LARAMIE – The Wyoming Cowboys and San Jose State Spartans will meet on the football field this Saturday for the first time since 1997. Both teams will enter Saturday’s game with 2-1 Mountain West Conference records. The game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m., Mountain Time (4 p.m., Pacific) from San Jose’s Spartan Stadium
The last time the Cowboys and Spartans played it was also a conference game, but in 1997 both were then members of the Western Athletic Conference. Wyoming won that last meeting 30-10 on Sept. 20, 1997, in Laramie.
The two schools will meet as conference opponents again this week, as San Jose State is in its first season as a member of the Mountain West Conference.
Wyoming holds a 6-1 advantage over SJSU, including winning the last three meetings. In games played in San Jose, Wyoming is 4-0. The Pokes also hold a 2-0 advantage in conference games vs. the Spartans, winning both games in 1996 and ‘97 when the two schools were WAC members.
Saturday’s matchup between Wyoming and San Jose State will feature two of the nation’s top offenses and top quarterbacks. Wyoming is ranked No. 13 in the nation in total offense, averaging 504.4 yards per game. San Jose State ranks 44th, averaging 447.2 yards per game.
The Spartans hold a slight advantage in passing offense, ranking No. 16 in the NCAA (327.5 yards per game), while Wyoming ranks No. 22 in passing (301.7 ypg).
Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith ranks No. 2 in the MW and No. 6 in the nation in total offense (362.0 ypg). SJSU senior QB David Fales ranks No. 3 in the conference and No. 17 in the NCAA (324.2 ypg).
In passing, Fales has thrown for an average of 323.8 yards per game to rank No. 2 in the MW and No. 9 in the country. Smith is close behind, averaging 300.0 yards per game to rank No. 3 in the conference and No. 14 nationally.
Wyoming and San Jose State not only enter this week with identical 2-1 conference records, but they are also battling for Mountain West division titles. The Cowboys trail Boise State and Utah State, who both have 3-1 records in the Mountain Division. The Spartans trail Fresno State (3-0) and San Diego State (2-0) in the West Division. Wyoming is 4-3 overall, while San Jose State is 3-3.
There are currently 18 players on the Wyoming roster from the state of California as the Pokes head to San Jose, Calif., this coming Saturday. Of those 18 California Cowboys, eight have starting experience at Wyoming. Included among those eight Californians to start for UW are: Tim Hayes (Fr., CB); Robert Herron (Sr., WR);Walker Madden (RJr., OT); Albert Perez (Jr., C); Connor Rains (RJr., OT); Jesse Sampson (Jr., SS); Jordan Stanton (Jr., LB): and Shaun Wick (So., RB).
Wyoming has not lost back-to-back games this season. The Cowboys have bounced back following a disappointing, three-point loss (34-37) at No. 18 Nebraska to defeat Idaho (42-10) the following week. UW also bounced back following a road loss at Texas State (21-42) to defeat New Mexico the following week in Laramie by a score of 38-31. This will be the first time Wyoming has had to go on the road the week following a loss this season.
When the Pokes travel to San Jose State this week, they will be looking for their fourth consecutive road win in Mountain West Conference play. That would be the longest Mountain West road winning streak for the Pokes since they became members of the MW in 1999. UW won its last two MW road games of the 2012 season at New Mexico and at UNLV by identical 28-23 scores. The Cowboys won their first and only conference road game this season at Air Force by a score of 56-23.
The current three-game MW road winning streak is the longest for UW since becoming a member of the Mountain West. Wyoming has three times won two consecutive MW road games — in 1999 at Air Force and at Utah, in 2009 at San Diego State and at Colorado State and in 2011 at San Diego State and at Air Force.
The last time Wyoming won four consecutive conference road games was between the 1995 and ‘96 seasons when Wyoming was a member of the Western Athletic Conference. That streak began on Nov. 11, 1995, with a 34-31 road win at San Diego State, followed by a 42-19 win at UTEP on Nov. 25, 1995, to end the season. The Cowboys began the ‘96 season with back-to-back road wins at UNLV (33-21 on Sept. 28) and at San Jose State (45-22 on Oct. 5) before losing at San Diego State (24-28 on Nov. 7).
Wyoming fans will be able to listen to the game on the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show at 4 p.m., Mountain Time on Saturday. The game is also being televised live by ROOT Sports.