Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reports: Christensen to be named UW football coach

According to various local and national sources, Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen will be named the head coach of Wyoming. Christensen would replace Joe Glenn, who was fired at the end of the season after six years at the helm.

According to ESPN.com, the Casper Star-Tribune and the Laramie Boomerang, Christensen flew to Wyoming with his wife Saturday night after Missouri lost to Kansas in Kansas City. He arrived in Laramie on a University of Wyoming private plane. He spent the night in Laramie and met with school officials. He returned to Columbia on Sunday to attend a Missouri senior banquet but is expected back for a press conference, which is said to be scheduled for Monday.

Christensen has been a coach on Gary Pinkel's staff since starting at Toledo in 1992. He served as an assistant coach at Idaho State and the University of Washington. Christensen also played at Washington in 1980-82.

In 2007, Missouri's offense scored a school-record 558 points and ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense. Christensen was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award last season, which is given to the nation's best assistant coach.

Under Glenn, Wyoming finished 30-41 (15-31 in Mountain West Conference play), including a 4-8 (1-7 MWC) record this season to finish eighth in the conference after being picked to finish fourth and even contend for the conference championship.

The Cowboys had just two bowl-eligible seasons, though they were only invited to a bowl during the 2004 campaign. They finished 7-5 with a Las Vegas Bowl win.

Nebraska wide receiver coach Ted Gilmore, a former Wyoming player and assistant coach and former Wyoming assistant coach John L. Smith were also candidates for the position.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cowboys ready to move on

“Going into that last game on Saturday, we all wanted to win to maybe give the coaches a chance to stay or at least send them out right. That didn’t happened. It was an emotional weekend. We lost a lot of seniors, especially two linebackers that I played with -- Mike Juergens and Ward Dobbs. They were two good friends and two good players.” -- UW junior linebacker Weston Johnson.


By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Two days later, Chris Stutzriem talked with a little clearer head. On Saturday after the tough 31-20 loss to Colorado State, the redshirt freshman let his emotions get the best of him.

On Saturday, Stutzriem said that if head coach Joe Glenn was removed from the job, he would no longer wear the Wyoming colors. Basically, he implied that he would leave.

On Monday during a news conference, Stutzriem said he was sorry he said what he said.

“That was not a smart thing for me to do,” Stutzriem said. “I need to apologize to Mr. (Matt) Whisenant (senior associated athletics director -- internal affairs) and Mr. (Tom) Burman (athletics director). I called them out and their job is hard enough and they don’t need a 19-year-old kid to tell them what to do. Secondly, I need to apologize to the fans and the players on my team. I just kind of spoke out of emotion. That was a big game for us and it was hard to let the seniors go. I know that Mr. Burman and everyone involved will find us a great head coach. There is a business side to everything. I’m sorry I made those comments, that was way out of text. I’m a Cowboy and I am excited for a new head coach to come in here.”

Per man of Saturday, the Cowboys said they wanted Glenn back. That isn’t going to happen, as on Sunday Burman announced that the popular coach would not return for his seventh season.

“I did see this coming one way or the other, but I didn’t see it happening so quick,” junior wide receiver Greg Bolling said. “I think everybody is sad to see Coach Glenn go. He was a nice guy and he was one of us basically. He was blue collar guy who came in here and wanted us to work hard and that’s what we did. I think everyone is trying to push forward now and get ready for next season.”

Wyoming junior linebacker Weston Johnson said it had been in the back of their minds all season that if they didn’t win, Glenn’s job would be in jeopardy.

“Going into that last game on Saturday, we all wanted to win to maybe give the coaches a chance to stay or at least send them out right,” Johnson said. “That didn’t happened. It was an emotional weekend. We lost a lot of seniors, especially two linebackers that I played with -- Mike Juergens and Ward Dobbs. They were two good friends and two good players.”

So why did the Cowboys finish 4-8 overall and 1-7 in the conference after many thought this was a year they could get back to a bowl game?

Stutzriem said there wasn’t any one reason, but if there was, turnovers would be at the top of the list. Wyoming tied for first in the country with 36 turnovers.

“The turnovers killed us,” Stutzriem said. “We went on four games in a row when we threw an interception to the end zone. In those games, once that happened, it got in the back of our mind, ‘here we go again.’ We kept fighting. We’re going to keep fighting.”

What are the Cowboys looking for in a new coach? They want to see some of the same qualities that they had in Glenn.

“I’m looking for somebody, and the same goes for my position coach, who likes discipline and hard work and rewards that,” Johnson said. “I think most of these guys can attest to that because we have a bunch of guys who are blue collar, who work hard. Bring in coach in who respects that and demands respect, that is the quality we should look for in a new coach.”

“I know myself that Mr. Burman said he wants to win,” Stutzriem added. “That made me feel good. Hopefully, we can get a winner in here and somebody who can turn the program around. I’m excited about that, but at the same time, a little upset with the coaches leaving. They were a great group of guys. You have to move on and get things going for next year.”

Sophomore safety Chris Prosinksi said their work ethic won’t change with a change in the coaching regime.

“We’ll work hard this summer when we get a new coach and work just as hard as we did for the last coaches,” Prosinski said. “We’re expecting to win and we’ll try to go to a bowl game next year.”

Bolling admitted that even though things had gone south for much of the season, they still went into Saturday’s game with hope -- hope that they could beat CSU and possibly save their coach’s job.

That didn’t happen.

“Any time you win a rivalry game, when your coach’s job is on the line, if you win that game, it has to have some consideration for him staying,” Bolling said. “That’s the big game of the year, and of course, things didn’t go the way we wanted to and the change happened. There’s nothing we can do about it now, that’s an executive thing and as players, we just have to move forward.”

Two days after losing their rivalry game, one day after losing their head coach, the Cowboys are still smarting. You could see it in their eyes and on their faces on Monday. After some time to let it sink in, they are realists; they know they have to move on.

“It is what it is and now we getting new coaches and we’ll work hard for them and maybe we can get to a bowl game,” Johnson said.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

As expected, Glenn won't be back


Richard Anderson photo
Joe Glenn was let go as University of Wyoming head football coach on Sunday after six years at the helm.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman announced Sunday that head football coach Joe Glenn will not return as coach of the Cowboys. Glenn served in his current position for the past six seasons (2003-08).

“We felt that after six seasons under Coach Glenn, the Wyoming football program was not making the kind of progress we had hoped for,” said Burman in a release a day after the Cowboys fell to Colorado State, 31-20. “We had hoped that after six seasons, we would be competing for a conference championship. That has not happened.

“I want to thank Coach Glenn for the way in which he has represented our athletics department and our university over the past six years. There is no finer man, no finer person than Joe Glenn. He has been an outstanding ambassador for Cowboy and Cowgirl athletics, the University of Wyoming and the state of Wyoming. We will always be grateful to him for his service.”

Glenn’s high points while at Wyoming included wins over Ole Miss (2004 and 2005), Virginia (2007) and Tennessee (2008). His most memorable win at UW came in the 2004 Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, when he led the Cowboys to a 24-21 upset victory over UCLA.

“I want to thank the University of Wyoming for giving us the opportunity to coach here the past six years,” said Glenn. “We have made many friends both on and off the field. I also want to thank our football staff, their families and our players for all their hard work and loyalty. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this great game with all of them.”

Wyoming president Tom Buchanan said the primary mission of the University of Wyoming is to provide outstanding undergraduate and graduate education. He also said that UW is a nationally recognized research university and has an important responsibility to provide service in a variety of ways to Wyoming’s citizens.

But, Buchanan said that like a vast majority of their peer universities, they also have an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics program, led by Burman.

UW has decided to make a change in the leadership of the football program for a host of very sound reasons. AD Burman and I have discussed at length the issues surrounding this decision, and I fully support his decision,” Buchanan said. “As is the case with any coaching change, there will be debate about the wisdom of the decision, and nothing I say will change that.”

Buchanan, however, said he has nothing but respect for Glenn and his time at Wyoming.

