performed at an extremely high level vs. two of the top teams in the Mountain West.  On Nov. 12 at Boise State, Neyor caught six passes for 126 yards and one touchdown vs. the Broncos.  Neyor followed up that performance on Nov. 20 at Utah State with four receptions for 125 yards and his 10th receiving TD of the season.

Neyor had his first of three 100-yard  receiving games as a redshirt freshman in 2020 when he caught three passes for 102 yards at Nevada. 

Cameron Stone Earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week for Performance at Utah State

Wyoming Cowboy kick returner Cameron Stone was named the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in a 44-17 road win at Utah State on Nov. 20.  Stone returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter at Utah State, giving Wyoming a 14-7 lead on way to a 44-17 road victory.  It was Stone’s first career kickoff return for a TD.  The 99-yard return was the second longest in Wyoming’s 125-year history.  Only a 100-yard kickoff return by Wyoming’s Sonny Jones vs. Colorado College in 1948 was longer.  Stone’s 99-yard return came immediately after USU had tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.  The sophomore from Rosharon, Texas, added a second kickoff return of 25 yards to account for 124 yards in kickoff returns and average 62.0 yards per return.  It was Stone’s first MW Player of the Week award.

Common Opponents

The Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors have played four common opponents in 2021 — Colorado State, Fresno State, San Jose State and Utah State.  Wyoming has a 2-2 record against those opponents, and Hawai’i is also 2-2. 

Common

Opponents        Wyoming vs.                 Hawai’i vs.

Colorado State   W 31-17 (+14), Home     W 50-45 (+5), Home

Fresno State       L 0-17 (-17), Home         W 27-21 (+6), Home

San Jose State   L 21-33 (-12), Away         L 13-17 (-4), Home

Utah State           W 44-17 (+27), Away      L 31-51 (-20), Away

Wyoming and Hawai’i Meet for the 26th Time, Will Battle for the Paniolo Trophy for the 25th Time

The Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will play for the 26th time in the two schools’ histories when they kick off today.  The two teams will be competing for the Paniolo Trophy for the 25th time. 

Wyoming and Hawai’i first played each other in football back on Nov. 18, 1978, with Hawai’i winning that first meeting in Honolulu by a score of 27-22. 

The Paniolo Trophy has been a part of the series since 1979.  In the second year of the series, a group of Hawai’ian residents, with roots in Wyoming, donated a statuette of a Cowboy preparing to toss a lariat.  The traveling trophy is named the Paniolo Trophy as Paniolo is the Hawai’ian word for Cowboy. 

At the time the traveling trophy was introduced to the rivalry both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, as Hawai’i joined the WAC in 1979.

Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy portion of the series with 15 wins to Hawai’i’s nine victories.  The overall series is led by Wyoming 15-10, when including Hawai’i’s win in the inaugural 1978 game. 

For the next 19 years, from 1979 to 1997, the two teams competed for the Paniolo Trophy.  After Wyoming’s 35-6 win in the 1997 meeting in Honolulu, the series between the two schools ended.  Due to the rotating schedule of the then 16-team WAC, Wyoming and Hawai’i weren’t scheduled to play in 1998.  In 1999, Wyoming joined the Mountain West Conference, which interrupted the series for 15 years.  

When Hawai’i was invited to join the Mountain West Conference, beginning in 2012, the two schools began discussion of a renewal of the Paniolo Trophy competition.  But over that 15-year timespan the Paniolo Trophy was lost, which became a story in itself.  Each school searched for it, but it was not to be found.

Enter a new group of Hawai’i fans to continue the tradition.  The Paniolo Preservation Society, a group dedicated to preserving Hawai’i’s rich Cowboy heritage, proposed a new trophy.  Led by the Society’s President, Mrs. Patricia C. Bergin, a bronze maquette, featuring Hawai’ian native Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, was donated to the two schools in 2013 to mark renewal of the series.  Purdy became the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999.  The bronze is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western sculptor Fred Fellows.  The reproduction measures approximately 20″ long and 12″ high.

The series was renewed in 2013, when Hawai’i joined the Mountain West as a football playing member school.  Wyoming recorded a 59-56 victory in the first overtime in Laramie in 2013.  Hawai’i won in 2014 in Honolulu by a score of 38-28.  In 2017, the Cowboys and Rainbow Warriors played another overtime game, with the Cowboys winning 28-21 in the first overtime.  UH won the 2018 meeting in Hawai’i by a score of 17-13, and Wyoming captured the most recent meeting in the series in 2020 in Laramie by a score of 31-7.

Where to Watch and Listen

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 radio affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network.  Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year).  The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

This week’s game will be telecast on Spectrum Hawai’i.  The only way to watch the game is by downloading the Team1Sports app on your phone or tablet and watch from those devices.  Fans can also screen cast to their televisions if they have the right phone and TV.  Saturday’s announcers will be Kanoa Leahey (Play-by-Play) and Rich Miano (Color Analyst).

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Wyoming Cowboys Offense Erupts in 44-17 Road Win at Utah State

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The Wyoming Cowboy offense erupted for 604 yards of offense, which saw balance on the ground and through the air in a 44-17 win over Utah State in Maverik Stadium in Logan, Utah on Saturday. The Pokes are now Bowl Eligible for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The 604 yards of offense was the most in a game since 694 yards against Fresno State on Nov. 1, 2014.

“I thought it was our most complete game of the year,” UW head coach Craig Bohl said. “We played well in all three phases with explosive plays on offense and on defense we stopped the run and challenged their receivers. We did some effective things on special teams, and this was a big win for us.” This is what we wanted, and we hit our stride. This was an important game and we hit a good rhythm tonight.”

The Cowboys retained the Bridger’s Rifle Trophy for the third time in the eight meetings since the trophy was introduced.

The Pokes rushed for 362 yards and passed for 242 yards. The Cowboy defense held the aggies to 362yards and only 178 yards passing. Utah State averaged 468 yards of offense per game on the season and 315 yards passing. The Pokes held the Aggies scoreless in the second half, Wyoming also shut out New Mexico in second half earlier this season.

“We thought we were going to have some good matchups along the offensive line and we were pleased with their effort,” Bohl said.  “Our defense leveraged our corners tonight and we had great play in the deep middle tonight.”

Wyoming’s offense was paced by running backs Titus Swen and Xazavian Valladay as they both rushed for over 100 yards for the second time in three weeks the Pokes have had two 100 yards rushers in the same game. Swen rushed for 169 yards including a 98-yard touchdown run, which was a school record. Valladay ran for 145 for his 14th career 100-yard game.

Quarterback Levi Williams completed 12-of-15 passes for a season-high 242 yards. He also added two touchdown scores. Wide receiver Isaiah Neyor recorded four grabs for 125 yards and one touchdown. Fellow wide receiver Josh Cobbs recorded a career-high six catches for 76 yards with his first career touchdown.

The Wyoming defense was paced by linebacker Chad Muma with 17 tackles coming one shy of his career-high of 18. It was a season-high for the All-American candidate. Cornerback C.J. Coldon added seven tackles with six from Cole Godbout, as the defensive tackle also added a career-high three pass breakups. Safety Issac White recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter.

After neither team could muster a score on their first crack on offense, the Cowboys scored first on a 40-yard touchdown strike from Williams to Neyor at the 7:47 mark of the first quarter. The drive went six-plays and 64-yards after the Poke defense shut down the Aggies on fourth down. Wide receiver Josh Cobbs recorded two catches for 25 yards on the drive including a 11-yard catch on third down.

The Aggies answered right back with a 11-play, 75-yard drive over 4:09 to tie the contest with 3:38 remaining in the first frame. Logan Bonner found Brandon Bowling for 10-yards for the score. A 22-yard rush from Calvin Tyler Jr. highlighted the drive for the Aggies.

But the tie would not last long as Cameron Stone returned the kickoff 99-yards for the touchdown for the first of his career to give Wyoming the 14-7 lead. It was the first kick return for a touchdown since Tyler Hall did so against Texas State (95-yards) on Sept. 30, 2017. It was the second longest return in school history.

Utah State responded this time it took three plays and 65-yards. Bonner found Devin Thompkins for 41-yards to tie the contest at 14-14 with 2:39 left in the opening Stanza.

Wyoming took a 21-14 lead with 6:50 left in the first half on a 17-yard pass from Williams to Cobbs. It was his first career touchdown. The drive was set up by 27 rushing yards from Titus Swen. Wyoming also executed a quarterback sneak on fourth down the play prior to the score.

The Cowboys forced a three-and-out after the score and tacked on a field goal by John Hoyland to take a 24-14 lead with 1:48 left in the first half. Wyoming went eight plays and went 73 yards for the score. The Aggies added a field goal, as Wyoming took a 24-17 lead into the half.

The Aggies used a 34-yard rush from Tyler, but would later miss snap the ball on a field goal and give the Pokes the ball on the their own 44-yard line. The Pokes wasted little time adding a score, as after a 13-yard rush from Valladay, his fellow back Swen busted a 43-yard rush for a score to give Wyoming a 31-17 lead with 11:56 left in the third quarter.

The Cowboys would make it a 34-17 with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter on Hoyland’s second field goal of the game. Neyor hauled in a 34-yard pass and Valladay added a 33-yard rush to set up the score.

The Pokes would take 41-17 lead on a 98-yard touchdown from Swen in the closing minutes of the third quarter. The longest rush in school history gave Swen 170 yards for the game and gave the Pokes two 100-yard rushers for the second time this season, as Swen and Williams did so against Colorado State.

Wyoming would add a field goal and Hoyland’s fourth field goal of the game for a 44-17 lead in the fourth quarter, as the Pokes would cruise to the 44-17 win.

The Aggies were led by Tyler Jr., as he rushed for 109 yards in the game. Quarterback Logan Bonner threw for 181 yards and two scores. He was averaging 275 yards passing per game on the season.

Wyoming returns to action next Saturday hosting Hawai’i at 1 p.m. MT inside War Memorial Stadium.

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Wyoming Cowboys Travel To Utah State For 71st Meeting Versus The Aggies On Saturday

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This Saturday, the Wyoming Cowboys will make their final regular-season road trip of the 2021 season, traveling to Logan, Utah, to face long-time rival Utah State.  Saturday’s game is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m., Mountain Time from Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.

Wyoming will enter Saturday’s game with a 5-5 overall record and a 1-5 Mountain West Conference mark.  Utah State is 8-2 on the season and 5-1 in Mountain West play.

Where to Watch and Listen

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 radio affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network.  Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year).  The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Saturday’s game will also be televised on the CBS Sports Network.  Announcers will be Chris Hassel (Play-by-play), Aaron Murray (Color Analyst) and Amanda Guerra (Sideline Analyst).

Career Milestones Reached by Cowboys Valladay and Muma

Two Cowboys reached exclusive milestones last week.  Running back Xazavian Valladay became only the second player in University of Wyoming history to rush for 3,000 career yards.  He has rushed for 3,008 yards as a Wyoming Cowboy.  The only other Poke to accomplish that was Brian Hill, who ran for 4,287 yards during his college career from 2014-16.

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma exceeded 100 tackles for the 2021 season in last week’s game at Boise State.  Muma now has 103 tackles this season.  That ties him for No. 43 on the Wyoming list for best single-season tackle totals, and Muma still has two games remaining this season to add to that total.

Wide Receiver Isaiah Neyor is Emerging as One of the Top Receivers in the Mountain West Conference  

UW sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Neyor is emerging as one of the top receivers in the Mountain West this season.  He has caught nine touchdown passes to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 6 in the nation.  He is also averaging 18.38 yards per reception to rank No. 3 in the MW and No. 29 nationally.  Here are Neyor’s rankings this season.

Individual Category            Statistic                                          MW Rank         NCAA Rank

Receiving TDs                         9 total                                            No. 2                No. 6

Yards per Pass Reception      18.38 yards per reception              No. 3                No. 29

Total TDs (Rush and Rec.)      10 total                                          No. 3                No. 38

Total Points Scored                  60 total points                               No. 8                No. 94

Scoring                                     6.2 points per game                      No. 10              NA

Receiving Yards                       588 total receiving yards               No. 11               No. 80

Receiving Yards per Game      58.8 yards per game                      No. 13              NA

Strength Against Strength 

Saturday’s match-up of the Wyoming Cowboys and Utah State Aggies will feature one of the nation’s top defenses in Wyoming and one of the nation’s best offenses in Utah State.  Here is how the two Mountain West teams compare against one another

Wyoming                                                                      MW Rank         NCAA Rank

Passing Defense, 162.6 yards allowed per game         No. 1                No. 4

Pass Efficiency Defense, 117.03 rating                         No. 3                No. 20

Total Defense, 330.8 yards allowed per game               No. 4                No. 27

Utah State                                                                    MW Rank         NCAA Rank

Passing Offense, 321.0 yards per game                      No. 3                No. 12

Pass Efficiency, 152.24 rating                                       No. 2                No. 24

Total Offense, 473.3 yards per game                            No. 1                No. 13

Wyoming-Utah State Series Among the Longest for the Cowboys                 

Wyoming’s series with Utah State ranks as the fifth longest series vs. any opponent for the Cowboys.  Wyoming’s longest rivalry is versus Colorado State.  The Cowboys and Rams have played 113 times.  UW has played Utah 83 times and Brigham Young University 78 times.  Wyoming and New Mexico played earlier this season for the 74th time.  This week’s meeting between the Cowboys and the Utah State Aggies will be the 71st in the two schools’ histories.

Last Three Wyoming-Utah State Games Decided by One Possession

The last three meetings between the Wyoming Cowboys and Utah State Aggies have all been decided by just one possession — eight points or less.

Season             Score and Margin of Victory

2017                 Wyoming won 28-23 (+5) in Logan

2018                 Utah St. won 24-16 (+8) in Laramie

2019                 Utah St. won 26-21 (+5) in Logan

2020                 Didn’t play due to COVID

Common Opponents 

The Wyoming Cowboys and Utah State Aggies have played four common opponents thus far in 2021 — Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Jose State.  Wyoming has a 1-3 record against those opponents.  Utah State is 3-1 versus those four common opponents. 

Common

Opponents                Wyoming vs.                   Utah State vs.

Air Force                     L 14-24 (-10), Away          W 49-45 (+4), Away

Boise State                 L 13-23 (-10), Away          L 3-27 (-24), Home

Colorado State           W 31-17 (+14), Home       W 26-24 (+2), Home

San Jose State           L 21-33 (-12), Away          W 48-17 (+31), Away

Wyoming Cowboys Come Up Short in Boise, Drop 23-13 Decision to Boise State

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The Wyoming Cowboys traveled to Boise, Idaho, for a Friday night meeting against the Boise State Broncos and the game followed a similar script as Wyoming’s recent appearances in Albertsons Stadium as the game was another close one. 

A late interception by Boise State helped the Broncos secure a 23-13 home victory.

Wyoming was moving the ball midway through the fourth quarter and was trailing only 13-7 at the time when a tipped pass was intercepted by Boise State’s Demitri Washington, who returned it 37-yards down the sideline to the Wyoming 13-yard line. 

Two plays later, Bronco running back Andrew Van Buren carried it in from the 12 yards out to give Boise State a 20-7 lead with 7:39 remaining in the game.

Boise State would add a field goal with 59 seconds left in the contest, while the Cowboys scored a final TD on a 74-yard pass and run from Wyoming quarterback Levi Williams to wide receiver Isaiah Neyor with four seconds remaining in the game to make the final 23-13.

The Cowboy defense played outstanding all night, forcing the Broncos into two field goals in the second and third quarter to keep the Pokes within striking distance at 13-7.  Cowboy linebackers Chad Muma and Easton Gibbs led the way with 14 and 12 tackles each.

Offensively, running back Xazavian Valladay became only the second Cowboy to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards.  Valladay now has rushed for 3,008 yards in his career.  The only other Poke to accomplish that was Brian Hill.

Wyoming is now 5-5 on the season and 1-5 in the Mountain West Conference.  Boise State improved to 6-4 and 4-2 in conference play.

Next Up for the Cowboys

Wyoming will travel to Logan, Utah, next Saturday, Nov. 20 to play the Utah State Aggies.  That game will kick off at 6 p.m., Mountain Time and will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

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Wyoming Cowboys Travel to Boise State for Friday Night Meeting with The Broncos

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A Friday night meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys and Boise State Broncos will be the featured game to kick off this week’s action in the Mountain West Conference.  The game will be televised nationally on FS1 and will kick at 7 p.m., Mountain Time from Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

Both teams bring overall records of 5-4 into this week’s game, and both teams are coming off convincing wins in their last outings.  Wyoming defeated Colorado State 31-17 last Saturday in Laramie, while Boise State traveled to Fresno State and beat the Bulldogs 40-14.

Where to Watch and Listen

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network.  Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year).  The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Saturday’s game will be televised on FS1.  Announcers will be Dan Hellie (Play-by-play) and Petros Papadakis (Color Analyst).

Close Finishes Mark Recent Wyoming-Boise State Series

Beginning with the 2016 season, the Wyoming Cowboys and Boise State Broncos have played a series of close games, with three of the five games decided by one score.

Season Score and Margin of Victory

2016     Wyoming won 30-28 (+2) in Laramie

2017     Boise State won 24-14 (+10) in Boise

2018     Boise St. won 34-14 (+20) in Laramie

2019     Boise State won 20-17 (+3) in Boise in overtime

2020     Boise State won 17-9 (+8) in Laramie

2021 Common Opponents 

The Wyoming Cowboys and Boise State Broncos have played three common opponents thus far in 2021 — Air Force, Colorado State and Fresno State.  Wyoming has a 1-2 record against those opponents.  Boise State is 2-1.  Both the Cowboys and Broncos defeated Colorado State by similar margins — Wyoming winning by 14 and Boise State winning by nine.  Both teams lost to Air Force — Wyoming by 10 and Boise State by seven.  The Cowboys lost to Fresno State by 17, while Boise State defeated the Bulldogs by 26. 

Common

Opponents                Wyoming vs.                   Boise State vs.

Air Force                    L 14-24 (-10), Away          L 17-24 (-7), Home

Colorado State           W 31-17 (+14), Home       W 28-19 (+9), Away

Fresno State               L 0-17 (-17), Home           W 40-14 (+26), Away

Levi Williams and Isaiah Neyor Developing Exciting New Connection in Passing Game 

Cowboy quarterback Levi Williams and wide receiver Isaiah Neyor are developing an exciting connection for Wyoming’s passing attack.

Against Colorado State, Williams found Neyor on two touchdown passes of 25 and 15 yards.  Williams ended the day 9 of 16 passing for 92 yards, two TD passes and no interceptions.  He also rushed for 116 yards and one TD.  Neyor caught three passes for 45 yards and two TDs.  Both Cowboys are only sophomores.

Pokes’ Rushing Attack Impressive vs. Colorado State 

The Wyoming rushing attack was impressive in the Cowboys’ 31-17 win over Colorado State on Nov. 6.  UW rushed for a season high 385 yards. 

Two Cowboys recorded career highs in rushing as running back Titus Swen rushed for 166 yards on 21 carries, and quarterback Levi Williams ran for 116 yards on 12 carries.  It was Swen’s second 100-yard game of his career and first of the season.  For Williams, it was the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. 

Wyoming’s leading rusher, Xazavian Valladay, added 76 yards on the ground against Colorado State to move him from fourth place on the UW career rushing list to second.  Valladay now has 2,971 rushing yards as a Cowboy and passed Ryan Christopherson (2,906 yards from 1991-94) and Devin Moore (2,963 from 2005-08).  Valladay trails only Brian Hill, who rushed for 4,287 yards from 2014-16.

