LARAMIE — Saturday will be a special day as the Wyoming Cowboys host the Oregon Ducks in a game that will feature two top teams from the West playing before a potential capacity crowd in Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium.
Only 800 tickets remained as of Tuesday for the game that will kick off at 5 p.m., M.T. on Saturday, Sept. 16. Oregon is making its first appearance in Wyoming, and the game is only the second meeting between the two universities in football.
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Wyoming Sells Over 10,000 Season Tickets for Only the Second Time in History
Fans may still purchase tickets in advance to Wyoming’s home games in 2017 by going online at GoWyo.com/tickets, by calling 307-766-7220 or by stopping by the Athletics Ticket Office on the west side of the Arena-Auditorium.
In addition to Saturday’s game vs. Oregon, Wyoming will host Hawai’i (Sept. 23), Texas State (Sept. 30), New Mexico (Oct. 28), Colorado State (Nov. 4) and Fresno State (Nov. 18) this season.
Entering this week’s Oregon game, Wyoming Athletics had sold over 10,000 season tickets for the 2017 season — 10,450 to be exact. That is only the second time in school history that UW sold over 10,000 season tickets. The other season was the 2011 season when Nebraska visited Laramie.
Nationally-Ranked Wyoming Defense Will Face Highly-Ranked Oregon Offense
Wyoming enters Saturday’s game ranked in the Top 25 in the nation in several defensive categories. The Pokes are ranked No. 19 in scoring defense, allowing opponents only 12.0 points per game. UW is also ranked No. 12 in the NCAA in total defense, giving up only 229.0 yards per game, and is ranked No. 3 in the nation in pass defense, allowing only 73.5 yards per game.
Oregon ranks in the Top 25 in the nation in scoring offense (No. 3, 59.5 points per game), total offense (No. 2, 634.5 yards per game), passing offense (No. 13, 360.0 yards per game) and rushing offense (No. 16, 274.5 yards per game).
The Friendly Confines of War Memorial Stadium
With its 27-0 shutout win over Gardner-Webb in last week’s home opener, Wyoming has now won eight of its last nine games played in War Memorial Stadium, including home wins over Air Force, Boise State and San Diego State last year in the regular season.
UW’s only home loss during that nine-game stretch was a 27-24 loss in the 2016 Mountain West Championship game to SDSU.
First Defensive Shutout Since 2010
It had been almost seven years since the Wyoming defense had shut out an opponent, but the Cowboys did just that last Saturday, defeating Gardner- Webb 27-0 in Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium.
The last time UW had recorded a shutout was Nov. 20, 2010, in a 44-0 shutout of Colorado State in Laramie. The shutout of CSU came in the final game of the 2010 season.
Offensive Fireworks: Wyoming’s Dual Threat, Austin Conway
One of the true dual-threat players for the Wyoming Cowboys is sophomore wide receiver and punt returner Austin Conway. Conway had the best game of his career against Gardner-Webb last week, catching a career best 11 passes for a career high 135 yards and one touchdown.
Conway is ranked nationally as both a receiver and a punt returner entering this week. He is No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 5 in the NCAA in receptions per game, averaging 9.5 catches per game. He is No. 2 in the MW and No. 12 nationally in punt returns, averaging 17.7 yards per return. He also ranks No. 5 in the conference and No. 47 in the nation in receiving yards (93.0 yards per game), and is No. 7 in the league and No. 81 in the nation in all-purpose yardage (121.0 yards per game.
Conway and Johnson Team Up for Dynamic Receiving Tandem
Not only did Austin Conway have a career best receiving game against Gardner-Webb, but fellow sophomore receiver C.J. Johnson also enjoyed a career best performance vs. GWU. Johnson had six receptions for 130 yards in the game — both career highs. He also caught one TD pass.
It was the first time since the 2016 season opener that Wyoming had two receivers have 100-yard receiving games in the same contest. Former Cowboys Tanner Gentry (104 yards) and Jake Maulhardt (106 yards) each had 100-yard receiving games versus Northern Illinois in 2016.
A First-Year Head Coach vs. a Nationally-Ranked Quarterback
In 2014 when the Wyoming Cowboys and Oregon Ducks met for the first time in football, Wyoming was led by first-year head coach Craig Bohl, while Oregon was led by eventual Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Ducks won that first meeting in Eugene, Ore., 48-14.
Now in 2017 as the two teams prepare to meet for the second time, Oregon is led by first-year head coach Willie Taggart, while the Cowboys feature junior quarterback Josh Allen, who is ranked by many NFL scouts as a potential first-round draft pick.
Oregon is First of Three Pac-12 Teams to Visit Laramie in the Next Four Seasons: Wyoming will host three Pac-12 member schools in the next four seasons, beginning with the Oregon Ducks this week.
On Sept. 1, 2018, Washington State will travel to Wyoming, and on Sept. 19, 2020, an old rival, the Utah Utes, will return to War Memorial Stadium.
Last Time a Pac-12 Team Visited Laramie — Oregon State in 1993
Prior to this week’s match-up with Oregon, the last Pac-12 team to visit Laramie was Oregon State back in 1993 (when the league was the Pac-10). OSU won that game vs. Wyoming by a score of 27-16.
Most Recent Wyoming Wins Over the Pac-12
The most recent Cowboy win versus the Pac-12 was one of the most memorable wins in Wyoming Football history. In the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl, The Cowboys pulled the biggest upset of the college bowl season, defeating UCLA, 24-21, on a neutral field.
In terms of road games vs. the Pac-12, the last time UW won a road game vs. the Pac-12 was in 1990 at Washington State where the Pokes won 34-13.
The most recent Wyoming win versus a Pac-12 opponent in Laramie was back in 1980, when the Pokes defeated Oregon State 30-10 in War Memorial Stadium.
Wyoming’s Most Recent Wins Over Autonomous Five (Power Five) Opponents
Wyoming’s most recent win over an Autonomous Five (Power Five) conference school was on Nov. 8, 2008, when the Cowboys defeated the Tennessee Volunteers, 13-7, in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
The last time Wyoming fans witnessed a Cowboy victory over an Autonomous Five conference team in War Memorial Stadium was Sept. 1, 2007. The Pokes opened the 2007 season defeating the Virginia Cavaliers, 23-3 in Laramie.
Where You Can Listen and Watch the Game
Saturday’s Wyoming-Oregon game will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, with Dave Walsh describing the play-by-play action and Kevin McKinney providing color analysis. The radio broadcast begins with the pregame show one hour prior to kickoff, or 4 p.m., M.T. this coming Saturday.
The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network with Carter Blackburn handling play-by-play, Aaron Taylor adding color commentary and Jenny Dell reporting from the sideline.