Gear Up For Game Day: Nevada
LARAMIE -- 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.
I can still hear the agonizing screams of pain.
It was just the third snap of an already bizarre season. It appeared harmless.
Sean Chambers got rolled up on. It was yet another leg injury. A third season-ender. Wyoming's quarterback punched the turf inside an empty Mackay Stadium. The tears were immediate.
How could this happen again? This team -- all the Mountain West teams -- worked so hard to get to this point. It was anything but normal, but it sure beat the alternative.
This was a true life-isn't-fair moment.
When I think of Nevada, unfortunately, this is the memory that immediately comes to mind. The Cowboys eventually lost that game 37-34 in overtime. An early 28-6 hole was just too much to overcome. The shellshock of losing their QB certainly didn't help. Chambers wasn't just a team leader, he was beloved.
Those players watched him rehab behind the scenes. They saw the daily struggle, both mentally and physically. They were clearly shaken.
Can you blame them?
Remember, this was the 2020 season opener. It was amazing that we even got to this point. COVID-19 was spreading around the globe like wildfire and football seasons were being axed seemingly left and right. The Mountain West was one of those.
The announcement still brings out a certain emotion in me. Sure, I see the big picture. I didn't want anyone to get sick let alone die. I realize there are bigger things in the world than sports.
It was still a brutal horse pill to swallow.
No football? No Wyoming football? I don't want to live in a world without Wyoming football. Sounds drastic, but I'm serious. That's the Cowboy State native coming out in me.
On the professional side, this was the second season of 7220sports.com. This is my full-time living. No sports means no eyes on the website. That means no advertising. That means it's time to get a real job.
Every time I speak with a player who was on that team, to this day I make sure to thank them for what they went through to get back on the field. That meant an almost daily Q-tip in the brain, steering clear of friends and family outside the locker room and the dreaded quarantine.
These are kids. They did what they had to do to play a game. I'm forever in debt to all of them for that.
It has little to do with my living and everything to do with what I mentioned above -- I can't stomach the thought of a world without UW football.
The Chambers' injury was just another punch in the face in such a truly unbelievable time in all of our lives.
There were some good memories from that day.
Jordan Bertagnole burst on the scene. I always tell the story about scrambling to the roster to see who No. 96 was. I was stunned to find out he was from Casper. I had no clue how to pronounce that name. The big defensive tackle had two tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
John Hoyland also made his debut that day in Reno. He booted through all four of his field-goal attempts, including a 42-yarder to send that one into the extra frame. Levi Williams, spelling Chambers, threw for 227 yards and hit Gunner Gentry on a perfect 22-yard strike for his lone touchdown pass. Williams also rushed for a pair of scores as Wyoming erased that 22-point deficit.
I'm often asked why it's important to be on the road at these games in person.
For one, the postgame press conference. Those questions, especially moments after the final whistle, are important. Secondly, to witness things like I listed above. Did the television show Chambers making an emotional phone call from the sideline? Did it show him being carted off the field, his teammates surrounding him? Did you hear the screams from your living room?
Maybe, but that's why it's crucial.
With that being said, Mother Nature put a halt to my travel plans this weekend. I won't be in Reno. That kills me to even type. DJ Johnson will be there, though, snapping some killer photos, as always, for us.
Still, I hope you follow along this weekend as we watch the game together. I'm hoping we can jump on a Zoom call with Craig Bohl after just like in those forgettable coronavirus days.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Mountain Time and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
Here is all you need to know -- and the links -- for Saturday's tilt in Reno:
WHO: Wyoming (7-4, 4-3) at Nevada (2-9, 2-5)
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 43, low 19, sunny, wind 8 mph
WHERE: Mackay Stadium, Reno, Nev. (30,000 capacity)
STREAMING: CBS Sports Network
TV: CBS Sports Network
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
TICKETS: Wyoming Ticket office
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Nevada
HISTORY: Wyoming leads the all-time series 5-4
ODDS: Wyoming (-11)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Ken Wilson
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players