Valladay Nearing Historic Career Total 

Cowboy running back Xazavian Valladay enters this week’s game versus Boise State with 2,971 career rushing yards.  He needs only 29 yards to reach 3,000 for his career.  Only one Cowboy in history has rushed for 3,000 career yards.  That lone Cowboy to reach that milestone is Brian Hill, with 4,287 career rushing yards.

Cowboy Defense Continues to be One of the Best in the Nation

Wyoming’s defense has been outstanding throughout this season and continues to rank among the best in the nation. 

The Cowboys enter this week ranked No. 4 in the nation in pass defense, allowing opponents only 157.9 passing yards per game, and the Pokes rank No. 13 in the country in pass defense efficiency, with a rating of 114.03.

In terms of total defense, Wyoming is 23rd out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs, allowing opponents only 327.0 yards of total offense per game.

Muma Strengthens His Case for Being One of the Top Defenders in the Country

Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma continues his outstanding play week after week.  Muma currently ranks among the top players in the nation in four defensive categories.

He is tied for No. 2 in the nation in interception returns for touchdowns (2).  He ranks No. 3 in the country in solo tackles (6.4 per game) and ranks No. 10 among FBS players in total tackles (9.9 per game).  With his three interceptions, he is tied for No. 16 in the NCAA among all players.

Muma is one of 16 national semifinalists for this year’s Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker) and is one of 18 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation’s outstanding defensive player).

He earned his second Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week honor last week for his performance against Colorado State — a game in which he made 11 tackles, including six solo tackles and intercepted his third pass of the season.

Playing Disciplined Football — Pokes One of the Least Penalized Teams in the Country

Once again this year, the Wyoming Cowboys are one of the least penalized teams in the country.  That has been a consistent part of the Wyoming Football program under head coach Craig Bohl.  Entering this week’s game, Wyoming ranks No. 14 in the nation in fewest penalties per game (4.56) and ranks No. 15 in fewest penalty yards per game (40.11).

Wyoming Captures 250th Win in War Memorial Stadium History in 2021 Border War 

With its 31-17 victory over Colorado State in the 113th Border War on Nov. 6, 2021, Wyoming captured its 250th victory in War Memorial Stadium history.

The Cowboys have now played a total of 385 games in War Memorial Stadium and have a record of 250-128-7 for a winning percentage of 65.8 percent.

War Memorial Stadium opened in 1950 and the 2021 season is its 72nd season as home to the Cowboys.

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Wyoming Captures the 113th Border War With a 31-17 Win Over Colorado State

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It was the type of game the Wyoming Cowboys have wanted to play all season long.  A game where they got a lead, were able to run the ball successfully and have their defense force turnovers and limit scoring opportunities.  In the end, Wyoming came away with a 31-17 home victory over rival Colorado State in the 113th edition of the Border War.
 
Wyoming’s win improved its record to 5-4 on the season and 1-4 in the Mountain West.  Colorado State fell to 3-6 and 2-3 in the conference.  It was the 113th overall meeting in the Border War between the two rivals and the 54th time they played for the Bronze Boot traveling trophy.  Wyoming now holds a 29-25 advantage in the Battle for the Bronze Boot, while CSU leads in the overall series 59-49-5.  The two teams played for the 76th consecutive season since 1946.  Over those last 76 meetings, Wyoming leads with 44 wins to Colorado State’s 32. 
 
Saturday’s game was played before a crowd of 24,926.
 
Colorado State scored first on Saturday to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but Wyoming scored its first touchdown two plays later on a 43-yard TD run by quarterback Levi Williams.  Wyoming would take its first lead on its first possession of the second quarter when running back Xazavian Valladay ran into the end zone untouched from five yards out to put the Pokes ahead 14-7.  Valladay’s touchdown was set up by an 87-yard run by his running mate Titus Swen.  The Cowboys would never relinquish the lead again. 
 
UW place-kicker John Hoyland would add a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter to give the Pokes a 17-10 lead at halftime.
 
Playing with the score in its favor, Wyoming was able to return to its outstanding running game.  UW would rush for a season high 385 yards to go with 92 passing yards and a record a season-best 477 yards of total offense.  The Cowboy defense held CSU to 357 yards of total offense — 170 rushing and 187 passing —
 
While Williams and Valladay would score Wyoming’s two rushing touchdowns, it would be sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Neyor, who would pull down two TD passes from Williams.  The first touchdown reception came in the third quarter on a 25-yard connection, and the second came on a 15-yard reception in the fourth quarter.  Williams completed 9 of 16 passes (.563) for 92 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.  Neyor caught three passes for 45 yards and two TDs, and Valladay caught three passes out of the backfield for 16 yards. 
 
Two Cowboys recorded career highs in rushing as Swen ended the day with 166 yards on 21 carries.  Williams ran for 116 yards on 12 carries.  It was Swen’s second career 100-yard game of his career and first of the season.  For Williams, it was the first 100-yard rushing game of his career.  The Cowboys season leader in rushing yards, Valladay, added 76 yards on the ground to move him from fourth place on the UW career rushing list to second.  Valladay now has 2,971 rushing yards as a Cowboy and passed Ryan Christopherson (2,906 yards from 1991-94) and Devin Moore (2,963 from 2005-08).  Valladay trails only Brian Hill, who rushed for 4,287 yards from 2014-16.
 
Wyoming’s defense had two takeaways in the game, intercepting two Ram passes in the fourth quarter.  The first interception was made by nickel back Keonte Glinton at the start of the fourth to stop a Colorado State drive at the Wyoming 28-yard line.  The other came on CSU’s second possession in the fourth quarter, when linebacker Chad Muma intercepted his third pass of the season and third of his career.  Muma’s interception at the CSU 37 helped set up Wyoming’s final touchdown of the day on the 15-yard pass from Williams to Neyor. 
 
The UW defense also registered 2.0 sacks — 1.5 from nose tackle Cole Godbout and the other 0.5 sack by defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole.  In addition to the two interceptions, five different Cowboys broke up a total of seven other CSU pass attempts.  Those five Cowboy defenders who broke up passes included: linebacker Easton Gibbs and defensive end Victor Jones, with two each; Glinton added one to go with his interception; safety Rome Weber had one PBU; and defensive end Garrett Crall added one.
 
Muma and Gibbs were credited with 11 tackles each to lead UW.  Godbout added seven.  Glinton, Bertagnole, defensive tackle Caleb Robinson and redshirt freshman free safety Isaac White each had four tackles.  White made the first career start of his career.
 
To start the game, the Cowboy defense forced Colorado State into a three-and-out series on the Rams’ first possession.  After gaining one first down and moving the ball from its own 27-yard line out to the CSU 49, the Cowboys decided to go for it on a fourth and one.  Valladay took the handoff up the middle, but CSU’s Tavian Brown forced a fumble.  Valladay recovered the fumble for no gain and CSU took over on downs at its own 49.
 
The Rams proceeded to drive 51 yards in nine plays, concluding with a four-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Dante Wright to give Colorado State a 7-0 lead with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.
 
The Cowboys would reply quickly with a score of their own.  On first down, Valladay carried for 17 yards to the Wyoming 42.  CSU was called for a facemask penalty on the play, which moved the ball to the Colorado State 43.  Williams dropped back to pass on the second play of the drive and then stepped up in the pocket and took off on a 43-yard TD scramble for the touchdown.  It was Williams’ first rushing touchdown of the season and tied the game at 7-7. 
 
Each team would have two more possessions of the first quarter, but neither would score and the quarter would end with the score tied 7-7.
 
Wyoming’s final possession of the first quarter would carry into the second period.  On the second play of the drive from the Wyoming four-yard line, Cowboy running back Swen exploded over the left side for 87 yards to the Colorado State nine-yard line.  It was the longest run of Swen’s career.  Valladay would carry for four yards on first down to the CSU five, and on the next play Valladay would go untouched into the endzone to give Wyoming its first lead of the game at 14-7.
 
The Cowboys were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the touchdown, forcing them to kickoff from their own 35-yard line.  After a kickoff return of 29 yards by Ram Thomas Pannunzio, CSU began its drive at its own 43-yard line.  The Rams would move the ball down to the Wyoming nine-yard line, but on a third and five from the nine the Cowboys forced an incomplete pass.  Colorado State place-kicker Cayden Camper came into the game and made a 27-yard field goal to cut the Wyoming lead to 14-10.
 
The Pokes would commit their only turnover of the day on the very next possession, when the ball was stripped from Valladay’s arm by CSU’s Jack Howell and recovered by Ram Cam’Ron Carter at the CSU 42.  But the Wyoming defense rose to the occassion and held Colorado State to only two rushing yards and force a Ram punt.
 
UW put together one more scoring drive before halftime.  Starting at its own 20-yard line, the Cowboys drove 68 yards in seven plays, with the key play of the drive being a 52-yard run by QB Williams.  Cowboy place-kicker Hoyland came into the game and made a 29-yard field goal to give the Pokes a 17-10 halftime lead
 
The only scoring in the third quarter was an 11-play, 80-yard drive by the Cowboys that was capped off by Williams 25-yard TD pass to Neyor that extended the Pokes lead to 24-10. 
 
Wyoming built its lead to 31-10 midway through the fourth quarter.  Following Muma’s interception, UW took the ball at CSU’s 37-yard line and took eight plays to find paydirt when Williams and Neyor connected for their second TD pass of the day from 15 yards out.
 
Colorado State scored its only points of the second half on a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Todd Centeio to wide receiver Dante Wright.
 
Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl
“A great win.  We have tremendous respect for Colorado State,” said Bohl.  “We knew it was going to be a hard fought, physical game, which it was.  I thought our guys played really well.  From my vantage point on the sidelines, I was really pleased with them in all three phases.
 
“That is a great rivalry.  It’s great to get the Boot back.  It means so much to our state and our students. 
 
“Nothing cures a lot of ills better than a win — and just playing better too.  We’ve seen emerging signs of it and we felt like this was a week we could capitalize on being really physical.
 
“A couple of those catches that Isaiah Neyor made were special, and Levi (Williams) made a couple nice throws.  Isaiah is a big-time weapon.
 
“We’ve been sputtering around on offense, trying to find some rhythm and obviously have been through some rough patches.  But we saw some emerging signs of us getting some movement (up front on the offensive line) starting back in the New Mexico game.  That kept on getting better, and I thought our backs ran hard.  Levi had some big plays.  When you can get the running game going —  and I know a lot of times people don’t think its all that fancy — but boy its effective.  That’s our mantra and it was really pleasing to see that come out, particularly in this ball game.  I thought our offensive line played great.”
 
Regarding getting two takeaways by the Wyoming Defense on Saturday
“I can tell you this, as excited as I was when we finally scored a touchdown last week, it was great to see us come up with at couple turnovers today.”
 
What did it mean to see your seniors get the Boot one last time
“I couldn’t be happier for them.  We talked about that — to take this moment in.  I talked with the seniors at the pregame meal before we took our Cowboy Walk.  This is the end of this series (the Border War series) for them.  I told them to embrace it all.  I thought they did, and they played really well.  This is the type of game they will talk about for 20 years.  It’s certainly great to win the Boot and win it at home.”
 
Next Up for the Cowboys
The Cowboys will travel to Boise State for a night game this coming Friday, Nov. 12.  The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.

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113th Edition of The Border War Kicks Off Saturday from War Memorial Stadium

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It is a rivalry for the ages.  It is a series played in three different centuries, dating back to the first meeting in 1899.  And for both of this week’s teams — the Wyoming Cowboys and the Colorado State Rams — it is the oldest rivalry in both schools’ histories.

This Saturday will see the Cowboys and Rams meet on a football field for the 113th time in The Border War.  The game is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time, from Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium.

Wyoming will enter Saturday’s game with a 4-4 overall record and an 0-4 record in the Mountain West.  Colorado State is 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West.

Tickets

Tickets are going fast but still available for Saturday’s Border War game versus Colorado State.  Fans may order tickets online at GoWyo.com/tickets, by emailing tickets@uwyo.edu or by calling (307) 766-7220.

The History of The Border War

The Border War series has been played in three different centuries, dating back to Nov. 30, 1899, when CSU won the first meeting 12-0 in Fort Collins, Colo.  This year is the 122nd anniversary of that first meeting.

Since 1968, the two schools have battled for the “Bronze Boot” traveling trophy.  This year will be the 54th meeting in the Bronze Boot portion of the series.  Wyoming leads the Bronze Boot portion of the series 28-25.  The Bronze Boot trophy was created from an actual boot worn in Vietnam by Dan Romero, a CSU ROTC instructor.

Since the end of World War II, Wyoming and CSU have played every season for 76 consecutive seasons from 1946 to this season.  Over the past 75 consecutive meetings, dating back to the 1946 season, Wyoming leads 43-32-0.

Colorado State leads the overall series 59-48-5.

Xazavian Valladay Approaching a Career Milestone

Wyoming running back Xazavian Valladay will enter this Saturday’s game having rushed for 2,895 career rushing yards to rank No. 4 in Wyoming history.

He trails only Brian Hill (4,287 rushing yards from 2014-16); Devin Moore (2,963 yards rushing from 2005-08); and Ryan Christopherson (2,906 rushing yards from 1991-94) on Wyoming’s career rushing list.  Valladay needs only 11 more rushing yards to tie Christopherson and 68 to reach Moore.

With 105 more rushing yards, Valladay will join Hill as the only two Cowboys to ever rush for 3,000 career rushing yards.  He could potentially reach that milestone Saturday versus Colorado State.

Oddly enough, Valladay rushed for 147 yards against Colorado State on Nov. 5, 2020, to become only the 12th Wyoming Cowboy in school history to rush for over 2,000 career yards. 

Valladay rushed for 396 yards as a redshirt freshman, recorded 1,265 rushing yards as a sophomore and 550 rushing yards in only five games in 2020.  This season, he has rushed for a total of 684 yards. 

Wyoming Linebacker Chad Muma in Elite Company

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma was named one of 16 semifinalists for the prestigious Butkus Award on Monday, Nov. 1.  The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebackers in the nation.  This is the 37th year of the Butkus Award.  Finalists are expected to be announced Nov. 22 and winners on or before Dec. 7. The pro winner will be announced in early 2022.

Muma was the only Mountain West player named a semifinalist this year.  This is the second time in three years that Wyoming has had a semifinalist for the Butkus Award.  Former Cowboy linebacker Logan Wilson was named a semifinalist in 2019, and now stars for the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.

That wasn’t the only national honor that Muma received this week.  Also this past Monday, the Maxwell Football Club announced its 2021 semifinalists for the 27th Chuck Bednarik Award powered by Mammoth Tech.  The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football.   

Muma was one of only two Mountain West players named semifinalists for this year’s Chuck Bednarik Award.  San Diego State defensive end Cameron Thomas was also selected as a semifinalist.

Fantastic Freshman

The Mountain West Conference announced its Players of the Week on Monday, Nov. 1 and Wyoming freshman punter Ralph Fawaz was selected the Mountain West’s Freshman of the Week for his performance last Saturday against San Jose State.  It was the second time this season that Fawaz earned the honor. 

Fawaz averaged 48.8 yards per punt on four punts at San Jose State last Saturday.  He had three punts of 50 or more yards — 51 yards, 50 yards and 55 yards.

Colorado and Wyoming Cowboys Who’ve Grown Up with the Border War Rivalry

The Border War series with Colorado State holds a special meaning for several Wyoming Cowboys who played their high school football in the state of Colorado.  There are 23 Cowboys on the current Wyoming roster from the state of Colorado.  Seven of those Pokes have started for Wyoming this season, including: center Keegan Cryder, wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt, linebacker Chad Muma, safeties Esaias Gandy and Braden Smith, place-kicker John Hoyland and wide receiver Wyatt Wieland 

There are also 13 players on the Wyoming roster from the state of Wyoming, who have grown up with the Border War rivalry and five of those have started for the Pokes this season.  Those five starters are: defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole, tight end/fullback Parker Christensen, offensive tackle Frank Crum, fullback Caleb Driskill and offensive guard Logan Harris.   

One of the Great Cowboy Teams Returns to War Memorial Stadium Saturday

Several members of the 1996 Wyoming Cowboy football team will be returning for a team reunion this weekend.  The team will be recognized Saturday on the field during the game.

It was 25 years ago that the ’96 Cowboys, led by their late head coach Joe Tiller, posted a 10-2 season, had the nation’s longest winning streak, earned a spot in the inaugural Western Athletic Conference Championship Game and ended the season ranked No. 22 in the nation in both the Associated Press and Coaches Poll final rankings.

Wide receiver Marcus Harris won the 1996 Biletnikoff Award and earned Consensus All-America honors while setting an NCAA record for career receiving yards, with 4,518 yards.

The Cowboys were the No. 1 ranked passing offense in the nation in ’96, averaging 359.2 passing yards per game, and quarterback Josh Wallwork was No. 1 in the nation in total offense, averaging 350.8 yards per game.

Three members of that 1996 team earned First Team All-America honors.  In addition to Harris, offensive tackle Steve Scifres and place-kicker Cory Wedel were both named First Team All-Americans.

Harris, Wallwork, Scifres and Wedel were joined on the 1996 WAC All-Conference team by linebacker Jim Talich and defensive back Lee Vaughn.

Tiller was selected as the 1996 WAC Coach of the Year and was honored by the American Football Coaches Association as the Region 4 Coach of the Year.

About the Colorado State Rams

CSU’s offense is paced by one of the nation’s top tight ends in Trey McBride.  He has 65 catches for 740 yards and one touchdown on the season.  McBride has been named one of the semifinalists for this year’s Mackey Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate tight end each season.

The Rams also have an outstanding punter in Ryan Stonehouse, who has been named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List every year of his college career.  The Guy Award is presented annually to the nation’s best punter.  Stonehouse has earned All-Mountain West honors each of the past three seasons.  This season he is averaging 51.3 yards per punt to rank No. 2 in the nation and No. 2 in the Mountain West behind only San Diego State’s Matt Araiza.

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game vs. Colorado State, there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming vs. Colorado State Game

Saturday’s game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.  Announcers will be Dave Ryan (Play-by-play) and Sed Bonner (Color Analyst).

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Wyoming Cowboys Drop Road Contest at San Jose State, 27-21

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The Wyoming Cowboys dropped a 27-21 road decision at San Jose State on Saturday afternoon at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Running back Xazavian Valladay rushed for a season-high 172 yards, but the Spartan defense stopped the Pokes late to earn the victory. The Pokes fall to 4-4 overall and 0-4 in the Mountain West, as the Spartans move to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

“It came down to one possession there.,” UW head coach Craig Bohl said. “There’s certainly some things that we did better in the game, but we weren’t big enough to meet the moment. It was back and forth during the game, and we got to get better. There’s some positive things out of this game but none the less we came up with the loss.” 

Valladay recorded his 13th career 100 yards or more rushing contest. It was the most in a game since he had 204 yards in the Arizona Bowl. He is less than 100 yards from being the second Cowboy to rush for 3,000 career yards. Wide receiver Isaiah Neyor had three catches for 72 yards tying a career-high with two touchdown receptions. Quarterback Levi Williams was 12-of-22 passing for 129 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first start of the season. He also rushed for 35 yards.

Linebacker Chad Muma led the team with 10, as he went over 200 in his career. Muma also has 10 or more tackles in seven of the eight games this season. Defensive tackle Cole Godbout tied a career-high with eight tackles in the game.

Wyoming outgained the Spartans 400-388 on the afternoon. Wyoming recorded 148 yards of offense in the third quarter. The Wyoming defense held the Spartans to 27 yards in the fourth quarter. The Pokes rushed for 271 yards and passed for 129 yards. The Spartans rushed for 238 yards and added 150 yards through the air.

