Pokes, ‘Bows Set to Tangle on the Islands Saturday Night
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys will make their longest road trip of the season this week as they fly to Honolulu, Hawai’i to face the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors in a Mountain West Conference match-up on Saturday.
It will be the first time since 2018 that Wyoming has played a road game against Hawai’i. The game will kick off Saturday night at 10 p.m., Mountain Time (6 p.m., Hawai’i Time) from the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex on the UH campus.
Wyoming will enter the game with a 5-3 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the Mountain West Conference. Hawai’i is 2-6 overall and 1-2 in the Mountain West. The Cowboys are coming off two consecutive wins at New Mexico (27-14) and at home vs. Utah State (28-14).
The Rainbow Warriors last two games saw them defeat Nevada (31-16) at home and lose at Colorado State (13-17).
Where to Watch and Listen
Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network. Announcers are Reece Monaco, Play-by-Play (1st year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (25th year) and Erick Pauley, Sideline Reporter (1st year). The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Saturday’s Wyoming-Hawai’i game will be televised by Spectrum Sports Pay-per-View of Hawai’i. Fans outside of Hawai’i may watch the game on the T1 Sports App. Instructions on how to watch the game may be found at the following link: https://themw.com/sports/2018/9/5/where-to-watch-hawaii-football-on-spectrum.aspx
The television announcers will be Kanoa Leahey (Play-by-play), Rich Miano (Color Analyst) and Scott Robbs (Sideline Analyst).
Wyoming and Hawai’i Meet for the 27th Time, and Will Battle for the Paniolo Trophy for the 26th Time
The Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will play for the 27th time in the two schools’ histories when they kick off Saturday. The two teams will be competing for the Paniolo Trophy for the 26th time.
Wyoming and Hawai’i first played each other in football back on Nov. 18, 1978, with Hawai’i winning that first meeting in Honolulu by a score of 27-22.
The Paniolo Trophy has been a part of the series since 1979. In the second year of the series, a group of Hawai’ian residents, with roots in Wyoming, donated a statuette of a Cowboy preparing to toss a lariat. At the time the traveling trophy was introduced to the rivalry both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, as Hawai’i joined the WAC in 1979.
Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy portion of the series with 15 wins to Hawai’i’s 10 victories. The overall series is led by Wyoming 15-11, when including Hawai’i’s win in the inaugural 1978 game.
The traveling trophy was named the Paniolo Trophy. Paniolo is the Hawai’ian word for Cowboy. For the next 19 years, from 1979 to 1997, the two teams competed for the Paniolo Trophy. After Wyoming’s 35-6 win in the 1997 meeting in Honolulu, the series between the two schools ended. Due to the rotating schedule of the then 16-team WAC, Wyoming and Hawai’i weren’t scheduled to play in 1998. In 1999, Wyoming joined the Mountain West Conference, which interrupted the series for 15 years.
When Hawai’i was invited to join the Mountain West Conference, beginning in 2012, the two schools began discussion of a renewal of the Paniolo Trophy competition. But over that 15-year timespan the Paniolo Trophy was lost, which became a story in itself. Each school searched for it, but it was not to be found.
Enter a new group of Hawai’i fans to continue the tradition.
The Paniolo Preservation Society, a group dedicated to preserving Hawai’i’s rich Cowboy heritage, proposed a new trophy. Led by the Society’s President, Mrs. Patricia C. Bergin, a bronze maquette, featuring Hawai’ian native Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, was donated to the two schools in 2013 to mark renewal of the series.
Purdy became the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999. The bronze is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western sculptor Fred Fellows. The reproduction measures approximately 20” long and 12” high.
The series was renewed in 2013, when Hawai’i joined the Mountain West as a football playing member. Since the series was renewed in 2013, the two teams have played six times with each team winning three times.
Cowboy Offense Explodes for Best Performance of the Season vs. Utah State
Wyoming’s offense had its best game of the season in the Cowboys 28-14 win over Utah State on Oct. 22.
The offense generated 529 yards of total offense, including 330 rushing yards and 199 passing. Both the total yards and the rushing yards were season highs.
It was the first time this season that UW’s offense had generated over 400 yards of total offense and the first time it had generated over 200 yards rushing. It was the most total yards by a Cowboy offense since UW totaled 531 yards in a 52-38 win over Kent State in last year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
It was the most yards of total offense for the Cowboys in a conference game since tallying 604 yards of total offense against Utah State in 2021 in a 44-17 road win in Logan, Utah.
It was the most rushing yards for the Pokes since rushing for 404 against Kent State in last year’s bowl win and the most in a conference game since posting 380 rushing yards in the 2021 win at Utah State.
Wyoming Defense Limits Utah State to 217 Yards of Total Offense
It was an outstanding performance by the Cowboy defense in UW’s 28-14 win over Utah State.
Utah State entered the game vs. the Cowboys averaging 368.0 yards of total offense per game -- 173.6 rushing per game and 194.4 passing.
Wyoming’s defense held the Aggies to 217 total yards -- 151 yards under their average. UW also held USU to 113 rushing yards (60.6 yards under their average) and allowed Utah State only 104 passing yards (90.4 yards under their average).
