LARAMIE -- We knew who the foes would be.

Now, we know the dates.

Wyoming will open the 2022 football schedule during "zero week" Aug. 27 in Champaign, Illinois where the Cowboys will take on the Fighting Illini of the Big Ten. Three straight games inside War Memorial Stadium will follow, including the first Mountain West tilt of the season Sept. 17 against Air Force.

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UW will also host Tulsa and Northern Colorado in non-conference play.

The Cowboys will hook up with former conference rival BYU Sept. 24 inside LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. The Pokes and Cougars have played 78 times in their storied history.

Wyoming will host San Jose State, Utah State and Boise State to round out the league slate. The Cowboys will travel to New Mexico, Hawaii, Colorado State and Fresno State.

The schedule features two bye weeks, including one after the long trip to Hawaii. All games will be played on a Saturday.

Saturday, Aug. 27 @ Illinois

Saturday, Sept. 3 vs. Tulsa

Saturday, Sept. 10 vs. Northern Colorado

Saturday, Sept. 17 vs. Air Force

Saturday, Sept. 24 @ BYU

Saturday, Oct. 1 vs. San Jose State

Saturday, Oct. 8 @ New Mexico

Saturday, Oct. 15 BYE

Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Utah State

Saturday, Oct. 29 @ Hawaii

Saturday, Nov. 5 BYE

Saturday, Nov. 12 @ Colorado State

Saturday, Nov. 19 vs. Boise State

Saturday, Nov. 26 @ Fresno State

About the 2022 Cowboy Football Team

Wyoming Cowboy Football is in the midst of one of its most successful periods in its history. Last year’s appearance and victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl marked Wyoming’s fourth bowl appearance in six seasons, dating back to the 2016 season. That is the first time that has been accomplished by Wyoming Football in program history.

The Cowboys win over Kent State in last year’s bowl game also marked the third consecutive bowl win by the Pokes, which was the first time that had been accomplished since the 1950s and ‘60s.

UW also had 16 players on NFL rosters during the 2021 season, more than any other program in the Mountain West Conference.

 

Returning Cowboys Who’ve Earned Honors During Their Careers

The 2022 Wyoming Cowboys will be led by five players who earned All-Conference recognition in 2021.

Running back Titus Swen and nose tackle Cole Godbout both earned Second Team All-MW recognition from Pro Football Focus (PFF). Offensive tackle Frank Crum, linebacker Easton Gibbs and kick returner Cameron Stone all received Honorable Mention All-MW recognition from PFF.

Other key returnees who have been honored during the Wyoming careers are former Freshman All-Americans Solomon Byrd at defensive end and John Hoyland at place-kicker. 

 

Experienced Cowboys Returning in 2022

There are 42 lettermen and 26 players with starting experience returning for the Cowboys in 2022. 

On offense the Pokes return experienced players in: running backs Titus Swen and Dawaiian McNeely; offensive linemen Eric Abojei, Latrell Bible, Frank Crum and Zach Watts; wide recievers Joshua Cobbs, Alex Brown and Wyatt Wieland; fullback Caleb Driskill; and tight ends Parker Christensen, Colin O’Brien, Treyton Welch and Jackson Marcotte

On defense, experienced linebackers Easton Gibbs and Shae Suiaunoa return.  Defensive linemen Cole Godbout, Jordan Bertagnole, Solomon Byrd, Teagan Liufau, DeVonne Harris, Gavin Meyer and Caleb Robinson are back. In the secondary, talented players with starting experience include: Keonte Glinton, Cameron Stone, Isaac White and MIles Williams.

And on special teams, starting place-kicker John Hoyland, starting punter Ralph Fawaz, kicker returner Cameron Stone and punt returner Caleb Cooley are all back.

 

Other Highlights of the 2022 Football Schedule

 

Cowboys to Play Four of Their Oldest Rivals With Renewal of BYU Rivalry in 2022 

The 2022 season will see the Wyoming Cowboys play four of their oldest rivals all in the same season.

Of course the oldest rivalry for the Cowboys is the “Border War” rivalry with Colorado State, which will be played for the 114th time in 2022. The third oldest rivalry for Wyoming is against BYU. The two teams will be meeting for the 79th time this season.  The two teams last played in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl.

Wyoming and New Mexico will be playing each other for the 75th time in 2022. That is UW’s fourth oldest rivalry, and the Cowboys and Utah State will meet for the 72nd time this season and is the fifth longest series for Wyoming.

The only one of its old rivals that UW will not play this season is Utah, who ranks No. 2 in Wyoming’s oldest rivalries with 83 previous meetings.

 

Cowboys to Play Illinois of the Big Ten for the First Time in History 

UW will open the 2022 season in Champaign, Ill., against the University of Illinois.

The two teams have never played each other in football.  Illinois is coming off a 2021 season that saw them post a 5-7 record, but the Illini finished the season strong defeating two Top 25 ranked teams in the final five weeks of the 2021 campaign. Illinois won on the road at then No. 7 ranked Penn State by a score of 20-18 in 9 overtimes on Oct. 23.  It was the longest game in terms of number of overtimes in FBS history.

The Illini also won on the road at then No. 20 ranked Minnesota on Nov. 6 by a score of 14-6.

 

Playing “Zero” Week Means Two Bye Weeks for the Cowboys in 2020

Wyoming will be one of four MW schools kicking off the season in what is called “Zero” Week on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Because of playing “Zero” Week, Wyoming will have two byes this season. UW’s first Bye week will be on Saturday, Oct 15 after a road game at New Mexico on Oct. 8 and the second Bye week will come on Saturday, Nov. 5 after returning from a road trip to Hawai’i the previous week.

* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release contributed to this report

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