Wyoming Cowboys Game Preview

The Texas Longhorns (1-0) look to improve its 2009 record against new head coach Dave Christensen and the Wyoming Cowboys. The #2 Longhorns travel to Laramie, Wyoming as prohibitive favorites over the Cowboys. Check out Burnt Orange Beat's Wyoming Game Preview.

#2 TEXAS LONGHORNS (Big 12) @ WYOMING COWBOYS (Mountain West)
Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium (30,514)
Sat., Sept. 12, 2:30 p.m. Central
TV: Versus HD
Radio: Longhorn Sports Network and KVET (1300 AM/98.1 FM)

Wyoming 2008 Results (4-8, 1-7 Mountain West)
W 21-20 vs. Ohio
L 23-3 vs. Air Force
W 16-13 vs. North Dakota State
L 44-0 at #14 BYU
L 45-16 vs. Bowling Green
L 24-0 at New Mexico
L 40-7 vs. #14 Utah
L 54-7 @ #14 TCU
W 35-10 vs. San Diego State
W 13-7 at Tennessee
L 22-14 at UNLV
L 31-20 vs. Colorado State

Wyoming 2009 Schedule (1-0)
Sept. 5 WEBER STATE W, 29-22
Sept. 12 TEXAS
Sept.19 at Colorado
Sept.26 UNLV
Oct. 3 at Florida Atlantic
Oct. 10 NEW MEXICO
Oct. 17 at Air Force
Oct. 31 at Utah
Nov. 7 BYU
Nov. 14 at San Diego State
Nov. 21 TCU
Nov. 27 at Colorado State

Third meeting between these teams

The Longhorns will be facing Wyoming for the third time in their history. The Longhorns beat the Cowboys 34-7 in 1974 and 17-3 in 1978, both in Austin. The Longhorns were ranked in the top 10 in the AP poll in both prior meetings.

in this three games series, Wyoming will make two trips to Austin, Texas, to play the Longhorns in 2010 and 2012. Saturday's game against Texas will be the first Big 12 opponent for the Cowboys since Texas A&M in 2004. The Aggies beat the Cowboys 31-0 in College Station. Next week, the Cowboys will travel to Boulder, Colorado to face the Colorado Buffaloes.

Longhorns on the road

Texas is 52-17 away from DKR over the last ten seasons in road and neutral site games. That .754 winning percentage is the nation's best over the last ten seasons. In true road games (not neutral site games), the Longhorns have won 36 of their last 40.

Longhorns in non-conference play

Texas has won 14 straight non-conference games which is the third longest such streak in the country behind LSU (20) and Kentucky (17). With a win in Laramie, the Longhorns will tie the longest such streak in school history. That streak occurred from 1945-1948.

The Polls

Texas entered the season as #2 in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the AP Poll and remained at #2 after last week's win over ULM. Texas has been ranked in the AP Poll for 143 consecutive weeks and 171 consecutive weeks in the Coaches Poll. Both are Texas records and the leading streak in the NCAA.

Nine Texas true freshman played in opener; More on Saturday?

Safety Kenny Vacarro, cornerbacks Marcus Davis and Eryon Barnett, defensive tackle Calvin Howell, and buck end Alex Okafor all played in the opener on defense. Offensively, quarterback Garrett Gilbert, guard Mason Walters, receiver Marquise Goodwin, and tight end Barrett Matthews all got reps.

Mason Walters will not play in the Wyoming game due to a sprained foot.

Defensive end/tackle Tevin Mims could see action this weekend.

Texas has played nine true freshman in each of the last four seasons.

First starts as Longhorns

Several Longhorns earned their first starts last week versus the ULM Warhawks. Flex tight end Dan Bucker played well in his start catching five balls for 62 yards. Linebacker Keenan Robinson had three total tackles including one for loss and a pass break-up. Junior defensive end Sam Acho tallied four total tackles, one fumble recovery, two pass break-ups, and one quarterback pressure. Sophomore defensive tackle Kheeston Randall added two tackles.

