Joshua Cobbs lead the Cowboys onto the field against Tulsa in Wyoming's home opener won by the Cowboys 33-30 in Two Overtimes. UW photo by Troy Babbit, UW Athletics-Media

Wyoming and Air Force Open Their Mountain West Conference Seasons Friday Night in Laramie

By Tim Harkins
 
A special Friday night game will kick off Mountain West Conference play for the Wyoming Cowboys and Air Force Falcons this week when Wyoming hosts Air Force for a 6 p.m. game in War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.  The Cowboys will bring a 2-1 record into this week’s game, while Air Force is 2-0 on the season.
 
Friday’s game will be the 60th time the Cowboys and Falcons meet on a football field.  The series dates back to Nov. 2, 1957, when the two teams played each other for the first time in Laramie.  That game ended in a 7-7 tie.
    
The series remains one of the closest for both schools.  Air Force holds only a four-game advantage in the series, with 30 wins to Wyoming’s 26 victories.  There have been a total of three ties.
      
Wyoming has won six of the last 10 meetings with Air Force.  During the Craig Bohl era at Wyoming, the Pokes have won four of the previous seven meetings and all three meetings in Laramie — 35-27 in 2018, 35-26 in 2016 and 17-13 in 2014.  The last time the Falcons won in Laramie was in 2012 by just one point 28-27.
 
Tickets for Saturday’s Game
Tickets for Friday’s game may be purchased a variety of ways.
         •Fans may go online at GoWyo.com/tickets
         •You may email tickets@uwyo.edu
         •Fans may call the UW Athletics Ticket Office at (307) 766-7220
         •Ticket Office staff are also available to assist fans at the main
Athletics Ticket Office located on the West Side of the Arena-Auditorium located at Willett Drive and 19th Streets on the UW campus.
 
Prices for season tickets begin as low as $159 for adults and $89 for children ages 3-12. 
 
Single-game tickets for the Wyoming-Air Force game start as low as $40 for adults and $30 for children ages 3-12.
 
Where to Watch and Listen
Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network.  Announcers are Reece Monaco, Play-by-Play (1st year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (25th year) and Erick Pauley, Sideline Reporter (1st year).  The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

Friday’s Wyoming-Air Force game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.  Announcers will be Rich Waltz (Play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (Color Analyst) and Sherree Burruss.
 
Mountain West Openers
The 2022 season marks the 24th season of the Mountain West
Conference, and this year’s Wyoming-Air Force contest is the conference opener for both the Cowboys and Falcons.                                                                             
Wyoming is 11-12 (.478) in Mountain West openers. UW is 7-6 (.538) when opening MW play at home, and is 4-6 (.400) when opening on the road.  The Cowboys have won 5 of their last 9 MW openers and 4 of 8 in the Craig Bohl era.
 
This year’s MW opener will mark the 10th time in the 24 seasons of the MW that the Cowboys have opened Mountain West Conference play against Air Force — more than any other MW opponent.
        
The Cowboys’ record vs. Air Force in their previous nine Mountain West openers stands at 4-5 (.444).  Oddly enough the advantage has gone to the road team in the nine previous MW openers between the Cowboys and Falcons.  Wyoming is 3-2 in Mountain West openers played at the Air Force Academy, and Air Force is 3-1 in MW openers played in Laramie.
 
Wyoming vs. Air Force in Mountain West Conference Openers
Date                            Opponent                   Score
Sept. 25, 1999              at Air Force                  W 10-7
Sept. 20, 2003              at Air Force                  L 29-35
Sept. 17, 2005              at Air Force                  W 29-28
Sept. 23, 2006              Air Force                      L 24-31
Sept. 6, 2008                Air Force                      L 3-23
Sept. 25, 2010              Air Force                      L 14-20
Sept. 21, 2013              at Air Force                  W 56-23
Sept. 6, 2014                Air Force                      W 17-13
Oct. 9, 2021                 at Air Force                  L 14-24
Sept. 16, 2022             Air Force
 
John Hoyland and Shae Suiaunoa Named Mountain West Players of the Week
University of Wyoming sophomore place-kicker John Hoyland was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week for the second consecutive week this past Monday, and sophomore linebacker Shae Suiaunoa earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
        
Hoyland was a perfect 4 for 4 in field goals vs. Northern Colorado and made all three of his extra-point attempts to score 15 of Wyoming’s 33 points in the Cowboys 33-10 victory. 
        
Suiaunoa was credited with a career best eight tackles in Wyoming’s 33-10 home win over Northern Colorado last Saturday, and he added an interception in the fourth quarter that he returned 18 yards down to the UNC three-yard line to set up a Wyoming touchdown two plays later.  He also recorded 1.0 sack for 10 yards, 1.0 tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry in the game, as he helped lead a Wyoming defense that held Northern Colorado to only 15 rushing yards and only 147 yards of total offense.
 
