Wyoming Cowboys looking for points and revenge

By James Boehly, Staff Writer

The Wyoming Cowboys have waited one year for a shot at redemption, and now they might finally get their chance.
After an embarrassing loss to the Utes last season, the Cowboys come into this Saturday’s game looking for revenge. But with the way both teams have been playing this season, the Cowboys might want to reschedule.

Last season, Wyoming was shut out by the Utes 50-0 in a game the Cowboys thought would be a competitive matchup. In a now highly publicized student luncheon before the Pokes made the trek to Salt Lake City, Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn thought so highly of his team’s chances that he guaranteed a victory.

Instead of backing up his words, his team quickly fell behind. With the Utes leading 43-0 in the third quarter and the game well in hand, Utah’s head coach Kyle Whittingham made a highly criticized decision to go for an onside kick. That led to Glenn flashing an obscene hand gesture in the direction of Whittingham and the Utah sideline.

“I’d probably like to have it back now,” Glenn said of the incident. “I wouldn’t do it again.”
Wyoming finished last season at 5-7 and was looking for a fresh start in 2008. So far, that hasn’t been the case.
Wyoming is 2-4 overall and has yet to post a win against a Mountain West Conference opponent this season. Although the Cowboys started off well by winning two of their first three games, the season quickly turned sour, as they have dropped three straight.

Last week against New Mexico, the Cowboys struggled on both sides of the ball as the defense gave up 317 rushing yards in a 24-0 Lobo rout. It was the second shutout to an MWC team this season and third in the last six conference tilts. The Cowboys have been outscored 91-3 in MWC play in 2008, and have scored only 41 points combined in the last six conference games, an average of less than one touchdown per contest.

If the Cowboys are looking to play well against Utah on Saturday, they will need to show some major improvements of the defensive side of the ball. Last year against Utah, the Pokes’ defense allowed 505 yards of total offense. In their three previous games alone this season, the Cowboys have given up a total of 113 points.

Their offense isn’t helping either. In Wyoming’s two wins this season, the Cowboys beat Ohio and North Dakota State by a total of four points. In its four losses this season, the team has only scored a total of 19 points.

The only positive aspect of the Cowboys’ offense has been its rushing game. Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon have helped the Cowboys average 155.8 rushing yards per game.

“They are the strength of their offense,” Wittingham said. “Moore is gaining well over five yards a carry and Seldon is a tough, bigger back.”

The success of Wyoming’s passing game will rest on Karsten Sween. In only his second start this year, Sween replaced struggling quarterback Dax Crum, but has yet to increase the success of the Cowboys’ offense.

Besides a strong rushing attack, Wyoming’s other advantage is that the game will be played on its home field. Last time Utah came to Wyoming, the Cowboys defeated the Utes in a 31-15 upset, an indication that the Cowboys are not a team to be taken lightly.

The Cowboys have posted a winning record when they play a homecoming game at War Memorial Stadium. Overall, the homecoming game record for Wyoming is 40-40-3, but the Cowboys’ homecoming record at War Memorial Stadium is 35-21-2.

They have been outscored 91-3 in MWC play in 2008 and must start putting points up on the board.
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