“First, over the past six years, there has been no better ambassador for the University of Wyoming than Joe Glenn,” Buchanan said. “He has been a regular visitor to Wyoming’s public schools; he has consistently devoted his time and energy to charitable causes; he has been a tremendous citizen of the university’s campus participating in a host of events unrelated to athletics; and he has embraced the State of Wyoming with enthusiasm. I have made it clear that there is a place for him at the University of Wyoming if he so desires - he is a valuable asset to the university and the state.

“Second, Joe has managed UW’s football program in a way that ensured that our student-athletes were academically successful. The university and our fans can be proud of the behavior of our student-athletes, both on and off the field. I can assure you that I will expect the next Wyoming head football coach to bring the same level of commitment and success to academics that Joe Glenn demanded.

“Finally, we will work quickly to name a new coach to ensure that our program can continue with as little interruption as possible. I urge our fans to join me in continuing to support UW’s intercollegiate athletics, and to recognize the wonderful contribution that Joe has made to UW and Wyoming during the past six years.”

The Cowboys finished the 2008 the season with an overall record of 4-8 and a 1-7 record in the Mountain West Conference.

Glenn’s best season was the 2004 campaign, when Wyoming posted a 7-5 overall mark on its way to the Las Vegas Bowl win. Glenn’s Cowboys earned bowl eligible status one other season, in 2006 with a 6-6 mark, but were not invited to a bowl game that season. His best conference record in the past six seasons was a 5-3 mark in 2006, placing Wyoming third in the Mountain West that season.

Glenn’s overall record as coach of the Cowboys is 30-41 (.423), and his record against Mountain West Conference opponents stands at 15-31 (.326).

Glenn has been honored numerous times by his peers. His most recent honor came in 2002 as head coach at Montana when he was selected Big Sky Conference Co-Coach of the Year by his fellow Big Sky coaches. It marked the third consecutive season that Glenn won or shared that honor. He was also named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division I-AA Region 5 Coach of the Year in 2002, marking the second consecutive season he earned that honor. In 2000, Glenn was presented the Eddie Robinson Award by The Sports Network as the Division I-AA National Coach of the Year. He also won AFCA Division II National Coach of the Year honors in both 1996 and ‘97. All total, he has been named National Coach of the Year three times, AFCA Regional Coach of the Year on five occasions and conference coach of the year five different seasons. In the spring of 2000, The Denver Post named him one of Colorado’s “Greatest Coaches of the 1900’s.”

His current contract was scheduled to run through the 2010 season. Under the terms of his contract, the University of Wyoming will pay him $316,000 for the remaining two years of his contract.

Burman said that a national search for Glenn’s successor would begin immediately.

“Wyoming football has a tremendous tradition,” said Burman. “It has been highly successful under names like (Bowden) Wyatt, (Bob) Devaney, (Lloyd) Eaton, (Paul) Roach and (Joe) Tiller. We strongly believe we have the potential to return to the success our fans enjoyed under these great coaches.”

Burman believes that a search can be completed in a timely manner, and he has engaged the services of Neinas Sports (www.neinassports.com) to assist in the search process. The contract with Neinas Sports is for $35,000, plus expenses.

“We recognize the magnitude of making a great hire,” said Burman. “We are prepared to attract a head coach who will make Wyoming football a power in the Mountain West Conference.”

Glenn met with his coaching staff and his team early Sunday afternoon. Burman is expected to meet with the team on Monday.

Stutzriem, Cowboy offense can't take advantage of opportunities


Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming quarterback Chris Stutzriem calls out a play with running back Devin Moore on Saturday against Colorado State.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

For much of the season, all eyes have been on the struggling Wyoming offense as the UW coaching staff searched for a quarterback to lead them.

First it was sophomore transfer Dax Crum, unseating last year’s starter, Karsten Sween. But Crum failed to do what Sween failed to do -- hang on to the football, move the team and put points on the scoreboard.

Then there was Sween, who did a better job but was still hampered by turnovers before a concussion took him out of the lineup.

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn and offensive coordinator Bob Cole then turned to redshirt freshman Chris Stutzriem, who basically was fourth on the depth chart when the season began.

Stutzriem showed the ability to not only move the ball, but not turn it over. He was steady, if not spectacular in wins over San Diego State and Tennessee and took a 14-9 lead into the fourth quarter at UNLV before the sky fell again with a pair of interceptions in what turned out to be a 22-14 defeat, which ended any bowl eligibility hopes for Wyoming.

In Saturday’s 31-20 loss to Colorado State, the Cowboys ran up 429 yards of total offense and put another 20 points on the board.

But three costly fumbles -- two by senior back Devin Moore and the other by senior Wynel Seldon -- stymied the offense once again.

“It’s like a reoccurring nightmare, unbelievable,” Glenn said. “We practice ball security all of the time, have since I got here. We can’t get it shut off. The football Gods are down on me for something I did. You have to protect the ball or you don’t have a chance. Two of those turnovers turned directly into seven points, seven points and look at the difference in the game.”

For the season, Wyoming turned the football over 36 times -- 17 interceptions and 19 fumbles.

While Stutzriem didn’t turn the ball over himself on Saturday, he said he made a couple of critical mistakes that could have turned into scores.

Stutzriem was 21 of 39 passing for 201 yards -- and no touchdowns. CSU quarterback Billy Farris was just 15 of 25 passing for 235 yards and one interception. But Farris threw three long touchdowns to Dion Morton.

CSU played a good game and they took advantage of their opportunities, and we didn’t,” Stutzriem said. “We left a couple of touchdowns out there. I missed a wide open throw to Greg Bolling in the first half for a touchdown. That is one of the difference makers right there.”

Although the Cowboys gave up a late first-half touchdown to close the gap to 14-10, Stutzriem said all they had to do offensively to begin the second half was move the ball and score, and they would have been fine. As it turned out, the Cowboys could only muster two Nick Landess field goals.

“We should have come out in the second half and done a little bit more,’ Stutzriem said. “For myself, nobody remembers that I hit Greg Genho on the flat and Greg Bolling was wide open for a touchdown. I missed a couple of throws there. We could have had more touchdowns and more points on the scoreboard. That’s my fault.”

In his final four games as a starter, Stutzriem was 47 of 86 passing for 605 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. As a team, the Cowboys averaged 383 yards a game and 20 points a game in his starts.

“I thought Stutzriem did a good job for a guy with no more experience than he had,” Glenn said. “I don’t think he threw a pick all day long and they brought a lot of heat on him. He did some good things.

“You take away the fourth quarter in Las Vegas, and he has played really darn well. I really admire him for his toughness, he is a stand-up guy. He’s a great kid and I think he has a great future.”

Stutzriem said it was just a matter of time before the Cowboys would get used to Cole and his system.

“When you bring in a new coach, whether it is a head coach or a defensive coordinator, offensive coach, it takes time,” Stutzriem said. “People don’t understand that. We’re going to get going in the off-season, we know what we need to do, what we need to do to get better. As long as we take care of that, we’re going to be fine in the future.”

Bittersweet day for record-setting seniors


UW photo
Cowboy senior running back Wynel Seldon rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries Saturday against Colorado State

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

It was a record day for three Cowboy seniors -- running backs Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon and linebacker Ward Dobbs.

So why aren’t they smiling?

The achievements were accomplished in a losing cause , a 31-20 loss to Colorado State Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

For Moore, he is now Wyoming’s all-time leading rusher with 2,965 yards, passing Ryan Christopherson, who rushed for 2,906 yards from 1991-94. Moore finished with 78 yards rushing, but lost the ball twice on fumbles. It certainly wasn’t the way Moore wanted to end his Wyoming career.

“I didn’t come up big like I should have,” Moore said. “All I can say is it is time to move on, time o put them in the back of my head. It was the last game of the season and it was not the way I wanted to go out.”’

How long will Moore remember those two mistakes?

“Probably for the rest of my life,” Moore said. “This was probably the biggest game of intensity, and I wanted to go out with a good cap on this. It didn’t happen.”

Earlier, Moore told the media that he had some personal and team goals that he would share with them at the end of the season.

“I accomplished some of them,” he said. “Team-wise, I wanted to go to a bowl game and win the bowl game, and of course, win the Border War. I wanted to rush for more than I actually rushed for this season. I don’t think I hit it. I’m happy about the all-time thing, I couldn’t ask for more. But at the same time, I would trade it in if we could have had two or three more wins this season and win a bowl game.”