Wyoming held the edge in time of possession in the game at 32:14-27:46. The Cowboys were 6-of-15 on third down and held the Spartans to 3-of-11 on third down.

“The effort and the resolve is there,” Bohl said. “I’ve got to coach them up better I’ve to encourage them more and put ourselves in a better position.” By in large I thought are guys played hard, they’re a good team and I knew they were going to be difficult to beat.”  

Neither team could put any tallies on the scoreboard in the first half. The Spartans would find paydirt first on a one-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 SJSU advantage with 11:10 left in the second quarter. Nash would set up the score with a 48-yard scramble deep inside Wyoming territory.

The Spartans would add to their advantage with a 36-yard field goal from Matt Mercurio for a 10-0 advantage with 8:28 left in the second frame. The score come off an interception by the Cowboys inside their own territory.

The Cowboys answered right back the following drive with a 54-yard touchdown catch from Isaiah Neyor from Levi Williams. It was the longest completion for the Cowboys this season and the second longest of Williams’ career.

The Spartans would respond though with a 7-play, 81-yard drive ending on a nine-yard touchdown run from Kairee Robinson for a 17-7 Spartan lead with under two minutes remaining in the opening half. Once again, a Nick Nash run this time a 22-yard scamper helped set up the score.

San Jose State would add to their lead this time on a 44-yard field goal from Mercurio for a 20-7 lead with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter. The Spartans once again added points off turnovers recording their second interception of the game. Robinson set up the field goal with a 37-yard rush to get into Wyoming territory.

Wyoming responded right back this time with a 3-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a three-yard touchdown run from Titus Swen to make it a 20-14 game with 7:11 left in the third quarter. Valladay highlighted the drive with a 67-yard rush to go over 100 yards in the game.

San Jose State would use a deep pass to take a 27-14 lead with 2:59 left in the third quarter. Nash connected with Charles Ross from 44-yards on third down.

The Cowboys would use a 15-play, 84-yard drive into San Jose State territory, but the Spartans defense would hold to maintain their lead at 27-14 with just over five minutes remaining.

But the Pokes would pull within one score with 2:48 left in the game, as Williams found Neyor once again from 16-yards to make it a 27-21 game. The Wyoming defense would get a stop giving the offense the ball at midfield. Williams, set up the score with a 17-yard rush and found Valladay on a 16-yard pass.

The Cowboy defense held once more, as Wyoming got the ball back with 1:50 left in the game, but the Spartans defense recorded a pair of sacks helping San Jose State take the game 27-21.

Nash threw for 150 yards in the contest and led the team rushing for 112 yards. Tyler Nevens added 71 yards rushing. Kyle Harmon led the San Jose State defense with 13 tackles on the afternoon. Cody Hall added seven tackles and two sacks.

Wyoming returns home to host Colorado State in the Border War next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. inside War Memorial Stadium.

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Wyoming Travels to San Jose State with New Quarterback

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This week the Wyoming Cowboys return to the road to face the San Jose State Spartans in a Mountain West Conference match-up. 

The game will kick off at 2 p .m., Mountain Time (1 p.m., Pacific) from CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. 

The game will be televised on FS2 and will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network.  The radio broadcast will begin 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

The Cowboys will bring a 4-3 overall record and an 0-3 record in the Mountain West into Saturday’s game.  San Joe State is 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the MW.

A Season of Streaks

The Wyoming Cowboys have had a 2021 season that has been filled with streaks.  Wyoming began the season with four consecutive wins.  Over the last three weeks, UW has suffered three consecutive losses.

Cowboys Have Shown an Ability to Bounce Back in Recent Seasons 

The Cowboys have shown an ability to bounce back in recent seasons. 

Wyoming began the 2017 season 4-3 — the same start that the Cowboys are experiencing in 2021.  That 2017 Cowboy squad, quarterbacked by Josh Allen, went on to post an 8-5 season and won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

In 2018, UW was captained by among others Marcus Epps, Logan Wilson and Andrew Wingard.  The 2018 Cowboys began the season 2-6, before rallying to win their final four games of the season and earn bowl eligibility at 6-6.

Levi Williams Named Starting Quarterback vs. San Jose State

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl announced on Tuesday that sophomore quarterback Levi Williams will get the start in this Saturday’s game at San Jose State.

Williams will be making his first start of the 2021 season and the seventh start of his Wyoming career.

The native of Canyon Lake, Texas, made his first career start in the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.  He led Wyoming to a 38-17 win over Georgia State in the Arizona Bowl.  In that game, he completed 11 of 26 passes for 234 yards and threw three touchdown passes.  Williams added 53 rushing yards and scored one rushing TD in the win and ended the day with 287 yards of total offense.

Williams also started the final five games of Wyoming’s COVID-shortened season of 2020.  His career record as a starter is 3-3 entering this Saturday’s game at San Jose State.

The sophomore’s career totals include, completing 82 of 172 pass attempts for 1,303 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions.  He has also rushed for 311 yards and has scored seven rushing touchdowns, including three TD runs at UNLV in 2020.  Williams has accounted for 1,614 yards of total offense in the 12 career games he has played in as a Cowboy.

Cowboy Defense Among Best in the Nation in 2021

Wyoming’s defense continues to be one of the best in the nation, ranking No. 3 in the nation in pass defense and No. 16 in total defense in 2021.  The Cowboys are allowing only 152.0 passing yards per game and are holding opponents to only 311.1 yards of total offense per game.

Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma continues to be one of the top defenders in the nation.  Muma currently is tied for No. 1 in the nation in interception returns for touchdowns, with two.  He ranks No. 4 nationally in solo tackles (6.7 per game) and is No. 10 in the country in total tackles (9.7 per game).

Wyoming-San Jose State Meet for the 12th Time This Saturday in San Jose, Calif. 

The Wyoming Cowboys and San Jose State Spartans will be meeting for the 12th time this Saturday. 

Wyoming holds a 7-4 advantage in the series.  The Spartans joined the Mountain West Conference for the 2013 season.  SJSU leads the MW portion of the series 3-1 over the Cowboys.

The Pokes and Spartans also met each other twice when both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference.  Those two meetings in 1996 and ’97 were both won by Wyoming.

The Cowboys won the last meeting in the series in 2018 (24-9) in Laramie.  The Spartans won the last meeting in San Jose in 2017 (20-17).

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game in San Jose, there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming vs. San Jose State Game

Saturday’s game will be televised on FS2.  Announcers will be Eric Collins (Play-by-play) and Devin Gardner (Color Analyst).

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Wyoming Loses to New Mexico 14-3 on Homecoming

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By Tim Harkins, University of Wyoming

The  Wyoming Cowboys were unable to overcome a 14-3 halftime deficit and fell to the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday by that same score as neither team scored points in the second half.  Wyoming is now 4-3 on the season and 0-3 in the Mountain West Conference.  New Mexico improved to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

For the second consecutive week, the Cowboy defense held the opposing offense in check for the majority of the game, giving up only 14 points and 259 total yards to New Mexico.  The week prior, UW’s defense held Fresno State to only 17 points — 22 under its scoring average — and 259 yards of total offense — half of its average of 519.8

Also for the second straight week, Wyoming’s offense generated similar total yards to its opponent — 255 total yards for Wyoming to 259 for New Mexico.  The previous week, the Cowboys out-gained Fresno State 271 to 259. 

But for the fourth straight week Wyoming lost the turnover battle as UW threw one interception and lost a fumble to the Lobos.  New Mexico didn’t commit any turnovers on the day.

An interception by the New Mexico defense in the first quarter turned into a 77-yard touchdown drive by Lobos.  The Cowboys also fumbled on their first possession of the fourth quarter, but Wyoming’s defense forced a field-goal attempt that was unsuccessful by New Mexico.

After winning the toss and deferring to the second half, Wyoming’s defense held New Mexico to 16 yards on five plays on the Lobos’ first drive of the day. 

Wyoming’s first possession began at its own 14-yard line.  The Cowboys led by quarterback Sean Chambers moved the ball 45 yards in 11 plays to the New Mexico 41-yard line.  On a third and nine at the 41, Chambers tried to find wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt down the right sideline at the UNM 19-yard line, but Lobo cornerback Corey Hightower intercepted the pass and returned it to the UNM 23.

The Lobos would move the ball to the UNM 48-yard line where they would face a fourth and one.  Running back Aaron Dumas would gain two yards on the play, giving UNM a first down at the 50.  Four plays later at the Wyoming 43-yard line, New Mexico would once again face a fourth down and three yards.  Lobo quarterback Isaiah Chavez would find tight end Trace Bruckler down the left hash for a 43-yard touchdown pass to give New Mexico a 7-0 lead with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter.

The Cowboys and Lobos would exchange punts on their next two possessions.  On Wyoming’s third possession of the game, Cowboy quarterback Levi Williams would be inserted into the lineup.  Running back Xazavian Valladay would gain 20 rushing yards on the drive and Williams would complete two of three passes, including a 38-yarder to wide receiver Isaiah Neyor.  The Cowboys drive would stall at the New Mexico 10-yard line and place-kicker John Hoyland came in to make a 27-yard field goal, to cut the UNM lead to 7-3 with 4:30 remaining in the half.  Hoyland’s field goal improved his season total to 5 of 7 and his career total to 18 of 21 field goals made.

The Lobos would respond on their next possession, driving 75 yards in eight plays, taking 4:01 off the clock.  The big plays on the drive were a 34-yard pass from Chavez to tight end Kyle Jarvis and a 12-yard  pass from Chavez to Jarvis.  On the 12-yard completion, Wyoming defensive end Victor Jones was called for roughing the passer and targeting.  Jones was ejected from the remainder of the game and the ball was placed at the Wyoming four-yard line.  The Cowboys were called for offside on the next play, moving the ball to the two-yard line.  Running back Aaron Dumas would carry the ball into the end zone from the two and following the extra point, New Mexico led 14-3 with only 29 seconds remaining in the half.  After the kickoff, Wyoming took a knee to end the half.

With a little more than five minutes to go in the third quarter, the Wyoming defense came up with a big defensive stop holding the Lobos on a third and one and a fourth and one from the Wyoming 19-yard line to take the ball back on downs with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter.  That was the only scoring threat that either team mounted in the third quarter.

On Wyoming’s first possession of the fourth quarter, the Cowboys committed their second turnover of the game on a fumbled handoff between quarterback Williams and wide receiver Neyor on a jet sweep.  New Mexico linebacker Cody Moon recovered the fumble on the Wyoming 20-yard line.

Looking like New Mexico had another prime opportunity to score, the Cowboy defense rose to the occasion and held the Lobos to only five yards and forced a UNM field-goal attempt.  New Mexico place-kicker Andrew Shelley came in to attempt a 30-yard field goal, but the kick went wide right with 12:15 remaining in the game.

The Cowboys took over at their own 20-yard line, and Chambers was inserted back into the Wyoming lineup at quarterback.  The Pokes moved the ball 36 yards down to the UNM 44.  Valladay had two runs for nine yards.  Chambers completed two passes for 20 yards — one for 15 yards to wide receiver Joshua Cobbs and one of five yards to Eberhardt.  Chambers also gained seven yards on two QB runs.  But on a fourth and eight at the New Mexico 44, Chambers pass attempt to Cobbs fell incomplete and the Lobos took over on downs.

Wyoming’s defense once again forced the Lobos into a punt, and the Cowboys got the ball back at their own 20.  Chambers would lead Wyoming’s offense all the way to the UNM 30-yard line.  He completed five of seven passes on the drive, including one of four yards to Valladay, two passes of five and 13 yards to tight end Parker Christensen, another one of six to Valladay and one of six yards to running back Titus Swen.  On a third and four at the UNM 30, Chambers was sacked for a loss of eight, and on fourth and 12 from the 38 he was sacked for 16 yards with 2:36 remaining in the game.

UW’s defense held New Mexico to a three-and-out, and the Cowboys got the ball back one last time at their own 20-yard line with 58 seconds remaining.  Chambers completed three consecutive passes of six yards to tight end Treyton Welch, six yards to tight end Christensen and 26 yards to wide receiver Eberhardt to move the ball to the UNM 42.  But that was followed by two incompletions as time expired, and the Lobos secured a 14-3 victory.

Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl
“Congratulations to New Mexico.  I know they’ve had a lot of adversity, and they came up with a good game plan,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.  “We’ve got to improve in a lot of areas of our football team, specifically offensively.  When we are scoring the number of points we are scoring, we aren’t going to win any football games off of that.  I think there’s a couple things that we are doing well but obviously we aren’t doing nearly enough things well.

“We tried two quarterbacks during the game.  At times I think we ran the football well.  We didn’t bring down some contested balls.  We overthrew some open deep players.  It’s discouraging.

“My job as a head football coach is to rally these guys.  We are going to regroup.  We have a big game in San Jose this next week.  We are also 4-3, and I reminded our football team of that.  We need to band together.  We’ve got to learn from this.  We are frustrated.  You can sense my frustration, but we have to get better.

“I think there were some things we did OK on defense.  We need to generate some offense.  The identity (on offense) is not clear, and it has to get clear.

“It’s been really challenging to me as a head football coach, and I’ve tried to connect with our team to let them know how important it is to play clean.  We have to play more disciplined and cleaner football.  I don’t believe we have a takeaway in the last two games in a row.  We keep on chasing the turnover margin, and that’s a bad formula for us. 

“There’s nobody in that locker room who’s not trying.  I don’t question the effort.  We need to get a better plan, and we have to execute a better plan.

“Defense can always keep you in a game, and they kept us in the game for the lion’s share of the game today.  The touchdown before the half changed the complexion of the game. 

“I’ll look at the tape, and I understand we have to get better, and that’s my job as a coach to figure out what buttons to press to get us better.

Statistical  Summary
Wyoming’s defense was led by linebackers Easton Gibbs and Chad Muma.  Gibbs was credited with 11 tackles on the day, including eight solo tackles.  Muma had 10 tackles, including 1.0 tackle for a loss of three yards.  Defensive end Garrett Crall added nine tackles, and nose tackle Cole Godbout recorded seven.

Offensively, Chambers completed 11 of 23 passes for 96  yards and threw one interception.  Williams completed 3 of 7 for 51 yards and had one fumble.  Valladay led the Cowboys in rushing with 41 yards on 14 carries.  Wyoming’s leading receivers were: Christensen with three catches for 24 yards; Neyor with two receptions for 45; Eberhardt had two for 31; Cobbs caught two for 19; and Valladay had two for 10 yards.

New Mexico quarterback Isaiah Chavez completed 10 of 11 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.  He also led the Lobos in rushing with 49 yards on 16 carries.

The Lobos’ top defenders were cornerback Tony Collier and Lobo Tavian Combs, who each registered seven tackles.  Linebacker Cody Moon had five tackles to go with his fumble recovery, and cornerback Corey Hightower added two tackles in addition to his interception.

Next Up for the Cowboys
The Cowboys travel to San Jose, Calif., next Saturday, Oct. 30 to play the San Jose State Spartans.  The game will kick off at 2:00 p.m., Mountain Time (1:00 p.m., Pacific) and will be televised on FS2.  The Spartans are 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West this season.

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Homecoming to Feature Wyoming Cowboys vs. New Mexico Lobos on Saturday

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By Tim Harkins

The Wyoming Cowboys will play their 96th Homecoming Game on Saturday.  This year’s Homecoming opponent will be the New Mexico Lobos.  The game will kick off at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time.

The Cowboys will be looking for their first conference win of the season on Saturday.  UW will enter Saturday’s game with a 4-2 overall record and an 0-2 record in the Mountain West.  The Lobos are also in search of their first Mountain West win this season.  New Mexico brings a 2-5 overall record and an 0-3 record in the Mountain West into this week’s game.

Ticket Information

Tickets to Saturday’s Wyoming-New Mexico game are available online at GoWyo.com/tickets, by emailing tickets@uwyo.edu or by calling the UW Athletics Ticket Office at (307) 766-7220.

Homecoming 2021

This week’s game versus New Mexico will mark the 96th Homecoming game in University of Wyoming history, and the 71st Homecoming game to be played in War Memorial Stadium.

Wyoming renews its Homecoming tradition this season.  In 2020, there was no Homecoming Game due to COVID-19.

The last time Wyoming hosted a Homecoming Game was in 2019 and that game also featured the New Mexico Lobos as Wyoming’s opponent.  Wyoming won that 2019 Homecoming contest over New Mexico by a score of 23-10 on Oct. 19, 2019.

      •UW’s Overall Record in Homecoming Games                     47-45-3 (.511)

      •UW’s Homecoming Record in War Memorial                       42-26-2 (.614)

One of the Best in the Nation — Cowboy Linebacker Chad Muma

A year ago in 2020, Wyoming middle linebacker Chad Muma ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in total tackles per game at 11.8, and he ranked No. 5 in the MW and No. 16 in the FBS in solo tackles (5.5/game).

In 2021, Muma is averaging 9.7 total tackles per game to rank No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 12 among all FBS players. 

Muma is averaging 7.2 solo tackles per game to rank No. 1 among all FBS players in the nation.  He is also tied for No. 1 in the nation in most interception returns for touchdowns in 2021 with two “Pick Sixes”.  He is tied with Iowa defensive back Riley Moss.

2021 Pokes Have Developed Into One of the Top Defenses in the Nation

As you look at Wyoming’s defensive rankings this season, defending opposing offenses’ has become a strength for the Cowboys.  Wyoming is tied for No. 3 in the nation in defensive touchdowns scored (3), ranks No. 7 in the NCAA in fewest passing yards allowed per game (158.7), is No. 13 in pass defense efficiency (108.56) and ranks No. 29 in total defense, allowing opponents only 319.8 yards per game.

Cowboy Offense Performing in Key Situations

Two key offensive statistics are how an offense is able to convert in third-down situations and how effective an offense is at scoring points once in the red zone.  The Wyoming Cowboys are among the best in the nation in 2021 in both of those key stats.

UW ranks No. 24 in the country in third-down conversion percentage at 46.3 percent, converting 38 of 82 third-down plays.

The Pokes are also No. 28 in the FBS in red-zone offense, scoring on 90.0 percent of their red-zone opportunities (18 of 20).

Home Success

The Wyoming Cowboys have been very successful at home over the last six seasons.  Since 2016, Wyoming has won 23 of its last 31 home games for a winning percentage of 74.2 percent.

Wyoming’s 23 home wins during this stretch began with the first game of the 2016 season when they won a triple overtime thriller over Northern Illinois by a score of 40-34. 

The Cowboys went on to post a perfect 6-0 regular season in 2016 before hosting the Mountain West Conference Championship Game, which they lost 24-27 to San Diego State to finish 6-1 at home.  UW also posted a perfect 6-0 regular season home record in 2019.

The Pokes have also won 11 of their last 13 home games, dating back to the last two home games of the 2018 season thru the 2021 season.

Bouncing Back After a Home Loss

Coming off last week’s home loss to Fresno State, the Wyoming Cowboys are looking to continue a tradition of bouncing back at home following a home loss.

Since 2016, Wyoming has suffered only eight home losses.  Following six of those home losses the Cowboys have won their next home game.

Only twice have the Cowboys lost consecutive home games since 2016.  In 2017, UW lost its last home game of the season to Fresno State and lost its 2018 home opener vs. Washington State.  In 2018, UW lost consecutive home games to Boise State and Utah State.

The Cowboys and the Lobos

The Wyoming Cowboys and New Mexico Lobos will play each other for the 74th time this Saturday.  Last year’s meeting was a first as the two teams played in Las Vegas, Nev., due to COVID-19 conditions in the state of New Mexico forcing UNM Football to play its home games in the state of Nevada.

