Pokes to host Washington State in home opener Saturday; New information for fans attending the game

The Wyoming Cowboys will host the Washington State Cougars on Saturday in the home opener for the Cowboys and the season opener for the Cougars.  Saturday’s game will kick off from Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium at 1:30 p.m., M.T.  Tickets are available for purchase at GoWyo.com/tickets, by calling (307) 766-7220 or by stopping by the UW Athletics Ticket Office on the west side of the Arena-Auditorium.  Game-day ticket sales will be available at the War Memorial Stadium Ticket Office on the east side of the stadium.

Wyoming has won 13 of its last 15 home openers.  The Cowboys have also won 12 of their last 15 home games in War Memorial Stadium.

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The Matchup
Saturday’s game will feature one of the nation’s top defenses a year ago in the Wyoming Cowboys against one of the nation’s most explosive offenses in Washington State.  Wyoming ranked 16th in the nation in scoring defense last year (allowing opponents only 17.5 points per game).  The Cowboys also ranked 13th in the country in pass defense (giving up on 174.9 passing yards per game) and were No. 1 in the NCAA in takeaways, with 38.  Last week in the win at New Mexico State, the Cowboy defense allowed the Aggies only 135 yards of total offense, including holding NMSU to a -9 yards rushing.  UW also recorded 4.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss.

Washington State’s offense ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in passing offense at 366.8 passing yards per game in 2017.  While the Cougars have not played a game yet this season, their defense in 2017 also enjoyed a productive year, ranking ninth in the nation in pass defense and 16th in total defense.

In last week’s season opening win for the Cowboys, the offense was very productive, generating 449 yards of total offense, including 312 rushing yards.  Senior running back Nico Evans enjoyed the best game of his Wyoming career against New Mexico State as he recorded his first 100-yard rushing game.  Evans ran for 190 yards and scored two touchdowns of 24 and 56 yards.  He also caught one pass for 10 yards and accounted for 200 yards of total offense — also a personal high.  Redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Vander Waal, playing in his first college game, completed 13 of 21 passes (61.9 percent) for 137 yards against New Mexico State last Saturday.  The native of Elk Grove, Calif., began his first college start at quarterback by completing his first seven passes of the night.  The redshirt freshman led a Cowboy offense that scored on five offensive possessions, did not commit a turnover and did not give up a quarterback sack.

On defense, the Cowboys were led last week by middle linebacker Logan Wilson and defensive end Carl Granderson.  Wilson had a team high four tackles.  Granderson recorded two tackles, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.  The two combined in tackling a New Mexico State runner in the Aggies’ end zone for a safety.

The WSU offense must replace one of the school’s greatest passers in Luke Falk.  He threw for 3,593 yards and 30 touchdowns last season. The Cougars list four potential starters on their depth chart to replace Falk.  One of those is Gardner Minshew II an East Carolina transfer. He was named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List.  James Williams returns at running back after leading Washington State with 71 receptions in 2017, most by a running back in the FBS and most by a running back in WSU history.  He tallied 482 receiving yards and caught three touchdowns. He also rushed for 395 yards and one touchdown on a team best 92 carries.  He was second on the team with 964 all-purpose yards.

The Washington State defense is led by safety Jalen Thompson.  He led the team with 73 tackles a season ago and also led the squad with four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.  Linebacker Jahad Woods also returns for the Cougars. He was second on the team in tackles with 64. He added 11 tackles for loss.

The Coaches
Two of the nation’s most successful coaches will lead their teams into this week’s game.  Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has won 67.6 percent of his games as a college head coach, posting a record of 127-61.  Entering his fifth year at Wyoming and his 16th season as a college head coach, Bohl has guided the Cowboys to back-to-back, eight-win seasons the past two seasons, two consecutive bowl appearances and a victory in last year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  He was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2016 after leading Wyoming to the Mountain West Championship Game.  Bohl was named the Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013 at North Dakota State.  He led the Bison to three consecutive FCS National Championships in 2011, ’12 and ’13.  As an assistant coach at his alma mater, Nebraska, Bohl was part of National Championship teams in 1995 and ’97.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach is returning to his home state this weekend.  Leach is a native of Cody, Wyo.  He has won 60.1 percent of his games as a college head coach at Washington State and Texas Tech, building a record of 122-81.  He is in his seventh season at Washington State and his 17th season as a college head coach.  Leach was named the 2015 Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year.  His Cougar Air Raid offense has led the Pac-12 in passing offense in five of his previous six seasons at WSU.

Game Day Saturday
This weekend marks the Hall of Fame Weekend at Wyoming.  The 26th class of the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame will be inducted on Friday night in ceremonies at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. That event is sold out.  This year’s inductees will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s game.