Seldon, meanwhile, finished with 107 yards on Saturday to become the program’s third all-time leading rusher at 2,672 yards, passing Marques Brigham, who had 2,605 rushing yards from 1995-98.

But he, too, lost a critical fumble. Despite that miscue, he said he had no misgivings. In fact, Seldon said he is going graduate this December with a marketing degree.

“That is one of the promises that I made to my family when I came to school, that I would get my degree,” Seldon said. “Then I want to pursue the next level and see if I can play as long as I can.”

Despite their mistakes, Seldon said the Cowboys tried to persevere. They just came up short.

“It was a hard-fought game,” Seldon said. “My counter-partner, D-Mo, and the rest of the team, I believe we all left it on the field. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t regret coming here, I don’t regret playing for Wyoming. I don’t regret anything that has happened in my career. I thank God for it because he used that to mature me as a man. I came here 17 years old, as a boy, and I’m leaving here as a man. I’m proud of myself and just grateful to be able to play this game.”

Dobbs had 11 tackles against the Rams to move into the No. 5 spot on the UW career tackle list with 343, passing linebacker Tyler Gottschalk, who made 334 tackles from 2000-03.

“Five years go by quick,” Dobbs said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to play with.”

In the second quarter against Colorado State, Dobbs intercepted his third pass of the season and returned it 24 yards for the touchdown, his second touchdown of the season. He also returned a pick 25 yards in the win against Tennessee.

“That was a good time, that’s for sure,” Dobbs said. “That’s to the big D-line, they tipped another one to me. They gave me another gift.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Farris, Morton burn UW secondary thrice


UW photo
Wyoming sophomore Chris Prosinski steps in front of a CSU receiver for an interception on Saturday.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Joe Glenn warned us. He said before the game that the Cowboys couldn’t let the talented Colorado State receivers get past the Wyoming secondary.

Unfortunately for Wyoming, Glenn’s forewarning came true. CSU quarterback Billy Farris connected on three long touchdown passes to wide receiver Dion Morton and the Rams won the Bronze Boot again with a 31-20 come-from-behind victory Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

“Third and long is tough,” Glenn said. “They were great plays by CSU … great throws, great catches and athletic. Give them all the credit. All three were in third and long, I think. They out-played us in that regard.”

Trailing 14-3 with less than a minute left in the first half, Farris and Morton connected on a huge 51-yard touchdown pass that took a little air out the Cowboys’ sails.

“That one definitely hurt. Going into half 14-3 would have been nice,” Wyoming sophomore safety Chris Prosinski said. “They all hurt, they all count on the score.”

Early in the third quarter, the Rams kept that momentum and Farris found Morton again behind the Wyoming coverage on a nice 43-yard strike. Suddenly, the Rams were up 17-14.

Wyoming did bounce back with a pair of field goals by Nick Landess for a 20-17 lead, but early in the fourth quarter, it was one strike, two strikes and three strikes you are out for the Cowboys.

Farris found Morton on a 31-yard touchdown pass as Morton just got his toes down in the back of the end zone.

“I think coach had a good game plan. We came in ready … just too many big plays,” said Prosinski, who wasn’t covering Morton on any of those touchdowns. “Those three touchdowns just killed us. That was a big momentum change to. As far as the yards, it has been something we have been working on all year. We kept them pretty low for the most part, we just had an off day.”

Wyoming junior defensive tackle John Fletcher, who put good pressure on the CSU quarterbacks all day, admitted that the scoring plays were frustrating to watch.

“We were rushing three and dropping eight and I still don’t know how the kid was getting behind us,” Fletcher said. “They are a good, potent offense and that’s what they do, and that’s what they have been doing all year. They are good at it.”

Prosinksi, who had a second-half pass interception, said the Rams have good speed and the Cowboys just couldn’t adjust to it.

“I can’t say what happened, I wasn’t in the coverage,” he said. “But as a secondary, we have to make plays and we didn’t today.”

Morton finished with six catches for 160 yards. CSU coach Steve Fairchild said the long touchdown passes were the difference in the game … especially the first one.

“The touchdown was huge to get us back within range and then to get the ball back to start the second half,” Fairchild said. “All of those long pass plays were big. Billy (Farris) did a great job on those throws.”

Was this Glenn's last game at Wyoming?


Richard Anderson photos
Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn shakes hands after Saturday's game with Colorado State. Wyoming athletics director Tom Burman and president Tom Buchanan will meet soon to discus Glenn's future with the program.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Joe Glenn wants to return as Wyoming head football coach next season and his players spoke out in his behalf Saturday after the Cowboys fell to Colorado State 31-20 at War Memorial Stadium.

There has been an abundant of speculation that Saturday was Glenn’s final game as Wyoming head coach. The loss on Saturday put the Cowboys at 4-8 on the season and 1-7 in Mountain West Conference play.

In Glenn’s six years at the helm, he has guided Wyoming to one bowl game victory (2004 over UCLA) and has had some big wins over power programs such as Tennessee, Ole Miss and Virginia.

But he has had just one season of .500 or better in the MWC and his overall record at Wyoming is just 30-41.

Does Glenn believe he deserves a chance to return? In some ways, he said yes.

“I know you have that damn thing at the end of the field with lights on it called a scoreboard,” Glenn said. “But there are things that we have done that you can’t measure on the scoreboard. We have a wonderful coaching staff and a great bunch of guys who have been loyal. That is something they really haven’t had here before. There were times in our careers here where we had opportunities to do something different, and really felt like after the Las Vegas Bowl, ‘let’s dig in and get what Wyoming hasn’t had for quite a while.’ We did, but we didn’t get over the hump.”

When asked his thoughts of Glenn possibly not being retained, redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Stutzriem not only supported his coach, but got angry at the thought that he might not return.

“Joe Glenn is my head coach or I don’t wear these colors,” Stutzriem said. “We’re standing up for him, so take it as you want. We can win with him.”

Stutzriem said that Glenn and his staff have brought several outstanding players to Wyoming who might not otherwise have had a chance to play Division I football.

“John Fletcher was a walk on. He came here. Mitch Unrien and Devin Moore,” Stutzriem said. “Those players don’t come to these places unless they only have one opportunity. These coaches brought them here. We’re going to have players like that in the future.”

When asked if he would transfer if Glenn was let go, Stutzriem’s patience began to grow thin again.

“I want Tom Burman, Matt Whisenant or whoever, to come over and be a man about it if they are going to do this,” Stutzriem said. “My coach is Joe Glenn right now. That’s all I am going to say about it.”

Yet, Stutzriem had more to say.

“He’s my head coach and I would never go behind his back and want him out of here,” he added. “Why would I want to go with another offensive staff? That would be three in three years. It’s not going to be, ‘Oh, we got a new head coach, let’s go win the Rose Bowl.’ That is not what is going to happen. I understand it, we’re not doing it. But we started out rough this year and we’ll get that fixed. Blame that on me, take my scholarship away. I cost us the UNLV game … isn’t that right? Take my scholarship. Joe Glenn is my head coach.”

Several other Cowboys also voiced their allegiance to Glenn.

“From all of the talk that we have heard, he is probably gone,” Fletcher said. “I hope not, I love the guy. He’s a great coach and it is hard to let anybody go when you have been around them for four years. Then you have to look at the business aspect of the college and they want to win. We haven’t done that in the last couple of years. I don’t know what they are going to do; something has to change for us to start winning and have a winning season.”

“I know we have some stuff going on with the coaching staff, but I couldn’t ask for a better guy to play under. I’d do it all again, that’s for sure,” added senior linebacker Ward Dobbs. “One this is for sure, and I have been telling people this, playing for Coach Glenn and my position coach (Marty) English, I have all the respect in the world for those guys and the whole coaching staff. I’m a better man today, for sure, to be able to play for them.”

Some players just wanted to stay out of the talk.

“There are rumors, but I am not getting into that,” sophomore safety Chris Prosinski said. “I know that we are all behind Coach Glenn and I hope that he is back.”

When told that some of his players were backing him up, as well as some interviewed fans in the stands, Glenn just smiled and said, “Let’s have a vote.”