Wyoming leads the overall series between the two schools with 39 wins against 34 wins for New Mexico.  In games played in Laramie, Wyoming leads the series 20-15.

The Cowboys and the Lobos have been members of the same conference since 1951 when they were both members of the Skyline Conference.  Wyoming and New Mexico are meeting for the 23rd consecutive season since both became founding members of the Mountain West Conference in 1999.  Prior to that, they were founding members of the Western Athletic Conference in 1962.

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game in War Memorial Stadium, there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming vs. New Mexico Game

Saturday’s game will be televised on Stadium.  Announcers will be Chris Vosters (Play-by-play) and Sed Bonner (Color Analyst).

Cowboys Fall to Fresno State, 17-0, In First Home Loss of the Season

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By Nick Seeman, University of Wyoming

The Wyoming Cowboys fell for the first time at home this season as the Fresno State Bulldogs captured a 17-0 win on Saturday in Laramie.  The Cowboys are now 4-2 on the season and 0-2 in the Mountain West Conference.  Fresno State improved to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

Wyoming’s defense held Fresno State to 259 yards of total offense.  That was half of what the Bulldogs were averaging on the season.  Fresno State came into the game averaging 519.8 yards per game.  UW’s defense also held FS 22 points under its season scoring average of 39.0 points per game.

But the Pokes turned the ball over five times on four interceptions and one lost fumble.  Three of those turnovers led directly to Fresno State’s 17 points.  Two of the three turnovers in the second half gave the Bulldogs the ball at the Wyoming six-yard line, leading to a touchdown, and the 27-yard line, setting up a 41-yard field goal.  The 17-0 shutout marked the first time Wyoming had been shutout since 2010 when they lost at TCU by a score 45-0. 

Wyoming began the game winning the toss and deferring to the second half.  The Cowboy defense forced a three-and-out on Fresno State’s first possession of the game and following the Bulldogs’ punt, Wyoming took over at its own 34-yard line.  On a second and eight from the 36, Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers rushed up the middle for five yards but the ball was knocked loose and Fresno State recovered at the Wyoming 41.

The Bulldogs took that turnover and moved the ball down to the Wyoming six-yard line in nine plays.  On a third and goal from the six, FS quarterback Jake Haener completed a pass for one yard to the UW five where Cowboy strong safety Rome Weber knocked wide receiver Josh Kelly out of bounds.  It appeared that Wyoming had forced Fresno State into a field-goal attempt, but the play was reviewed and Weber was called for a targeting penalty and was ejected for the remainder of the game.  The ball was placed at the Wyoming two-yard line after the penalty and on the 10th play of the drive Haener completed a pass in the flat to tight end Juan Rodriguez for a touchdown.  The point-after-touchdown kick by Cesar Silva gave Fresno State a 7-0 lead with 6:57 remaining in the first quarter.

The Cowboys began their second possession at their own 25-yard line and would put together a 10-play, 34-yard drive that took 6:18 off the clock, but the drive stalled at the Fresno State 41-yard line.  Cowboy punter Ralph Fawaz pinned Fresno State back at its own nine-yard line with a 32-yard punt. 

Two plays into the Bulldogs’ ensuing drive, the first quarter ended with Fresno State leading 7-0.  FS gained one first down on the possession before the Pokes forced another punt.

Wyoming had one of its most promising drives of the first half, moving the ball 71 yards in nine plays, but for the second time in the half Fresno State came up with a turnover.  On a first and 10 at the FS 25-yard line, Chambers targeted running back Xazavian Valladay across the middle, but the ball was intercepted by Bulldog free safety Evan Williams, who returned the ball to the Fresno State 29.

The two teams exchanged punts on their next possessions.  Following the Cowboys’ punt, Fresno State took over at its own 39-yard line and in eight plays moved down to the Wyoming 23.  Bulldog place-kicker Silva came in for a 40-yard field goal attempt, but the kick went  wide left.

Wyoming began its final possession of the half with exactly two minutes remaining on the clock.  The Cowboys mounted their second scoring threat of the half.  On first down from the Wyoming 23, Chambers took off on a 20-yard scamper moving the ball out to the Wyoming 43-yard line.  Valladay would carry for nine yards on the next play to the Fresno State 48.  After an incomplete pass, Chambers rushed for two yards for a first down.  An incompletion was followed by an interference penalty against Fresno State on a pass attempt to Valladay.  That moved the ball to the Fresno State 39.  Wyoming gained three more yards on a pass from Chambers to Valladay, and on a fourth and seven from the FS 36, Cowboy place-kicker John Hoyland came in to attempt a 53-yard field goal.  Hoyland’s attempt would go wide left with 18 seconds remaining in the half.  Fresno State would kneel down and the half would end with the score Fresno State 7, Wyoming 0. 

Wyoming concluded the half with 151 yards of total offense on 32 plays.  Fresno State had 111 total yards on 33 plays.

The second half began with both teams being forced to punt on each of their first two possessions of the third quarter. 

On Wyoming’s third possession of the third quarter, it took over at its own 13-yard line.  Following a six-yard fly sweep by wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt, running back Titus Swen was tackled for a two-yard loss.  Facing a third and six from the Wyoming 17, Chambers completed an 18-yard pass to Valladay to move the ball to the UW 35-yard line.  Chambers tried to find Valladay on a second consecutive play but the ball was tipped by Bulldog linebacker Levelle Bailey and intercepted by linebacker Malachi Langley, who returned it 33 yards to the Wyoming six-yard line.

The Cowboy defense held Fresno State to three yards on a first down rush and on second and goal from the three, UW cornerback C.J. Coldon broke up a pass in the end zone.  On third down, Haener found wide receiver Jalen Cropper on a pass completion for the TD.  Silva’s extra point extended Fresno State’s lead to 14-0.  That is where the score would stand at the end of the third quarter.

Fresno State would come up with its third interception of the game with 11:20 remaining in the game.  Free safety Williams picked off Chambers for the second time at the Wyoming 41-yard line and returned it 14 yards down to the UW 27.  The Cowboy defense stiffened and held Fresno State to only one three-yard run, forcing a Bulldog field-goal attempt.  Silva entered the game and drove the ball through the uprights from 41 yards out to build Fresno State’s lead to 17-0.

Wyoming inserted quarterback Levi Williams into the game with 10:18 remaining.  On Williams first series he threw a ball down the sideline for wide receiver Isaiah Neyor that initially looked like a completion, but the officials called the pass incomplete.  After replay, the referee announced the call on the field would stand.  An incompletion on fourth and two gave the ball back to Fresno State on downs at the Wyoming 31-yard line.  Wyoming’s defense would not allow the Bulldogs to gain a first down, holding FS to zero yards on a fourth and one at the Wyoming 22.

Williams completed a 32-yard pass to Eberhardt on Wyoming’s following possession, moving the ball to the Fresno State 46.  Swen broke a 20-yard run down to the Fresno State 26.  Fresno State was called for pass interference on the next play, giving the Cowboys a first down at the Fresno State 11.  But much like the rest of Wyoming’s day, FS strong safety L.J. Early intercepted Williams pass at the seven-yard line, ending Wyoming’s final scoring threat with 5:34 remaining in the game.

Fresno State held the ball for the next 5:30, giving Wyoming the ball back with only four seconds remaining to end the game.  

Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl
“I thought our guys played hard, but we’ve got to play smarter and we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the football.

“Obviously, we have to generate some points. It’s important that I don’t make any broad-based comments right now until we watch the tape, but if you look at productivity you’ve got six (consecutive) quarters without scoring any points, and that’s going to make it hard to beat anybody.

“I want to take a hard look at the tape.  We need to cull through that.  I need to take some time with Tim (Polasek, offensive coordinator) and see what we are doing, what’s our identity, where are we misfiring.

“I don’t have rose-colored glasses on.  We’ve got to do a rework, and I don’t think it’s a little tweak here or there.  It’s always dangerous to completely reshuffle everything, but I’ll look at the two quarterbacks, and we’ll make a decision here this next week.

“Our traditional tailback runs, we need to be able to do much better.  Whether we are missing some cuts, whether we are not getting movement at the point of attack, some perimeter blocking comes into play, but nonetheless, we are not running the ball nearly as well as what we should. 

“I thought our defense did some excellent things out there today.  He’s (Jake Haener, Fresno State QB) a really good quarterback, and he’s been productive against pretty much everybody.  I thought we did some good things up there.  We established the line of scrimmage and forced them into some throwing situations.  I thought that there were some positive things, and we need to build off that.”

Statistical  Summary
Wyoming ended the game with 271 yards of total offense (128 rushing and 149 rushing) to out-gain Fresno State.  The Bulldogs accounted for 259 yards of total offense (163 rushing and only 96 passing).

Chambers completed 8 of 23 passes for 111 yards, threw three interceptions and lost one fumble.  Williams complete 1 of 7 passes fo 32 yards and threw one interception.  Fresno State’s Haener completed 15 of 28 passes for only 96 yards, but did throw two TD passes.

Chambers led Wyoming in rushing with 51 yards on 12 carries.  Swen added 36 yards on seven carries, and Valladay had 35 rushing yards on nine attempts.  Bulldog tailbacks Jordan Mims and Ronnie Rivers rushed for 78 and 73 yards, respectively, for a combined 151 yards.

Valladay moved into fourth place on Wyoming’s career rushing list in Saturday’s game.  He now has 2,682 career rushing yards and moved past former Cowboy running back Wynel Seldon, who accounted for 2.672 rushing yards during his career from 2005-08.

Defensively, the Cowboys were led by linebacker Chad Muma and free safety Esaias Gandy, who were credited with 11 tackles each.  Wyoming defensive end Solomon Byrd added six tackles and recorded UW’s lone sack on the day.  Fresno State free safety Evan Williams recorded seven tackles to go with his two interceptions.

Next Up for the Cowboys
The Cowboys will host New Mexico next Saturday, Oct. 23 for Homecoming.  The game will kick off at 1:30 p.m. and will be televised on Stadium.

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Pokes Host Fresno State in First Mountain West Home Game for Wyoming This Season

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By Tim Harkins, Cowboy State Daily

After a month without a home game, the Wyoming Cowboys return to War Memorial Stadium this Saturday, Oct. 16 to host the Fresno State Bulldogs in Wyoming’s first Mountain West Conference home game of the 2021 season.  The game will kick off at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time.

Wyoming will enter Saturday’s game with a 4-1 overall record and an 0-1 record in the Mountain West.  Fresno State is 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the MW.

 Military Day

Saturday’s game will feature UW Athletics annual Military Day.  The annual event honors individuals who have represented the United States in all branches of the military — past and present.

Two Maxwell Award Candidates Will be Featured on Saturday

Two of the featured players in this Saturday’s game between the Cowboys and Bulldogs will be Wyoming running back Xazavian Valladay and Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener.  Both Valladay and Haener are on the 2021 Maxwell Award Watch List.  The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the outstanding player in college football.

Valladay Continues to Move Up Wyoming’s Career Rushing List 

In Wyoming’s most recent game at Air Force on Oct. 9, Cowboy running back Xazavian Valladay rushed for 96 yards to move into the No. 5 spot in career rushing yards at the University of Wyoming.  Valladay enters this week with 2,647 career rushing yards.  He moved past former Cowboy running back Marques Brigham, who rushed for 2,605 yards during his career as a Cowboy from 1995-98.

Valladay rushed for 396 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2018.  He totaled 1,265 rushing yards as a sophomore in ’19 and had 550 rushing yards in only five games in the shortened season of 2020.  This season, he has rushed for a total of 436 yards in five games.  He earned First Team All-Mountain West Conference honors in both 2019 and 2020.

For the past two seasons, Valladay has been the most productive and consistent offensive weapon the Wyoming Cowboys have had.  He once again displayed his consistency at UConn on Sept. 25 as he recorded the 12th 100-yard rushing game of his career.  Valladay rushed for 101 yards against the Huskies. 

When he recorded his 12th career 100-yard rushing game against UConn, it got us to wondering how those games equate to Wyoming wins and losses.  When Valladay has rushed for 100 or more yards, Wyoming has a 9-3 record.  

Included in those nine wins are victories over: New Mexico (2018 and ’19), Missouri (’19), Nevada (’19), Colorado State (’19), Georgia State (’19), Hawai’i (’20), Northern Illinois (’21) and UConn (’21).  The only three losses came in road losses: at Boise State, 17-20 in overtime (’19); at Utah State by five points, 21-26 (’19); and at Colorado State 24-34 (’20). 

Wyoming and Fresno State Have Played Some Memorable Games Against One Another

Since they first played each other in 1992 when they were both members of the Western Athletic Conference, Wyoming and Fresno State have played some memorable games through the years.

In 1993, the Cowboys hosted the Bulldogs led by quarterback Trent Dilfer.  Wyoming was led by quarterback Joe Hughes, All-America wide receiver Ryan Yarbrough and team captains Kurt Whitehead (DE), Mike Jones (TE) and Hughes.  The Cowboys came away with a 32-28 win and would go on to tie Fresno State and BYU for the 1993 WAC title.

The 2009 season saw the two teams face off in the New Mexico Bowl.  Fresno State was still a member of the WAC and Wyoming was representing the Mountain West.  

The Cowboys would come away with a hard fought 35-28 victory in double overtime that featured a memorable goal-line stand by the Cowboys, who stopped the Bulldogs on four straight plays from the one-yard line in the first overtime.  

The game ended with a 13-yard TD pass from Cowboy QB Austyn Carta-Samuels to wide receiver David Leonard.

In 2014, Cowboy freshman running back Brian Hill set a school all-purpose yardage record with 387 yards (281 rushing and 106 receiving) in a 45-17 road win in Fresno.

The last time the two teams met was in 2018, when Fresno State defeated the Cowboys 27-3 in Fresno on way to the Bulldogs’ 2018 Mountain West Conference Championship.

Fresno State leads the overall series 7-5.  Wyoming leads 3-2 in games played in Laramie.

Wyoming vs. the Mountain West at Home During the Bohl Era

Since the 2014 season when Craig Bohl became head coach at Wyoming, the Cowboys have been very successful in conference home games.

During the Bohl era, Wyoming has posted a 17-9 (.654) record in Mountain West regular-season home games.  Twice during the Bohl era, Wyoming has posted a perfect 4-0 record in MW home games during the regular season.  Those two seasons were 2016 and 2019.

Since the 2016 season, the Cowboys have been even better in Mountain West regular-season home contests, posting a record of 14-4 (.778).

Wyoming has hosted one Mountain West postseason game in the Bohl era.  That was the 2016 MW Championship Game vs. San Diego State.  The Aztecs pulled out a three-point win in that game (27-24), after Wyoming had defeated SDSU by one point (34-33) two weeks earlier in Laramie.

California Cowboys

As the Wyoming Cowboys prepare to host Fresno State this Saturday, it is worth noting that Wyoming has more players from the state of California on its roster this season than it has players from any other state.  There are 28 California Cowboys on the Wyoming roster this season. 

Five of Wyoming’s current starters are Californians, that is second only to six starters from the state of Colorado.  Current Cowboy starters from California include: Solomon Byrd, DE (Palmdale, Calif.); Sean Chambers, QB (Kerman); Easton Gibbs, LB (Temecula); Azizi Hearn, CB (Oceanside); and Ravontae Holt, DT (Sacramento).

Eight other Californians, who have been key contributors this season are: Caleb Cooley, Special Teams (Chico); Keonte Glinton, Nickel (Bakersfield); Victor Jones, DE (Sacramento); Dawaiian McNeely, RB (Ceres, Calif.); Colin O’Brien (Mission Viejo), Connor Shay, LB (Danville); Rome Weber, SS (San Bernardino); and Miles Williams, FS (Oxnard).

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game in War Memorial Stadium, there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming vs. Fresno State Game

Saturday’s game will be televised on FS2.  Announcers will be Dan Hellie (Play-by-play) and Petros Papadakis (Color Analyst).

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Wyoming Drops First Game of the Season in 24-14 Loss at Air Force

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Air Force Academy, Colo. (Oct. 9, 2021) –  It was a typical, hard-fought meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys and Air Force Falcons on Saturday night at Falcon Stadium on the Air Force Academy campus.  

In the end, Air Force prevailed 24-14 to hand Wyoming its first loss of the season.  Wyoming moved to 4-1 and 0-1 in conference play.  Air Force improved to 5-1 and 2-1 in the Mountain West.

The first half began with Air Force taking a 14-0 lead, but the Cowboys fought back to score two touchdowns in the final 4:38 of the half to tie that game at 14-14 and grab the momentum heading into halftime.

In the second half, Wyoming began with a promising drive that stalled at the Air Force 36.  The Falcons took their opening drive of the third quarter and turned it into their third TD of the game to regain the lead at 21-14.  

Air Force would engineer its fourth scoring drive of the game on its first possession of the fourth quarter, driving 67 yards in 15 plays  and capping it off with a 26-yard field goal to conclude the scoring 24-14.

“We played inconsistently tonight and we got beat by a good football team,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.   “We were going to need to get some turnovers and stay on the field offensively tonight, which we weren’t able to do.

“To Air Force’s credit, they threw the ball well in the second half and we weren’t able to stop that.

“I’ll be guarded in my comments until we can evaluate things on tape, but our players are disappointed and our coaches are disappointed.  In the end, we will learn from tonight and get back at it tomorrow..

“We knew this was going to be a hard-fought game.  Our players fought hard, but we weren’t able to make enough plays at critical times, and Air Force did a good job of coming up with plays when they needed them.”

Wyoming won the opening toss and deferred to the second half.  Air Force took its opening drive and went 75 yards in 15 plays, taking 8:18 off the clock.  The Falcons converted two fourth-down conversions on the drive on a fourth and two at the Wyoming 49 and a fourth and three at the Wyoming 37.  

Big plays on the drive were an 18-yard run on the first play of the game and a 21-yard run on a first and 10 from the Wyoming 34.  Both runs were by fullback Brad Roberts. 

The Cowboys made its first big play of the game when defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole recovered a fumble by Air Force quarterback Haaziq Daniels at the Wyoming 31-yard line.  But three plays later, Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers would scramble out of the backfield and after an eight-yard gain was hit and fumbled the ball back to the Falcons.  Air Force took over at the Wyoming 41.

After the Wyoming turnover, Air Force drove down to the Wyoming 19 and faced its third fourth down of the game on a fourth and one at the Wyoming 19.  Wide receiver Micah Davis gained four on a pitch play giving Air Force a first and 10 at the 15.  

Two plays later at the seven-yard line, fullback Emmanuel Michel rushed up the middle for four.  Cowboy safety Rome Weber upended Michel and knocked the ball loose, however the ball was recovered by Falcon Omar Fattah at the three.  Wide receiver Dane Kinamon would score two plays later on a sweep to the left to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead with 10:43 remaining in the  second quarter.        

At the 4:38 mark of the first half, the score remained 14-0, but that is when the Cowboys came to life.  Wyoming took possession at their own three-yard line after a 43-yard  punt by Air Force.  

On first down, Cowboy running back Xazavian Valladay exploded over the right side of the Wyoming offensive line and burst into the open running down the Wyoming sideline for 74 yards — the longest run of the season for the Pokes and the second longest of Valladay’s career.  That run moved the ball to the Air Force 23-yard line. 

Running back Titus Swen carried for 13 yards on the next play, giving UW a first and goal at the 10.  A four-yard run by Swen was followed by an incomplete pass from Chambers intended for Isaiah Neyor.  

Then on third and six from the six, Valladay powered his way down to the goal line in what was originally signaled as a touchdown.  But after replay, Valladay was ruled down at the one-yard line.  Facing a fourth and goal at the one, Chambers forced his way into the end zone to give Wyoming its first score of the day and cut Air Force’s lead to 14-7 with 2:39 remaining in the first half.

