LARAMIE, WYO. (AP) - When No. 9 Nebraska plays at Wyoming on Saturday, both teams are approaching the game in the same business-as-usual manner, though from completely different perspectives.
For Wyoming, Nebraska has stood out on the Cowboys’ schedule since the game was announced in 2008 because hosting high-profile, Top 10, non-conference teams are a rarity at War Memorial Stadium.
“The town of Laramie and the state of Wyoming, they’ve been getting ready for this game now for three years,” third-year coach Dave Christensen said.
Wyoming players and coaches, however, are quick to point out they aren’t doing anything special in preparation and are trying to keep a matter-of-fact demeanor leading up to what many fans and the school are calling the biggest home game in Wyoming’s football history.
“It’s another team,” Cowboys senior linebacker Brian Hendricks said. “We’re not going to change the way we prepare for them.”
For Nebraska, it’s the Huskers’ first road game of the season and last game before their highly anticipated first Big Ten Conference matchup at Wisconsin the following week. However, Nebraska players and coaches say they are taking the usual one-game-at-a-time approach.
Both teams enter the contest undefeated after their first three games. It is Wyoming’s first 3-0 start since 1996, although two of its games this year were against FCS teams.
“We have to play our best game, probably a near perfect game,” Christensen said.
Despite being neighboring states, Nebraska and Wyoming have met only five previous times with the Huskers winning each time _ all at home. The two teams last met in 1994 when Nebraska won 42-32 _ its second-closest game in that 13-0 national championship season.
Saturday’s game at Wyoming will be Nebraska’s first road game at a non-BCS conference school since a 38-14 win in 2003 at Southern Miss.
The game pits two teams whose offenses have been the main reason both are undefeated.
Nebraska is averaging 44.3 points a game, ranking it No. 13 in the NCAA in scoring offense. It is the first time it has opened the season with three straight games scoring 40-plus points since 1995, when did so in the first four.
The Huskers are No. 11 in rushing offense with 252.3 yards a game. Wyoming is averaging 36 points a game so far, ranking No. 35. The Cowboys rank No. 20 in rushing offense at 226.7 yards a contest and are 16th in total offense at 492.3 yards.
Cowboys freshman quarterback Brett Smith ranks No. 16 in total offense with 310.7 yards per game, earning the admiration of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.