Glenn didn’t really wants to get into specifics, but he did say after Saturday’s game that at some point, he will meet Burman.

“He said we would sit down and talk about it when the season is over,” Glenn said. “I really don’t have any answers for you because I don’t know where I am going.”

Glenn actually already met with Burman on Thursday for a short time to go over where the program was headed and what they are doing.

“I think he wanted to evaluate a little bit this final game and then evaluate the season and evaluate where we are at as a group,” Glenn said. “I’m sure they will take everything into consideration and make the right decision for the University of Wyoming, the state and the football program. I’ll live with whatever they come up with.”

It has been reported that Burman and Wyoming president Tom Buchanan would soon, if not already, meet and discuss Glenn’s fate.

“We’ll see what they say. We’re all three good friends and they will make a decision to what is best for Wyoming … I know they will,” Glenn said.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's payback time for Cowboys


Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming running back Devin Moore needs just 20 yards on Saturday to become the all-time leading rusher for the Cowboys.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

It’s déjà vu all over again in reverse for the Wyoming Cowboys.

The Cowboys want to play the spoiler and keep Colorado State from being bowl eligible when the two teams meet for the 100th time Saturday, beginning at noon at War Memorial Stadium.

Wyoming (1-6 in MWV, 4-7 overall) saw its bowl eligibility hopes dashed last week in the 22-14 loss to UNLV. CSU (3-4, 5-6) can get to that plateau with a win over Wyoming.

Last year, the Rams knocked off the Cowboys as they were looking for their sixth victory in what turned out to be head coach Sonny Lubick’s final game with the program.

Will this be Joe Glenn’s swan song on Saturday? It has been reported in various media outlets this week that Glenn met with athletics director Tom Burman for a 14-minute meeting and Burman and UW president Tom Buchannan will meet possibly Saturday night to decide Glenn’s fate.

If Saturday is Glenn’s last game at Wyoming, he said he has no regrets in his six years at the helm.

“It’s been a great six years. There have been some great wins, some great people," Glenn said. “Just high times for me in my life to play in a Division I bowl game, to play at places like Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Virginia. It has been really sensational. I would have to place the people and the players I have worked with and that I know around the state as probably the highlight of my past six years.”

Glenn, however, admitted this season has been a different one for him. The Cowboys were expected to challenge for a bowl game this season, but five straight losses in the middle of the campaign have -- five lopsided defeats -- have put a damper on the enthusiasm.

Wyoming did win two straight games over San Diego State and Tennessee before falling to UNLV.

“It’s been a different feel," Glenn said. “A lot of the stuff throughout the year has a different feel to it than maybe with other circumstances.”

For now, Glenn is looking at the future and the future is Saturday against the Rams. Last year’s game in Fort Collins came a day after Thanksgiving and while it is a week earlier this season, the game is once again the finale for both programs.

As far as Glenn is concerned, that is the way it should be.

“We just moved this game last year to the end of the season,” Glenn said. “You can anticipate that this is the biggest game of the year, regardless if we are going to a bowl game or not matter what. You throw out all of that other stuff. You put it at the end and there is a crescendo for schools; there is something to play for at the end of the season. I’m way fired up about it.”

While the Rams (3-4) have a good running game with Gartrell Johnson (228 rushes, 1,056 yards) it’s the passing game that the Cowboys have to be at their best.

“They have two good guys, Dion Morton (42 catches, 676 yards) and Rashaun Greer (58, 995) who are really having big seasons for them,” Glenn said. “We’ve got to hold out there. We were in pretty good shape all of the year last year until they threw a couple over our head. There is a lot of concern in my mind and when I talked to the defensive coaches that we have to be able to hold up in the pass.”

Quarterback Billy Farris has completed 201 of 325 passes for 2,442 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

“It’s the Border War and it is the biggest game of the year,” Glenn said. “On our goal sheet, it is the first goal that we set every year in capital letters … BEAT CSU.”

Wyoming freshman quarterback Chris Stutzriem looks to bounce back after a sub-par game at UNLV when he threw for two interceptions. Stutzriem had no interceptions in wins over San Diego State and Tennessee.

Glenn said that Stutzriem will again start at quarterback against CSU.

“He feels horrible about what happens, but he absolutely turned down his first read on a couple of plays in critical times in the fourth quarter,” Glenn said. “Both of the guys were wide open and he threw the ball to the wrong people, which resulted in an interception, and that is not him. He is better than that, he is smarter than that and we don’t anticipate him doing that again. Karsten (Sween) will be ready to go. But we have to eliminate stuff like that that is just devastating. It can’t happen.”

The Cowboys look to answer on the grounds with seniors Devin Moore (231, 1,225) and Wynel Seldon (126, 530). Moore needs just 20 yards to become the program’s all-time leader rusher and Seldon needs 41 yards for third place all time.

Glenn said for the Cowboys to be successful on Saturday, they just have to play their own game and not to put any pressure on themselves individually.

“I talked about it a pretty good length after the game to the team, everybody doing your own job and don’t be making things up,” he said. “They need to know like you are taught and play within yourself and play within the system, good things will happen. If you make up stuff, good things won’t happen.”

Wyoming-CSU notebook

The 100th edition of “The Border War” to be played Saturday
The Wyoming Cowboys and Colorado State Rams will be playing for the 100th time this week in the Border War. The series is the oldest rivalry for both schools.

The Border War series has been played in three different centuries, dating back to Nov. 30, 1899, when CSU won the first meeting 12-0 in Fort Collins, Colo. This year is the 109th anniversary of that first meeting.

Since the end of World War II, Wyoming and CSU have played every season for 63 consecutive seasons from 1946 to this season. Colorado State leads the overall series 54-40-5. Over the past 62 consecutive meetings, dating back to the 1946 season, Wyoming leads 35-27-0.

Beginning with the 1968 season, Wyoming and Colorado State have battled for a traveling trophy that was established by the ROTC detachments of both schools. That traveling trophy is the Bronze Boot. The Boot was originally worn by Colorado State graduate Jeff Romero Sr. in Vietnam. Since the Bronze Boot was established, the battle to take it home has been as close as a series can be. The Bronze Boot series is currently tied at 20-20.

The Matchup
This year’s meeting will pit the Cowboys, who are 4-7 overall and 1-6 in the Mountain West Conference, versus the Rams, who are 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the MWC. The Rams are trying to win a sixth game that would make them bowl eligible, while the Cowboys will try and play the spoiler role and deny their archrival of achieving bowl eligible status.

During the period that Joe Glenn has served as head coach at Wyoming, the Cowboys are 2-3 against the Rams. Glenn won his first meeting against CSU by a 35-28 margin in Laramie in ‘03. In 2004, the Rams won in Fort Collins, 30-7, and they captured the 2005 meeting, also in Fort Collins, by a 39-31 score. The 2006 season saw the Pokes shutout CSU 24-0 in Laramie. Last season CSU won by a final score of 36-28. The 2006 shutout by the Cowboys marked the first time UW had shutout Colorado State since 1959 when the Pokes won by a 29-0 score on Oct. 10, 1959, in Laramie.

Record day?
Wyoming senior running back Devin Moore needs just 20 more rushing yards to become Wyoming’s all-time leading rusher. He enters this week with 2,887 career rushing yards. He trails only Ryan Christopherson, who rushed for 2,906 rushing yards from 1991-94.

Fellow Cowboy senior Wynel Seldon can also move into the No. 3 spot on the UW career rushing list with 41 yards this Saturday. Seldon has run for 2,565 career yards in his college career.

A third senior, linebacker Ward Dobbs, needs only three tackles to take sole possession of fifth place on the Wyoming career tackle list. Dobbs will enter Saturday’s game with 332 career tackles.

Senior Day
A total of 15 Wyoming seniors will be playing their final game for the Cowboys on Saturday. Those seniors and their families will be honored on the field prior to Saturday’s game.

On TV
The game will be televised live on The Mtn. (Mountain West Sports Network). Saturday’s Wyoming-Colorado State game will be the first televised in High-Definition (HD) by The Mtn.The Mtn. (MountainWest Sports Network), in partnership with the Mountain West Conference, will broadcast in high-definition (HD) for the first time on Saturday, beginning with MWC Football Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Mtn. will telecast approximately nine hours of continuous high-definition programming throughout the day, encompassing the one-hour pregame show, MWC Football Saturday, leading up to kickoff in Laramie, Wyo., for the Colorado State at Wyoming game.

