Wyoming releases ’21 football schedule
LARAMIE -- Wyoming released its 2021 football schedule Friday afternoon.
We knew who and where the Cowboys were playing, now we know when.
Craig Bohl will kickoff his eighth season on the sidelines in Laramie -- and the 125th in UW history -- against old friend Brent Vigen and the Montana State Bobcats on Sept. 4 inside War Memorial Stadium. Vigen was Bohl's offensive coordinator at North Dakota State and spent the last seven years as the Pokes' quarterback coach and offensive coordinator.
An interesting tidbit, if the Bobcats didn't land a coach, former UW coach Dennis Erickson said he volunteered to lead MSU into Laramie. That would've been Erickson's first trip to the Gem City -- or Wyoming in general -- since he left for the head coaching job at Washington State back in the winter of 1987.
Erickson was on the hiring committee at MSU that made the decision to bring Vigen in.
The Cowboys will hit the road for the first time in Week 2 when they pay a visit to DeKalb to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies.
You might recall the last time these two teams met on a football field:
Josh Allen dove into the end zone in the third overtime to give the Cowboys a 40-34 victory in triple overtime in Laramie.
The following week, Wyoming will take on yet another MAC foe in the defending conference champion, Ball State Cardinals. The Cowboys were supposed to travel to Muncie, Indiana, last season. COVID-19 had other ideas.
The non-conference season will come to a close Sept. 25 in Connecticut. Wyoming will take on the Huskies for the first time in program history. Remember, UW was supposed to travel to Clemson for a game at Death Valley in 2021. That game was "bought out" in favor of a Clemson-Georgia matchup, which will take place Sept. 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Clemson paid UW $1.1 million to get out of that contract.
Wyoming couldn't have asked for a better time for a bye week. Not only will they be coming off a nearly 4,000-mile roundtrip to Storrs, Connecticut, UW will face Air Force Oct. 9 in the first Mountain West game of the season. Bohl's bunch can use the extra week to prepare for the Falcons' triple-option offense.
The Cowboys will return to the high plains for a pair of games against Fresno State (Oct. 16) and New Mexico (Oct. 23) before hitting the road to face defending conference champion San Jose State the day before Halloween.
Next on the docket is the annual Border War rivalry against Colorado State. That game will take place Nov. 6 in Laramie. This will be the 113th meeting between these two programs.
The following two games are on the road against defending Mountain Division champion Boise State (Nov. 13) and Utah State (Nov. 20). The Cowboys will close out the regular season against Hawaii on Nov. 27. This is the second consecutive year the Rainbow Warriors will travel to Laramie.
The Mountain West Championship game is slated for Dec. 4. That game will take place at the home stadium of the team with the best record.
For now, the Cowboys are scheduled to play all Saturday games. Because of television obligations, that could change.
"Friday's schedule announcement completed the first phase of the 2021 Mountain West football scheduling process," the league said in a press release. "Televised games, game times and potential moves of some games to Fridays will be announced by the Mountain West at future dates."
•Season-ticket renewals are currently available for the 2021 Wyoming Football season. Season-ticket packages start at $159 for adults and $89 for children ages 3-12 years old.
•New season tickets will go on sale on April 1.
•More details on season-ticket sales are available online at www.GoWyo.com/tickets. Fans may also call (307) 766-7220 regarding season-tickets.
•Renewing season-ticket holders will have the option to print their renewal and mail in with a check. Season-ticket holders who renew online receive 5 Cowboy Joe Club priority points.
•Season-ticket holders will have the option to receive their tickets and parking passes via print at home or mobile delivery at the time of purchase.
2021 University of Wyoming Football Schedule
Date Opponent (Special Events)
Sat., Sept. 4 MONTANA STATE
Sat., Sept. 11 at Northern Illinois
Sat., Sept. 18 BALL STATE
Sat., Sept. 25 at UConn
Sat., Oct. 2 BYE Week
Sat., Oct. 9 at Air Force*
Sat., Oct. 16 FRESNO STATE*
Sat., Oct. 23 NEW MEXICO*
Sat., Oct. 30 at San Jose State*
Sat., Nov. 6 COLORADO STATE*
Sat., Nov. 13 at Boise State*
Sat., Nov. 20 at Utah State*
Sat., Nov. 27 HAWAI'I*
Sat., Dec. 4 Mountain West Championship Game+
Game dates are tentative and subject to change
Game times and television coverage will be announced at future dates by the Mountain West Conference
BOLD AND CAPS Indicate Home games
*Indicates Mountain West Conference games
+The Mountain West Football Championship Game will be played at the home stadium of one of the divisional champions based on the current MW policy in place to determine the host team.
About the 2021 Cowboy Football Team
With the NCAA granting student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID shortened 2020 season, Wyoming, like many other FBS teams, will return a very deep and veteran roster in 2021. Here are some notes on the 2021 Wyoming Cowboys.
Returning Starting Experience: Wyoming will return 22 of 24 starters from the 2020 season. In terms of returning Cowboys with starting experience at some time during their college careers, UW has 21 players on offense and 20 players on defense who have started in their Wyoming careers.
Wyoming Defense: The Cowboys return all 11 starters from a defense that ranked No. 16 in the nation in total defense in 2020 and ranked in the Top 30 in the nation in 10 defensive categories.
Wyoming Offense: UW returns 10 starters from an offense that ranked No. 14 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing offense and ranked in the Top 35 in the nation in six offensive categories.
Individual Player Highlights
Team Leaders Return: All four of Wyoming's 2020 team captains return in 2021 -- Sean Chambers (QB), Garrett Crall (DE), Keegan Cryder (C) and Chad Muma (LB). The 2021 team captains will be selected in the fall of 2021.
All-Conference Returnees: Eight Cowboys who earned All-Conference honors last year return in 2021, including First Team All-Mountain West honorees Xazavian Valladay (RB), Keegan Cryder (C) and Chad Muma (LB). The eight All-Conference returnees include: four on offense -- Valladay (RB), Cryder (C), Logan Harris (OG) and Isaiah Neyor (WR); three on defense -- Muma (LB), Esaias Gandy (S) and C.J. Coldon (CB); and one on special teams -- John Hoyland (PK).
Returning Quarterbacks: Wyoming will return both of its exciting young quarterbacks from the past two seasons in sophomore Sean Chambers and redshirt freshman Levi Williams. Chambers has started 12 of the 13 career games he has played as a Cowboy, and Williams has started six of the nine career games he has played at Wyoming.
Xazavian Valladay: Junior running back Xazavian Valladay has led the Mountain West in rushing in each of the past two seasons and earned First Team All-Mountain West honors both years. He ranked No. 17 in the nation in rushing in 2020 and No. 18 in 2019. He was named to the 2020 Doak Walker Award Watch List (Nation's Top Running Back) and the 2020 Maxwell Award Watch List (Nation's Most Outstanding Player).
Keegan Cryder: The junior center earned First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2020. He was named to the 2020 Rimington Trophy Watch List (Nation's Most Outstanding Center) and the 2020 Outland Trophy Watch List (Nation's Most Outstanding Interior Lineman).
Chad Muma: Junior linebacker ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in tackles in 2020 and earned First Team All-Mountain West Conference honors.
John Hoyland: The freshman place-kicker ranked No. 1 in the nation in field goals made per game in 2020. He was named to the Football Writers Association of America First Team Freshman All-America Team and earned Second Team All-Mountain West honors.
* The University of Wyoming contributed to this report
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