The Cowboy defense rose to the occasion for a second straight series, holding the Falcons to only one first down on its next possession.  Cowboy head coach Craig Bohl called two timeouts to preserve time and Air Force punted the ball back to Wyoming with 1:07 remaining.

Starting from its own 27-yard line, Chamber’s first pass of the drive was incomplete.  He scrambled for 13 yards and a first down on the second play out to the Wyoming 40.  The Cowboy QB then connected on a completion of 13 yards to Ayden Eberhardt to the Air Force 47-yard line.  

On the next play, Chambers found Neyor on a 37-yard completion to the Air Force 10.  Neyor got out of bounds to stop the clock.  Chambers went right back to Neyor on first and goal from the 10, finding him in the front corner of the end zone for UW’s second touchdown with only 15 seconds left in the half to tie the game at 14-14.  The half would end with Wyoming holding the momentum.

Wyoming took the opening kickoff of the second half and put together a promising drive, moving the ball down to the Air Force 36-yard line before being forced to punt.

Air Force would drive 85 yards in eight plays on its first third quarter possession, mixing in four big pass plays to regain the lead at 21-14 with 4:09 remaining in the third.

The Falcons followed that up with their fourth and final scoring drive in the fourth to build the lead to 24-14 on a 26-yard field goal with 7:18 to go in the game.

The Cowboys mounted their final scoring threat moving the ball from their own 37-yard line down to the Air Force 25, but facing a fourth and 10 at the 25, Chambers was sacked and the ball came loose. Air Force recovered the fumble  at the Falcon 48, and that was essentially the last opportunity for the Pokes.

Wyoming will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 16 when it returns to War Memorial Stadium to host the Fresno State Bulldogs.

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Wyoming Will Open Mountain West Conference Play At Air Force Saturday

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This Saturday will mark the start of conference play for the Wyoming Cowboys as they travel to the Air Force Academy to face the Air Force Falcons. 

Wyoming will bring a 4-0 record into its conference opener, while Air Force is 4-1 and 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference.  Saturday’s game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m., Mountain Time from Falcon Stadium.  The game will be broadcast on radio over the Cowboy Sports Network and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

This year’s Cowboy team is also in a special group of teams in school history.  The 2021 Cowboys’ 4-0 start is only the 13th time in 125 seasons of Wyoming Football that a team has begun a season 4-0 or better. 

It is also the first time in 25 seasons that UW has begun a season 4-0.  The last time was in 1996 when the Joe Tiller coached Cowboys went on to start the season 9-0 on way to a 10-2 record, WAC Pacific Division title and a No. 22 national ranking in the final Associated Press and Coaches polls.

The 2021 Wyoming team has also posted the best start in the eight years that head coach Craig Bohl has led the Cowboys.  UW’s previous best start under Bohl was a 3-0 start back in 2019.  That 2019 team went on to an 8-5 season, including a championship in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

Team Effort

Through its first four games this season, the Wyoming Cowboys’ success has definitely been due to a team effort from all facets of the team.

Wyoming’s offense has established a balanced attack that has proven difficult for opposing defenses.  The Cowboys have generated 722 rushing yards (49.0% of the offense) and 750 passing yards (51.0% of the offense) for 1,472 yards of total offense, which is 368.0 yards per game. 

UW’s offense has also performed well in key situations, ranking No. 1 in the conference in two key offensive categories — third-down conversions and scoring points in the red zone.  The Wyoming Cowboys are also among the best in the nation in 2021 in both of those key stats, ranking No. 15 in the nation in third-down conversions at 50 percent (28 of 56) and ranking No. 19 in red-zone offense at 94.1 percent (scoring on 16 of 17 red-zone opportunities).

Defensively, the Pokes have been outstanding.  Wyoming is No. 1 in the Mountain West and tied for No. 2 in the FBS in defensive touchdowns scored with three defensive TDs already this season. 

As you look at Wyoming’s defensive rankings this season, defending opposing offenses’ passing attacks has become a strength for the Cowboys.  Wyoming is No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 10 in the nation in Pass Efficiency Defense.  UW also ranks in several other categories that relate to effectively defending the pass.  The Pokes are No. 3 in the MW and No. 16 in the country in sacks (averaging 3.25 sacks per game), are No. 20 in the nation in interceptions (6 total) and are No. 30 in pass defense (allowing only 186.5 passing yards per game).

Special teams has also been a consistent contributing factor to Wyoming’s success with sophomore place-kicker John Hoyland and redshirt freshman punter Ralph Fawaz both having outstanding seasons.

Team Effort — Part Two

Wyoming has also done an outstanding job on both sides of the ball in terms of forcing opponent turnovers on defense and protecting the ball on offense.  Wyoming is No. 1 in the Mountain West in turnover margin and No. 11 in the nation.  The Cowboy defense has forced eight opponent turnovers, while the Wyoming offense has committed only four turnovers all season.

Mountain West Openers

The 2021 season marks the 23rd season of the Mountain West Conference, and this year’s Wyoming-Air Force contest is the first conference game of the year for the Cowboys.  The Falcons have already played two MW games, losing at home to Utah State and winning on the road at New Mexico.

Wyoming is 11-11 (.500) in Mountain West openers. UW is 7-6 (.538) when opening MW play at home, and is 4-5 (.444) when opening on the road.  The Cowboys have won 5 of their last 8 MW openers and 4 of 7 in the Craig Bohl era.

This year’s MW opener will mark the ninth time in the 23 seasons of the MW that the Cowboys have opened Mountain West Conference play against Air Force — more than any other MW opponent.

The Cowboys’ record vs. Air Force in their previous eight Mountain West openers stands at 4-4 (.500).  Oddly enough the advantage has gone to the road team in the eight previous MW openers between the Cowboys and Falcons.  Wyoming is 3-1 in Mountain West openers played at the Air Force Academy, and Air Force is 3-1 in MW openers played in Laramie.

Chambers Return Has Been Outstanding

Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers has had an outstanding return in 2021.  With Wyoming’s most recent win at UConn two weeks ago, Chambers record as Wyoming’s starting quarterback now stands at 13-3.  He was a perfect 3-0 in games he started in 2018, was 6-2 as a starter in 2019, went 0-1 in his lone game of 2020 after being injured on the third play of the season opener and he is 4-0 in 2021.

He also led Wyoming on two game-winning scoring drives this season.  Both game-winning drives came in the final two minutes of victories over Montana State and Northern Illinois.

Chambers Named a Candidate for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year

Earlier this week, Chambers was named one of three new nominees for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.  

The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization have selected three college football student-athletes—Chambers; McKenzie Milton, a senior quarterback at Florida State University; and J.J. Weaver a sophomore linebacker at the University of Kentucky—as nominees for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Ten times during the 2021 college football season, three inspiring student-athletes from all levels of college football who have overcome injury, illness, or other challenges, are recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees by a panel of writers, editors, and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated.

In December, three of the 30 nominees will be chosen as winners of the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award and will be recognized at a special ceremony during the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2022, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game at the Air Force Academy there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

•Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

•The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming vs. Air Force Game

Saturday’s game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.  Announcers will be Rich Waltz (Play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (Color Analyst) and Amanda Guerra (Sideline Analyst).

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Resilient Cowboys Move to 4-0 With Another Exciting Comeback Victory

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By Tim Harkins, University of Wyoming

The Wyoming Cowboys once again showed their resilience and comeback ability on Saturday, as they improved to 4-0 on the season and concluded their non-conference schedule undefeated, heading into a bye week.

Unlike last week, when Wyoming built a 31-0 halftime lead at home over Ball State on way to a 45-12 victory, the Cowboys started slow on Saturday at UConn.  But as they’ve done twice before this season, against Montana State and Northern Illinois, the Pokes fought back from a 13-3 deficit at halftime to out-score the Huskies 21 to nine in the second half and record a 24-22 road win.

Wyoming’s comeback was keyed by a critical defensive stand by the Pokes early in the fourth quarter.  Trailing 13-10, the Cowboys saw the Huskies put together a long drive of 74 yards, moving all the way down to the Wyoming five-yard line. 

It was critical that UW hold UConn to a field goal and keep the game a one-possession game.  The Wyoming defense would rise to the occasion.  On a third and five from the Wyoming five, Cowboy defensive end Solomon Byrd combined with safety Rome Weber to sack Huskie quarterback Tyler Phommachanh for 12 yards, pushing the ball back to the 17-yard line. 

UConn place-kicker Joe McFadden entered the game and made a 35-yard field goal — his third on the day — to extend the Huskies’ lead to 16-10.  But allowing only a field goal meant the Cowboys were still within one touchdown of taking the lead.

Now it was time for the Wyoming offense to step up.  On the Cowboys’ very next offensive possession, the balanced attack that the Pokes have become known for this season would be put on display.  Running back Xazavian Valladay would begin the drive with a 12-yard run on first down and would go on to carry the ball five times for 30 yards on the drive. 

UW running back Titus Swen added two runs for 15 yards, and Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers would complete two passes to wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt for 32 yards, including a great catch by Eberhardt for 23 yards on a third down and seven from the UConn 24. 

That catch took the ball down to the UConn one-yard line where Valladay would carry the ball in for the go-ahead TD.  That 77-yard drive gave Wyoming its first lead of the day at 17-16, but there was still 6:31 remaining in the game.

On UConn’s very next possession, Cowboy free safety Esaias Gandy read Huskie quarterback Phommachanh’s eyes on the first play from scrimmage and intercepted the UConn QB’s pass at the Huskie 36-yard line.  Gandy returned the interception seven yards to the UConn 29-yard line, and Wyoming had a chance to extend its lead.

Wyoming’s Swen gained 15 yards up the middle on first down.  Valladay then rushed for three yards, followed by a six-yard run by Swen.  On a third and one at the UConn five-yard line, Valladay picked up three yards and a first down.  Swen finished off the drive with a two-yard TD run.  Place-kicker John Hoyland made his third point after touchdown of the game to give Wyoming a 24-16 lead with only 3:34 remaining on the clock.

But the Huskies were not done fighting.  Beginning its final possession of the game at its own 36-yard line, UConn drove 64 yards in 15 plays aided by three pass interference penalties called against the Cowboys — the third occurring in the end zone — which placed the ball first and goal at the Wyoming two. 

Huskie running back Nate Carter ran the ball into the end zone, and suddenly UConn trailed by only two points (22-24) with four seconds remaining in the game and a two-point conversion attempt coming for UConn.  Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl and his coaching staff called back-to-back timeouts to see what formation the Huskies were going to try and utilize on the critical two-point attempt. 

In the end, Wyoming safety Weber came up with his second huge fourth quarter play by knocking down the UConn pass attempt, and Wyoming preserved the comeback victory.

Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl
“It was a great team win.  We faced a lot of adversity today,” said head coach Bohl after the game.  “I think we made some things harder than what they should have been, however, I do think UConn has good players and they’ve been getting better.  Their quarterback made a lot of plays.

“I thought we reestablished momentum in the second half when we got the downhill running game going.  That proved to be our ace in the hole.  We made some plays when we needed to.  I thought we were done with this ‘cardiac’ stuff, but we’re not.  All I know is it’s another W and we’re pleased with it.”

Bohl was asked how concerned he was with the number of penalties that were committed by his team in the game.

“It’s hard to win when you get penalized 10 times for 99 yards,” said Bohl.  “We need to clean that up.  We’ve got to become more disciplined.  It’s hard to win on the road and the last time I checked 10 penalties for 99 yards is almost worth a touchdown.”

The head coach was also asked why he thought the Cowboys got off to such a slow start on Saturday.

“I think UConn came out really sharp, and then we did some uncharacteristic things,” said Bohl.  “We pick off a pass but we get called for a personal foul.  We stop them on third down and we get called for another penalty.  We had three stops that were negated by penalty and that had a big impact.  I also think it took us awhile to get in a groove with what we wanted to do offensively.  We do count on Treyton (Welch, injured tight end) a lot.  He dressed but I don’t think he would have been functional tonight.  We’ve been starting faster the previous two games, but tonight was not the case.”

When asked about whether he thinks the upcoming bye week is coming at a good time — at the conclusion of non-conference play and prior to starting Mountain West Conference play in two weeks — Bohl said, “Having an off week after three really competitive games couldn’t come at a better time.  We’re okay, but we have some guys playing with stingers and are banged up.  It will help us get our legs back.  We’re excited about entering conference play.  We’re also extremely excited about being 4-0.”

In terms of what he told his team on the sideline before the final two-point conversion attempt by UConn, Bohl responded, “We were burning timeouts to see what set they were in.  It was a chess game, and I thought Jay (Sawvel, UW Defensive Coordinatorreally dialed up a good defense and it was great to see Rome (Weber) make that play.”

Finally, when asked about the play of Cowboy quarterback Chambers, Bohl said, “He made a lot of plays.  I think he’s been a little more on point in previous games for 60 minutes, but he’s an unbelievable competitor and he is definitely the leader of our football team.”

Statistical  Summary
Wyoming concluded the game with 352 yards of total offense (203 rushing and 149 passing) compared to 281 for UConn (110 rushing and 171 passing).  Cowboy running backs Valladay and Swen combined for 185 for the 203 rushing yards for Wyoming. 

Valladay recorded his 12th career 100-yard rushing game and second of the season, running for 101 yards on 22 carries and one TD Saturday.  Swen racked up 84 rushing yards o 15 carries and also scored one touchdown.  Swen led the Pokes in all-purpose yardage with 168, including 84 rushing yards, seven receiving and 77 on kickoff returns.  Valladay accounted for 134 all-purpose yards — 101 rushing and 33 receiving.

The Cowboy passing game saw Chambers complete 58 percent of his passes (15 of 26 passes) on the day for 149 yards, one TD and two interceptions.  Eberhardt caught three of those passes for 40 yards.  Valladay, fullback/tight end Parker Christensen and wide receiver Joshua Cobbs also each had three receptions.  Wide receiver Isaiah Neyor had two catches for 24 yards and the one receiving touchdown for the Cowboys.

Nickel back Keyon Blankenbaker led Wyoming in tackles, with seven, including six solo tackles.  Defensive end Byrd had six tackles, 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries.  Cornerback C.J. Coldon recorded five tackles, 1.0 tackle for a loss and one pass breakup, and defensive end Garrett Crall also had five tackles and four QB hurries.  Safety Weber was credited with four tackles, 0.5 sacks and the huge pass breakup on UConn’s two-point conversion to preserve Wyoming’s two-point victory (24-22).

Cowboy place-kicker Hoyland was 1 of 2 in field goals, making one from 24 and missing from 43.  He also was perfect in PATs (3 for 3).  His 43-yard miss was only the second of his career.  Hoyland ended Saturday’s game having made 17 of 19 (89.5 percent) career field-goal attempts.

For UConn, quarterback Phommachanh completed 19 of 40 passes (47.5 percent) for 171 yards, one TD and one interception.  Running back Nate Carter was the Huskies’ leading rusher, with 65 yards on 10 carries and one rushing touchdown.  Wide receiver Aaron Turner caught a team high six passes for 49 yards.  UConn had two defenders each credited with nine tackles.  Those two leading tacklers were cornerback Jeremy Lucien, who also had one of the Huskies’ interceptions, and linebacker Hunter Webb.

UConn place-kicker Joe McFadden made 3 of 3 field goals from 28, 29 and 35 yards, and was 1 for 1 in PATs.       

For the first time this season, Wyoming lost the turnover battle.  The Cowboys were intercepted twice, while forcing one turnover by UConn on an interception.

The game began with a 43-yard kickoff return by Brian Brewton of UConn, giving the ball to the Huskies at their 44-yard line.  UConn proceeded to move down the field to the Wyoming 11-yard line when the Pokes’ defense stopped the Huskies for no gain on a third down and one.  That defensive stand was led by nose tackle Cole Godbout and linebacker Easton Gibbs.  UConn lined up for a 28-yard field goal and the kick was good by place-kicker McFadden to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead

UConn’s field goal on its opening drive was the first time this season that a Wyoming opponent scored on its opening drive of the game.  It was also the first time since the season opener versus Montana State that the Cowboys hadn’t scored first in a game.  

Wyoming began its second possession of the game with great field position at the UConn 45-yard line, following a 19-yard punt out of bounds by the Huskies.  UW moved the ball down to the UConn 26-yard line before the drive stalled.  Cowboy place-kicker John Hoyland came in to attempt a 43-yard field goal, but Hoyland hit the right upright for his first miss of the season and only the second missed field goal of his career.

The UConn Huskies took over at their own 26.  After gaining one first down through the air, UConn faced a second and six at its own 48-yard line.  Cowboy cornerback Coldon appeared to make an outstanding play tackling a Huskie receiver for a five-yard loss, but Coldon was called for a personal foul when he took the receiver to the ground.  That 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the Wyoming 42-yard line.  Two plays later, UConn quarterback Phommachanh completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jay Rose.  After the PAT, the Huskies held a 10-0 lead.

That 10-0 deficit represented the largest the Cowboys had faced all season. 

The Pokes, who had been outstanding thus far this season in not turning the ball over, suffered only their second interception of the season when Chambers was intercepted by cornerback Myles Bell, who returned it to the Wyoming 41. 

It appeared that the Wyoming defense would make up for that Cowboy turnover with a takeaway of its own when free safety Gandy intercepted UConn at the Wyoming 13-yard line and returned it to the 25. 

But Gandy’s interception was negated by a roughing the passer penalty against the Cowboys.  After the penalty, the Huskies had the ball at the Wyoming 18-yard line as the first quarter ended.  Wyoming’s defense stiffened and forced UConn into a 29-yard field goal, which was made by McFadden, extending the Huskies’ lead to 13-0.  

The Cowboy offense would respond on its following drive.  The first key play would be made by Chambers on a third and 10 from UW’s 21-yard line as he would roll to his left and power ahead to gain 10 yards and get the first down.  Two plays later, Valladay broke loose for a 27-yard scamper down to the UConn 42. 

The Cowboys would drive down to the Huskie two-yard line, but a false start by the Cowboys moved the ball back to the five.  After a failed pass attempt on third and goal, Hoyland would come in to successfully convert a 24-yard field-goal attempt to put the Cowboys on the scoreboard for the first time.  The scoring drive covered 72 yards in 16 plays and took 8:06 off the clock.  That is how the first half would end, with UConn leading 13-3.

Wyoming received the second-half kickoff and Cowboy running back Swen would give the Pokes good field position by returning the kick 26 yards out to the Wyoming 31-yard line.  Valladay gained 11 yards on second down.  Two plays later, Chambers connected with wide receiver Eberhardt for eight yards. 

A couple plays following that, Chambers found fullback/tight end Christensen for 12 yards to the UConn 43 for a first down.  The Huskies were called for a personal foul for hitting Christensen out of bounds, which added 15 yards to the play and placed the ball at the UConn 28. 

Runs of four yards by Valladay, five yards by Swen and one yard by Valladay moved the ball to the 18.  It was then that Chambers would drop back and find wide receiver Neyor on an 18-yard touchdown pass, concluding a nine-play, 69-yard drive.  Hoyland added the extra point, and Wyoming pulled to within three points at 13-10.

Late in the third quarter on a second and five from the Wyoming 42-yard line, Chambers threw deep down the middle looking for wide receiver Alex Brown, but UConn cornerback Jeremy Lucien picked off the pass at the Huskies’ nine-yard line.  It would be the second turnover of the day by the Pokes. 

