NEBRASKA HOSTS WYOMING
August 27, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
NEBRASKA SPORTS RELEASE
GAME 1: NEBRASKA vs. WYOMING
Nebraska is coming off a 10-4 season in 2012, when the Huskers captured the Big Ten Legends Division and played in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Huskers bring the nation’s longest winning streak in season-opening contests into Saturday night’s game. Nebraska has won 27 consecutive season openers dating back to 1986, and has won each game in the streak by nine or more points.
Nebraska opens the 2013 season ranked 18th by both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches Poll, marking the fourth consecutive season the Huskers have been ranked in the preseason polls. NU has finished each of the past four years in the national polls, one of only five schools to be ranked in the final AP poll for the last four seasons. The Huskers are also one of only four schools to win at least nine games each of the last five years.
Wyoming will come to Lincoln following a 4-8 record in 2012. The Cowboys feature one of the more explosive offenses in the Mountain West Conference and should provide a stern test for a young Nebraska defense.
Wyoming: Dave Christensen (Western Washington, ‘85) is in his fifth season as Wyoming’s head coach. Christensen has guided the Cowboys to a 22-28 record, including two bowl appearances. Prior to taking over at Wyoming, Christensen served as an assistant coach at Missouri for eight seasons.
Scouting the Wyoming Cowboys
Offensively, Wyoming returns the majority of its production from last season. The unit is led by quarterback Brett Smith, who completed better than 62 percent of his passes last season while throwing for 2,837 yards and 27 touchdowns in only 10 games. Despite injuries, Smith ranked
Defensively, Wyoming was among the 15 worst teams in rushing defense (117th) and pass efficiency defense (108th) in 2012, while ranking 106th in total defense and 97th in scoring defense. The Cowboys return seven starters from 2012, but must replace their three leading tacklers who combined for 292 tackles and recorded 21 of Wyoming’s 51 tackles for loss.
NU has won five of the six all-time meetings by double digits, as the average score in the series is 40-14. Nebraska has also scored more than 40 points four times in the six meetings, including four of the five games at Memorial Stadium.
The closest the Cowboys have come to knocking off the Huskers came in 1968. Wyoming scored 10 points in the first nine minutes of the game, only to see the Huskers score the game’s final 13 points, including a fourth-quarter touchdown and a Paul Rogers’ 51-yard game-winning field goal with 21 seconds left.
That 1968 contest opened Bob Devaney’s seventh season on the Husker sideline. The Hall of Fame coach won 12 Big Eight crowns and two national titles at Nebraska after compiling a 35-10-5 record and winning four conference championships at Wyoming from 1957 to 1961.
Wyoming Head Coach Dave Christensen
Wyoming has finished with a winning record in two of Christensen’s first five seasons after the Cowboys posted just one winning season in the nine years before his arrival. Wyoming appeared in the New Mexico Bowl in Christensen’s first season in 2009, then posted an 8-5 record in 2011 that included the program’s most victories since 1998 and just the second winning conference season since 2000. The Cowboys hoped to build off the 2011 success for a strong 2012 season, but a flurry of injuries contributed to Wyoming’s 4-8 record last fall.
In addition to his eight years as the offensive coordinator at Missouri, Christensen also spent four years as the offensive coordinator at Toledo from 1997 to 2000. He spent nine total years at Toledo, following his first full-time collegiate coaching job at Idaho State from 1990 to 1991.
Nebraska Looks to Add to Season-Opening Win Streak
The Huskers will head into the game against Wyoming with victories in each of their last 27 season openers. The streak leads the nation, bettering Florida’s 23 straight season-opening wins.
The Huskers have won each of their last 27 season openers by nine or more points, including a 49-20 win over Southern Miss in 2012. NU has scored 40 or more points in the opener in 20 of the past 27 seasons. During the win streak, NU has limited opponents to 14 points or less 18 times.
- Nebraska is one of four schools that has won at least nine games each of the past five seasons. The others in that group include Alabama, Boise State and Oregon.
The East Stadium addition also includes dedicated restrooms and concessions areas. A new grand lobby, expanded concourse and additional first-aid areas also were added. No East Stadium seats were removed during the expansion and no season ticket holders were required to relocate their seats as part of this project.
The addition includes dedicated areas on the ground floor for research, both for Athletics and UNL Research. The 50,000-square foot research area is a unique collaboration between Athletics and Academics. The Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab is housed on the north end of the facility, and is operated by the Athletic Department. The Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior is housed in the south half of the facility.
Along with the additions on the East Stadium, Nebraska also replaced the FieldTurf at Memorial Stadium this summer. The field features the “Tom Osborne Field” lettering for the first time since the 1998 season. A detailed description of the East Stadium addition can be found later in this notes package.
Nebraska, Cowboys Share Devaney Tie
In his career, Devaney posted a 136-30-7 overall record for an .806 winning percentage. He guided Wyoming to a 35-10-5 record during his run in Laramie. At Nebraska, Devaney led the Huskers to a 101-20-2 record (.829) and won national championships in 1970 and 1971. During Devaney’s first season as NU head coach the Huskers’ remarkable sellout streak at Memorial Stadium began. The streak will reach 326 games on Saturday evening.
In each of the past five seasons under Pelini, Nebraska has named captains on a game-by-game basis throughout the regular season, before electing season captains at the end of the year.
The four 2013 captains bring a great deal of experience to the Huskers. As a group, the four players have played in a total of 139 games with a combined 107 starts.