By Richard Anderson
If bad things happen in threes, then the Wyoming Cowboys are done with all of the struggles offensively.
If only it was that easy.
Wyoming, looking to end a tough three-game slide, hosts No. 13 Utah Saturday in the annual Homecoming game at War Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for noon and will be televised by The Mtn.
In the last three losses, the Cowboys have given up touchdowns from their offensive mistakes on their first possession. Last week, it was on the first play from scrimmage when quarterback Karsten Sween’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and returned 13 yards for the score.
In all three cases, the Cowboys have never been able to recover.
Despite the fact that the Cowboys have been outscored 91-3 in the three Mountain West Conference games and 113-16 in the last three games overall, Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said the morale of the team is “sensational.”
“We’ve had some bad breaks. We’ve not had momentum for about three games,” Glenn said. “We’ve started the last three games, and in the very first series, we’ve turned the ball over for a touchdown. Those things can weigh on your, but I am so proud of those kids for powering through it and working hard in practice. We need to get some momentum going early in the game, and if we do, we can play defense with anybody in the league if we protect the ball and keep our defense off the field.
“We have to find a way to score on offense.”
About the Utes
Utah has been solid this season and are coming off a rough but come-from-behind 31-28 win over Oregon State on Oct. 2. Utah is 2-0 in league play and 6-0 on the season.
Glenn said he can’t find any faults with the Utes this season.
“They are a veteran team on offense, really smart. They can get downhill on you with the run and have speed on the outside with their receivers,” he said. “Their team speed on defense is sensational. This is the best linebacking corps we will see this year,” he said. “Their defensive end is one of the top pass rushers in the United States. They have a good secondary. There is not a weakness to their team. And they have one of the best kickers of all time (Louie Sakoda). He is money.”
Saturday’s forecast is for cold temperatures in the low 40s, windy with a 40 percent chance of rain and snow. While the conditions won’t be ideal, Glenn said it won’t favor any team.
“I never even think about it; both teams play on the same field,” Glenn said. “I don’t think it is an equalizer, it just makes play a little tougher for both teams.”
Glenn added that there isn’t much a coach can do to change his game plan because of the weather.
“Unless you get in there and it is blowing so bad that you can’t throw the ball,” Glenn said. “It’s never really changed anything I have done.”
Last year was last year
Glenn was asked on his Thursday media teleconference if last year’s 50-0 loss that included a Utah onside kick and Glenn reacting with a finger gesture, would have any bearing on this game.
He said none whatsoever.
“That was then and this is now. Revenge has never been part of my motivation,” Glenn said. “We’ll go out and play hard because it is Utah, not from anything that happened 50 years ago or last year.”
The Cowboys go into the game a little beat up, especially in the receiver department. Senior Chris Johnson will miss the game with a hand injury, while Greg Bolling, who is nursing a sore shoulder, is questionable. Sophomore David Leonard also showed up for Thursday’s team meeting on crutches, but he is expected to play.