Injuries

Three players are out for the Wyoming game: guards Michael Huey (ankle) and Mason Walters (foot), and linebacker Jared Norton (shoulder).

Additionally, the Longhorns have lost three players for the season, all at the same position. Blaine Irby is out for the season and it's very much in question if he will play again. Ian Harris has had recurring issues with his neck/stingers, while red shirt freshman D.J. Grant tore all three major knee ligaments in practice in August.

Three Longhorns ineligible

Brandon Collins, Christian Scott and Deon Beasley were ruled ineligible for play last week per a university release four hours before kick-off. As of Friday morning, there is no word in change of status on the three players. Collins was projected to start in the slot, while Scott and Beasley were back-ups at safety and corner.

Seven native Texans are on the Wyoming roster

Four of the seven played in the opener including Dallas Kimball brothers Marcell and Tashaun Gipson who started at the two cornerback spots. Freshman running back Alvester Alexander from CE King in Houston scored on a 44-yard touchdown run the first time he touched the ball as a Cowboy, and Round Rock Westwood freshman cornerback Kenny Browder also saw action.

Coaching Connection

Former Longhorn head coach Fred Akers was the Wyoming head coach for two seasons (1975 -1976), before taking over as head coach at Texas from 1977-1986. Akers and the Cowboys won a WAC championship in 1976 and a Fiesta Bowl berth. Akers will be traveling with the team to Laramie.

Texas Wide Receivers' Coach Bobby Kennedy coached the same position for the Cowboys in 1993 and 1994 under then head coach Joe Tiller.

A look at head coach Dave Christensen

Christensen won his first game as a head coach on Saturday in his head coaching debut. Prior to be hired at Wyoming, Christensen coached under Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel for 16 seasons. Of the 16 seasons, Christensen spent the last 11 as the offensive coordinator.

Christensen began his coaching career at Washington as the offensive coordinator in 1989. The former Washington Husky player (1980-82) moved on to Idaho State from 1990-91 until joining the Toledo staff in 1992 under Pinkel.

Christensen spent nine seasons at Toledo before moving on to Missouri when Pinkel was named head coach in 2001.

In 2007, Christensen was a Broyles Award finalist.

Wyoming's season opening win

Wyoming got the Dave Christensen era off on the right foot with a hard fought 29-22 win over Weber State on Saturday. Wyoming posted 434 total yard behind true freshman quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels and running back Darius Terry. Terry rushed for a career-high 99 yards and scored the first two touchdowns of his career.

Weber State racked up 411 yards against the Wyoming defense, but threw five interceptions in the loss. Wyoming true freshman safety Shamiel Gary picked off three passes to tie a school record with two others. Gary tied for the team lead in tackles with seven as well.

The five turnovers forced by Wyoming are the most since 2004, a 37-32 win over UNLV.

Wyoming hosting top-ranked teams

Wyoming is 5-2 hosting current BCS teams, including wins in the last two. The Cowboys beat Virginia in 2007 and Ole Miss in 2004.

Texas (#2) is the highest-ranked team ever hosted by Wyoming in Laramie. The last highest-ranked team to play in Laramie was #7 Utah in 2004. The highest-ranked team to lose to Wyoming in Laramie was #11 Arizona State in 1972.

Wyoming has never beaten a team that was ranked in the top ten of the AP Poll in 15 games (home or away).

Wyoming features impact freshmen

The Cowboys played a number of true freshmen last week in the win over Weber State. Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels didn't start, but entered the game early on and completed eight of 17 passes for 101 yards as well as rushing for 22 yards. Coach Christensen said on Tuesday that junior college transfer Robert Benjamin will start on Saturday, but Carta=Samuels will play.

Safety Shamiel Gary began his college career with a performance one can only dream of. Gary intercepted three passes in his first college game and dropped a fourth. He also made seven tackles.

Gary is part of an improving secondary. Cornerbacks Tashun and Marcell Gipson return for the Cowboys. The Gipson brothers played at Dallas Kimball.


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