(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. - It is a series that began back in 1978 and has been played 26 times since that over the next 44 seasons -- the Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will kick off the 26th meeting in their long-standing series Saturday in Laramie. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Both teams are coming off big wins last week. Wyoming defeated Mountain Division leader Utah State by a score of 44-17 in Logan, Utah. Hawai’i won at home by a score of 50-45 over Colorado State. The Cowboys will bring a 6-5 overall record and a 2-5 Mountain West record into Saturday’s game. Hawai’i is 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the Mountain West.
With its win over Utah State Saturday, Wyoming earned bowl eligibility with its sixth win of the season. It marks the fifth time in the last six seasons that Wyoming is bowl eligible. The Cowboys played in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl, won the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and captured the 2019 Arizona Bowl. The Pokes were also 6-6 in 2018, earning them bowl eligibility, and are currently 6-5 this season.
Saturday will mark the final home game for several University of Wyoming senior football players. During their time as Cowboys, the program has enjoyed a great deal of success. Due to the NCAA granting players an extra year of eligibility following last year’s COVID shortened season, several current Cowboy seniors have been part of the Wyoming Football program since 2016. Here are some of the accomplishments this year’s senior class has been a part of:
•Three eight-win seasons in 2016, ’17 and ‘19
•Earned bowl eligibility in 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19 and ‘21
•2016 Hosted Mountain West Championship Game
•2016 Poinsettia Bowl
•2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions
•2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions
•A 5-1 record against rival Colorado State
•Defeated SEC member Missouri in Laramie in 2019
Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma was named one of six finalists for the prestigious Butkus Award on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebackers in the nation. This is the 37th year of the Butkus Award.
The six finalists for this year’s college award include: Muma; Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati; Nakobe Dean, Georgia; Damone Clark, LSU; Devin Lloyd, Utah; and Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
Winners of the college and high school awards are expected to be selected on or before Dec. 7. The pro winner will be announced in early 2022.
This season, Muma is averaging 10.9 total tackles per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 4 in the nation. He is also averaging 6.8 solo tackles per game to rank No. 1 in the MW and No. 2 in the nation. Muma is tied for No. 2 in the nation in interception returns for touchdowns.
Only 11 Cowboys in the 125-year history of Wyoming Football have rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season. One of those is current Cowboy Xazavian Valladay, who ran for 1,265 yards in 2019. He will enter this Saturday’s game vs. Hawai’i with 942 rushing yards this season. He needs only 58 more yards this season to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career.
Only Brian Hill, Ryan Christopherson and Dabby Dawson have posted two 1,000-yard seasons in their careers. Valladay could become the fourth.