The University of Montana Grizzlies will have to “Cowboy up” for their 2014 football opener – they’re playing at the University of Wyoming.
UM athletic director Kent Haslam announced the game Thursday via a press release. The contest will be played on Aug. 30, 2014, in Laramie, Wyo.
“This is a great regional match-up for our team and fans,” Haslam said. “As a border state there is a natural rivalry and reviving an old Skyline Conference contest will be a lot of fun as well.”
The teams have played 13 times and the Cowboys lead the series 13-0. The last time they played each other was in Laramie in 1997, when head coach Mick Dennehy’s Griz lost 28-13.
The team first played in 1951, with UW winning 34-7 in Missoula. The Cowboys were 8-5 in 2011, losing 37-15 to Temple in the New Mexico Bowl. With quarterback Brett Smith injured they’re off to an 0-3 start in 2012, including a 24-22 loss to Cal Poly of the Big Sky Conference last week.
UM’s release revealed no financial figures for the game, but one official said that Wyoming’s guarantee is north of $300,000.
Wyoming is a member of the Mountain West Conference, which is currently comprised of Air Force, Fresno State, Boise State, Colorado State, Nevada, New Mexico, UNLV, and San Diego State.
The Grizzlies don’t face a team from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) this season, but have played up in years past. That includes a 42-16 loss at Tennessee in 2011, a 41-7 setback at Iowa in 2006 and a 47-14 loss at Oregon in 2005.
Montana hasn’t beaten an FBS team on the road since winning 45-38 at Idaho in 2000; the Griz also beat Idaho 38-31 in overtime in Missoula during the 2001 season.
Earlier this year UM announced that it will open its 2017 season on Sept. 2 in Seattle against the University of Washington Huskies.