This weekend also is the “Gold Rush” game.  A total of 4,000 free T-shirts will be handed out at the gates to War Memorial Stadium on Saturday.  In partnership with the University of Wyoming, the T-shirts will feature the new university marketing campaign tagline of “The World Needs More Cowboys.”

Saturday’s game will be televised by CBS Sports Network and will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network.  The Cowboy Sports Network broadcast will begin at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday.

Changes for UW Students and Fans to be Aware of  for the 2018 Wyoming Football Season
Information for University of Wyoming Students

•The Student Gate for home football games this season at War Memorial Stadium will be Gate 3, located on the
southeast corner of the stadium.
•All UW students please remember to download the “WYO Wild Bunch App” from the Apple App Store prior to
Saturday’s game so that you can gain admission to the game.

Seatbacks
•Seatbacks will not be sold on game days this season.  Fans who wish to bring their own seatbacks may due so
as long as their seatbacks are no wider than 16.5 inches.

High School Coaches Tickets
•There is a change in how high school coaches pick up their tickets to games.  Coaches may now pick up those
tickets inside the Main Entrance to the Arena-Auditorium near the Kenny Sailors statue on the east side of the AA.

Beer and Wine Sales Changes
•Beer and wine will once again be sold this season at Cowboy Football games.  This year to make it more convenient for fans to purchase beer there will be         “hawkers” who will circulate through the stands selling beer and allowing fans to purchase beer without having to leave their seats.
•These “hawkers” will not be selling in the University of Wyoming Student Sections.
•Fans purchasing beer from “hawkers” must have wrist bands and provide tabs from their wristbands to the
“hawkers at the time they make their purchase.  Wrist bands may be purchased at any beer sales location in the
stadium.
•Wine this year will only be sold in the Beer Garden area in the south end zone of War Memorial Stadium.

General Information for Wyoming Fans on Game Days

General Beer and Wine Sale Information
It was decided beginning a year ago in the 2017-18 seasons that beer and wine would be offered to enhance the game-day experience for fans, to heighten the pregame atmosphere in War Memorial Stadium and the Arena-Auditorium on game days by encouraging fans to enter the stadium earlier, to create a new revenue source for UW Athletics and to benefit from other positive effects that have been seen in other college athletic venues as alcohol sales have expanded the past several years.  Among the positive affects are: creating a more responsible drinking environment, reducing binge drinking and reducing the amount of concealed alcohol entering athletic venues

Through fan surveys, many Wyoming fans had expressed their interest in purchasing alcoholic beverages at Wyoming Athletic events.  In UW Athletics’ ongoing desire to provide its fans with the best entertainment atmosphere possible, it conducted extensive research to put a plan in place making beer and wine available on game days.

ID Screening and Wrist-Banding Stations 
•Create an easy ID screening and wrist-banding system.  Each fan wishing to purchase alcohol in the stadium on game days will have their ID checked verifying legal age and will be provided a wrist band for that game.
•An ID/Wrist-Banding station will be available in the Pepsi Pregame Zone in the Indoor Practice Facility.  This station will allow fans to enter the stadium without having to go through an ID/Wrist-Banding Station at sales locations.
•Other ID/Wrist-Banding stations will be available at the selling locations inside War Memorial Stadium.

Selling Locations
•Beer and wine will be sold inside War Memorial Stadium beginning two (2) hours prior to kick off – when stadium gates open.
•There will be 7 selling locations within War Memorial Stadium (1 on Upper East Concourse, 2 on Lower East, 1 on Upper West, 1 on Lower West and 2 in South End Zone Beer Garden area)
•The South End Zone Beer Garden area will provide fans a chance to enjoy drinks with their friends from a field-level location while still having visibility of the field during the game.  The Beer Garden area will be the only location selling wine.
•Each selling location will have two serving lines — one Cash Line and one Credit Card Line.  There will be multiple staff members at each selling location, including staff, sales staff and replacement staff.
•Each individual may purchase 2 drinks (beer or wine) per transaction.
•Each wrist band will have 4 pull-off tabs, allowing each patron to purchase a total of 4 drinks during one event.  In the circumstance of a football game followed by a basketball game individuals will be permitted to obtain one wristband at the football game and a wristband at the basketball game.  For a men’s/ women’s basketball doubleheader only one wristband will be permitted due to the short/condensed time frame of the back-to-back games.
•Pull off tabs will be for beer or wine purchases once an individual enters the stadium or arena.
•Beer will be poured using the state-of-the-art “Bottoms Up” draft beer dispensing system, which fills through the bottom of specially designed plastic cups.  The “Bottoms Up” system offers extremely fast pouring and minimal foam in each pour while more effectively utilizing (less waste) the beer from each keg.
•Sales of beer and wine will stop at the end of the 3rd quarter.
•Information gathered on fans from scanners that are part of the ID/Wrist-Banding stations will be deleted at the end of each game and will not be retained by the University of Wyoming.
ATM Machines Being Added to War Memorial Stadium
•For fans’ convenience, both UniWyo Federal Credit Union and Western States Bank have installed ATM machines in War Memorial Stadium.