DIRECTV customers require a programming package (CHOICE or above in the MWC DMA or SportsPack for the remainder of the country) with HD Access and an HD-capable receiver to view high-definition programming.

Cable subscribers should check with their local service provider for service, availability and channel placement. The Mtn. will also provide an updated listing on its website: The Mtn. High-Definition Channel Listings.

Other promotions
Several special events will take place leading up to the game.

The annual running of the game ball by the ROTC detachments of both universities will take place on Friday. The two ROTC units are scheduled to meet at the Wyoming-Colorado border on U.S. Highway 287 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Wyoming’s Mounted Cavalry and Blackhawk Helicopters from the Colorado National Guard will be featured in the exchange of the game ball between the two schools. Once the ball is run from Fort Collins to the state line by the CSU ROTC members, the Wyoming ROTC members will run the ball on into Laramie and will present the game ball to Cowboy head coach Joe Glenn and the Cowboy team later in the afternoon. Media are welcome to attend Friday’s event at the state border.

Also taking place on Friday will be the “Border War” Blood Drive competition between the two schools. The friendly competition is a way for both universities to encourage their fans to donate blood. United Blood Services of Wyoming and Garth Englund Blood Donation Center of Fort Collins are coordinating the events in Laramie and Fort Collins. University of Wyoming fans, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to donate blood from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday in the lower level of Washakie Dining Center on the UW campus in Laramie.

The school that generates the largest number of donations will win the “Bronze Heart”. Individuals are invited to show up to donate at their convenience between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, or they can also reserve a time to donate in Laramie by going to www.bloodhero.com.

“Toys for Tots” of Albany County will be collecting toys Saturday at War Memorial Stadium. In order to ensure that all the children in Albany County will receive toys for Christmas this year, the Fleet Reserve Association Wyoming Branch and Unit 59, the Marine Corps League Detachment #777, UW’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Semper Fi Society will be sponsoring “Toys for Tots” this year. New, unwrapped toys, as well as monetary contributions, will be collected inside the gates of War Memorial Stadium prior to the Wyoming vs. CSU football game. All the toys collected at the Wyoming vs. CSU game will remain in Albany County to assist families in need.

For more information about the “Toys for Tots” drive or to inform “Toys for Tots” of the existence of a family who needs help buying toys this Christmas, contact Jim Marshall at (307) 637-6617.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winning the Bronze Boot


UW photo
Wyoming players celebrate the 2006 win over Colorado State.


By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Saturday marks the 100th time that the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University have battled on the football field. The game will also be the 41st time the two teams have fought for the “Bronze Boot.”

In 1968, the ROTC detachments of the respective schools initiated the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the contest each year. The Boot was originally worn in Vietnam by Colorado State graduate Jeff Romero Sr.

Normally each year leading up to the Wyoming-Colorado State game, the game ball is carried on foot in a shuttle relay by the ROTC detachment of the visiting team to the Wyoming-Colorado state border, where the home team's ROTC detachment receives it and runs the game ball to the stadium hosting the game.

This year Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild will ride on a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter from the Colorado National Guard to the state line of the ROTC detachments from both schools, running the game ball to Wyoming ROTC representatives.

Kickoff Saturday at War Memorial Stadium is set for noon.

For the Cowboys, they can list BYU, Utah and even Air Force as rivals. CSU can certainly do the same, along with Colorado.

But under no circumstances are any of those matchups bigger for both teams than when Wyoming plays Colorado State.

“Our big game of the year is against Colorado State,” Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said Tuesday during the weekly MWC media teleconference. “It is a great rivalry. We talk about the Bronze Boot, what it stands for, what it signifies, what it represents. It is huge for both teams. CSU has it right now and the ‘Pokes want to get it back. It would be a great way to finish the season.”

Fairchild said that this game is as big of a rivalry as his school has.

“I think both universities do a great job of making this important, not only to the athletic departments, but to the entire schools and the communities,” Fairchild said. “That Bronze Boot is important to a lot of people. We’re fortunate at Colorado State. We have the CU and the Air Force games that, in their own right, are pretty good rivalries. But there is none that is more important to us than the Border War.”

The Rams won last year’s game 36-28, spoiling a chance for Wyoming to become bowl eligible. At 5-6, Colorado State has that same chance with a win over the 4-7 Cowboys.

Possibly a case of déjà vu all over again in reverse?

“I’m not looking to screw them up. I’m looking for us to finish on a high note,” Glenn said.
Then again ….

“It’s a chance to go out and get the Bronze Boot with a victory over your arch-rival,” he added. “It couldn’t get much better than that.”

The Bronze Boot is symbolic of who wins the game, Glenn said, between the two universities that “happen to be 70 miles apart.”

“That boot gets put into the trophy case, right as you enter the athletics department,” Glenn said. “We shine it up clean and bright, for everybody to see. I hope CSU does the same when they have it. It is a rival game and rival games are always the most fun part of the game.”

Glenn said that the rivalry reminds him of his playing days at the University of South Dakota, when they faced off against South Dakota State University.

“I remember the fever pitch, the spirit, the love for the game and wanting to win this game against guys I really didn’t know,” he said. “It’s for my school against their school, for my colors against their colors, for my alums against their alums. It meant a lot to me.”

Both coaches admit that they make sure their players know the significance of the rivalry.

“I really care about our kids knowing that,” Glenn said. “It’s been a battle. The home team has won it every team that I have been here and we’re at home, so 'Go ‘Pokes.'”

Fairchild not only previously coached in this game as an assistant coach, but he led the Rams to the 1980 Border War win as the starting quarterback. He is making sure that his team is surrounded by former players and coaches who have experienced the game.

“This whole week, it started Sunday night, there are various people who will visit with our football team and will share with our team their experiences about this game and how important that it is to them,” Fairchild said. “I think it is my job, my responsibility to enlighten our football team, particularly our newer players, on how important this rivalry is and how important it is to so many people out there.”

Both teams have 20 wins in the Bronze Boot series.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rebels crush Cowboys' bowl hopes

LAS VEGAS -- The Cowboys of old showed up Thursday at Sam Boyd Stadium, and the result is no bowl game for Wyoming.

Wyoming turned the ball over three times, including one crucial interception that led to a UNLV score, as the Rebels kept their bowl hopes alive with a 22-14 win over the Cowboys.

“It was the same old deal. The new ‘Pokes became the old ‘Pokes again at the wrong time” said Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn on the postgame show on the Cowboy Sports Network. “We didn’t go through our reads correctly on a couple of those throws … we know better. You don’t win close games when you aren’t firing on all cylinders.”

The loss dropped Wyoming to 1-6 in Mountain West Conference play and 4-7 overall, while the Rebels moved to 2-5 and 5-6, UNLV can get bowl eligible with a win over San Diego state next week. Wyoming, meanwhile, hosts Colorado State, where the only thing at stake for UW is pride and the Bronze Boot.

Wyoming freshman quarterback Chris Stutzriem had guided the Cowboys to two straight wins by being efficient, albeit not spectacular. On Thursday, he had the best game of his career statistically by going 12-of-21 for 143 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw two interceptions, the last by Quinton Pointer in the end zone with 4:52 left as the Cowboys went for the potential tying points.

The Cowboys’ Brandon Stewart also had the ball stripped and recovered by UNLV’s Terrence Lee on a punt return with 1:41 left in the game that ended any Wyoming hopes of a comeback.

The Rebels surprisingly also out-rushed the Cowboys in the game (16t6-151), as Summers ran for 75 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. UNLV finished with 323 yards in total offense, while Wyoming had 294 yards of offense.

Summers' 1-yard touchdown around the right side on the first play of the fourth quarter gave the Rebels a 15-14 lead. Summers carried the ball eight times for 25 yards on the drive. The touchdown was set up by a pass on a fake punt from Dack Ishii to Jerriman Robinson for 19 yards to the Wyoming 30.

