SAN MARCOS, Texas – Chad Muma remembers the cannon blasts, dodging pine trees on go-routes and the roar of the home crowd.

That was a typical fall Saturday for Wyoming’s sophomore
linebacker when he was growing up.

War Memorial Stadium was his playground and he envied the guys on the field with the bucking horse on their helmet. His dad was one of those in the early 90’s. Rick Desmarais, his maternal grandfather, was a Cowboy from 1961-63.

Now, he’s one, too.

The youthful exuberance on his face tells you all you need
to know – Muma is living a dream.

“I used to come to games all the time,” Muma said. “I loved coming up here and hearing about me dad’s glory days here. Growing up, I knew I wanted to play college football. When I finally got the opportunity, especially at Wyoming, I wanted to be here.”

Last Saturday, Muma landed another opportunity.

He got to play on defense, backing up senior captain, Logan Wilson.

“That felt great,” Muma said, a grin creasing his face. “Last
year, I just played on special teams. So, to really experience being out there
and making plays was amazing.”

And making plays he did.

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 220-pound Lone Tree, Colo., product
tallied 10 tackles in the Cowboys’ 37-31 upset win over Mizzou. Five of those were
the solo variety. He had just two tackles in 12 games a year ago.

With the Tigers pinned at their own goal line early in the fourth quarter, Tyler Badie took a hand off up the middle. Waiting for him in the hole was No. 48, who hammered him at the three-yard line and drove him back into the Missouri end zone.

It was a “who-was-that-guy” moment in the press box.

“It makes everything worth it,” he said. “Every workout and
every grind were worth it. It was great.”

After the final Mizzou pass harmlessly hit the turf, fans
and students streamed onto the field to celebrate the improbable victory. Muma
was surrounded by the chaos, but said a familiar face appeared in the madness.

It was his father, Ty Muma.

“He gave me a big hug,” Chad said. “It was a special moment
for both of us. He’s pretty proud of me.”

Though his father just played the supportive role during his
recruitment, Muma knew if the Cowboys came calling it would be too hard to pass
up.

He had watched too many old grainy game tapes of his father
wearing Wyoming across his chest. He wanted that, too.

The pride on his dad’s face makes it all worth it.

“He’s tough,” Muma said of his father. “Well, he says he’s
tough, but he loves me. He gives me inspirational talks and quotes before
games. He is proud of everything I have accomplished.”

Muma laughed and said he definitely has eyes on him at all
times.

“Oh yeah, he critiques me,” he said with a smile. “I learned
from him, though.”