UConn began the drive at their own nine-yard line with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter, but the quarter would end with Wyoming’s TD being the only scoring of the third quarter.  UConn maintained a 13-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

It was then that the wild fourth quarter would begin for both teams.  Wyoming would score two touchdowns in the final period, while UConn added a field goal and TD before the Cowboys came away with their fourth win of the season against no defeats, with a hard-fought, 24-22 road victory. 

Next Up for the Cowboys
Wyoming will be able to enjoy its one bye week of the season this coming week before opening Mountain West Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 9 on the road at Air Force.  The Wyoming-Air Force game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m., Mountain Time and will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

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Wyoming Cowboys Make First Trip to Connecticut to Face UConn Huskies

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It will be a rare trip to the east coast for the Wyoming Cowboy Football team when they fly to Connecticut to play the UConn Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time (3:30 p.m., Eastern). 

Wyoming will enter the game 3-0 on the season.  UConn is 0-4 this season.  The game will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has been emphasizing to his team all season that they need to focus on going 1-0 each week. 

The 2021 Wyoming Cowboys were able to do that again last week with a victory over Ball State to improve to 3-0 on the season, matching the best start by a Bohl coached team at Wyoming.  Wyoming last began a season 3-0 back in 2019.  That 2019 team went on to post an 8-5 season, including a championship in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

Longest Trip of the Season on Tap for Cowboys This Week

This week’s trip for the Cowboys will be the longest of the season.  The University of Connecticut is located in Storrs, Conn., but they play their home games in East Hartford, about 27 miles west of Storrs.  According to Google maps, the distance between Laramie, Wyo., and Storrs, Conn., is 1912 miles.  That is 760 miles longer than Wyoming’s second longest trip this season, which will be 1,152 miles to San Jose, Calif., to play the San Jose State Spartans.

Playing an FBS Independent, First Meeting vs. UConn

Wyoming will be playing against one of the few Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Independent teams this week when they travel to face the UConn Huskies.  It will also be the first meeting between the Cowboys and Huskies in football. 

There are currently only seven FBS independent teams.  Those seven are: Army, BYU, Liberty, Notre Dame, New Mexico State, UMass and UConn.  Wyoming has previously only played three of those teams: Army, BYU and New Mexico State.

No Cardiac Finish in Wyoming’s Dominant Performance vs. Ball State 

In each of the Wyoming Cowboys first two games this season, Wyoming scored a touchdown in the last two minutes of the game to secure wins. 

Against Northern Illinois, Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers scored on a naked bootleg from nine yards out with 1:35 left in the game to give UW a 50-43 win over the Huskies.

In week one versus Montana State, Chambers found tight end Treyton Welch down the middle of the field for a 21-yard  TD completion with only 47 seconds remaining in the game.

In the Cowboys most recent game last Saturday vs. defending Mid-American Conference Champion Ball State, the Pokes left no doubt about the outcome.  Wyoming built a 31-0 halftime lead on way to a 45-12 victory.

Putting Up Points, Pokes Score Over 40 Points in Consecutive Games

Over the past two weeks, Wyoming has been putting up big point totals.  Wyoming scored 50 in a 50-43 win at Northern Illinois and 45 in a 45-12 win against Ball State.

The last time Wyoming scored 40 or more points in consecutive games was back in 2016 when UW scored 52 in a 52-28 win over Utah State and 66 in a 66-69 loss at UNLV in triple overtime.

Prior to 2016, the last time the Cowboys scored 40 or more points in consecutive games was in 2004.  Wyoming scored 53 in a 53-45 win at UNLV in triple overtime and 43 in a 43-26 win at home vs. Air Force.

Before this season’s two consecutive 40-plus point games, the last time a Wyoming team scored 40 or more in two regular length games (not involving overtime) was back to the 1996 season.  Joe Tiller’s 1996 squad scored 40 or more in four consecutive games at San Jose State (45-22 win), vs. Western Michigan (42-28 win), vs. Fresno State (42-21 win) and vs. SMU (59-17 win).

Sack Explosion 

After recording 2.0 sacks in each of the first two games of the season, Wyoming’s defense exploded with 6.0 sacks against Ball State on Sept. 18.

Leading the way for the Pokes was defensive tackle Ravontae Holt, who was credited with 2.5 of UW’s six sacks versus the Cardinals.  Holt also had five tackles on the day to go with his 2.5 sacks.  Four other Cowboys contributed to the sack explosion.  Defensive ends Solomon Byrd and Victor Jones recorded 1.0 sack each.  Linebacker Easton Gibbs contributed 1.0 sack, and nose tackle Cole Godbout was credited with 0.5 sacks, combining with Holt on one of the Pokes 6.0 sacks for the day.

As a team, Wyoming ranks No. 3 in the Mountain West and No. 22 in the nation in sacks this season.

Cowboy Linebacker Chad Muma’s Performance Continues to Shine in 2021 

A year ago, Wyoming middle linebacker Chad Muma ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in total tackles per game at 11.8, and he ranked No. 5 in the MW and No. 16 in the FBS in solo tackles (5.5/game).

In 2021, Muma is averaging 11.0 total tackles per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 7 among all FBS players.  He is also averaging 8.7 solo tackles per game to rank No. 2 among all FBS players.

Here are a summary of Muma’s other accomplishments to date:

•Muma is tied for No. 1 in the nation in most interception returns for touchdowns in 2021 with two “Pick Sixes”.  He is tied with Iowa defensive back Riley Moss.

•2021 Butkus Award Watch List

•2021 Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List

•2021 Preseason First Team All-Mountain West Conference

•2020 First Team All-Mountain West Conference

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

•Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

•The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming vs. UConn Game

Saturday’s game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.  Announcers will be Ed Cohen (Play-by-play), Randy Cross (Color Analyst) and Josh Martin (Sideline Analyst).

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Wyoming Cowboy Defense Scores Two Pick Sixs on Way to 45-12 Victory

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Laramie, Wyo. (Sept. 18, 2021) – The Wyoming Cowboys improved their record to 3-0 on Saturday, with a convincing 45-12 home win over Ball State.  Wyoming’s offense accumulated 378 yards of total offense, scored four touchdowns and a field goal.  The Cowboy defense was outstanding, forcing three turnovers and returning two interceptions for TDs — those two “Pick Six” were scored by nickel back Keyon Blankenbaker and linebacker Chad Muma. 

Offensively, quarterback Sean Chambers completed 61 percent of his passes on the day (14 of 23) for 201 yards and one touchdown pass to tight end Treyton Welch.  Wyoming utilized eight different receivers and four different running backs in the game, concluding the day with 177 rushing yards. 

Running backs Xazavian Valladay and Dawaiian McNeely each scored a rushing touchdown — the first of McNeely’s career.  Chambers added a TD run of his own.  Valladay had 61 rushing yards and 43 receiving for 104 all-purpose yards on the day.  Wide receiver Isaiah Neyor caught four passes for 84 yards to lead the Pokes.  The Cowboys committed no turnovers, compared to three by Ball State.

The Cowboy defense made a real statement with one of the best performances in recent history.  UW’s defenders not only scored two touchdowns of their own but they forced another huge turnover right before halftime.  With the ball at the Wyoming 47-yard line, defensive lineman Victor Jones sacked Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt and knocked the ball loose. 

The ball bounded toward the Ball State end of the field and Cowboy defensive end Jaylen Pate recovered the ball all the way down at the Cardinals 31-yard line with only 42 seconds remaining in the half.  That led to a Chambers one-yard rushing touchdown five plays later to give UW a 31-0 halftime lead.

“We talked to our team at halftime, and we asked them the score, and it was not a sarcastic question,” said  head coach Craig Bohl.  “It was a question, and they all said 0-0, so they answered the right way.  We needed to continue to play with a hard edge, and we’ll continue to do that.  Our focus is to be 1-0 (each week) and we are 1-0 (this week).

“I would say so (this being a complete performance).  There were elements last week.  I thought we looked really good, but there were times in this game we looked explosive on offense.  We tackled well on defense.  We were really solid in the kicking game.  We are well pleased with our progress.

“I think more than anything else, you’ve got guys with high character and have set a high bar for themselves (on defense).  Inside, internally, they were disappointed on how they finished the game last week.  That was a point of emphasis, and I thought our guys responded well.  Ball State is a good offense, so that was no small feat. I’m real happy with the progress we made.”

The two “Pick Sixes” by the Cowboys was the first time a Wyoming defense had accomplished that since Sept. 23, 2016, when safety Marcus Epps and linebacker Logan Wilson each had interception returns for TDs against Eastern Michigan.

For Muma, it was the second consecutive week that he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.  He had a 23-yard “Pick Six” at Northern Illinois a week ago.  Blankenbaker’s interception was the first of his Wyoming career.

Wyoming’s defense also recorded 6.0 sacks on the day for 33 yards, led by defensive tackle Ravontae Holt with 2.5 sacks for 13 yards.

“I was very pleased (on our ability to pressure the quarterback),” said Bohl.  “We had spent some time with the Penn State coaches, talking to them.  Penn State said they (Ball State) were a lot bigger and stronger than they thought and they are well-coached.  We had good pressure, and even if their quarterback didn’t take a sack, he was moving around and having to do things under duress.”

Muma led Wyoming in tackles with 12, including 10 solo tackles to go along with 1.0 tackle for loss.  His running mate at linebacker, Easton Gibbs, recorded eight tackles and 1.0 sack for nine yards.  Free safety Esaias Gandy added six tackles as did defensive end Solomon Byrd.  Byrd also had 1.0 sack for two yards.  Holt and cornerback C.J. Coldon were credited with five tackles apiece.

“Chad has really improved from last year to this year,” added Bohl.  “He’s gotten bigger, he’s making plays in space, he’s an excellent tackler.  His productivity, he’s off the charts.  He’s having one heck of a year.”

The first-half shutout by the Cowboys was their first shutout in a half since Oct. 30, 2020, when UW shutout Hawai’i in the second half.  Wyoming’s 31 first-half points marked the first time that UW scored 30 points in a half since scoring 33 in the first half vs. UNLV on Sept. 28, 2019.

The Wyoming defense held Ball State to only 260 yards of total offense, 118 rushing yards and 142 passing, while holding the Cardinals’ outstanding quarterback Plitt to only 60 yards passing and sacking him five times.

Wyoming took a 3-0 lead on a 24-yard field goal by John Hoyland on the Cowboys’ second possession of the game.  The scoring drive covered 53 yards on seven plays and took 2:45 off the clock.  The drive was highlighted by a 37-yard pass completion from Chambers to Neyor.  For Hoyland, he is now 3 of 3 in field goals on the year and 16 of 17 for his career.

On Ball State’s next possession, BSU quarterback Plitt was sacked on back-to-back plays by Cole Godbout and Ravontae Holt.  But Plitt came back to complete a 19-yard pass for a first down.  On first down at the BSU 40, Plitt through an out route that was intercepted for a “Pick Six” by nickel back Blankenbaker.  Blankenbaker’s interception return for a TD went for 50 yards and gave the Pokes a 10-0 lead.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Cowboys took a 17-0 lead, capping off an eight-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown pass from Chambers to tight end Treyton Welch.  The drive featured a 33-yard run by Valladay and a nine-yard run by running back McNeely.

Ball State drove down to the Wyoming 32-yard line midway through the second quarter.  The Cardinals decided to go for a fourth and four at the 32, but on a long throw to the sideline Cowboy cornerback Azizi Hearn broke in front of the intended receiver and broke up the pass, giving the ball back to Wyoming.

It would take the Cowboys only six plays over two minutes and 48 seconds to score its next touchdown.  That drive was highlighted by a pass from Chambers to Valladay across the middle for 35 yards followed by a screen pass to running back Trey Smith for 15 yards two plays laters.  On a first and 10 at the Ball State 16-yard line, McNeely broke through the left side of the offensive line and sprinted to the corner of the end zone for his first career touchdown.  Wyoming had built its lead to 24-0.

Wyoming’s defense forced the second turnover of the game on the Cardinals’ next possession.  BSU quarterback Plitt dropped back on third and six at the Wyoming 47-yard line.  That is when Jones sacked Plitt and knocked the ball loose.  Defensive end Pate recovered the fumble at the BSU 31. 

On the first play after the turnover, Chambers hit Neyor on a 20-yard completion on the sideline.  Chambers then kept the ball on a rush up the middle for seven yards.  Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl called a timeout with 30 seconds remaining.  After an incompletion, Valladay carried for three yards to the one-yard line for a first down, with 22 seconds remaining in the half.  Wyoming took a second timeout.  Chambers then rolled right on the final play of the drive and ran into the endzone, giving the Pokes a 31-0 lead.

With 17 seconds remaining in the half, Wyoming attempted a squib kick down the middle of the field on the kickoff.  The ball was picked up by wide receiver Justin Hall for the Cardinals, and he proceeded to return the kick 72 yards down to the Wyoming 26 with only six seconds remaining in the half.  After a delay of game on first down, Plitt completed a nine-yard pass to the UW 23.  BSU place-kicker Jake Chanove came in to attempt a 40-yard field goal, but the kick went wide right and the half ended with Wyoming leading 31-0.

The only scoring drive of the third quarter was engineered by Ball State.  The Cardinals began their final possession of the third quarter at their own 13-yard line.  They drove 87 yards in 15 plays and running back Will Jones scored on a one-yard TD run. 

The Cowboys looked like they may have stopped the drive at the Wyoming 26 when Ball State back-up  quarterback John Paddock threw an incomplete pass on third and five, but Wyoming’s Blankenbaker was called for interference.  That penalty moved the ball to the Wyoming 11-yard line.  Three plays later running back Jones scored the Cardinals’ first touchdowns.  Ball State missed the extra point and the score was 31-6 in favor of Wyoming.

Wyoming responded with a scoring drive of its own as the game entered the fourth quarter.  Chambers completed two big pass plays on the drive — one of 17 yards to tight end Colin O’Brien and a 15-yarder to Neyor.  Valladay would score his first TD of the day on a one-yard run.  The drive covered 75 yards in 11 plays and took 5:55 off the clock.  With 11:04 to go in the fourth quarter, Wyoming held a 38-6 advantage.

Ball State put together an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive concluding with a 19-yard TD run by running back Carson Steel.  BSU’s two-point conversion failed, and the score was 38-12 in favor of the Cowboys.

The final points of the game were scored by Muma with his interception and 45-yard return for a touchdown, capping off a great day for the Cowboys and making the final score 45-12 in a matchup of the last two Arizona Bowl Champions.

Next Up

Wyoming will travel to Connecticut next Saturday, Sept. 25 to face UConn at 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time.  That game will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

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Cardiac Cowboys Improve to 2-0 with Road Win at Northern Illinois

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By Tim Harkins, University of Wyoming

For the second straight week, the Wyoming Cowboys scored the winning touchdown of the game within the final two minutes of play and the Pokes improved their record to 2-0 on the season with a 50-43 road win at Northern Illinois.

The Cowboys set the tone early in the game as the offense scored back-to-back touchdowns on their first two possessions and then added two more TDs in the second quarter, while the Cowboy defense came up with two first-half interceptions to give Wyoming a 28-10 lead at halftime. 

ADVERTISINGUW built its lead to 42-16 midway through the third quarter when linebacker Chad Muma intercepted a pass and turned it into a “Pick Six” of 23 yards with 6:03 remaining in the third.

But from that point forward, the momentum shifted in favor of Northern Illinois.  The Huskies scored four unanswered touchdowns to take the lead at 43-42 with only 4:56 left in the game.

Determined to not let the game slip away, the Cowboy offense, with quarterback Sean Chambers at the helm, began its next drive with three straight running plays of 18 yards by Xazavian Valladay, eight yards by Titus Swen and four yards by Trey Smith

Chambers would connect with Valladay on a 10-yard pass and Smith would add a one-yard run to take the ball down to the NIU 34-yard line.  On second and nine from the 34, Chambers lofted a pass down the sideline and wide receiver Isaiah Neyor snatched it out of the air as he was falling out of bounds at the Huskies’ four-yard line. 

The catch was originally ruled incomplete by the officials, but after a video replay the call was reversed and Wyoming had the ball at the four.  Chambers attempted to find Neyor on a quick out pattern on first and goal, but the pass was incomplete. 

Wyoming’s offense was then penalized five yards for an illegal substituion.  On second and goal from the nine, a pass from Chambers to wide receiver Ayden  Eberhardt fell incomplete.  Facing a third and goal from the nine-yard line, Chambers ran a naked bootleg to his left and slipped into the front corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. 

A successful two-point conversion by the Pokes followed when Chambers found Neyor in the end zone to give UW a 50-43 lead with 1:35 left to play.  The winning drive took 12 plays over three minutes and 21 seconds and covered 75 yards, which was the exact number of yards the Pokes’ covered in their winning TD drive the previous week against Montana State.

Northern Illinois had one more opportunity to try and regain the lead.  They started off in great field position after a 35-yard kickoff return gave them the ball at the NIU 42.  But the Wyoming defense allowed NIU quarterback Rocky Lombardi to complete only 1 of 7 pass attempts for 12 yards on the Huskies’ final possession to preserve the 50-43 road win.

“We knew Northern Illinois was a good team coming into this game having beaten an ACC team (Georgia Tech) last week on the road,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.  “I want to give credit to our offense again for putting together another outstanding two-minute drive at the end of the game.

“On defense, we accomplished what we wanted to today in terms of forcing turnovers, but we know we have some work to do on limiting big plays.  Northern Illinois was able to break some big plays in the second half and we have to clean that up.

“With that said, it’s not easy to win games in college football, and I’m proud of the resilence our players showed to come away with this win.” 

Wyoming wide receiver Neyor scored three touchdowns on the day with TD receptions of 33 and 19 yards in the first half and had a five-yard rushing touchdown on a jet sweep in the third quarter.

When asked about Neyor’s performance in Saturday’s victory, Bohl said, “Isaiah is a rare talent.  He made a lot of big plays today and definitely provides us with a down-field threat.  He made some tough catches in big situations today, and I think you’ll continue to see a lot more from him as the season goes on.”

The Cowboy defense came up with three interceptions in the game.  Safety Miles Williams recorded the first interception of his career in the first quarter to stop a drive that had penetrated down to the Wyoming 32-yard line. 

In the second quarter, safety Rome Weber was able to snatch a deflected pass out of the air for the second interception of his career and his first of the 2021 season.  Weber’s interception came at the NIU 22-yard line and led to Valladay scoring on a seven-yard TD run two plays later.  UW’s third interception was Muma’s “Pick Six” of 23 yards in the third quarter.

UW committed only one turnover of its own on the day when a lateral from Chambers to wide receiver Tyrese Grant was ruled a fumble in the fourth quarter.  The Huskies recovered the fumble at the Wyoming 14-yard line and scored on the following play to make the score Wyoming 42, Northern Illinois 36.

For the day, Wyoming achieved the offensive balance it has been striving for.  The Cowboys rushed for 191 yards and had 204 passing yards for 395 yards of total offense.  Northern Illinois rushed for 244 yards and threw for 233 for 477 yards of total offense to outgain the Pokes. 

But the ability of the Wyoming defense to force three turnovers in the end helped make the comeback win possible for the Cowboys.  Williams’ interception stopped an NIU drive deep in Wyoming territory.  Weber’s interception led to a Wyoming touchdown, and Muma’s “Pick Six” gave the UW defense a score of its own.

Chambers concluded the day completing 13 of 23 passes for 191 yards.  He connected with six different receivers led by Neyor, who had four catches for 87 yards and two receiving touchdowns.  Eberhardt also had four receptions for 49 yards, and Valladay caught two passes out of the backfield for 50 yards, including a long of 38  yards.

Valladay recorded the 11th 100-yard rushing game of his career and first of this season with 101 yards on 21 carries Saturday.  He also scored one rushing touchdown. 

