The Wyoming football season has gotten off to a rocky start. Aside from the whole starting in October thing, the Cowboys lost their leader and starting quarterback Sean Chambers last weekend with a broken fibula. On top of that they lost a thrilling game in overtime to Nevada on the road.
All of that is in the past and this weekend the Pokes look forward to their home opener in Laramie against an old WAC foe, Hawaii. The Cowboys and Rainbow Warriors have a long history dating back to 1978 and have played 24 previous times. The series features a traveling trophy, the Paniolo Trophy. The trophy went missing for quite a few years but was recreated and is now back a part of the rivalry.
Hawaii is fresh off of a win over Fresno State this past weekend. Chevan Cordeiro, who played in spots last season, is filling in some big shoes with the graduation of Cole McDonald. The Warriors didn’t seem to skip a beat as their offense was humming against Fresno State. The Rainbow Warriors racked up 552 yards of total offense, led by Cordeiro. Cordeiro threw for 229 yards and rushed for 116 yards, totaling two touchdowns. Running back Miles Reed checked in with 109 yards for the Warriors as well.
Wyoming, by comparison, gave up 420 yards passing to Nevada quarterback Carson Strong. The Wyoming secondary was playing catch-up all night with Nevada receivers as the Wolf Pack constantly tested the corners at the boundaries. Wyoming will have their work cut out for them this weekend against a potent Warrior offense.
With the loss of Sean Chambers the Cowboys will be turning to Levi Williams. Levi Williams turned in a magnificent effort in last year’s Arizona Bowl. Williams, a redshirt freshman, had a rough day through the air against Nevada, completing 50% of his passes for 227 yards with a touchdown and interception. While Williams gets his feet under him in the passing attack his rushing attack is superb. Williams gained 40 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Each time Williams touches the ball and runs he seems to drag a pile of defenders with him down field. He will be complimented by Xazavian Valladay who racked up 87 yards last week.
With a week to prepare for life without Chambers the Cowboys will likely be rushing the football more than they already do. A compliment of Valladay plus Trey Smith, and possibly Titus Swen could make for a formidable combination of rushers. The high in Laramie on Friday looks to be about 37 degrees at kickoff. Will the Hawaii defense be ready for a trio of rushers plus the brisk weather?
Wyoming has opened as 1-point underdogs against the Warriors, according to Sports Betting Dime. The Pokes were a favorite last weekend against Nevada, however, they did not cover favorite odds.
The Cowboys and Rainbow Warriors will kick off at 7:45 on Friday night. The game can be seen on Fox Sports 1 or you can tune into the Cowboy Radio Network for coverage of the game. There will be a limited number of tickets available for the game as the Cowboys are still learning to live with the Covid-19 pandemic this fall.