On UNLV's following offensive drive, Clausen throw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rodelin Anthony to make it 22-14 with 12:15 left in the game.

UNLV improved to 2-0 under freshman quarterback Mike Clausen. He was 16-of-30 for 138 yards and a touchdown and ran for 52 yards on 13 carries.

Senior Devin Moore led Wyoming with 91 yards rushing.

The Cowboys, coming off an emotional victory at Tennessee five days earlier, took a 14-9 lead on Stutzriem's 28-yard pass to senior Chris Johnson with 12:34 left in the third quarter.

The Rebels led 9-7 at intermission, with Kyle Watson making field goals for 38, 36 and 38 yards. Wyoming took a 7-3 lead on Stutzriem 8-yard pass to senior Greg Bolling in the left corner on the first play of the second quarter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No (normal) time to celebrate


The Thursday night game makes everything tougher. You have to work faster and tougher and get it done quicker. The candle is going on both ends a little bit.” -- Wyoming coach Joe Glenn
-------------------------------------
By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Saturday proved to be a day to celebrate for both the Wyoming Cowboys and the UNLV Rebels.

Late Saturday night and Sunday , it was back to work.

Both teams had monumental wins on Saturday -- the Cowboys upsetting Tennessee in Knoxville, 13-7, and UNLV breaking a five-game skid with a 27-20 home win over New Mexico.

The two teams will now meet Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas in a game that could go a long way in one team becoming bowl eligible and the loser not having an opportunity to play in a bowl game..

So much for getting a little extra time of preparation.

“The Thursday night game makes everything tougher,” Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn said Tuesday during his weekly MWC media teleconference. “You have to work faster and tougher and get it done quicker. The candle is going on both ends a little bit.”

The Cowboys, who played a day game against Tennessee, were able to be back to Laramie by 8 p.m. and immediately get back to work in preparation for the Rebels. Wyoming practiced on Sunday and won’t get a day off until Friday -- after the UNLV game.

“I can tell you that when we practiced on Sunday, it was a lot better coming off of a win than it would be had we lost a close game down there,” Glenn said.

Glenn said the Cowboys were sore on Sunday and Monday, but they powered through the workouts.

“That’s a rugged, tough Tennessee football team. They were some big dudes who can run fast and hit hard,” he said. “I think D-Mo (Devin Moore) is just now coming around. Wynel (Seldon) did most of the work in practice (Monday) night. It’s just soreness and those type of things when you come to play a tough, physical team. We’re on to the next game and the Tennessee thing is in the rear-view mirror. But I do think it really buoyed their confidence and gave us some of that good old ‘belief in yourself’ and that we are a pretty viable team when we play right and get things done right.”

For the most part, Glenn said it has been business as usual for the players. For the coaches, that has been a different story.

“They (players) go to their meetings and go to their practices, and when they are done, they are done,” Glenn said. “The coaches have been staying late and coming in early, having to get game plans done early and practice plans done early and get the cards done early. The coaches have been on long, long days now ever since the Tennessee week. We had to travel a long, long ways to get there and then come back. It’s hard. You can use Friday as a work day when you are at home. Yet, we were on the road on Friday. (Wednesday) is a travel day for us again. UNLV has a little bit of an advantage in that they have pretty much a work day while we’re traveling.”

While the Cowboys have had to travel to Tennessee and back, then to Las Vegas, the Rebels have had the luxury of staying home on both counts.

UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said there are some advantages for being home for both games. He also said the turnaround wasn’t as bad for Wyoming because the Cowboys played a day game.

“The fact that it was a 1 o’clock Eastern time game, which was 11 o’clock Laramie time, and as far as getting back, it was actually better,” Sanford said. “We played at 7 p.m., so we had a really short night as coaches making the turnaround to start on Wyoming on Sunday.”

Glenn admitted that Sanford has a good point and he was not implying that the Rebels had an advantage of preparation for the Cowboys.

“Their staff is on the dead run too. I’m not saying that is working against us, but we’d like to be home this weekend,” Glenn said. “But we were home last year, so it’s their turn to host. “

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dobbs named MWC Defensive Player of Week

Wyoming senior linebacker Ward Dobbs was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in a 13-7 Wyoming victory at Tennessee on Saturday.

Dobbs recorded a team-high 13 tackles,intercepted one pass, which he returned 24 yards for Wyoming’s second touchdown of the game, had 4.0 tackles for losses; and 1.0 sack in the win.

Dobbs interception came in the second quarter, with Wyoming leading 7-0. He intercepted Tennessee quarterback Nick Stephens’ pass at the UT 24-yard line and never broke stride as he ran the interception back down the sideline an into the end zone for the score. It was Dobbs first interception return for a touchdown of his career and proved to be the game winner.

In addition to his interception return for a touchdown, Dobbs made two other critical plays. On a third and four on Wyoming’s own 37-yard line in the third quarter, Tennessee attempted a screen pass, which Dobbs identified and tackled UT running back Tauren Poole for a 1-yard loss, forcing the Volunteers to punt on the next play.

On the Vols final possession of the game, they had driven down field and had a first and 10 on the Wyoming 39-yard line. UT quarterback Jason Crompton dropped back to pass, but Dobbs came through on a blitz and sacked Crompton for an eight-yard loss back to the UT 47. Three incomplete passes later, the ball went over to Wyoming on downs and UW recorded the first Mountain West Conference win ever against the Volunteers.

The Cowboys win was also the first time a non-BCS conference team had won in Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium since Oct. 11, 1986, when Army defeated the Volunteers 25-21 in Knoxville.
Dobbs also moved into seventh place on Wyoming’s career tackle list with his performance versus Tennessee. He currently has 318 career tackles.

This marked the second MWC Defensive Player of the Week honor for Dobbs. He was also honored in 2006 for his performance in a 31-15 win over Utah.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cowboys shock Volunteers

By Wyoming Sports.org

If the Wyoming Cowboys packed it in a couple of weeks ago, they are doing a strange way of showing it.

In fact, the Cowboys look like anything but coasting to finish the season, as they defied the odds and defied some of the season’s problems in shocking a down Tennessee team, 13-7 Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

The win, Wyoming’s second straight, moved the Cowboys to 4-6 on the season, while the lame-duck Volunteers fell to 3-7.

Longtime Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will be stepping down at the end of the season under pressure, and Monday’s announcement brought out speculation on whether the Vols would be emotional -- sky high and down ridden.

The Cowboys made sure that all of the positive emotion on the field was theirs.

“We did a great job today and I thought we deserved a victory,” said an excited Wyoming coach Joe Glenn. “We worked hard and went out and played hard and came away with a hard fought victory. You can say what you want, but with Tennessee having gone through what they've been through this week, their kids came out and they probably aren’t real happy with their performance but they never went away. They played hard all day long.”

Fulmer, who won a national title in 1998 and two SEC titles, said his players, which showed tremendous support for him this week, don’t owe him an apology.

“If anything, I should be apologizing to the fans and everybody for this whole week coming about,” Fulmer said. “You get beat if you turn the ball over.”

The Cowboys sure know the feeling. But this time, it was their defense that took advantage of a couple of Tennessee mistakes and turned them into scores. In fact, when Wyoming freshman quarterback Chris Stutzriem hit fullback Greg Genho on a 4-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, it was the first time that Wyoming scored first in a game this season.

The score was set up by a big defensive play by defensive end Mike Neuhaus, who tipped a pass from Tennessee quarterback Nick Stephens, caught the ball and rambled 55 yards to the Tennessee 4-yard line.

Stutzriem, in just his second start of his career, quickly got the Cowboys on board.
Wyoming would take a 13-0 lead in the second quarter when senior linebacker Ward Dobbs stepped in front of the Stephens pass and returned it 24 yards for the score and a 13-0 lead.
Place-kicker Jake Scott missed the extra point after earlier missing a 31-yard field goal attempt.
As it turned out, the two missed kicks wouldn’t hurt the Cowboys.

Tennessee would get on the board earlier in the third quarter when Gerald Jones caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jonathon Compton, who had replaced Stephens.
“Our quarterback play has been less than what we would like to have,” Fulmer said. “I did think Jonathan (Crompton) came into the game and threw it around and competed and kept us in the game.”