John Hoyland Breaks Into Wyoming’s Career Top 10 in Scoring
With his eight points in Wyoming’s 28-14 win over Utah State on Oct. 22, Cowboy place-kicker John Hoyland moved past former UW place-kicker Stuart Williams, who scored 188 career points from 2011-14, into ninth place on the Wyoming career scoring list. Hoyland enters this week with 194 career points scored.
Hoyland made field goals of 43 and 51 yards against Utah State and added two extra points. He continues to rank No. 1 in the nation in field goals per game, making an average of 2.12 per game and he is 18th in the nation in total points scored this season, with 69.
Sack Sensations, Wyoming Leading the Mountain West and No. 13 in the Nation in Quarterback Sacks
The Wyoming defense has been very effective at sacking opposing quarterbacks this season.
Through eight games, Wyoming has 25 total sacks and is averaging 3.12 sacks per game. That ranks the Pokes No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 13 in the nation. The next closest Mountain West school is Fresno State, which is averaging 2.57 sacks this season.
Wyoming has had at least one sack in all but one game (at Illinois) this season and has had five games with multiple sacks, including: 4 vs. Tulsa, 5 vs. Northern Colorado, 6 vs. New Mexico and 6 vs. Utah State.
Sacks Part Two -- Individual Cowboys Among League and National Leaders
Three Wyoming Cowboys rank among league and national leaders in sacks. Those three are:
Sacks per MW NCAA
Player Game Rank Rank
DeVonne Harris 0.88 No. 2 No. 16
Olu Omotosho 0.71 No. 3 No. 33
Braden Siders 0.50 No. 8 No. 86
Harris had 3.0 sacks against Utah State on Oct. 22, which ties for the fifth best single-game performance in Cowboy history. Omotosho had 3.0 sacks against Northern Colorado on Sept. 10 to also tie for fifth all-time in UW history. Eight different Cowboys have at least one quarterback sack on the season.
Another Cowboy Grabs His First Career Interception
Four Cowboys have made their first career interceptions this season. The latest to join that club was sophomore safety Wyett Ekeler, who made his first interception against Utah State.
Sophomore cornerback Cam Stone leads the Cowboys in interceptions with two this season. His first interception came against Northern Colorado and his second was a Pick Six at New Mexico. Sophomore linebacker Shae Suiaunoa also intercepted his first pass against Northern Colorado, and junior cornerback Jakorey Hawkins intercepted
Titus Swen Named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week
University of Wyoming junior running back Titus Swen was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in Wyoming’s 28-14 home win over Utah State last Saturday.
Swen rushed for 160 yards and three rushing touchdowns in Wyoming’s win over the Aggies. He broke through the Utah State defense for his first touchdown in the first quarter on a 30-yard dash to the end zone. In the second quarter, Swen added a five-yard TD, and he sealed the win for the Pokes in the fourth quarter when he scored from six yards out and added a two-point conversion run to give Wyoming a two touchdown lead with 4:11 remaining in the game.
The junior from Fort Worth, Texas, scored 20 of Wyoming’s 28 points, with three TDs and a two-point conversion. His 160 rushing yards was the second best rushing performance of the season in the Mountain West. He also added one reception for five yards to total 165 yards of all-purpose yardage on the night.
He enters this week with 665 rushing yards this season, which ranks No. 3 in the Mountain West and No. 29 in the nation. His seven rushing touchdowns this season rank him No. 4 in the conference and No. 36 nationally.
100-Yard Rushers Times Two
Wyoming running backs Titus Swen and D.Q. James each rushed for over 100 yards in the Cowboys’ victory over Utah State on Oct. 22. Swen ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns, marking his fifth career 100-yard rushing game. James rushed for a career best 120 yards for his first career 100-yard game.
It was the first time since Nov. 20, 2021, that Wyoming had two players rush for 100 yards in the same game. That also came in a win over Utah State. Swen ran for 169 yards vs. the Aggies and former Cowboy Xazavian Valladay rushed for 145.
About the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors
Hawai’i brings a 2-6 overall record and a 1-2 conference mark into Saturday’s game against Wyoming. The Rainbow Warriors’ two victories this season came against Nevada (31-16) in conference play and against Duquesne (24-14) in a non-conference home game.
One of Hawai’i’s non-conference losses came at No. 4 ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor. They also lost to SEC opponent Vanderbilt and New Mexico State in non-conference action.
In the Mountain West, they’ve lost at San Diego State and at Colorado State.
After traveling to Hawai’i, Wyoming will enjoy its second and final Bye Week of the season on Saturday, Nov. 5. The Cowboys will then travel to Fort Collins, Colo., on Saturday Nov. 12 to face Colorado State in the 114th Border War.
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS FROM 7220SPORTS:
* Wyoming's Ryan Marquez has finally discovered his role
* DeVonne Harris rocks goggles ... and quarterbacks
* Three stars of the game: Pokes vs. Aggies
* Wyoming Football: News and notes ahead of Hawaii