BILLINGS - Craig Bohl and Brent Vigen have history.
"It's hard to describe that, it's special," said Bohl, head football coach at the University of Wyoming, after a recent practice.
Until this season, Bohl and Vigen, new head football coach at Montana State, had been together 18 years. Their coaching ride started at North Dakota State where they ultimately delivered three national titles.
That success vaulted Bohl to Wyoming where, naturally, he took Vigen with him as offensive coordinator for the last seven years.
In February, Vigen earned his crack at a head coaching job when Montana State hired him. Lo and behold, the first game of this season, which had been on the schedule for a while, pits these two longtime buddies against each other.
"Brent Vigen is like a brother or son to me and Molly has got the same birth date that I do," Bohl said. "I'm really happy for them, but I'm sure Brent would say the same thing; it's about our players."
Bohl said in Monday's weekly media conference that he want his guys to play fast against MSU on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2:00 in Laramie in a game televised on the Mountain West Network.
So, which team has the edge? Wyoming, because Vigen is a rookie head coach? Or Montana State, because Vigen brings with him seven years of inside knowledge on the Cowboys and knows the strengths and weaknesses of Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers, who was named Wyoming's starter on Monday.
"There's a lot of common themes," Bohl said. "Brent coached Sean for, I don't know how many years, and they know all the nuances. It should be a heck of a ball game."
Early odds list Wyoming as 17.5-point favorites at home. But Bohl acknowledged Monday that it'll take him and his staff at least half of Saturday's opening quarter to figure out what he's got (from this squad in live game action) and what he's up against.
"We're full blown on getting ready for the Bobcats and there's a bounce in our guys step," he said. "It's great to celebrate college football again. We're going to have a great crowd. For our guys, to go and play in front of War Memorial Stadium, is something special."
Much like the relationship between Bohl and Vigen.