LARAMIE -- No point systems. And no running clock, at least at the start.
With Wyoming set to host its most normal on-campus football weekend in more than a year, the Cowboys are planning to do the same with the format of their spring game Saturday. The Brown and Gold scrimmage -- UW’s first spring game since 2019 after the coronavirus pandemic forced the Cowboys to cancel spring ball all together last year -- will consist of the usual four quarters with a winner decided at the end, UW coach Craig Bohl said.
Each quarter may even last the standard 15 minutes, though Bohl said he’s still giving that some thought.
“I think we’ll have a normal game,” Bohl said. “I’ll look at the length of the quarters that we have, but I think it’s really important. We’re going to try to play all the players who have participated this spring, and I think that’s really a good thing. I know there are some guys who may be from this area that are going to have some relatives come and watch them play. And so to get them on the field is going to be important.”
The game, which is set for a 2 p.m start, is open to the public, and the school is not limiting attendance inside War Memorial Stadium. UW, in conjunction with the Wyoming Department of Health, initially capped attendance at 7,000 fans for home football games last season, a number that was eventually lowered to 5,000 in response to the pandemic.
The last time attendance wasn’t limited for any type of game inside the stadium? The Cowboys’ 17-7 win over Colorado State on Nov. 22, 2019. Saturday will mark just the third time since then that UW has played in front of fans in its own stadium after two of its home games were canceled during its abbreviated season last fall.
“I think it’ll be nice to have the fans back, and I think it’ll be the first kind of big event that is kind of back to normal,” senior safety Braden Smith said. “Once that happens, at least for me personally, once I see the fans and everything this Saturday, it’s going to feel a lot better than not having the fans there.”
Saturday will also be the first day the university will no longer require anyone on campus to wear a face covering outdoors. Neither masks nor social distancing will be required inside the stadium, though UW is still encouraging fans to do both. Face coverings will still be required indoors.
Gates will open at 1 p.m., and admission is free. The school is allowing tailgating, which will begin at 10 a.m. in the Stadium Lot. Concessions will also be available inside the stadium.
“It’s an opportunity to get back to doing some normal things, and all the arrows are pointing up,” Bohl said. “It’s going to be a game-like atmosphere.”