For the first time in 22 days, the Wyoming Cowboys take to a football field to play in Las Vegas against the UNLV Rebels on Friday.

Wyoming (1-2) hasn’t played a game since they lost a road game to Border War rival Colorado State on Nov. 5, 34-24. The Cowboys' last two games versus Air Force (Nov. 14) and Utah State (Nov. 19) got canceled due to an uptick of COVID-19 within the Falcons and Aggies programs.

UNLV (0-4) also had their last game at Colorado State (Nov. 21) canceled because of COVID issues within the Rebels program. UNLV lost their last game at San Jose State on Nov. 14, 34-17. They also have lost games to San Diego State, Nevada, and Fresno State in the 2020 season.

These two teams played last season in Laramie, and the Cowboys rolled past the Rebels, 53-17. UW has won four of the last five meetings between the two schools.

The last meeting in Las Vegas was in 2016. It is the highest-scoring game in Mountain West Conference history, as the Rebels outlasted Wyoming, 69-66, in triple overtime.

Wyoming holds a 13-11 in the all-time series. Fourteen of the previous 24 games have been decided by eight points or less. Four of those have gone to overtime. The teams have split those four OT games.

This game features two of the top running backs in the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming’s Xazavian Valladay leads the league in rushing at 132.3 yards per game, which ranks No. 8 in the nation. UNLV’s Charles Williams is fifth in the MW at 80.8 yards per game.

On defense, the Pokes are led by junior linebacker Chad Muma, who is averaging 12.7 tackles per game. That ranks No. 2 in the conference and sixth in the country.

There is a current connection between the two programs. First-year UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Wyoming in 2009 and 2010. He’s coached at Cal, Southern Miss, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oklahoma State, and Oregon since his stint in Laramie.

The Cowboys are 16.5 point favorites for the game at 2 p.m. on Friday from the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. You can listen to the game on KOWB (AM 1290) or KOWB mobile in Laramie and K2 (AM 1030) or K2 mobile in Casper. The game will be televised on FS1.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

 

LOOK: See what Christmas was like the year you were born