Cowboys, Mizzou Face Off in Football For First Time Ever Saturday

From the Desk of Tim Harkins

Laramie, Wyo.  – Wyoming and Missouri will meet on a football field for the first time on Saturday night in Columbia, Mo. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m., M.T. (6 p.m., C.T.) from Memorial Stadium.
 
The Cowboys enter Saturday's game with a 1-1 record this season.  Missouri is 1-0 entering the game.  The Pokes' victory this season came on the road in the opening week against New Mexico State.  Last week, UW lost at home to Washington State.  Missouri's win came last week at home over Tennessee-Martin.
 
Saturday's game will be televised on ESPNU and will be broadcast on radio over the Cowboy Sports Network.  The radio broadcast will begin one hour prior to kickoff.


 
Challenging Early Schedule

 

Wyoming's 2018 season features a challenging schedule that includes seven opponents who advanced to bowl games a year ago and three teams who won bowl games.  Each of Wyoming's first three opponents this season -- New Mexico State, Washington State and Missouri -- appeared in bowl games last season, as did the Cowboys.
 
Playing the best is nothing new to the Cowboy Football team.  In the first three weeks of this season, Wyoming is playing a Pac-12 member in Washington State and an SEC school in Missouri.  A year ago, the Pokes played at Big Ten member Iowa and at home vs. Oregon of the Pac-12 in the first three weeks of the season.  The Cowboys went on to post an 8-5 record in 2017 and a 5-2 conference mark, finishing second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference.
 
Wyoming vs. the SEC


Wyoming has played 12 previous games versus Southeastern Conference (SEC) opponents.  UW has won three of its last four meetings vs. SEC opponents, defeating Ole Miss twice in 2004 and 2005 and Tennessee in 2008.  The Cowboys haven't played an SEC opponent since Nov. 8, 2008 -- 10 seasons ago -- when they defeated Tennessee (13-7) in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
 
In the 12 games Wyoming has faced an SEC opponent, eight of those games have been decided by 14 points or less.  UW has had to play nine of those 12 previous meetings versus SEC teams on the road, and two other games that were technically neutral-site games (vs. Tennessee in Nashville in 2002 and vs. LSU in the 1968 Sugar Bowl) were both played in the home state of Wyoming's opponent.  Only one SEC team has played in Laramie.  That was the Ole Miss Rebels in 2004.  The Cowboys are 3-9 all-time vs. the SEC.
 
The Show Me State
The state of Missouri is known as the "Show Me State".  For the Wyoming Cowboys, they may need someone to show them where Missouri is located as it is a state the Cowboys have virtually no experience playing in over the 122 years of Wyoming Football.  UW has only played two previous games in the state of Missouri and both came against the St. Louis University Billikens back in the 1930s.  The Pokes lost at St. Louis on Oct. 7, 1932, by a score of 6-20 and lost on Nov. 10, 1939, at St. Louis by a score of 6-39.  St. Louis U. no longer plays football.  The Billikens fielded a football team from 1899 to 1949.
 
Evans Doubtful

Wyoming's running back Nico Evans is off to an outstanding start to his senior season, but bruised ribs suffered against Washington State led the Cowboys to change his status for Saturday from day-to-day to doubtful. The Los Angeles native has rushed for 279 yards through the first two games of the 2018 season, and is averaging 139.5 rushing yards per game.  He ran for 190 yards in the season opener at New Mexico State and had 89 rushing yards against Washington State.  Evans also leads the Cowboys in all-purpose yards, with 289 for an average of 144.5 yards per game.  His 279 rushing yards this season rank No. 1 in the nation.  His three rushing TDs rank No. 2, and his 139.5 yard per game average ranks No. 17 in the NCAA this season.
 
Heisman Candidate 
Missouri is touting their senior quarterback Drew Lock as a Heisman candidate in 2018.  Lock was selected the First Team All-SEC quarterback as a junior last season by both the Associated Press and SEC coaches.  He led the SEC in passing yards, passing efficiency and total offense as a junior last season.  Entering this season, Lock was named to five preseason award watch lists.
 
Next Up 
Following this Saturday's game at Missouri, Wyoming will return home to host Wofford College on Saturday, Sept. 15.