Swen added 54 yards on nine carries and also had a rushing TD.  Chambers added 16 yards rushing on eight carries, including his nine-yard scamper for the winning touchdown.  Chambers led the Cowboys with 207 yards of total offense.  Valladay ended the day with 151 yards of all-purpose yardage (rushing and receiving), and Neyor capped off his big day with 100 all-purpose yards (87 receiving and 13 rushing), two receiving TDs and one rushing touchdown.

Defensively, Muma and fellow linebacker Easton Gibbs led the Cowboys with 10 tackles each.  Muma also added 1.0 tackle for loss to go with his 10 tackles and interception for a touchdown. 

Gibbs had 0.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup.  Cornerback C.J. Coldon contributed nine tackles and two pass breakups, and safety Esaias Gandy added seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.  Wyoming’s 2.0 sacks on the day were made by nose tackle Cole Godbout and defensive end Victor Jones.

Northern Illinois’ outstanding freshman running back Harrison Waylee rushed for 179 yards on 26 carries and two TDs, including a 75-yard touchdown run.  NIU quarterback Lombardi completed 19 of 36 passes for 233 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. 

The Huskies’ leading receiver was wide receiver Cole  Tucker, who caught six passes for 72 yards.  Linebacker Nick Rattin was credited with 11 tackles.  Safety C.J. Brown contributed 10 tackles.  Defensive tackle Devonte O’Malley recorded NIU’s 1.0 sack on the day.   

Cowboy Helmets Honor the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
Wyoming wore special red, white and blue Bucking Horse and Rider decals on their helmets Saturday, along with a special 9/11 decal on the back of their helmets.  Each helmet also had the words “Always Remember, Never Forget” on the back of each helmet.

Wyoming-Northern Illinois, What a Series
The Cowboys have only played Northern Illinois twice in history, but both games were wild affairs.  Today’s game saw Wyoming build a 42-16 lead, only to see NIU come back to take the lead, 43-42, before Wyoming scored the winning TD with only 1:35 remaining in the game to win 50-43.

In 2016, the two teams played in a triple overtime game in Laramie, Wyo., that resulted in Wyoming winning 40-34 on a Josh Allen scramble for a touchdown.  That game was delayed 1 hour and 43 minutes due to a lightning delay and finally ended at 2:34 a.m.

Versus the Mid-American Conference
With Wyoming’s win at Northern Illinois today, the Cowboys improved their all-time record versus Mid-American Conference schools to 9-4 and are now 2-0 against NIU. 

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Quick Hits On Cowboys Football Season Opener Vs. Montana State

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Laramie  –  They are two teams who return a significant number of players from very successful seasons in 2019, and they are two teams who share many ties between their coaching staffs.  The Wyoming Cowboys and Montana State Bobcats will kick off the 2021 season Saturday at 2 p.m. on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

Recent Successes

Back in 2019 when both the Cowboys and Bobcats played their last full seasons, the Cowboys posted a record of 8-5 and captured the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Championship in Tucson.  Meanwhile, the Bobcats made a run all the way to the 2019 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Semifinals and compiled an overall record of 11-4.

In 2020, Wyoming played only six games, with two of its home games versus Air Force and Utah State cancelled due to the Cowboy opponents having COVID issues.  Montana State was one of the FCS teams who chose not to play at all in 2020, so will be playing a game for the first time since a Dec. 21, 2019, loss to North Dakota State in the FCS Semifinals.

Ticketing

Tickets are going fast but still available for Saturday’s season opener.  Season-tickets to the 2021 Wyoming Football season start as low as $159 for adults and $89 for children (ages 3-12).  Single-game tickets to the Wyoming-Montana State game start as low as $39 for adults and $29 for children.  Fans may order tickets online at GoWyo.com/tickets, by emailing tickets@uwyo.edu or by calling (307) 766-7220.

Wyoming Named the Most Stable FBS Program in College Football 

In a story by ESPN’s Bill Connelly on July 28, the University of Wyoming football program was ranked No. 1 in the country in stability among all 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools.  Clemson was ranked No. 2 in the ratings.

Each FBS program was ranked in three categories of stability according to Connelly’s system:

      ∙Coaching stability (up to 20 points).

      ∙Roster stability (up to 20 points).

      ∙Performance stability (up to 10 points).

Wyoming’s combined ratings gave the Cowboys an overall rating of 40.6 (15.5 coach stability, 19.2 roster stability, 6.0 performance stability).  Clemson came in No. 2 with an overall rating of 40.3 (20.0 coach stability, 10.6 roster stability, 9.7 performance stability). 

Connelly pointed out that, “The Cowboys have one of the most reliable defenses in the Group of Five, Craig Bohl is entering his eighth year in Wyoming (and with a pretty steady staff), and virtually everyone from last season’s team is back. Bohl has proven to be one of the sport’s most celebrated culture-builders, and it makes sense that a Bohl team would lead this list.”

2021 Marks the 125th Season of Wyoming Football

The 2021 college football season will be the 125th season of Cowboy Football.  This coming season is one of the most anticipated in the history of Wyoming Football, as the team and fans alike are anxious to return to a normal season of college football.

The first season of Wyoming Football was 1893, but there were four seasons through Cowboy Football history where a season wasn’t played leading to the 2021 season being the 125th.  UW did not play any games in the 1918 season due to a flu epidemic.  The Cowboys also did not play for three seasons (1943, 1944 and 1945) due to World War II. 

Coaching Ties

The coaching tie that most Cowboy and Bobcat fans are aware of entering this game is the one between Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl and first-year MSU head coach Brent Vigen, who for the previous seven seasons was Wyoming’s offensive coordinator.  All total, the two coaches worked together for 18 years at Wyoming and North Dakota State, winning three consecutive FCS National Championships from 2011-13.

But the tie between Bohl and Vigen is not the only coaching tie between the two teams.  Other ties include:

      ∙Montana State Assistant Defensive Line Coach Adam Pilapil was a key contributor for the Pokes as a linebacker and special teams player during one of the most successful periods in Cowboy Football.  Pilapil lettered at UW from 2015-18. 

      ∙MSU Offensive Coordinator Taylor Housewright was an Offensive Graduate Assistant at Wyoming for the 2018 season.

      ∙Current Cowboy Offensive Coordinator Tim Polasek, Wide Receivers Coach and Offensive Pass-Game Coordinator Mike Grant, Running Backs Coach and Director of Player Development Gordie Haug and Tight Ends/Fullbacks Coach and Co-Special Teams Coordinator Shannon Moore all worked on offensive coaching staffs with Vigen at either Wyoming or North Dakota State.

      ∙Montana State Defensive Coordinator Freddie Banks played cornerback at North Dakota State from 2008-10 under head coach Craig Bohl.  In 2011 and ‘12, Banks began his college coaching career at Minnesota State Moorhead.  During that time, Banks recruited current Cowboy linebackers coach Aaron Bohl to Minnesota State Moorhead.

About the Series

This week’s meeting between the Cowboys and Bobcats will be the 20th in the series.  Wyoming holds a 13-6 advantage in the series.

      ∙Saturday’s game will be only the second time this century the two teams have played.  The last meeting was on Aug. 30, 2003, when Wyoming won 21-10 in Laramie in its season opener.

      ∙In 1950, Montana State played Wyoming in the opening game of Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium.  Wyoming won that War Memorial opener 61-13 on Sept. 16, 1950.  Since then, the Pokes and Bobcats have played only two other times leading up to today’s game.  Wyoming won in 1998 (17-9) and in 2003 (21-10) both games being played in Laramie.

      ∙The Cowboys have won the last eight meetings in the series and 10 of the last 11.

The Wyoming Cowboys and Season Openers

As the Wyoming Cowboys enter their 125th season of college football in 2021, the Pokes record in season openers breaks down as follows:

      ∙Wyoming’s record in 124 Previous Season Openers (Home & Away) 78-44-2 (.637)

      ∙UW in Season-Opening Games at Home (77 Games) 58-18-1 (.760)

      ∙The Cowboys in Season-Opening Games on the Road (47 Games) 20-26-1 (.436)

      ∙UW vs. Non-Conference Opponents in Season Openers 64-27-1 (.701)

      ∙The Pokes vs. Non-Conference Opponents at Home in Season Openers 49-11-1 (.811)

      ∙Wyoming’s record vs. Non-Conference Opponents on the Road in Season Openers 15-16-0 (.484)

Where to Watch and Listen

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game there are several ways to watch and listen.

Radio Broadcast Information for the Cowboy Sports Network (CSN):

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network

      ∙Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and

        Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year)

      ∙The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Television Broadcast Information for Wyoming-Montana State Game:

Saturday’s game will be televised on:

      ∙The Mountain West Network

      ∙WYO-VISION on GoWyo.com

      ∙Also available on Wyoming Football’s Facebook page @wyofootball and

        on Wyoming Athletics Facebook page @wyoathletics

      ∙Announcers will be Chris Sylvester, Play-by-Play and Jared Petrino, Color Analyst

Wyoming Cowboy Alumni Pre-Game Pep Talk – Montana St. vs Wyoming

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To get our fans excited ahead of the Wyoming vs. Montana State football game on September 4, former Cowboy Football player Brian Brown talks football memories and shares his encouragement to the team ahead of their game. This Cowboy Alumni Pre-Game Pep Talk is sponsored by First Interstate Bank and Premier Bone and Joint Centers. 

 

UW Football Recruit Killed In Dallas Shooting Over Weekend

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A University of Wyoming football recruit was killed over the weekend at a hotel in Dallas.

Tony Evans Jr., 17, was shot sometime early Sunday inside a room at a Hawthorn Suites in Dallas, according to the Dallas Police Department.

Police responded to the shooting around 1:35 a.m. Sunday, finding Evans with a gunshot wound. According to the Dallas Morning News, another person was also shot.

Evans was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The motive is unknown at this time. The second shooting victim was in stable condition Monday morning.

No one has been taken into custody at this time.

Evans’ death broke hearts in not only his home state of Texas, but Wyoming, as well.

“Our hearts are with the Evans family as they go through this incredibly difficult time,” UW football coach Craig Bohl said. “We are so sad to hear of Tony’s passing.  We have been in contact with Tony’s family and are here to support them in anyway we can.”

Evans was signed by the university back in February. He was a native to Lancaster, Texas.

As a senior wide receiver, he had 13 catches for 268 yards and four touchdowns for Lancaster High School last season.

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

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By Tracy Ringolsby, WelcomeTo7220.com

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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Bohl Hires New Offensive Coordinator; Reunited From North Dakota State Days

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By Tracy Ringolsby, WelcomeTo7220.com

Laramie — Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl didn’t waste any time.

When former Cowboys offensive coordinator/assistant head coach Brent Vigen was approached about the head coach vacancy at Montana State more than two weeks ago, Bohl, in addition to providing guidance for Vigen, began the search for Vigen’s replacement.

And on Wednesday, two days after Vigen was officially announced as the new head Montana State head coach, Bohl announced the hiring of Tim Polasek, who he mentored at North Dakota State, as the new Cowboys’ offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.

Bohl is still looking for an offensive line coach. The Cowboys thought they filled that void last month when A.J. Blazek was announced as the new offensive line coach, but a few weeks later, Blazek resigned to accept a similar position at Vanderbilt. The irony is Blazek’s name has surfaced among possible replacements for Polasek at Iowa.

 Polasek has been the offensive line coach at the University of Iowa the past four seasons (2017-20).  Prior to Iowa, Polasek (pronounced PAWL-uh-seck) was the offensive coordinator and running backs coach at North Dakota State for three years from 2014-16, assuming the role when Vigan accompanied Bohl to Wyoming.  

Polasek had been the North Dakota State running bavks coach (2006-12) with the added duties of special teams coordinator (2010-12) when Bohl was the head coach and Vigen the offensive coordinator.

In his playing days, Polasek was a quarterback at Concordia University in Wisconsin, where he set single-game and career records that still stand.

“We’re excited about welcoming Tim Polasek to the Cowboy family,” said Bohl.  “His experience coaching on the offensive side of the football is going to add great value as we continue to re-engineer and improve our offense going into the 2021 season.”

 Polasek gives Bohl credit for his success at the college level.

“To reunite with Coach Bohl, a true mentor of mine, is very special,” he said.  “A long time ago Coach Bohl took a chance on me and helped me learn how to be a teacher and a leader.  He laid the foundation of what is my coaching philosophy and teaching style.  I will do everything I can to help him continue his success with Cowboy Football.”

Most recently, Polasek, who had previous experience coaching receivers, running backs and quarterbacks at the college level, was the offensive line coach at Iowa, which he feels helped fill out his resume on the offensive side of the ball.

“A huge thank you to Kirk Ferentz for taking a shot on an offensive coach who had never coached the O-line,” he said. “I’ve learned so much in my four years at Iowa, and I will forever be grateful.  He taught me what is really important in this business and what is just noise.  In my time at Iowa, I can honestly say that I learned something from him every day.  Coach Ferentz and his staff exemplify what it is to be true professionals.  I wish them all the best moving forward.”

Polasek was part of four FCS national championships, five Missouri Valley Football Conference titles and one Great West Football Conference title at North Dakota State.

At Iowa in 2020, the Hawkeyes won six straight games, all in Big Ten play, to conclude the regular season.  The Hawkeyes scored at least 26 points in each of those six wins.  The winning streak included road wins at Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois, and trophy game victories over Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.  The Hawkeyes were ranked No. 15 in the nation in the final College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings and the final Coaches Poll rankings, while ranking No. 16 in the final Associated Press media poll.

Iowa has won three straight postseason games and 12 straight non-conference games.  The Hawkeyes were selected to compete in the 2020 Music City Bowl, but that event was canceled.  Iowa’s current streak of eight straight bowl invitations matches the longest in school history.  The Hawkeyes have won 27 games the past three seasons.

Polasek is the all-time leading passer at Concordia University in Wisconsin.  He set single-game, single-season and career records in TD passes, passing yards, completions and completion percentage. Polasek was the 2000 Badger-Illini Conference Player of the Year.  He was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection in 2000-01 and Second Team in 1999. He graduated from Concordia in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.  He earned his master’s degree from Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2005.

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UWAA Cowboy Alumni Pre-Game Pep Talk: Wyoming Vs. New Mexico

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To get our fans excited ahead of the Wyoming vs. New Mexico football game on Saturday, December 5, 2020 UWAA Executive Director Keener Fry speaks with former Cowboy offensive guard, Gary Crum, and former Cowboy middle linebacker, Galand Thaxton, on football memories and encouraging the team ahead of their game.

The Cowboy Alumni Pre-Game Pep Talk for December 5, 2020 is sponsored by Black Hills Energy, UniWyo Federal Credit Union and the UW University Store.

The UW Alumni Association has long been part of the Cowboy football pre-game activities connecting with alumni and friends all over the country.

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Wyoming Cowboys Football Depth Chart Update: True Freshman Assumes Back QB Role

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By Tracy Ringolsby, Welcometo7220.com

Senior defensive end Garrett Crall and offensive right guard Logan Harris were among the four Cowboys selected by their teammates as team captains before the season started.

Crall, however, has been sidelined all season by a slow recovery from off-season surgery. Harris did open the season as a starter on offense, but has not played since the second game of the season because of a bout with mononucleosis.

Crall is not expected to travel with the Cowboys to Las Vegas for Friday’s game against UNLV.

“We will see what happens with Garrett Crall,” Bohl said in his Monday media session. “He just started to practice.”

Harris figures to in uniform, although he figures to have limited, if any, game action.

“I would venture to say he will make the trip,” said Bohl.

Behind Center

A week ago, the Cowboys listed true freshman Gavin Beerup and sophomore Ryan Marquez as the backups to quarterback Levi Williams. This week, Beerup is the only backup on the depth chart. Marquez remains the holder for placekicks.

Bohl said the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Beerup was limited during the preseason the result of a positive COVID test. He, however, has been getting in full workout activity in the last couple of weeks.

“(Brent Vigen) has done a good job with him,” Bohl said of the Cowboys assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. “He is not as far along as what we’d life, but he has shown really nice capabilities to be a good quarterback. We have been running him with (the second team offense).”

And in other adjustments,

— Skyler Miller, a 5-11, 234-pound senior from Torrington, has moved ahead of Jahmarr Moore as the backup fullback to Parker Christian, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound redshirt freshman from Sheridan.

— Emmanuel Pregnon, a 6-6, 265-pound freshman from Denver, is listed as the backup at right tackle behind Frank Crum. Blayne Baker, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound sophomore from Sheridan, was listed in that role last week along with the backup at right guard. He remains the back up at right guard to sophomore Zach Watts, a 6-foot-5, 302-pound sophomore from Windsor, Co.

— Alex Brown, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound redshirt freshman from Spring Texas, was listed as a second backup at wide receiver a week ago, but has a shoulder injury that led to him being dropped from the depth chart.

— Cameron Smith, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound freshman from Parker, has moved ahead of Jack Boyer, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore from Arvada, Co. , as the backup at defensive end to Victor Jones, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior from Sacramento.

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Cowboys Ran Past UNLV, No Hangover from Three-Week Break Between Games

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LAS VEGAS – The Cowboys (2-2 over, 2-2 MW) rushed for 399 yards in a 45-14 road win over UNLV (0-5 overall, 0-5 MW) on Friday afternoon in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It was the most rushing yards in a game since rushing for 424 yards against San Jose State on Nov. 3, 2018. Wyoming scored six touchdowns on the ground in the contest.

“We talked at halftime about our execution and UNLV good players and we had to make them work hard,” UW head coach Craig Bohl. “We reestablished the momentum on the fourth down play and went down and scored and that got thing rolling for us. Our point of attack on the defensive and offensive line were well up to par.”

Senior Trey Smith rushed for a career-high 156 yards with one touchdown. He recorded 6.8 yards per carry for the game with a long of 28 yards. Junior Xazavian Valladay added 94 yards and a touchdown from 78 yards a career high. He left the game in the first quarter.

“Our offensive line did a great job of opening up holes,” Bohl said. “Trey (Smith) kept his feet moving and made some great runs, it was very heartwarming to see him out there and execute at such a high level.”



Freshman quarterback Levi Williams had three rushing touchdowns for the most in a game by a Cowboy since Brian Hill had three against New Mexico on Nov. 26, 2016. He rushed for 44 yards and passed for 99 yards.

The Wyoming offense averaged seven yards per play and held onto the ball for over 35 minutes. Wyoming finished the game with 498 yards of total offense for a season-high.

The Pokes defense was stingy all night allowing only 290 yards. Wyoming recorded two turnovers and turned those into points. Wyoming recorded five sacks in the contest. Junior linebacker Chad Muma had three sacks in the game for the most in a contest since Carl Granderson had three against Boise State in 2017. Senior defensive end Garrett Crall made his return and added and sack and two tackles for loss.

“To have two veterans back out there in Garrett Crall and Logan Harris it adds stability and leadership,” Bohl said. “Their presence sent steadiness to some of our younger players.”

“We knew that UNLV had some weakness and the blitzes our coaches dialed up really allowed Chad (Muma) to make plays. “It is encouraging to see the development from our coaches with our defensive line.”

The Cowboys wasted little time getting on the board with Valladay finding paydirt on a 78-yard scamper for the longest rush of the season for the Cowboys and longest of his career. The rush came on the second play of the contest for the earliest score for the Pokes this season.

The Pokes added to their lead with a 36-yard field goal by John Hoyland with 6:52 left in the opening frame. It capped a 14-play 54 yard drive for the Brown and Gold. The drive was highlighted by a rush of 13 and 11 yards from senior running back Trey Smith.

