CHEYENNE -- Do you ever see a number on a Wyoming football jersey and think of all the great players to wear it? Yeah, me too. In this daily series, I’ll give you my take on which Pokes’ football player was the best ever to don each number. The criteria are simple: How did he perform at UW? What kind of impact did he have on the program?

No. 46 – Jim House

Linebacker, 1966-68, Laramie, Wyo. 

Résumé in Laramie
Jim House lettered for the Cowboys in all his three seasons in Laramie and was named All-Western Athletic Conference after his junior and senior seasons. He was also named an honorable mention All-American in 1968. His 18 tackles against Colorado State in 1967 is still tied for seventh all-time in school history. After that performance, House was named the Sports Illustrated National Lineman of the Week. In 1968, House recorded 91 tackles, seven for loss, a pick a fumble recovery and three pass breakups. He was a member of three WAC title teams and was a member of one of the best defensive eras in Wyoming history. In 1966 and ’67, the Pokes were the nation’s leading rushing defense. In 1968, they led the country in total defense.

Why House?
Jim House had a team-high 11 tackles that afternoon in muddy New Orleans.

The junior linebacker did everything he could to stop a potent LSU rushing attack. The Tigers eventually won the Sugar Bowl, 20-13, despite House and the Pokes’ defense holding them to just 33 rushing yards and a single first down in the first half.

That included zero points on the scoreboard and five passing yards from LSU quarterback Nelson Stokley.

“We were very worried by the half,” Tiger center Barry Wilson told reporters. “The field turned up a little sloppy, and it upset our plans to block Wyoming low.  Because we weren’t able to get solid footing, they merely pushed us off and got to the ball-carrier.  They were also able to put a lot of pressure on (quarterback) Nelson (Stokley).  At halftime, we decided to take advantage of their pursuit by starting to the outside and then running back against the grain.”

It worked.

LSU amassed 118 yards rushing in the second half. A 13-point
fourth quarter doomed Wyoming. A Cowboys fumble and interception in the final
frame didn’t help matters.

House’s teams at UW didn’t end up on the wrong side of the
scoreboard very often.

He went 27-5 during his three varsity years. Wyoming won
three Western Athletic Conference titles. They beat Florida State 28-20 in the
1966 Sun Bowl. They played in that infamous Sugar Bowl.

Wyoming boasted one of the top defenses in the nation during House’s era with names like Dennis Devlin, Jim Stankus, Vic Washington, Dick Speights, Ron Billingsley, Mike Dirks, Larry Nels and many more.

House was named All-WAC during his final two seasons in
Laramie.

House was the first recipient of the “Bronze Boot” after the
1968 win over Colorado State. Following his career, he was one of only eight
collegiate players selected to play in the East-West Shrine game, the Hula Bowl
and the Senior Bowl.

House went on to become a college coach, spending 12 years at UW before stints at Montana State, San Jose State, San Diego State, Sacramento State and the University of Nevada.

In 2013, House was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame.

Honorable mention
Former Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn described this guy as “Barbed-wire tough.”

Former teammate John Wendling said: "'Tough' is an understatement. Superman is more how I would describe him."

Former position coach, Harvey Patton, called this guy “Cowboy tough” and “Wyoming tough.”

Wade Betschart (2004-07) was all of that and more during his four seasons in Laramie. The Torrington product was named Second Team All-Mountain West during his final two seasons and helped lead the Cowboys to a 24-21 victory in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl. Wyoming was a 14-point underdog in that game.

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Betschart caught 64 passes for 553 yards as a Cowboy tight
end and H-Back. He scored eight touchdowns through the air and even ran one in.
 

Betschart signed a free agent contract with the San Diego
Chargers in 2008.

 

Who else wore No. 46
Marty Grey (FB), Ty Muma (DB), Mike Lock (WR), Frank Tankovich (RB), Luke Donovan (P), Chris Hearne (K), Trevor Shaw (DT), Luke Knapton (LB), Ben King (LB), Devin McKenna (LB also wore No. 44), Justin Escudero (FB), Collin Root (FB), Aaron Frude (RB), Cassh Maluia (LB), Steve Nighswonger

  • All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.