Gear up for Gameday: Northern Illinois VS. Wyoming
DEKALB, Ill., -- Whew!
Wyoming barely escaped the upset-minded Montana State Bobcats last Saturday in Laramie. Now, they get to face a team fresh off a stunner in ACC Country against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
College football is a crazy game isn't it?
Northern Illinois was a winless program in 2020. The offense was bad. The defense, worse. Expectations weren't exactly high for the Huskies heading into this season. That's all changed now.
The Cowboys, a team that features more than 90% of its roster from last fall, came out flat against their former offensive coordinator, Brent Vigen, and nearly took a loss in front of more than 27,000 fans inside War Memorial Stadium.
Tim Polasek put the whole scenario into perspective though.
"It was the first game and we found a way to win," UW's first-year OC said. "Half of the country is 0-1, the other half is 1-0. There were some correctable mistakes."
Do we know what will happen this Saturday in DeKalb? Of course not.
Vegas likes the Pokes, ESPN doesn't.
I guess we'll all just sit back and watch it all play out together, huh?
"It's also been my experience, teams usually make the most improvement between the first and second game," Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said after the 19-16 win over MSU last Saturday. "That's going to be very important."
Wyoming's roster is littered with players from The Land of Lincoln.
Seven to be exact.
It's not exactly clear which players will travel, but these guys -- Jackson Marcotte, Xazavian Valladay, Keyon Blankenbaker, Jack Walsh, CJ Coldon, Jovan Marsh and Jaylen Pate -- could all have a chance to play in their home state for the first time in their UW careers.
Next season's opener will be just down the road in Champaign, too.
Bohl has heavily recruited the Midwest since he arrived on campus in 2014. The Cowboys also have players from states nearby like Wisconsin, Missouri and Ohio. Minnesota and Arkansas aren't too far, either. Wyoming also has players from those two states.
The voice of Homer Simpson, Dan Castellaneta, went to NIU. So did Smashing Pumpkins drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin.
A whole host of actors and actresses -- Joan Allen (The Bourne Supremacy/ Nixon), Charlotte Kate Fox (actress and first non-Japanese heroine of an NHK Asadora), Steve Harris (The Practice), Wood Harris (Julius Campbell in Remember the Titans), Justin Mentell (Boston Legal), Joe Minoso (Chicago Fire), Cindy Morgan (Lacey Underall in Caddyshack), Jason Matthew Smith (portrays Ensign Hendorff in Star Trek), Carrie Snodgress (Diary of a Mad Housewife), Kurt Sutter (creator of Sons of Anarchy), Barbara Alyn Woods (One Tree Hill) and Matt Walsh (Old School, The Hangover, Role Models) -- all called DeKalb home in college.
So did the director of Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump, Robert Zemeckis.
How's that for star-studded?
Here is all you need to know about today's tilt in DeKalb:
WHO: Wyoming (1-0, 0-0) at Northern Illinois (1-0, 0-0)
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 11 at 11:30 a.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 86, low of 63, partly cloudy, winds at 10-20 mph
WHERE: Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, Illinois
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
TICKETS: UW Ticket Central or NIU Huskies Central
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Northern Illinois
BETMGM ODDS: Wyoming -7, O/U 44.5 (Could be subject to change)
HISTORY: Wyoming leads the all-time series 1-0 (Last meeting: 40-34 Cowboys triple-overtime win in 2016)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Thomas Hammock
Wyoming Cowboys football players in the NFL: Then and now