The Cowboys played it conservative for much of the rest of the way, although they had a nice 10-play drive that stalled on downs on the Tennessee 23-yard line.

It was Wyoming’s defense that won the game in the second half, as it made several big plays to stop the struggling Vols.

Tennessee finished with just 219 total yards and an average of 3.3 yards per play.

“I just thought our defense played excellent today,” Glenn said. “We made plays to win the game for us. We hadn't had a turnover for a while so to get a couple and to have them mean so much was payback.”

Offensively, the Cowboys finished with 266 yards on offensive, including 167 yards rushing against a very good Tennessee defense. Senior running back Devin Moore had another big game, with 98 net yards on 32 carries. Wynel Seldon added 40 yards on 12 rushes.

Stutzriem had another workman-like game, completing 8 of 16 passes for 95 yards. Junior Karsten Sween played a handful of plays coming off of a concussion suffered two weeks ago, and was 1-of-1 for 4 yards.

“It was a big win,“ Stutzriem said. “Like I said two weeks ago; as long as everybody did their job we're going to be fine. Tennessee is a great team, they've got a legendary coach, they played with a lot of emotions but, you can never count out any boys from Wyoming."

Tennessee defensive end Wes Brown said they won’t make any excuses for their performance on Saturday.

“It's been a tough week, but there's no excuse for how we played,” Brown said. “No one wanted anything more than to win these games for coach Fulmer and these coaches. That's all I can say, it's been a tough week."

Fulmer congratulated the Cowboys on the win.

“They have a good team. They had a big win last week,” Fulmer said. “They ran the ball on us better than I thought they would overall. But I thought our defense played well enough to win the game. Offensively, we just didn't get it done--again.

“(The players are) 18- to 22-years-old. There were a lot of emotions throughout the week. Youth is resilient, but it's been a tough week. But that doesn't cause a ball to be intercepted. If we don't have that, we win 7-0 maybe, I don't know. You're always disappointed when you lose a football game. And you're particularly disappointed when you lose a game you feel like you should have won.”

For the Cowboys, it was a big self-confidence boost for a team that was struggling two weeks ago.

“It was a good victory for us on the road. We needed a win, we we’re fighting hard,” Glenn said. “We got to a point in our season were it was easy to pack it in but we battled and fought hard and maintained a great spirit in practice and worked hard in practice.”

The Cowboys don’t have a lot of time to celebrate, as they face UNLV Thursday night in Las Vegas.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cowboys to face emotional Vols


University of Tennessee photo
Despite winning one national title, Phillp Fulmer will step down after the season as Tennessee head coach.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Looking at the pros and cons, this could have the year to face Tennessee in Knoxville for the Wyoming Cowboys.

Pros
1) It’s certainly a down year for the Volunteers, 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the SEC.

Cons
1)The Cowboys are struggling offensively and are just 3-6 themselves. 2) Earlier in the week, longtime Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer announced that he was resigning (under pressure) at the end of the season.

It would appear that the cons are outweighing the pros again for the Cowboys.

While there has been a lot of struggles offensively for the Cowboys this season, they are also a little snakebiten. It would be their luck that playing at Tennessee would be hard enough as it is without the distraction of Fulmer’s resignation.

While player emotions could be down with disappointment from the Fulmer storyline, there’s also a chance that the Volunteers will look at this game and their final two to “win one for the Gipper,” and close out strong to become bowl eligible. Fulmer, who has spent his last 35 years at Tennessee as a player and coach, is considered popular with the players.

That was evident when much of the team attended Fulmer’s press conference on Monday when he announced his resignation and later expressed their anger and disappointment in the situation.

"I've never been, really, more pleased and honored than with the response of my football team,” Fulmer said. “Sometimes when you're not doing as well as you would like or anybody expects you to be, you don't always know where your team is. But this team, I've found, is a really unusual group, even though it's been a tough season for us along the way. They've continued to respond and practice hard and fight through the injuries, as we've played eight straight games and five of those being SEC games. So, I really do appreciate that.

“There have been a lot of former players, obviously, and great calls and e-mails. I will get back to all of them at some point. I obviously can't do that all here at one time, but I appreciate them and all the friends and family and everybody concerned. But our focus right now is to turn toward Wyoming. We were in earlier this morning as a staff working, trying to get our team ready. We look forward to the challenge.”

After three days of practice since his resignation, Fulmer said Thursday he likes the direction they are going.

“I have been very pleased with those guys,” Fulmer said. “I know there has been a lot of emotion attached to the week, and I think Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, getting back on the practice field was good therapy for everybody. The practices have had good energy and good concentration, and I've like the way they moved around.”

Wyoming coach Joe Glenn, who has also taken some heat for the Cowboys disappointing season, said it is difficult to see what is happening to Fulmer at Tennessee.

“It’s the hard part of this game. I don’t understand it … the what have you done for me lately type deal. He coached that team to a national championship,” Glenn said.

The problem at Tennessee, as well as Wyoming, has been on the offensive side of the ball. The Vols have an outstanding defense, led by sophomore safety Eric Berry (six interceptions), but have struggled with consistency at the quarterback position and hanging on to the ball.
Tennessee has lost eight fumbles this season and is 114th in total offensive nationally (compared to 111th for UW).

“They’ve changed quarterbacks a little bit and the turnover things has been a concern for them. They have fumbled a little more than they would like. You could just about mirror our two seasons,” Glenn said. “For sure, we’ve both gone down pretty much the same road and trying to get it patched up.”

Fulmer has been alternating Nick Stephens and Jonathan Crompton at quarterback this season, including last week against South Carolina. Stephens is 60-for-121 for 813 yards, one interception and four touchdowns. Crompton is 69-of-131 for 697 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

On the ground, Adrian Foster leads the way with 458 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

“They have probably thrown a little bit better than we have and we have probably run the ball a little bit better than they have,” Glenn said.

While the Cowboys have struggled against the Mountain West Conference’s big three -- BYU, TCU and Utah -- the Vols have dropped games to the best in the SEC -- Alabama, Florida and Georgia by a combined score of 85-29. Last week the Vols fell to South Carolina 27-6.

Both teams have been able to hang their hats on their defense, especially Tennessee, which is ranked 11th in the country in total defense. The Vols are tied for fourth nationally with 15 interceptions. Wyoming is 39th in the country defensively.

The Cowboys will return to action next Thursday at UNLV.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Glenn talks about a win, Stutz, Fulmer and playing Tennessee in November


Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming team members celebrate the win over San Diego State on Saturday.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn hasn’t had too many reasons to smile in the last month or so, but Saturday he was all teeth when walking into the media area in the Rochelle Athletic Center after the Cowboys blasted San Diego State 35-10.

“The feeling never changes,” Glenn said on Saturday. “It’s a great feeling to win and go out and have some success and see the kids smiling. I actually teared up at halftime when all of the linemen were walking around in the locker room with big smiles and high-fiving and head-butting each other. It’s sensational. It really feels good to taste the fruits of victory.”

On Tuesday, Glenn opened with a positive statement on the weekly MWC teleconference, something he hasn’t been able to do in a while.

“It was a fun victory for a bunch of guys who maybe had reason to turn tail and throw it in and they didn’t,” Glenn said Tuesday. “They fought back through the wrestle backs, as I like to say, and kept fighting, and have been fighting all of the way along. I feel like some of those scores weren’t indicative of what kind of football team that we have. If we protect the ball, which we did against San Diego State, we can be a pretty formidable opponent."

The Fulmer response
Eventually during the question and answer portion of the teleconference, that smile was turned into a frown in his voice when talking about Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer, Saturday’s opponent. Glenn also announced that redshirt freshman Chris Stutzriem would start against the Volunteers at quarterback. Stutzriem, filling in for the injured Karsten Sween, had a successful debut against the Aztecs, guiding Wyoming to five touchdowns.

Fulmer announced on Monday that he would step down (under pressure) at the end of the season after 17 years as head coach and 35 totals year with the Tennessee program.

“It’s the hard part of this game. I don’t understand it … the what have you done for me lately type deal. He coached that team to a national championship,” Glenn said.

Glenn said that former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne went through some of the same tribulations in his highly successful tenure.

