If you live in Laramie it has been fairly obvious that our city has been slowly growing over the past few days, before the major influx of fans this morning for the long awaited Wyoming vs. Nebraska football game. People came out of the woodwork this afternoon sporting their brown and gold, and there was plenty of red in the mix as well.Nebraska certainly made a strong showing for the big event bringing more fans than any away team in memory. A tailgate party of epic proportions sprang up around the stadium that I have never seen the likes of before, and it was a perfect sunny 75 degree day in Laramie for some football! Fans with or without tickets seemed to have a great time even if they had to watch the game on the monster big screen TV set up in tailgate park for those who could not get their hands on tickets to be in the stadium.

If you didn’t already realize what a big deal this game was, the coin toss was a good indication. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman tossed a special Ronald Reagan Centennial Coin to start the football game, which Nebraska won but deferred to the second half. A large number of politicians from each state were present in addition to the governors as well.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers struck the first blow in the highly anticipated battle taking a 7-0 lead over Wyoming in the first quarter on a 45-yd run. Then in the second quarter the Huskers gained a two touchdown lead with Taylor Martinez keeping the ball and rushing into the end zone. Wyoming struck back a couple minutes later to bring it to 14-7 when Brett Smith’s pass to Mazi Ogbonna resulted in a 48-yd touchdown. That score stood the rest of the half, but the door was open for Wyoming to come back in the second half after Nebraska missed a field goal just before halftime.

The third quarter of the game was not good news for Wyoming fans as Nebraska was able to put 10 more points on the scoreboard while Wyoming went scoreless, taking the score to 24-7, Nebraska. Then the Huskers opened the 4th quarter with an additional touchdown leaving less and less hope for a Wyoming comeback. Nebraska scored a total of 14 points in the 4th and Wyoming was only able to add 7 more points, leaving the final score at 38-14, Nebraska.

Wyoming falls to 3-1 on the season and will have a bye next week to contemplate the loss before going on the road to Utah State on Oct. 8th. Wyoming rushed for 137 yards and earned 168 passing yards for 305 yards of total offense. Nebraska was allowed 333 rushing yards and 157 passing yards for 490 total yards of offense. The Wyoming defense has now given up an average of 433.5 yards per game. Nebraska will take their 4-0 record to the University of Wisconsin in Madison where they will open Big Ten Conference play on Oct. 1st.

Even though the outcome of this huge game for the pokes wasn’t quite what Wyoming fans would have liked, it was still a great day for football. It is nice to have a major player in college football come to town and, I myself wondered why Nebraska would come to town to play the Cowboys. Surprisingly I found that the Wyoming and Nebraska fans were getting along incredibly well, and the game seemed more like a family reunion than a big fight, although I am sure there was some of that too! In the days leading up to the game, Domino’s put a $57.99 special in the Laramie paper for Husker fans and we threw around a few jokes as well with our “Top 10 Reasons why Wyoming is better than Nebraska!” We actually had a Nebraska fan submit a joke to us after that story and surprisingly it wasn’t to insult Wyoming, although it sounds like she has lived here in the past. Here is what she had to say:

I have an [11th reason] for you: have you ever heard the words to Nebraska’s fight song:

There is no place like Nebraska,
Dear old Nebraska U.
Where the girls are the fairest
The boys are the squarest
Of any old school that I knew.
There is no place like Nebraska,
Where they’re always true blue.
In all kinds of weather
We’ll all stick together
For dear old Nebraska U.

I mean really—who wrote those lyrics, someone’s kindergarten class in 1900? Unfortunately I teach in Nebraska and would love to get back to Wyoming. I have had to teach this song to my students this year (I’m an elementary music teacher) and it about gags me every Friday when I have to sing it with them.

The buzz and excitement that this game brought to Laramie created a truly unique atmosphere and experience for all fans that I wish we saw more often here in Laramie. War Memorial’s normal capacity is around 29,000, but with the extended seating brought in for this game, a whopping 32,617 people were accommodated by the stadium. It was the third largest crowd to ever attend a football game in the stadium, so needless to say lines were long! Not only is this great for Wyoming athletics, but also serves as a major cash injection for the city of Laramie. Special street dances and events downtown made this weekend one to remember despite the outcome of the game.

Looking for a great place to hit up after Wyoming games? Check out our Top 5 Places to go in Laramie after a UW Football Game.

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