LARAMIE – Twenty-eight years ago, Fresno State arrived on the High Plains for a high-stakes conference game with a high-profile quarterback.
Trent Dilfer, who went on to play in the NFL for 14 seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, was 21-for-34 passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns, including a 20-yard score that gave the Bulldogs a 28-10 lead midway through the third quarter.
But Wyoming’s quarterback, Joe Hughes, stole the spotlight with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including a 7-yard game-winner to Mike Jones with 20 seconds left, to lift the Cowboys to a 32-28 victory and a 7-1 start.
UW finished Joe Tiller’s third season in a three-way tie for the 1993 WAC championship with BYU and Fresno State.
Nearly three decades later, the Cowboys (4-1, 0-1 Mountain West) are trying to keep the program’s next conference championship in sight as they host Fresno State on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium (1:30 p.m., FS2)
The Bulldogs (4-2, 1-1), who were ranked 18th in The Associated Press poll before a confounding loss at Hawaii two weeks ago, are led by quarterback Jake Haener, who has already passed for 2,230 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions this season.
UW’s defense is facing a dramatically different brand of offense after struggling with Air Force’s triple-option in last week’s 24-14 loss at Falcon Stadium.