“He almost left Nebraska and he never won less than nine games. But the fans were on him so hard for a couple of years, he actually had an interview at Colorado," he said. "That’s the way people can be. I’ve just spoken about maybe two of the greatest coaches in our time.”

Fulmer is 150-51 in his tenure with the Vols, winning a national title in 1998 and SEC titles in 1998 and 1999. His team, however, has struggled as of late and is just 2-6 overall this season.

“They have a tough football team," Glenn said. “Their record may not reflect it, but anybody knows that it is going to be a physical, physical game. I don’t know if we have enough turn around time to be at our best on Thursday.”

Stutz gets the nod
Glenn said that Stutzriem, regardless of if Sween would be cleared to play this week, has earned the chance to start again. Stutzriem was just 6 of 10 passing in the game, but he threw for 166 yards and one touchdown. More importantly, the Cowboys did not turn the football over.

“You can’t play a game like that and not get a chance to get back on the mound,” Glenn said.
“That is as good of a quarterbacking job as we have had in some time. To say nothing of anybody else, it was what he did to lead the team and to protect the ball and get us in the right play.”

Sween is still not cleared to play from the vicious hit that he took two games ago against TCU.

“As I understand it, you have to test once and come back at some other point and time to take another test, to see the difference of where they are at,“ Glenn said. “Karsten obviously would be our backup quarterback if he could get cleared.”

Tennessee in November?
If the Tennessee game seems like an odd time to schedule a non-conference opponent, it is, Glenn said. The Wyoming coach isn’t particularly fond of the timing.

“The hard thing about it is they put it here at this spot of the season and then we have to play on Thursday night. We have two games in five days over 1,000 miles away. That isn’t how you do it if I was doing the scheduling,” he said. “Sometimes that is how it goes down."

At the same time, money talks.

“They gave Wyoming a lot of money to play this game and that money exchanged hands probably seven or eight years ago. It is what it is,” Glenn added. “We get a chance to go play a quality SEC team and play in a great venue. I just wish we didn’t have to turn around and fly all of the way back here, practice Sunday, and then have to go play five days later.”

The Cowboys have to bounce back and play UNLV the next Thursday in Las Vegas.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Moore earns Player of Week honors


UW photo
Wyoming senior running back Devin Moore plunges over the top for one of his three touchdowns Saturday in the 35-10 win over San Diego State.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

For much of the season, it seems like Wyoming opponents have played well enough for an individual or two to be named their respective conference's player of the week.

The Cowboys have turned the tables this week, as one of their own -- senior running back Devin Moore -- garnered Mountain West conference Co-Player of the Week honors.

Moore shared the award with BYU tight end Dennis Pitta.

Moore rushed for a career high 234 yards in the 35-10 home victory over the Aztecs. It not only marked Moore’s career high for rushing yards, but it was the third best single-game rushing performance in University of Wyoming history.

His 234 rushing yards is a Mountain West Conference high this season, and is the only 200-yard rushing game by an individual in the conference this season. It also ranks as the eighth best single-game rushing performance among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams this season.

Moore’s 290 yards of all-purpose yardage was a personal best (234 rushing yards and 56 kickoff return yards). His previous high was 262 all-purpose yards versus Ohio in 2007. His three rushing TDs were also a career single-game high.

Moore became the eighth Cowboy in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season when he exceeded the 1,000-yard mark last week vs. SDSU. Moore now has 1,036 rushing yards on the season. It is the first 1,000-yard rushing season of senior Moore’s career.

With his 234 yards, Moore also moved into second place on UW’s career rushing list. He has now rushed for 2,698 career yards. Moore is now just 208 yards behind school record-holder Ryan Christopherson on Wyoming’s career list.

Moore said after Saturday’s win that he does have individual goals for himself and for now, winning is the only thing that matters to him. He would share those individual goals after the season finale against CSU. At the same time, he also said that these type of accolades.

“They (individual accolades) mean a lot but at the same time, it means more to me that we are winning games now,” he said. “I will look back and I will cheese up to here (pointing to his eyes). Right now, I’m just looking forward to winning games.”

This was Moore’s third MWC Offensive Player of the Week honor of his career. He also earned the award for his performances versus San Diego State as a sophomore in 2006 and against Ohio as a junior in 2007.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Moore, Cowboys run wild


Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming senior running back Devin Moore looks for some blocks from his offensive linemen Saturday against San Diego State.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Devin Moore is rapidly climbing the all-time University of Wyoming career rushing ladder -- only Ryan Christopherson is still ahead of him.

His 234 yards on Saturday moved him into second place all-time with 2,698 yards. He’s 208 yards from Christopherson.

Moore has a motto he lives by this season: “I make goals and I achieve them,” he said. “That’s what I am running with. The offensive line is behind me and I am behind them.”

Moore and senior running mate Wynel Seldon ran wild on the Aztecs as Wyoming finished with 398 yards on the ground in the 35-10 win over San Diego State.

Those 234 yards also put him over 1,000 yards for the season, the first Cowboy to do so in 10 years.

“They (individual accolades) mean a lot but at the same time, it means more to me that we are winning games now,” he said. “I will look back and I will cheese up to here (pointing to his eyes). Right now, I’m just looking forward to winning games.”

Moore also scored three touchdowns for the first time in his career, from 35 yards out, along with two short runs of 2 yards and 1 yard. His 64-yard sprint set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Seldon, who had an outstanding game as well with 124 yards.

Moore refuted a claim by a member of the media that he predicted this type of game, but admitted that he always predicts that games like this are possible. As well as Wyoming ran the ball on Saturday, he said they could have run for more.

“Coach (Bob) Cole is aggressive and he wants to show the world that things that happened in the past are not going to happen again,“ Moore said. “We’re on a new page and hopefully this is a start.”

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn said Saturday was a gratifying game for the offense, especially the running game.

“The O-line, surely they get the kudos first, but our fullback, Greg Genho, out tights ends, our wideouts, they all blocked well,” Glenn said. “Probably the happiest two guys in town are Chad Germer and Casey Glenn. They work with those guys up front with their blocking and that is the kind of day they will hang their hat on.”

Wyoming senior offensive guard Kyle Howard said he had never been around anything like what he experienced on Saturday.

“That’s a credit to our running backs, our coaching staff and our scheme. Everyone did a great job today,” Howard said.

Seldon, who is fourth all-time running the ball for the Cowboys, credited the “big guys pulling up front and the staple of backs that they have, who continue to run hard,” Seldon said.

“Just fight for extra yards. God answers prayers,“ Seldon said. “We’ve been trying to pull things together and figure out a remedy to get wins for this entire university.”

While the Aztecs are on the opposite end of the spectrum in defending the rush than TCU, one of the country’s leaders, San Diego State made an effort to pack the box often with eight or nine in the middle. San Diego State knew the Cowboys were going to run the ball and they did just that.

“We knew they had struggled with their run defense and that would be one our strengths going into the game, but I don’t think anyone thought we would do what we did out there today,” Howard said.

Just what is making Moore one of the all-time best running backs in Wyoming history?

Patience, says Glenn.

“I think we all remember the D-Mo of old; you give him the ball and he’s like a pop-bottle rocket -- he would just go about anywhere,” Glenn said. “I have noticed just getting into this year, even in the tough times, he’s picking his blocking pretty darn good and setting up his blocking better than he ever has. He’s much more patient and deliberate and he is letting his blocking unfold better. Of course, he’s stronger than he has ever been and he is more experienced.”

Howard said Moore and Seldon make the Wyoming offensive line look good.

“Plays don’t have to be blocked perfect for him to turn into a big play,“ Howard said. “He (Moore) has tremendous speed, but in the weight room he is one of the strongest guys pound-for-pound, that we have, he and Wynel are tremendous backs. We’re very blessed to have them on our team.”

Moore has his goals, he doesn’t deny that. For now, he’s more worried about earning victories.

“At the end of the season, after the CSU game, I’ll let you know for sure,” said Moore, when asked by a reporter what his goals were. “Right now, goal number one is to beat Tennessee.”

If that happens Saturday and good things occur in the final two games, the yards and Moore’s ultimate goals will likely be fulfilled.