Wyoming is an early 25-point favorite to beat New Mexico Saturday in Laramie. But last season when even though UW was struggling at 2-7, New Mexico was winless but beat the Cowboys 34-31 on a late field goal.
There are signs up all over the Rochelle Athletics Center with the score of that game, and senior safety Tashaun Gipson said the game will be replayed on television monitors in the locker room and throughout the RAC through Friday as a reminder of what happened.
Got a feeling UW will play better this year against New Mexico than last year. For more on this, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.
Some other news and notes from Monday’s interview session with players and coaches:
I loved this quote from true freshman kicker Daniel Sullivan on the wind at Air Force and the extra-point he missed in the first quarter, which he said was the worst end of the field in terms of the wind as he had to kick against the wind and also into a side wind: “(The ball) came straight off my foot. It may have come off a little to the right, but it would have gone in. … I didn’t know you could make a ball curve like that when you’re right-footed.”
I asked Sullivan if he and senior punter Austin McCoy talked a lot about the wind, or let it get into their heads a lot during the game. He said no, but that they had to watch for: “An empty bag of Lays (potato chips) mght come and hit you.”
Coach Dave Christensen said the most important thing about Saturday’s game is its the last home game for 13 seniors (11 that will play). Christensen said this senior class has provided great leadership, and compared them favorably to the seniors in 2009, which he often spoke highly of in terms of leadership. Those seniors ended their careers with a New Mexico Bowl win over Fresno State.
Team captains this week are true freshman quarterback Brett Smith and junior safety Luke Ruff. In the modern era, I can’t think of a time when a true freshman ever served as a captain for a UW football team.
Other than the loss of junior receiver/punt returner/holder on extra points and field goals Chris McNeill (he did a lot of things for this team), there were no other injuries. McNeill will be sorely missed, and a lot of players will have to change their roles to fill in for him.
This week’s uniform watch: Brown helmets, gold jerseys and gold pants.