“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
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. “