Gear Up For Game Day: Air Force
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., -- As always, I love to utilize this space each week during the season to not only give you the important info -- game time, TV channel, betting lines, etc. -- but also drop a bit of randomness on your plate.
Our parents had the miraculous 48-45 come-from-behind victory back in 1988.
Randy Welniak and the Cowboys overcame a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to upend Air Force inside Falcon Stadium. Every year when these Front Range rivals meet on the football field, you're sure to hear that story once or twice.
As for me, one of my fondest memories of this series came in 2002.
That's when the Cowpokes stunned the No. 22 Zoomies, 34-26, on a beautiful late October day inside War Memorial Stadium. The goal posts came down, taking a long-awaited and well-deserved cruise down Grand Avenue.
"It feels great right now,'' Wyoming QB Casey Bramlet told reporters postgame. "I don't even know what to say to explain it. We finally came around and everything kind of came together today, all sides of the ball.''
Bramlet passed for 387 yards and two touchdowns. The Wheatland product also rushed for another. Malcom Floyd hauled in a 58-yard touchdown and Scottie Vines snagged the other for a 40-yard completion. Running back Derek Armah also found the end zone in the fourth quarter from four yards out.
"I'm not sure how ready we were to play, but that's my fault,'' Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said.
What made that one so special?
Vic Koenning's Cowboys had lost 14-of-15 games, including a 17-game skid in Mountain West play, dating back to 1999. The only other win in that stretch was a 34-30 victory over The Citadel, a Division I-AA program.
I'll never forget that afternoon. I'm not ashamed to tell you, I cut the headlines and photos out of the local newspaper and plastered them all over my bedroom wall. There was finally a reason to celebrate during those dark times. Those were some of my favorite teams in Wyoming history.
The wins, those were very few and far between, but a guy like Bramlet, and so many others, kept me coming back for more. He took a beating week in and week out. He just kept getting up. He kept going.
The least I could do is be there to root them on.
I remember UW edge rusher Patrick Chukwurah once asking me why I drove all the way to Provo, Utah to watch that two-win team. Surely a rout was coming, courtesy of those hated Cougars. (UW lost 35-31). As we stood in the lobby of the team hotel, I told him, "I'm going to be here when this thing gets turned around. That could happen tomorrow night. I'm not missing it."
Sound crazy? It probably is, but I meant it.
Beating Air Force, a ranked rival, brings a smile to my face to this very day.
"We finally just said, 'You know what? Let's go win a game. Let's not play a team close and then cough it up in the end,''' said Tyler Gottschalk, who registered 12 tackles, including two for loss in that upset.
Brighter days were on the horizon.
What's your favorite Wyoming-Air Force memory?
Here is all you need to know -- and the links -- for Saturday's tilt in Colorado Springs:
WHO: Wyoming (5-1, 2-0) at Air Force (5-0, 3-0)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 5:00 p.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 56, low 32, mostly sunny, winds at 9 mph
WHERE: Falcon Stadium (46,692 capacity)
TV: CBS Sports Network
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
TICKETS: Wyoming Ticket office
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Air Force
HISTORY: Air Force leads the all-time series 30-27-3
ODDS: Air Force (-11)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Troy Calhoun
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players