Wyoming made it 17-0 contest with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter on a 15-yard scamper from Williams. It was a part of a nine-play, 75 yard drive that spanned four minutes. Williams rushed for 27 yards on the drive and hooked up with senior wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt on a 27-yard pass to highlight the third scoring drive for the Cowboys.

The Rebels got on the board in the final seconds of the first half on a two-yard touchdown run by Max Gillam. UNLV drove 98-yards on the drive, as it reached Cowboy territory for the first with 45 seconds left in the half, as the score made it a 17-7 game at the half.

Wyoming stopped UNLV on fourth down to open the second half on a big stop from Gandy. The Pokes turned it around on their first play with an 18 yard rush from Smith for the Cowboys. UW kept it on the ground and made it a 24-7 game on a one-yard rush from Williams with 8:27 left in the third quarter.

The Cowboy defense made another big play this time freshman defensive end Cameron Smith hopped on a fumble inside UNLV territory. Wyoming added to its lead with freshman fullback Parker Christensen with a 21-yard catch that led to Williams third touchdown run of the day this time from one-yard out for a 31-7 advantage with 5:27 left in the third period.

Yet another turnover by UNLV this time an interception from senior safety Braden Smith set up another score for the Pokes to build a 38-7 lead with 1:19 in the third quarter. The drive was highlighted by Trey Smith finding the endzone on a 28-yard rush to record a career-high for rushing in a game.

Wyoming added to its lead in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard run from Brett Brenton for his first career touchdown to make it 45-7. UNLV added a touchdown late with the Pokes taking the contest 45-17.

UNLV was led by Max Gillam with 65 yards passing and 63 yards rushing. UNLV was led defensively by Bryce Jackson with nine tackles.

Wyoming returns to action next week once again playing in Las Vegas this time against New Mexico at 8:30 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Dec. 5.

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CSU Beats Wyoming In Border War: Murphy’s Law Reigns Supreme

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By Cody Tucker, 7220 Sports

FORT COLLINS, Colo., — “It’s the best energy I’ve felt since I’ve been here.”

That quote from Colorado State quarterback Patrick O’Brien pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

This was what Wyoming’s young signal caller, Levi Williams had to say after the 34-24 Border War loss to the rival Rams Thursday night in Fort Collins.

“It pissed me off, frankly. We should’ve won this game. We shot ourselves in the foot way too many times: stupid penalties, not finishing in the red zone, miscommunication with personnel.”

Isn’t that the truth.

Wyoming was a mess from the word go.

On the third play of the game, Williams lasered a pass right into the chest of Marshaun Cameron. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, he plays for the other team. Thirty yards later, he was in the end zone.

Fast forward five plays.

Williams, standing tall in the pocket, takes a blindside blow from none other than Cameron. The ball popped loose. CSU pounced. One play later, tight end Trey McBride was standing in the end zone. He just caught a 29-yard scoring strike. It was a blown assignment. He was all alone.

Those were the Cowboys first two offensive possessions.

“They came out with their hard hats,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. “They executed really well.”

Bohl’s team didn’t.

Not on offense. Not on defense. Not on special teams.

Everyone shares in the blame as the Rams bolted to the visiting sideline in the dying seconds to swipe the Bronze Boot for the first time since 2015.

“When you play a rivalry game, you need to be on point. We weren’t,’ Bohl said. “I think we need to take a hard look at some of our preparation, take some ownership and have some real honest conversations with where we are at and how we answer and respond.”

Good idea.

Bohl used the word “uncharacteristic” tonight. He was describing his team. He was on the money, too.

Wyoming committed three turnovers. The Pokes were guilty of eight penalties for 83 yards. Some were the bonehead variety. They couldn’t stay on the field on third down, converting just 4-of-15 third downs. There were plenty of missed tackles and assignments, too. The offensive line gave up six sacks. McBride, who was a big focus for the Cowboys’ defense all week, caught five passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

“You name it, we did it in this game,” Williams added.

In this crazy time of COVID-19 protocols, opt outs and just plain absurdity, the team that rolls with the punches and battles through adversity will be left standing in the end. Tonight, Wyoming was without starting offensive linemen Logan Harris and Rudy Stofer.

It showed. CSU tacked on 14 tackles for loss. Bohl said the line got “carved up a little bit.”

Harris is dealing with an illness. It’s not the coronavirus. Stofer’s absence was not disclosed. Ravontae Holt was injured in the second quarter of the win over Hawaii. The big defensive tackle didn’t play tonight. Keyon Blankenbaker was also limited with a hamstring pull.

The Pokes were short-handed. But really, who isn’t?

Thursday was a pure case of not executing with the guys on the roster. It was Murphy’s Law in a nutshell. However, if you are about to start digging this team’s grave, you might want to think twice.

Nevada could’ve ran away with a lopsided victory in the opener. CSU was on the brink of doing that tonight, too.

The Cowboys and their young corps didn’t let that happen.

It’s a loss. A painful one. But this team isn’t waiving the white flag anytime soon.

You have to at least give them that.

Colorado State 34, Wyoming 24

What a catch

The news wasn’t all bad for the Cowboys.

Turns out they have a nice receiving corps to go along with a quarterback that can get it to them.

That hasn’t always been an easy task since a guy named Josh Allen walked off the blue turf in Boise and onto center stage at the NFL Draft. Thursday night, Williams completed 19-of-31 passes for 321 yards. The last time a Cowboy signal caller put up those kind of numbers was in 2017. That was Allen.

Ayden Eberhardt had a breakout game for the Pokes in his home state. He hauled in seven passes for 132 yards. He caught tough balls over the middle, stretched out and slid for others.  

Isaiah Neyor, minus an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that likely cost the Cowboys points, snagged three balls for 77 yards. Treyton Welch, the big tight end from Minnesota, added a a pair of catches for 55 yards.

Imagine if this offense can really click — at the same time? They did for most of the night in Fort Collins, unfortunately the hill was too steep to climb and the defense couldn’t get one more stop.

“The yardage was good, but the yardage has to match the score,” Bohl said. 

Tip of the cap

Often times I have to remind people — including myself — that there is a team lined up across the ball from the Cowboys.

Sure, Wyoming played poorly tonight. That was Williams’ word. It’s accurate.

But how about the Rams?

They are the ones who played with passion and enthusiasm despite just a handful of cheerleaders in the northwest corner of the end zone inside an otherwise empty Canvas Stadium.

They brought their own juice, as the kids like to say.

Patrick O’Brien stood on the sideline, helmet in hand, for three-plus quarters in CSU’s season-opening loss at Fresno State. Dante Wright, the Rams’ second-leading receiver in 2019 and a Freshman All-American receiver, didn’t even make the trip.

Those two played against the Cowboys. What a difference that made.

O’Brien connected on 18-of-26 throws for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wright caught 10 of those passes for a game-high 146 yards.

“Patrick competed really hard and did a good job,” Addazio said postgame. “He was able to manage the game very well and had some big throws. He had good poise.”

And Wright?

“Dante’s vertical speed was a huge factor in the game,” he added.

CSU’s defense brought pressure all night long, making life miserable for the Cowboys’ makeshift offensive line. The Rams finished tackles. They laid the lumber time and time again, including a punishing blow to Williams late in the fourth.

This quote should be the hardest part for UW fans, players and coaches to swallow.

“We beat our rival and we beat them with physicality,” Addazio said. “Our team showed a tremendous amount of energy, toughness and courage.”

Those are supposed to be traits of a Bohl-coached team.

“I definitely think we just continued to shoot ourselves in the foot tonight,” Wyoming middle linebacker Chad Muma said. “I think, collectively as a team, we just weren’t good enough and really just gave CSU those opportunities tonight and they took them. They outplayed us.

“That’s definitely not our brand of football.”

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Wyoming Cowboys Hammer Hawaii 31-7, Claim Paniolo Trophy

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By Cody Tucker, 7220 Sports

LARAMIE — The Wyoming Cowboys came out of the gate fast on Friday night in their 2020 home opener versus the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors. 

Wyoming’s dynamic rushing attack and swarming defense resulted in the Cowboys recording a 31-7 win over the Rainbow Warriors in the 25th meeting between the two teams. Both teams are now 1-1 on the season.

It was the ninth consecutive home win for Wyoming. The Cowboys have a record of 21-6 (.778) in home games since the beginning of the 2016 season.

Cowboy junior running back Xazavian Valladay notched his ninth career 100-yard rushing game and first of the 2020 season.

He ended the game with 163 rushing yards on 32 carries.  Valladay also caught two passes for 32 yards to end the night with 195 all-purpose yards. The other Cowboy running back who had an outstanding game was graduate transfer Trey Smith, who ran for 89 yards on 20 carries.

Both Valladay and Smith each scored two rushing touchdowns.

As a team, the Cowboys ran for 281 yards and had 112 yards passing for 393 yards of total offense. Wyoming’s defense held Hawai’i to 233 yards of total offense — 123 rushing yards and 110 passing.

The defense also forced two turnovers on the night. 

Junior linebacker Chad Muma recovered a fumble that led to a Cowboy field goal, giving Wyoming a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Sophomore linebacker Charles Hicks intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 47 yards to set up a Wyoming touchdown that extended the Pokes’ lead to 24-7.

A total of 6,232 fans attended Friday’s game.

Wyoming improved its record against Hawai’i to 15 wins and 10 losses.  It was the 24th time that the two schools played for the Paniolo Trophy. UW holds the advantage in that portion of the series, 15-9.

The overall series dates back to 1978.

Following the game, Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl shared his thought on the game with media over a Zoom press conference.

“Trey (Smith) really ran hard tonight and made some excellent runs. X (Xazavian Valladay) has a unique ability to put his foot in the ground, be allusive and he has great balance,” said Bohl. “To have a one-two punch like that really makes a big, big difference. 

“This is one of our trademarks, if we can handle the line of scrimmage, run the football and play good defense that is a winning formula.”

Asked what he saw from his team’s pass defense on Friday vs. Hawai’i that was different from the defense’s performance the week before against Nevada, Bohl responded, “I think we challenged the receivers more tonight.  Last week, I thought we were a little bit passive. We were also able to eliminate a lot of their (Hawai’i’s) primary runs and that allowed us to get into some different looks and pressure the quarterback. It was a combination of our coverage and our four-man rush.”

Bohl was asked if the Charles Hicks’ interception felt like a turning point in the game, Bohl said, “I felt like if we could score on that drive it would change the complexion of the game, and it certainly did.”

The head coach was also questioned about the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Levi Williams and whether he felt Williams was more comfortable in Friday night’s win than he was a week ago. “He made improvements,” said Bohl. “There are still things he needs to do to improve his game.  But the number of reps he was able to take this week in practice and knowing he was going to play the whole game I think made a difference.”

The Cowboy offense generated 13 explosive plays of 10 yards or more in the win over the Rainbow Warriors — nine rushing plays and four pass plays.

Defensively, Wyoming recorded 5.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss and had four pass breakups to go with its two forced turnovers.

Three Cowboys tied for the team lead in tackles with seven tackles apiece.  Muma had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Sophomore nose tackle Cole Godbout was also credited with seven tackles, including 1.0 sack and 1.0 tackle for a loss, and redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jodan Bertagnole had seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Hicks added four tackles, including 2.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss to go with his 47-yard pass interception.

Wyoming began the game with a 32-yard kickoff return from senior wide receiver Dontae Crow, taking the ball out to the Wyoming 38-yard line. Two explosive plays by the Pokes on the opening drive were a 14-yard pass from Williams to junior tight end Nate Weinman and a 21-yard run by Valladay taking the ball down to the Hawai’i 24-yard line.

Valladay followed up that with runs of six yards and then 18-yards for a touchdown.  It concluded a five-play, 62-yard drive by Wyoming.  The PAT by true freshman place-kicker John Hoyland gave UW a 7-0 lead.

On Hawai’i’s second play of its opening possession quarterback Chevan Cordeiro dropped back to pass but when his arm came forward the ball slipped out of his hand and was ruled a fumble that was recovered by Wyoming’s Muma at the Hawai’i 25-yard line.

It was the third turnover of the season that the Cowboy defense came away with, and was the second one Muma was involved in. He also forced a fumble at Nevada a week earlier.

The Pokes gained a first down on a three-yard run by Williams and a seven-yard pass from Williams to redshirt freshman fullback Parker Christensen down to the UH 15. But the Cowboys could not move the ball after that and Hoyland came in to kick a 30-yard field goal — his fifth consecutive field goal to begin the season and the Pokes held a 10-0 lead. 

The first quarter would end with Wyoming running 22 plays for 122 yards.  Hawai’i was held to only 11 plays and 33 total yards.

After the two teams exchanged punts to start the second quarter,  Wyoming put together a 17-play, 61-yard drive taking 8:15 off the clock.

The big play on the drive was a 26-yard pass from Williams to Valladay.  UW had a first and goal at the Hawai’i three-yard line.

Valladay lost three on first down and then gained two back on second down. On a third and goal from the four, Williams rolled right to pass but was hit from behind and fumbled the ball. Cowboy offensive tackle Latrell Bible recovered the ball at the Hawai’i 18.

Hoyland came in for a 36-yard field goal attempt, but narrowly missed the kick wide right — his first miss of the season.

Hawai’i took over at its own 20-yard line with 3:39 remaining in the half. The Rainbow Warriors proceeded to drive 80 yards in six plays, highlighted by a 47-yard pass from Cordeiro to wide receiver Zion Bowens that took the ball down to the Wyoming four-yard line.

Three plays later, running back Dae Dae Hunter, who was split out wide right, came in motion, took a handoff and sprinted to the left corner of the end zone to pull Hawai’i to within three points at 10-7.

Wyoming’s final possession of the half started with 58 seconds remaining in the half. After runs of 13 and two yards by Valladay, the Pokes let the clock run out.

The Cowboys ran 40 first half plays to Hawai’i’s 25, and out-gained the Rainbow Warriors 198 total yards to 132, but UW led by only three points. Valladay rushed for 99 yards on 18 carries in the first half, and he caught two passes for 32 yards.

Hawai’i received the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 58 yards in seven plays. UH place-kicker Matthew Shipley came into the game with a chance to tie the game, but missed a 44-yard field-goal attempt wide right.

Wyoming and Hawai’i would exchance punts on the following two possessions. On their second possession of the third quarter, Cowboy quarterback Williams connected with wide receiver Crow on a beautiful soft-touch pass for 25 yards with Hawai’i defenders in Williams’ face as he let the pass go. That completion moved the ball to the UW 47-yard line.  From that point forward, Wyoming leaned on the running game with seven consecutive rushing plays, including long runs of 10 yards by Valladay and 12 yards by Smith.

Smith would eventually carry the ball into the end zone from one yard out on the 11th and final play of the 75-yard drive to put Wyoming up 17-7 to end the third quarter.

At the conclusion of the third, the Pokes had 325 yards of total offense, 213 rushing and 112 passing, while holding Hawai’i to 195 yards, 109 rushing and 86 passing.

UW was on a five-play drive entering the fourth quarter, but on the sixth play Valladay was hit by cornerback Cortez Davis, who knocked the ball loose, and linebacker Quentin Frazier recovered the fumble at the Hawai’i 11-yard line.  Hawai’i had to punt five plays later. That was followed by a Wyoming punt.

The Rainbow Warriors picked up a first down on its next series.

Then on a third and 10 on the Wyoming 43, UH quarterback Cordeiro looked like he was going to connect with one of his receivers but the ball popped up in the air and that is when UW sophomore linebacker Hicks intercepted the pass at the Wyoming 36 and returned the interception 47 yards to the Hawai’i 17.

Four plays later, Valladay carried the ball into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night to extend Wyoming’s lead to 24-7

The Cowboys had one more scoring drive in them on the night. Following UW’s fifth sack of the night on a fourth down and nine, Wyoming took over on downs at the Hawai’i 38-yard line. The UW offense ran eight straight running plays in its final drive of the game, capped off by a two-yard TD run by Smith to make the score 31-7 with only 1:48 remaining. That is the way the game would end.

The Cowboys will be on a short week this coming week as they will travel to Fort Collins, Colo., for the 112th edition of the Border War with rival Colorado State on Thursday, Nov. 5. 

That game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network and broadcast on radio over the Cowboy Sports Network. 

Colorado State will not be allowing fans at next Thursday’s Wyoming-Colorado State game.

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Wyoming Football Coach Craig Bohl’s Contract Extended Through 2024

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University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman announced on Thursday that UW Athletics has extended head football coach Craig Bohl’s contract by one year through the end of the 2024 college football season.

“Craig (Bohl) has done an outstanding job building our football program into one of the best in the Mountain West Conference over the past six seasons,” Burman said. “I felt it was important for the continued success of our program to extend Coach Bohl’s contract. With this one-year extension, it will enable our coaching staff to continue to recruit at a very high level as they have been, and it sends a message to our current players and potential recruits that our program is going to be strong for years to come.”

“Leia and I are so grateful for the University of Wyoming and the state of Wyoming,” Bohl said. “We appreciate President Seidel and Tom Burman entrusting us with the leadership of Cowboy Football. 

“To our fans, including the UW students, your support of our program over these past few years has meant more than you can know, and has been a big part in us building a successful program. In the midst of all the ups and downs we have had these past few months surrounding this season, it is good for us to have some stability for our student-athletes and in regard to continuing our recruiting efforts. This contract extension is important in providing that sense of stability. We look forward to more great years in the future.”     

Bohl’s extension for the 2024 season will pay him the same amount as 2023.  There is no raise included in the 2024 contract year. 

Currently in his seventh year as head coach of the Cowboys, Bohl led UW to the 2016 Mountain West Conference Mountain Division title and a spot in the 2016 Mountain West Championship Game.

Bohl was named the 2016 Mountain West Coach of the Year in voting by MW head football coaches and media members covering the conference.  From 2016-19, he led Wyoming to four consecutive bowl-eligible seasons, three bowl game appearances and two bowl championships.

The Pokes are seeking their fourth bowl bid in five seasons in 2020 — that would be a first in Wyoming Football history.

The excitement surrounding Cowboy Football from fans was evident last season when Wyoming Football enjoyed the second largest attendance at home games in school history, averaging 23,007 fans per game.

Since 2016, Wyoming has posted a 20-6 (.769) home record, went undefeated in home games in 2019 and has currently won its last eight consecutive home games.

Prior to coming to Wyoming, Bohl led North Dakota State to three consecutive FCS National Championships in 2011, ‘12 and ‘13.  In 2012 and ‘13, Bohl received both The Sports Network Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year Award and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS National Coach of the Year Award. 

He became the first coach in the first 27 years of the Eddie Robinson Award to win it in consecutive seasons.  In 2013, he also received the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year Award, which is presented in partnership with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. His other National Coach of the Year honor came in 2006, when he was recognized by the Football Gazette as the FCS National Coach of the Year.

As an assistant coach at his alma mater, Nebraska, he was part of two Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) National Championship teams in 1995 and ‘97 as the Huskers’ linebacker coach.

Bohl has compiled an overall head-coaching record of 140-73 (.657) at the collegiate level, including an 8-5 overall record last season at Wyoming.

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Wyoming vs. Hawaii: Pre-Game Pep Talk With Cowboys Legend Ryan Yarborough

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To get our fans excited ahead of the Wyoming vs. Hawaii football game on Friday, here’s University of Wyoming Alumni Association Executive Director Keener Fry along with former Cowboy wide receiver, Ryan Yarborough, on football memories and encouraging the team ahead of their game.

The Cowboy Alumni Pre-Game Pep Talk for October 30 is sponsored by Black Hills Energy, the UW University Store and Premier Bone and Joint Centers.

The UW Alumni Association has long been part of the Cowboy football pre-game activities connecting with alumni and friends all over the country.

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