One of the most anticipated games in Wyoming history happened two seasons ago. The Nebraska Cornhuskers made their first visit to War Memorial and this resulted in the second largest attendance ever. With the recent expansion of Memorial Stadium the Cowboys will now play in front of the largest crowd ever in Lincoln.
Entering that 2011 game both teams were 3-0. Wyoming had two narrow victories over Weber State and Bowling Green and a 45-10 win over FCS Texas State. The Bobcats have now moved to FBS and the Pokes will make the return trip to San Marcos in week five this year.
Freshmen quarterback Brett Smith had made some impressive plays in the first three games. Coming into the Nebraska game Smith had thrown for 797 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He had also rushed for 154 yards and three scores.
I think the maturity and poise of Smith was truly evident in what was the biggest contest of his life up to that point. In the game he finished 17-31 for 161 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Check out these highlights of Smith from that game.
As a true freshmen Smith showed the smarts to hold on to the ball instead of trying to force a pass. The leadership that Smith displayed in that game has only grown since that time. With two years under his belt Smith is even stronger and smarter. His added weight and muscle is evident when looking back at this old footage.
The Cowboys were able to keep things close in the first half and were down just 14-7. Wyoming has consistently been able to hang tough with big programs for a good portion of the game. In the second half Rex Burkhead gained full steam and led the Huskers to a 38-14 victory. Burkhead finished with a career high 170 yards and two scores.
Amer Abdullah had 36 yards on only three rushes back in 2011. On Saturday he'll be the main running attack along with Taylor Martinez. The speedy and shifty Abdullah could prove to be a huge problem for a Cowboy defense that has struggled with stopping the run.
Check out some of his 2012 highlights.