Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sellout crowd has The War 'electric'

Richard Anderson photo
The Wyoming faithful enjoy an exciting moment Saturday against second-ranked Texas.

By Richard Anderson

It was the 10th sellout in Wyoming football history. The announced crowd of 31,017 to watch the Wyoming Cowboys and Texas Longhorns left fans, players and coaches alike impressed with the day, regardless of the outcome.

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen was not only impressed, but thankful.

“That was an unbelievable crowd.,” Christensen said. “The Cowboy Walk this morning was an unbelievable experience for our football team. I certainly appreciate all of our fans who came out.”

While the Cowboys aren’t expecting to sell out or likely even come close to the 30,000 plus crowd for the next home game – in two weeks against UNLV – Christensen said it is his goal to one day to see this happen on a regular occasion.

“When we get this thing rolling where we expect it to be, we can get that type of attendance and that much excitement every game,” he said. “We knew it would be electrical and it was.”

It was a day that the Cowboys won’t forget.

“It was electric. It was an awesome experience,” Wyoming senior defensive tackle John Fletcher said.

Wake up call
The Longhorns were likely surprised by the Cowboys play in the first half, especially when they fell behind with a little over a minute left in the second quarter.

Did Luke Ruff’s blocked punt that was scooped up by fellow freshman Ghaali Muhammad for a touchdown wake up a sleeping dog?

Christensen did his best to sidestep that question, but he finally did admit that Texas was a different team afterwards.

“I’m sure they woke up at halftime. I’m sure they weren’t too happy being just three points up, according to their coaching staff,” Christensen said.

If it didn’t wake them up, the Cowboys certainly got the Longhorns’ attention.

“We were ready to go, we weren’t going to lay down to them,” Wyoming sophomore linebacker Brian Hendricks said. “I think they felt a little shocked when we came out. We caught them with that blocked kick. I think that woke them up a little bit.”

Did the Longhorns take the Cowboys lightly? Hendricks wasn't sure, but he said it could have been anything.

“They might have been overlooking us, maybe looking to next week,” Hendricks said. “We came out hot and that might have woke them up.”

More QB talk
Christensen surprised everyone, including the media, when he actually played redshirt freshman quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels more in the season opener against Weber State.

Junior Robert Benjamin once again started against the Longhorns and played a majority of the snaps, although Carta-Samuels did see some time in the second half.

This time, Christensen said it was all about the Cowboys’ opponent and the youth of his freshman.

“Going against a team of Texas’s caliber, from an experience standpoint, I didn’t want it being a demoralizing experience for a young kid by just throwing him out there,” Christensen said. “Robert managed the team well. It was good to get Austyn out there and get him some work against the most speed that he’ll see this year.”

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