Dave Christensen Talks Texas, Big Game

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen knows the Longhorns and big games well having served as the offensive coordinator at Missouri for the last eight years. On Tuesday, Christensen spoke about the huge game in Laramie on Saturday.

Saturday in Laramie will be a history-making day. When the #2 Texas Longhorns take the field to take on the Wyoming Cowboys, it will be the be the biggest game ever played in the state of Wyoming. Never has a team ranked higher than the Longhorns played in the state.

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen said the entire state, let alone his team, is aware of just how big Saturday will be.

"We're excited to play Texas this week," said Christensen. "It's going to be the highest ranked opponent to ever come into Laramie and the state of Wyoming. It will be the biggest game ever played in Wyoming and it's a great opportunity for our program to get national exposure. Our kids are really excited to play in front of a sold out crowd this week."

The Texas offense is talked about nationally on a daily basis due to the play of quarterback Colt McCoy, but the Longhorns defense has the full attention of Christensen. Having coached against Texas over the years, he has a healthy respect for the speed that Texas possesses.

"Texas is very solid at every position on defense. Texas has great football players. They have got speed at all positions and are very athletic. Particularly on the defensive line, they are more athletic than most people around the country. There are no glaring weaknesses. You have to be sound each and every snap to compete against them and have a chance," Christensen said.

Like every big underdog, Wyoming has a chance to shock the nation. With the Mountain West conference already having wins over Big 12 programs Oklahoma (BYU) and Colorado (Colorado State), some are wondering if Wyoming can make it three in a row. Christensen says there is not any added pressure with other teams in the conference beating Big 12 opponents in recent days.

"I don't think it (other wins over the Big 12) has any bearing on us. We have a game this week against Texas. We are preparing for each team on our schedule all the same. I think our kids are excited about the opportunity to play on this stage and it's going to be a national game around the country. Every time a top five team plays, people are paying attention. Our kids understand that and see it as a great challenge. I think it's exciting because you play college football to play in a game like this," Christensen said.

Christensen went on to add when asked about his team playing loose, "It's about emotionally stability. That's the main thing. We are going to have to go out and not approach it differently than any other game. We understand the magnitude of the game, but there's not a lot of pressure. Who out there is giving us a chance to win other than the guys in our locker room? I know our kids will come out and play hard and hopefully make some breaks happen. You never know what might happen. Crazier things have happened, I can guarantee you."

In the favor of Wyoming will be the elevation of roughly 7,200 feet, which can be seen on signs everywhere welcoming the opponent. Also in the Cowboys favor is freshman class that has already exceeded expectations.

"I found out in our first game that we've got a pretty good freshman safety. He had three interceptions and dropped a fourth. I think our kids have learned how to come out, compete, and finish. I think we were very disciplined and had a limited number of penalties, which are things we are hoping for. Our program is based on the best players playing. It just so happens that eight to 10 freshmen are in the two deep," Christensen said.

Christensen said that junior quarterback Robert Benjamin would start on Saturday. Benjamin, a junior college transfer, hit on eight of 14 passes for 87 yards in the win over Weber State. Look for true freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels to play early and often. The California native completed eight of 17 passes for 101 yards in his first college game last week.


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