Cowboys Host New Mexico on Homecoming This Saturday

Cowboys Host New Mexico on Homecoming This Saturday

Courtesy of John Durgee

LARAMIE The 3-1 Wyoming Cowboys host the 2-2 New Mexico Lobos in the Mountain West Conference opener on Saturday at 2 p.m. inside War Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s contest will also be Wyoming’s 98th Homecoming game in history.

The contest will be streamed on the MW Network and be available on Stadium and can be heard on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network (including 104.9 KUGR Radio) with Keith Kelley on the call and Kevin McKinney on color with Erick Pauley on the sidelines.

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Wyoming completed its 2023 non-conference schedule with a 3-1 record.  The Cowboys’ victories came against then No. 24 ranked Texas Tech (35-33 in double overtime) in the ‘23 season opener, over Portland State (31-17), and against Appalachian State (22-19) in a dramatic comeback win last week.  The Pokes’ only loss this season came on the road at then No. 4 ranked Texas (31-10).  Wyoming entered the fourth quarter against Texas with the game tied at 10-10. 

New Mexico brings a 2-2 record in 2023 into today’s game.  The Lobos began the season on the road at Texas A&M, where UNM lost 52-10.  New Mexico recorded a 56-10 win over Tennessee Tech in Albuquerque in week two before losing at home to rival New Mexico State by a score of 27-17.  A week ago, UNM traveled to Amherst, Mass., to play FBS Independent UMass where the Lobos won by a score of 34-31. 

Wyoming in Mountain West Openers, 2023 Season Marks the 25th Season of the Mountain West

The 2022 season marks the 25th season of the Mountain West Conference, and this year’s Wyoming-New Mexico contest is the conference opener for both the Cowboys and Lobos. Wyoming is 12-12 (.500) in Mountain West openers. UW is 8-6 (.571) when opening MW play at home, and is 4-6 (.400) when opening on the road.  The Cowboys have won 6 of their last 10 MW openers and 5 of 9 in the Craig Bohl era.

This year’s MW opener will mark only the third time in the 25 seasons of the MW that the Cowboys have opened Mountain West Conference play against New Mexico.

Wyoming vs. New Mexico in Mountain West Conference Openers

Date                      Opponent           Score

Sept. 30, 2000   at New Mexico  L 10-45

Sept. 26, 2015   New Mexico       L 28-38

Wyoming and New Mexico to Play for the 76th Time Saturday

This week’s meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys and New Mexico Lobos will be the 76th in history between the old rivals.  The Cowboys lead the overall series with 40 wins to 35 wins for UNM.  Here is a breakdown of the Wyoming-New Mexico series.

The 2023 Meeting Will be the:   76th

Overall Series Record:       UW leads 40-35

MW Series Record:             UW trails 10-14

Series Began:                         Nov. 29, 1930

UW and UNM Have Been Members  of the Same Conference Since 1951 

Wyoming and New Mexico are meeting for the 25th consecutive season since both became founding members of the Mountain West Conference in 1999.  Before that, they were founding members of the Western Athletic Conference in 1962.  The two schools have been in the same conference since 1951 when they were both members of the Skyline Conference.

Additional Info

Wyoming Hosts 98th Homecoming Game This Week: This week’s game versus New Mexico will mark the 98th Homecoming game in University of Wyoming history, and the 73rd Homecoming game to be played in War Memorial Stadium.

UW’s Overall Record in Homecoming Games: 48-46-3 (.505)

UW’s Homecoming Record in War Memorial: 43-27-2 (.603)

The Block That Won the Game: The Cowboys had their backs against the wall in the closing minutes against App State. The Mountaineers attempted a field goal to take an eight-point lead. The defense forced pressure up the middle on the FG attempt as defensive end DeVonne Harris blocked the kick and UW cornerback Jakorey Hawkins picked up the blocked kick and returned it 62 yards for an amazing touchdown to give Wyoming a 20-19 lead. It was the first blocked kick returned for a touchdown in school history.

Wrook Brown Named MW Defensive Player of the Week: After helping lead the Cowboys over Appalachian State on Saturday evening, nickel Wrook Brown was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week the league announced on Monday. It marks the first time in his career that Brown has earned a MW Player of the Week honor. Brown, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday recorded an interception that helped seal the victory for the Cowboys in the closing seconds of the game. He also recovered a fumble in the contest that helped set up the first score of the game for the Brown and Gold. Brown finished the night with seven tackles.

Jakorey Hawkins Named MW Special Teams Player of the Week: After helping lead the Cowboys over Appalachian State on Saturday evening, cornerback Jakorey Hawkins was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week. It is the second time this season that a Cowboy has earned the honor after kicker John Hoyland earned the award following the Texas Tech game. It is the first MW Player of the Week honor for Hawkins. Hawkins, a native of Montgomery, Ala., scooped up the ball after defensive end DeVonne Harris blocked a kick and ran it back 63 yards for the go-ahead score in Wyoming’s 22-19 win over Appalachian State. It was the first blocked kick returned for a touchdown by the Cowboys in program history.

Another Note on Blocks: The block against App State marked Wyoming’s second of the season after tallying one against Texas Tech. Wyoming is tied for the national lead in blocked field goals this season with two.

Back-to-Back Games with Long Rushing TDs: Running back Harrison Waylee has found the endzone on long plays in back-to-back games. He recorded a 75-yard touchdown against App State and the previous week added a 62-yard score against Texas. It is the first time since Alvester Alexander in 2010 recorded a 94-yard touchdown run against New Mexico and the following week added a 72-yard touchdown against UNLV that a Wyoming running back has scored on a 60-yard plus rushing touchdown in back-to-back games.

Back-To-Back Game with Long Rushes: Running back Harrison Waylee has two chuck rushing plays of 75 yards against App State and 62 yards against Texas. It is the first time since Nico Evans recorded a rush of 75 yards against Boise State and 63 yards against Hawaii that a Cowboy running back has had 60 yards or more in a single rush in back-to-back games.

Defending The Home Field: The Cowboys earned their 10th-straight non-conference home win dating back to 2018 against App State. The Cowboys now have 334 wins at home in school history.

Wrook and Take Aways: Nickel Wrook Brown had quite the birthday on Saturday. He recovered a fumble on a heads-up play and recorded an interception to seal the game against App State. It was his second interception of the season, as he ranks fourth in the MW in interceptions. He also added seven tackles for the contest and ranked No. 31 in the conference in tackles per game this season at 5.75 per game. He ranks No. 17 in the nation with his two interceptions this season.

DeVonne Making Plays: Defensive end DeVonne Harris was all over the field against App State. He tied a career-high with nine tackles, as he also had nine last season against Boise State. He also added his second sack of the season, but his biggest play was blocking the field goal in the fourth quarter that helped the Cowboys complete the comeback.

Godbout Has Big Day in Middle: Nose Tackle Cole Godbout has been a force in the middle of the Cowboy defense in his career. He tied a career-high with 10 total tackles against App State. He had 10 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2021. He has 188 tackles in his career with the Cowboys and is closing in on 200.