Some comments by Wyoming coach Joe Glenn guaranteeing a victory to a group of students earlier in the week served to be a big motivation for the Ute football team in its crushing 50-0 victory Saturday afternoon.
"I am not a fortune teller ... but I guarantee a victory against Utah and will be back Monday to discuss it," Glenn said.
Uh, Joe, you've got a little explaining to do tomorrow.
Although the Utes seemed to shrug off the comments during the week, it turns out they were certainly on their minds all week and during Saturday's game.
The fans were all over it, chanting "guar-an-tee" in the first half as the Ute lead was building and again as the final seconds ticked off.
A sign in the Ute student section that said "Guarantee What?" was grabbed by Ute players and paraded around the field after the game.
One by one, Ute players brought up Glenn's comments in the postgame interview room.
"It was like someone spit in your face," said Ute defensive tackle Gabe Long, who led the Utes with four sacks on the day. "Show some respect. You don't come into our house and expect to do that."
"You don't have to love us, but give us a little respect," said Ute quarterback Brian Johnson. "Some of our guys took that as disrespectful."
Ute coach Kyle Whittingham was more than willing to talk about the guarantee afterward. Although he wouldn't say how much he used it as motivation, he did indicate how much it bothered him.
"If you open your mouth, you're accountable for your actions," Whittingham said. "You can't just say things and expect to sweep them away. You are accountable."
Whittingham claimed that the onside kick his team tried with a 43-0 lead midway through the third quarter had nothing to do with trying to pour it on the Cowboys.
"Typically, we don't do that kind of thing. But he must have known something I didn't," Whittingham said, referring again to the guarantee.
When pressed further, Whittingham said, "It was still the third quarter. The unspoken rule is once the fourth quarter hits is when you start to call off the dogs."
Ute fans watching on television were upset by an obscene gesture Glenn made toward the crowd after the onside kick.
Glenn didn't address it, but Wyoming sports information director Tim Harkins said when he asked coach Glenn about it after, the coach said a lot of emotional things are done in the heat of the moment but that he honestly doesn't remember making a gesture toward the crowd.
Whittingham said there are no hard feelings between him and Glenn, whom he called a "good man who I respect."
He said afterward the two shook hands and exchanged the usual pleasantries.
So did Glenn bring up the onsides kick?"No and I didn't bring up the guarantee either," Whittingham said.
E-mail: [email protected]