Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 77
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. 77 – Steve Scifres
Offensive lineman, 1993-96, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Résumé in Laramie
Steve Scifres was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection in 1995 and '96. In 1993, Scifres was named WAC Freshman of the Year after allowing just two sacks. He was the only offensive lineman in conference history to earn that honor. He was one of 13 semifinalists for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best lineman in the nation. In 1996, Scifres was named a second-team All-American.
Steve Scifres gave up just four sacks in his four-year career in Laramie. Two of those came during his first season in Laramie when he was the only offensive lineman in conference history to earn WAC Freshman of the Year honors.
We could stop right there.
But it gets even better.
Not only was Scifres one of the best linemen in Wyoming history, he did his damage at a time when the Cowboys threw the ball -- a lot. In Joe Tiller's offense, UW quarterbacks attempted 915 passes in 1995-96 alone.
Scifres gave up a single sack during that time.
Led by signal caller Josh Wallwork, Wyoming had one of the most prolific offenses in college football in 1996, averaging 498.9 yards per game. Wallwork became the first quarterback in school history to throw for more than 4,000 yards as the Cowboys led the country in passing offense, averaging 359.2 yards per game.
The Cowboys finished the season 10-2 and played rival BYU in the inaugural WAC Championship game in Las Vegas:
Scifres paved the way for the school's then-all-time leading rusher, Ryan Christopherson, who amassed 2,906 yards on the ground. He also led the way for Len Sexton, who in just two seasons racked up 1,636 yards.
Marcus Harris, the 1996 Biletnikoff Trophy winner, which is given to the nation's best wide receiver, also benefited from the blocking of big Scifres. So did names like David Saraf, Richard Peace and Ryan Yarborough, among others.
Scifres was a third round draft selection by the Dallas Cowboys in 1997. He also spent time with the Panthers, Dolphins, Saints and Rams in the NFL. From 2001-05, Scifres played in the Arena Football League. There, he played for five different teams.
Scifres was enshrined in the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mitch Donahue, David Edeen and Pat Rabold weren't the only Cowboy defenders making life miserable on opposing quarterbacks in the late 80's. Doug Rigby (1988-91) tallied 23 sacks during his career in Laramie, tying Edeen for seventh place in the record books.
Rigby's best game came during his junior season when he wrapped up UTEP quarterback Mike Perez three times in a 17-10 road victory over the Miners.
Rigby was the only Cowboy taken in the 1992 NFL Draft. The Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the 11th round.
Who else wore No. 77
Bob Klaren (T), Tom Allen (T), Wayne Wilson (DT), Mike Webb (DT), Pat Hutchinson (OL), Tyrice Bradley (DE), Derek Matson (OL), Dan Fisher (OT), Brien Sonzogni (DL), Jeff Zimmerman (OT), Brandon Self (OL), Connor Rains (OT), Pahl Schwab (OG), Gavin Dunayski (OT), Gary Crum (OL)
*** All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com. ***