Products Offered and Pricing
•There will be a variety of beer and wine available for purchase, including: Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Blue Moon, White Claw, Black Tooth craft beer (Black Tooth Brewing Co. of Sheridan, Wyo.) and , Snake River craft beer (Snake River Brewing of Jackson, Wyo.).
•Beer and wine will be priced at $7 each.  Craft beer will be priced at $8 each.

SafeRide, UBER and Local Taxi Companies Available for Transportation
•SafeRide, the on-call public transportation service, will be available on game days to serve the needs of fans.  Rides are offered to UW students, faculty, staff, and Laramie community members and visitors.  During home football games, SafeRide will be located at Gate 1 (southwest corner) of War Memorial Stadium.  SafeRide’s service areas include the Laramie city limits. However, SafeRide will not pick up/drop off at specific locations within downtown Laramie. Riders wishing to be picked up/dropped off downtown will need to utilize the SafeRide office located at 3rd Street & Garfield. There is no on-board fare for utilizing SafeRide.  Requesting a ride is simple.  Call 307-766-7433 (307-766-RIDE) or request your ride through the Transloc Rider App.
•UBER transportation will also be available for patrons.  UBER pick up is located at Gate 4 on the east side of
War Memorial Stadium.
•Local taxi companies will also be available on game days, including Laramie Taxi (307-761-9891), Snowy Range Taxi (307-343-2323) and Yellow Checker Taxi (307-710-7177).

Rules Governing Beer and Wine Sales
•Individuals must be 21 or older to purchase, possess or consume alcohol.
•Patrons cannot bring their own alcohol into the stadium.
•IDs must be checked and wristbands/hand stamps obtained before purchase of alcohol in the stadium.
•Random ID checks may occur at beer and wine sales locations.
•Each individual may purchase 2 drinks (beer or wine) per transaction.
•Each wrist band will have 4 pull-off tabs, allowing each patron to purchase a total of 4 drinks during one day.  In the circumstance of a football game followed by a basketball game, individuals will be permitted to obtain one wristband at the football game and a wristband at the basketball game.  For a men’s/ women’s basketball doubleheader only one wristband will be permitted due to the short/condensed time frame of the back-to-back games.
•There will be no re-entry to the stadium once patrons have entered the stadium on game days.
•Sales of beer and wine will stop at the end of the 3rd quarter (football and women’s basketball) and at the 10-minute mark in the second half of men’s basketball games.
•For fans who want to be in an alcohol-free area on game days, Section AA on the west side of War Memorial Stadium will offer an alcohol-free section.

Pregame Tailgating Opportunities and Pepsi Pregame Zone
•Tailgating opportunities for fans in designated areas surrounding War Memorial Stadium and the Pepsi Pregame Zone in the Indoor Practice Facility will still be offered for the 2018 Wyoming Football season.
•Beer, wine and malt beverages are the only alcoholic beverages permitted in the open container areas on game days. No hard alcohol is permitted and no kegs are not permitted in tailgate areas.
•Open containers will be permitted in designated open container areas beginning at 8 a.m. for all games scheduled to kick off before 4 p.m. and Noon for all games scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. or later.  Open container permits end at kickoff.
•All tailgating activities are confined to a patron’s specific parking space(s).
•Open containers may not be carried on or across public streets.
•Violations of the open container permits may result in revocation of parking privileges and removal from the open container areas.  Please observe any and all posted signage.
•No Re-Entry Allowed:  Once fans have entered War Memorial Stadium on game days if they choose to leave the stadium prior to conclusion of the game there will be no re-entry to the stadium allowed.

Entrance Lanes into War Memorial Stadium (Applicable to All Fans Attending Wyoming games)
•Stadium security will again be conducting bag checks as fans enter War Memorial Stadium.
•In an effort to improve the speed of fans’ entrance into the stadium, designated lanes will be introduced this year at all entrance gates.  There will be lanes for FANS WITH NO BAGS OR CLEAR PLASTIC BAGS and separate lanes for FANS WITH BAGS.

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