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Wyoming to Face Iowa in First Meeting in 30 Years

Wyoming to Face Iowa in First Meeting in 30 Years
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs the ball vs. Northern Illinois last September. (Photo courtesy of the University of Wyoming.)

It has been 30 years since the Wyoming Cowboys and Iowa Hawkeyes last played a football game against one another.  That last meeting was a one-point game (20-19) won by Iowa in the 1987 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, Calif.  The Cowboys and Hawkeyes will both be opening the season this Saturday, Sept. 2 when the two teams will kick off from Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium at10 a.m., M.T. (11 a.m., C.T.).

Both Wyoming and Iowa enter the 2017 season coming off eight-win seasons a year ago.  Wyoming posted an 8-6 record in 2016, hosted the Mountain West Conference Championship Game as the highest ranked team in the Mountain West and earned a berth to the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.  Iowa ended the 2016 campaign 8-5 and played Florida in the Outback Bowl.

Where You Can Listen and Watch the Game

Saturday’s season opener for the Wyoming Cowboys will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, with Dave Walsh describing the play-by-play action and Kevin McKinney providing color analysis.  The radio broadcast begins with the pregame show one hour prior to kickoff, or 9 a.m., M.T. this coming Saturday.

The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler handling play-by-play and Matt Millen adding color commentary.  Lisa Byington will report from the sideline for BTN..


Accomplished Coaches

Saturday’s game will feature two very successful coaches in Wyoming’s Craig Bohl and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.  Bohl was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year last season and won multiple National Coach of the Year awards at the FCS level while at North Dakota State.  Ferentz is the longest tenured FBS head coach in the nation, entering his 19th season at Iowa in 2017.  He was named the FBS National Coach of the Year in 2015.


Nationally-Prominent  Players

The Cowboys will be led by junior quarterback Josh Allen and junior strong safety Andrew Wingard.  Allen was voted the 2017 MW Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and Wingard was selected the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year this summer in voting by conference media members.  Allen has been named to four national preseason watch lists entering this season, including watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Walter Camp Award and Manning Award.  Wingard has been selected to three national watch lists – the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award.  Wingard was also one of the 16 national semifinalists for the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award as a sophomore last season.

Iowa features linebacker Josey Jewell, who has been named to the 2017 Associated Press Preseason First Team All-America team.  Jewell is on the Bednarik and Nagurski Award watch lists, along with Wingard.  Jewell is also on the Butkus Award watch list.  Hawkeye running back Akrum Wadley is on the Maxwell and Doak Walker Award watch lists.


The Series

Wyoming and Iowa will be playing for only the third time in the two schools’ histories.  In addition to the one-point (20-19) win by Iowa in the 1987 Holiday Bowl, the two teams played back in 1953 in Iowa City in a game also won by the Hawkeyes by a score of 21-7.


National RankingsBoth Wyoming and Iowa received votes in the 2017 Amway Preseason Coaches Poll.  Wyoming received nine points and Iowa received five.  Both teams defeated two Top 25 ranked teams last season.  Wyoming captured wins over No. 13 ranked Boise State (30-28) and No. 24 ranked San Diego State (34-33).  Iowa defeated No. 2 ranked Michigan (14-13) and No. 15 ranked Nebraska (40-10).


Wyoming Captains

In voting by Wyoming Cowboy team members on Saturday, Aug. 26, four Cowboys were voted as team captains for the 2017 season.  Senior fullback Drew Van Maanen was named a team captain for the first time in his career.  Junior quarterback Allen was voted a team captain for the second consecutive year.  Junior free safety Marcus Epps also earned team captain honors for the second straight year.  Sophomore linebacker Logan Wilson from Casper, Wyo., became the first Wyoming native to be voted a team captain since former Cowboy safety Chris Prosinski from Buffalo, Wyo., was named a team captain in 2010.  Wilson becomes only the sixth sophomore in school history to be named a team captain.  The only other Cowboy sophomores to earn that honor were: wide receiver Ryan McGuffey in 2001, quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels in 2010, quarterback Brett Smith in 2012, quarterback Allen in 2016 and safety Epps in 2016.

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