The Wyoming Cowboys (6-4 overall, 3-3 MW) will host Hawai’i (4-7 overall, 2-4 MW) on Saturday at Noon inside War Memorial Stadium in the home finale for the Cowboys. Wyoming will look to move to 7-0 at home for the first time in program history. UW will also honor its seniors and graduate students prior to the contest.
This Saturday, Nov. 18, will be a special day at the University of Wyoming as the Wyoming Cowboy Football team hosts the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors in a Noon kickoff at Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium. Wyoming fans can also make the day a special one for children and families in Albany County by donating to Toys for Tots prior to the game from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Wyoming and Hawai’i Will Meet for the 28th Time on Saturday and Will Play for the Paniolo Trophy for the 27th Time: Saturday’s meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will be the 28th in history between the old rivals.
Wyoming leads the overall series 16-11 and also leads in games played between the two teams since both have been members of the Mountain West Conference. The Cowboys lead the MW series 4-3. In the previous 12 games played in Laramie, the Pokes hold an 8-4 advantage.
The Cowboys and Rainbow Warriors will be competing for the Paniolo Trophy for the 27th time. Wyoming and Hawai’i first played each other in football back on Nov. 18, 1978, with Hawai’i winning that first meeting in Honolulu by a score of 27-22. The Paniolo Trophy has been a part of the series since 1979. In the second year of the series, a group of Hawai’ian residents, with roots in Wyoming, donated a statuette of a Cowboy preparing to toss a lariat. At the time the traveling trophy was introduced to the rivalry both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, as Hawai’i joined the WAC in 1979. Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy portion of the series with 16 wins to Hawai’i’s 10 victories. The traveling trophy was named the Paniolo Trophy as Paniolo is the Hawai’ian word for Cowboy.
For the next 19 years, from 1979 to 1997, the two teams competed for the Paniolo Trophy. After Wyoming’s 35-6 win in the 1997 meeting in Honolulu, the series between the two schools ended. Due to the rotating schedule of the then 16-team WAC, Wyoming and Hawai’i weren’t scheduled to play in 1998. In 1999, Wyoming joined the Mountain West Conference, which interrupted the series for 15 years.
When Hawai’i was invited to join the Mountain West Conference, beginning in 2012, the two schools began discussion of a renewal of the Paniolo Trophy competition. But over that 15-year timespan the Paniolo Trophy was lost, which became a story in itself. Each school searched for it, but it was not to be found.
Enter a new group of Hawai’i fans to continue the tradition. The Paniolo Preservation Society, a group dedicated to preserving Hawai’i’s rich Cowboy heritage, proposed a new trophy. Led by the Society’s President, Mrs. Patricia C. Bergin, a bronze maquette, featuring Hawai’ian native Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, was donated to the two schools in 2013 to mark renewal of the series. Purdy became the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999. The bronze is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western sculptor Fred Fellows. The reproduction measures approximately 20″ long and 12″ high.
2023 Season Could Set All-Time Attendance Record Saturday: Entering this week’s game, 143,911 Cowboy fans have attended the first six home games of the 2023 season. That is only 5,715 fans shy of breaking the all-time Wyoming single-season attendance record of 149,625 set in 1990 for a seven-game season.
Top Home Attendance Seasons in War Memorial Stadium
1. 149,625 in 1990 (7 home games)
2. 148,860 in 2016 (7 home games)
3. 144,299 in 2017 (7 home games)
4. 143,911 in 2023 (Thru 6 home games entering Saturday’s game)
5. 142,516 in 1988 (6 home games)
6. 138,042 in 2019 (6 home games)
Winning the Close Ones: Through the first 10 games of the 2023 season, Wyoming has had four of their 10 games decided by a touchdown or less and the Cowboys have won three of those four close finishes. Below is a breakdown of those close finishes in 2023.
Final Scores and
Wyoming Opponents (Date and Location) Margins of Victory
Texas Tech (Sept. 2 in Laramie, Wyo.) W 35-33, +2 (2 OTs)
Appalachian State (Sept. 23 in Laramie, Wyo.) W 22-19, +3
Fresno State (Oct. 7 in Laramie, Wyo.) W 24-19, +5
Air Force (Oct. 14 in Colorado Springs, Colo.) L 27-34, -7
John Hoyland Ranks Fifth in Career Scoring at UW: With his 55 career field goals and 109 career extra points, Cowboy junior place-kicker John Hoyland enters Saturday’s game ranked No. 5 on the Wyoming career scoring list. Hoyland has scored 274 career points at Wyoming. He is now among the five greatest kickers in Wyoming history in terms of scoring.
War Memorial Stadium Has Provided a Great Home-Field Advantage Since Stadium Opened in 1950: The Wyoming Cowboys have had a great home-field advantage since War Memorial Stadium opened in 1950. The Cowboys have won 66 percent of their home games in “The War”. Wyoming’s all-time home record in War Memorial entering this week’s game is 260-131-7 (.662). Saturday’s game will be the 399th game to be played in the stadium.
This year’s Cowboy team has built a perfect 6-0 home record. The 2023 season is the 74th season in the history of War Memorial Stadium. There have been only 14 seasons where the Cowboys have gone undefeated at home in the regular season. (The 2016 Pokes went undefeated in the regular season before hosting the first postseason game in War Memorial history — the 2016 Mountain West Championship Game, which they narrowly lost 24-27 to San Diego State.) Entering Saturday’s game, this year’s team has an opportunity to become the 15th team to go undefeated at home. The 2023 Cowboys also have the opportunity to be the first Wyoming team to go 7-0 at home.
Fans may order tickets online, via email or by phone at:
•Go to GoWyo.com/tickets
•Call (307) 766-7220
•Stop by the UW Athletics Ticket Office on the West Side of the Arena-Auditorium on the corner of Willett Drive and 19th Street.
Where to Watch and Listen
Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network. Announcers are Keith Kelley, Play-by-Play (2nd year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (26th year) and Erick Pauley, Sideline Reporter (2nd year). The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Saturday’s Wyoming-Hawai’i game will be televised by Spectrum Sports Pay-per-View of Hawai’i. Fans outside of Hawai’i may watch the game on the T1 Sports App. Instructions on how to watch the game may be found at the following link Here: Watch Saturday’s Game
The television announcers will be Kanoa Leahey (Play-by-play), Rich Miano (Color Analyst).