This date in UW football history: Wyoming 37, Ole Miss 32
LARAMIE -- Josh Barge didn't seem too impressed with SEC speed.
The Cowboys' junior receiver snagged a 69-yard touchdown pass from fellow wide out Jovon Bouknight and returned a punt 87 yards in the third quarter, helping lead Wyoming to a 37-32 upset win over Ole Miss inside War Memorial Stadium.
"Jovon made a great throw and I was off to the races," Barge told reporters after that 2004 victory. "I'm pretty happy that I was able to run away from some good SEC players."
Wyoming quarterback Corey Bramlet threw a touchdown, too. He hit Bouknight from 14 yards out to start the scoring in the first quarter. The Wheatland product completed 15 of 31 passes for 170 yards.
The Cowboys were led on the ground by Joseph Harris, who rushed for 121 yards on 23 carries. Harris also scored from six yards out in the second quarter.
Wyoming placekicker Deric Yaussi also connected on 3 of 4 field goals, including a long of 35.
The Cowboys' defense terrorized the Rebels, who were just beginning life after Eli Manning. Ole Miss quarterback Ethan Flatt tossed four interceptions that afternoon. Terrance Butler, John Wendling and Aaron Robbins each got one. The final one came from Derrick Martin, who grabbed a pick in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter with Wyoming clinging to a 30-22 lead.
"I had no help over the top so I had to force him outside," Martin told the press postgame. "I was able to lean up against him, force him toward the sideline. I jumped up over the top of him and was able to catch it."
Martin broke up seven passes and tallied nine tackles in the win.
Turnovers and that special teams' blunder aided in sinking the Rebels on the high plains. So did penalties. Ole Miss was flagged 14 times for 97 yards.
"We shared the loss across the board," Mississippi coach David Cutcliffe said. "I'm really disgusted with the penalties. We are not that kind of football team."
Flatt took responsibility for this one.
"Obviously, being responsible for four turnovers, I feel like it's my fault," he said. "My teammates played well and I thought our team played well, especially at the end. We've just got to get back to the practice field and get better."
The coach on the winning sideline was singing a much different tune.
"As a longtime coach, this is one of my most gratifying wins ever," Wyoming's Joe Glenn said. "This was a great test of our mettle and we had to compete every second to get it done."
Vashon Pearson led the Rebels with 139 yards on the ground, and future NFL running back Brandon Jacobs scored twice in the loss. Mike Espy also scored on the ground.
Wyoming won its next two games and finished the season 7-5. That included a 24-21 upset victory over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Cowboys' first postseason win since 1966.
The following season, Wyoming made the return trip to Oxford to take on new head coach Ed Orgeron and the Rebels. It was a different atmosphere and coach, but the results were very much the same. The Pokes rolled to a 24-14 win.
An honorable mention
One thing not many people would expect out of a Wyoming-Air Force game is a defensive battle. Especially not three years in a row
Well, that's exactly what happened in 1999.
Safety Tent Gamble stuffed the Falcons twice inside the Wyoming 10-yard line and Jay Stoner hit Kofi Shuck for a 60-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to help lift the Pokes to a 10-7 road victory over the 24th-ranked team in the country in 1999.
"That was the biggest win of my coaching career," UW head coach Dana Dimel said postgame.
Air Force stood in the way of the Cowboys and a WAC title the previous two seasons. Both times, Fisher DeBerry's cadets came out on top, including a heartbreaking 10-3 setback the year prior inside War Memorial Stadium.
Gamble set the tone that afternoon, stopping the Falcons on a fourth down inside the Cowboys' 2-yard line. In the third quarter, Gamble hit Matt Farmer at the five, forcing a fumble. Cowboy linebacker Jared Jarnagin jumped on the loose change.
"Trent is an outstanding football player," Dimel said. "He'll probably be drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, and he's playing to that level right now."
DeBerry was impressed, too.
"I want to salute the Wyoming team," he said. "They played a very tough, hard-nosed, almost error-free game, except for that fumble they gave us in the middle of the field. We made enough mistakes today to hopefully last a lot of ballgames."
Other games on this date
Way, way back in 1915, John Corbett and his Wyoming Cowboys traveled across town and routed the mighty Laramie Plainsmen, 19-0. Yes, Laramie High School. It was different back then.
How about another weird one? In 1937, the Cowboys knocked off the team from Ft. Warren, now known as F.E. Warren Air Force Base, 20-0.
Bowden Wyatt's squad hosted Colorado College back in 1948. The Cowboys rolled to a 61-7 victory.
Lloyd Eaton didn't lose to Colorado State often. In fact, Wyoming's winningest coach topped the Rams eight times in his nine seasons in Laramie. One of those wins came in 1965 when the Pokes beat CSU 33-14 in Fort Collins.
The 1976 season was a special one in the Gem City. For the first time since the Black 14 incident in 1969, Wyoming was winning again. That season, the Pokes played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The final score wasn't pretty -- 41-7 Sooners -- but that wasn't the point. Cowboy football was finally back on track. On Sept. 25, Wyoming beat up on Utah State, 20-3. That was Fred Akers' final season in Laramie.
The Wyoming-Colorado rivalry has been lopsided -- to say the least. The Buffs hold a 24-3 advantage in the series. One of those Cowboys' wins wasn't done on the field, but in the form of a CU forfeit. One time the Pokes did win fair and square was in 1982 when Al Kincaid's group traveled to Boulder and came away with a 24-10 win.
On this date in 1993, Wyoming hammered visiting Utah, 28-12. Kurt Whitehead, Mike Jones and Joe Hughes captained this team that went on to play Kansas State in the Copper Bowl. Joe Tiller's team fell in the desert, 52-17. There was a young offensive coordinator on the other sideline, making his play calling debut. That guy was Dana Dimel.