Undefeated Ducks enter unfamiliar territory
Wyoming and Oregon face different concerns when they meet today for only the second time.
For Wyoming (1-1), many will be watching to see if quarterback Josh Allen can perform well against a Power Five defense. For Oregon (2-0), the question is how the Ducks will handle playing for the first time in Laramie, which is about 6,700 feet higher in altitude than their home turf in Eugene.
Allen, who is considered by some to be a top NFL prospect, has not fared well in two previous meetings with major college defenses.
In the first game this season, Allen threw for 174 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns in a loss at Iowa. Last season, Allen threw five interceptions and had one fumble in a loss at Nebraska.
Allen knows he didn't play well in those games, but he said he's more concerned about whether the team wins.
"I don't care if I throw for 500 yards or 5 yards. If we're winning a game, that's all I care about," he said.
Oregon coach Willie Taggart said there's really no way to prepare for playing in the 7,220-foot altitude at War Memorial Stadium.
All the Ducks can do is practice and prepare as they do for every other game, Taggart said.
"It is what it is," Taggart said. "It's a football field with some lines and hash marks and a goal post."
Some other things to know about the Oregon-Wyoming game:
WYOMING DEFENSE: The Cowboys defense has shown improvement so far this season. In the 24-3 loss at Iowa, Wyoming limited the Hawkeyes offense to 263 yards and forced four turnovers, including three fumbles. Last week, the Cowboys recorded their first shutout since 2010 by keeping Gardner-Webb scoreless.
Wyoming is ranked No. 19 in scoring defense, allowing 12 points per game, and No. 12 in total defense, giving up 229.0 yards per game.
Last season, the Cowboys averaged 34.1 points and 453.1 yards allowed.
OREGON OFFENSE: Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said the Cowboys defense will get its biggest test so far this season from Oregon. The Ducks are ranked No. 3 in the nation in scoring at 59.5 points per game and No. 2 in total offense at 634.5 yards per game. Despite those lofty numbers, Taggart said he wants more consistency out of his offense.
LONG TIME, NO SEE: The last time a Pac-12 team played in Laramie was in 1993 when Oregon State won 27-16. Over the next few seasons, two more Pac-12 teams will be making their way to Wyoming. Washington State will play there next year, and in 2020, Utah is scheduled to visit.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Wyoming has won eight of its last nine home games dating back to the last game of the 2015 season. The Cowboys won all six of their regular-season games last year before losing 27-24 to San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference Championship game.
OREGON'S ROAD: The Ducks have won just one of their last six road games. Their only road win last season was at Utah on Nov. 19. A win today would give Oregon its first 3-0 start to a season since 2014.