Monday, October 20, 2008

UW-TCU notebook

Cowboys at No. 15 Horned Frogs
The Wyoming Cowboys (2-5 overall and 0-4 in the Mountain West Conference) will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, this Saturday to play the TCU Horned Frogs (7-1 overall and 4-0 in the MWC). The game is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m., Mountain Time from TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. It will be facing the third nationally-ranked team on its schedule this season for Wyoming.

TCU was ranked No. 14 in this week’s first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings of the year. The Horned Frogs were also ranked No. 15 in all three major polls this week – the Associated Press Media Poll, the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the Harris Interactive Poll.
Wyoming will be playing its third nationally-ranked team this season when they face TCU. UW has already played BYU and Utah this season when they were nationally ranked.

Of all its Mountain West Conference opponents, TCU is the one the Cowboys have the shortest series with, having played only four previous times. Wyoming and TCU will be playing for the fifth time when they meet on Saturday. The series is even at two wins apiece for each team. Each team is 1-1 at home and 1-1 on the road.

Defensively speaking
Two of the top defenses in the country will take the field this Saturday when the Cowboys and Horned Frogs face each other.

TCU leads the nation in three categories -- total defense, rushing defense and quarterback sacks. Wyoming is the No. 1 ranked pass defense in the Mountain West Conference and ranks No. 12 in the nation. The Pokes also rank No. 1 in the MWC and No. 6 in the country in lowest opponent third-down conversions, and rank No. 36 in the nation in total defense.

Bye week success
Wyoming had a bye week -- last week. In the modern era of Wyoming football, since World War II, the Pokes have had 39 bye weeks during the regular season. Wyoming has won 25 of its 39 games played following a bye.

The last time Wyoming had a bye week was the fifth week of the 2007 season. The following week, UW hosted TCU and captured a 24-21 home win over the Horned Frogs.

Last year
That last meeting between Wyoming and TCU was Oct. 6, 2007, in Laramie. UW built a 21-6 lead through three quarters.

The Pokes put together four long scoring drives on the day. UW scored on drives of 80 yards, 53 yards, 65 yards and 93 yards.

TCU began its first possession after picking off a Karsten Sween pass on UW’s first drive of the game. But the Cowboy defense held TCU to a three-and-out series forcing the Horned Frogs into a 51-yard field goal by Chris Manfredini, which was good. That was the only lead the Horned Frogs would hold all day.

Sween bounced back on the very next series to hit wide receiver Hoost Marsh on a 65-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the drive to put Wyoming up 7-3. Wyoming would never relinquish the lead.

Sween completed 12 of 26 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon each ran for 100 yards on the day, marking the first time since 1995 that two Cowboys had rushed for 100 yards in the same game. Moore ended with 135 rushing yards vs. TCU. Seldon ran for an even 100.

Marsh ended the day with a career best 87 receiving yards on four catches, including two TD receptions.

The Wyoming defense forced TCU into three turnovers -- two fumbles and an interception -- while recording nine tackles for losses, three sacks and 10 pass breakups. Defensive end Mitch Unrein forced two TCU fumbles and Michael Medina intercepted a pass.

Wyoming’s last score of the day came on a 23-yard field goal by Billy Vinnedge, to put the Pokes up 24-6. That field goal capped a 13-play, 93-yard drive by Wyoming.

TCU scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull within three points at 24-21. On the last possession of the game, the Horned Frogs drove the ball down to the Wyoming 31-yard line, but a 48-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright on the final play of the game.

This Saturday’s game will be televised live on The Mtn. The Cowboys Sports Network radio broadcast will begin at 3 p.m., Mountain Time, with the pregame show.

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