Wyoming Offensive Line Impressive in First Three Games of the Season 
The Wyoming offensive line has started the 2022 season with three strong performances.
         •The Cowboys have allowed only 2.0 quarterback sacks this season..
         •UW has allowed only 10.0 tackles for loss for a minus 36 yards through three games.
         •The Pokes helped Wyoming’s offense generate 182 rushing yards against Illinois, including a 98-yard rushing performance by running back            Titus Swen and a 76-yard rushing game by quarterback Andrew Peasley.
         •Against Tulsa, the offense generated 143 rushing yards and 256 passing yards for 399 yards of total offense.
 
Cowboy Defense Among Best in the Country in Quarterback Sacks 
The Wyoming Cowboy defense has been very disruptive this season, ranking among the nation’s leaders in quarterback sacks.
        
Wyoming ranks No. 2 in the MW and No. 16 in the nation entering this week, averaging 3.00 sacks per game.  The Cowboys have recorded 9.0 sacks through the first three games of the season.
 
John Hoyland — It’s Good to be No. 1 — Again 
Wyoming sophomore place-kicker John Hoyland has gone from walk-on, to starter, to Freshman All-American, to one of the very best place-kickers in the country.
        
For the second time in his career, Hoyland is leading the nation in field goals made per game.  He is averaging 3.33 field goals per game this season and has made 10 of 11 field goals through the first three games of the 2022 season.  He also ranks No. 6 in the nation in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game.
        
As a freshman in 2020, Hoyland led the nation in field goals made per game (2.17), rank No. 6 in the nation in field-goal percentage (92.9 percent) and rank No. 19 in scoring.
        
About the Air Force Falcons
Air Force is the No. 1 rushing team in the nation entering this week, averaging 508.5 rushing yards per game. 
      
The Falcons have won both of their games this season, defeating Northern Iowa, 48-17, in the first week and Colorado, 41-10, in week two.  Air Force is receiving votes in both the Associated Press Media Poll and the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.
      
The Air Force offense is led by fullback Brad Roberts, who is averaging 144.0 rushing yards per game to rank No. 2 in the nation in rushing.  He was the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week last week when he rushed for 174 yards on 24 carries and three rushing touchdowns in a 41-10 home win over Colorado.
      
Roberts, offensive guard Isaac Cochran and outside linebacker Vince Sanford were all named to the 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West team.
      
The Falcons are coached by Troy Calhoun, who is the longest serving head coach in the Mountain West.  He is in his 16th season coaching his alma mater, Air Force.
 
Last Meeting Between Wyoming and Air Force in Laramie Saw a Wild Wyoming Comeback in 2018
There have been a number of dramatic finishes in the Wyoming-Air Force rivalry and one of the wildest finishes occurred the last time the Cowboys hosted the Falcons in Laramie in 2018. 
        
In one of the great comebacks in Wyoming history, the Cowboys scored three touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game to erase a 27-14 deficit and turn it into a 35-27 home victory on senior night.  It was a fitting way for a senior class, who was part of so much success during their careers as Cowboys, to conclude their final home game on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.
 
Two Cowboy team captains, junior Logan Wilson and senior Andrew Wingard, came up with interceptions on Air Force’s final two possessions.
        
There were many big performances by Cowboy seniors in the game.  Senior tight end Tyree Mayfield had a career best 112 yards receiving and tied a career high with four receptions.  Senior wide receiver James Price tied a career high with four receptions, which went for 54 yards.  Senior defensive end Carl Granderson recorded 10 tackles for the second double-figure tackle game of his career.  Senior safety Marcus Epps recorded eight tackles, including 1.0 tackle for a loss.  Senior safety Wingard had a team high 13 tackles on the night, and moved into sole possession of second place on the Wyoming career tackle list.
 
Wyoming’s Craig Bohl and Air Force’s Troy Calhoun Among the Nation’s Winningest Active Head Coaches
The two longest serving head coaches in the Mountain West Conference are Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl (9 years at Wyoming) and Air Force’s Troy Calhoun (16 years at Air Force).  They are also two of the winningest active coaches in college football.  See below the top active coaches ranked by their total career wins as a head coach.
 
Most Wins by Active FBS Coaches

Rank Wins  Coach, School
1.      271     Nick Saban, Alabama
2.      268     Mack Brown, North Carolina
3.      264     Brian Kelly, LSU
4.      191     Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
5.      187     Willie Fritz, Tulane
6.      177     Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan
7.      175     Terry Bowden, Louisiana-Monroe
8.      158     Jerry Kill, New Mexico State
9.      152     Mike Leach, Mississippi State
         152     Dabo Swinney, Clemson
11.    151     Craig Bohl, Wyoming
         151     Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
19.    113     Troy Calhoun, Air Force