Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Robert Gagliardi

Long-time rivals reunite in San Diego

Wyoming, BYU to play in Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21


December 6, 2016

COURTESY/ SHANNON BRODERICK/ Boomerang photographer

Wyoming wide receiver Tanner Gentry (4) is tackled by San Diego State cornerback Ron Smith during Saturday's Mountain West Championship at War Memorial Stadium.

LARAMIE – A long-time rival and a destination location.

The University of Wyoming football team accepted a bid to play in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Sunday afternoon, and will play Brigham Young at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at Qualcomm Stadium.

It's UW's first bowl appearance since 2011, 14th in school history and first bowl appearance in San Diego since playing in the Holiday Bowl in 1987-88.

"It's been way too long. We can't wait to roll out the red carpet for the Cowboys football team and all their fans," Mark Neville, executive director of the Poinsettia Bowl said.

The Cowboys finished the regular season 8-5 and winners of the Mountain Division of the Mountain West. They lost to San Diego State 27-24 in the MW Championship Game this past Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

"It will take a little bit of time for guys to get a bounce back in their step after that loss," third-year coach Craig Bohl said Sunday night while he was on the road recruiting. "But we've had an excellent season, and now get to and cap it off at a great bowl venue against an excellent program. We're excited about that."

UW and BYU (8-4) will play for the 78th time, and first time since 2010 when both were members of the MW. Both also were members of the Skyline and Western Athletic conferences. BYU is now an independent.

The Cowboys trail the series 44-30-3. They lost the last seven games in the series, and 10 of the last 11 games.

Both teams have never played each other in a bowl game, but they squared off in the 1996 WAC Championship Game where BYU won 28-25 in overtime.

"We haven't experienced the rivalry against them, but it fun and good to be playing a time that has a good past with us," senior middle linebacker Lucas Wacha said.

UW athletics director Tom Burman told WyoSports prior to Saturday's MW Championship Game that if UW beats San Diego State, it would have gone to the Las Vegas Bowl and to the Poinsettia Bowl if it lost. Burman said some late talks with the Cactus Bowl in Scottsdale, Arizona, came up, but MW member Boise State ended up there and will play Baylor.

The Poinsettia Bowl is the only college football game that day, and the game will be televised on ESPN.

"It's a great branding opportunity for the university and a great recruiting opportunity for coach Bohl and his staff," Burman said.

Financial/ticket information

UW receives a travel allowance of $666,200 from the Poinsettia Bowl for its entire travel party, which includes the team, cheerleaders, band, etc.

Each school is required to sell $150,000 worth of tickets, and prices start at $35.

"I'm not worried at all about our ability to cover our ticket requirements," Burman said. "I'm expecting thousands and thousands of people from Wyoming, and a lot of alumni we have along the West Coast, to travel to this bowl game."

Fans can purchase tickets through the UW athletics ticket office by calling 307-766-7220, online at or by email at The priority seating deadline is noon Dec. 12.

Practice schedule

Players will do some lifting early this week, and return to practice Thursday with some light work. The team also will practice Friday and Saturday.

Mountain West bowl teams

A list of teams from the Mountain West playing in bowl games this season:

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico (8-4) vs. Texas-San Antonio (6-6), noon, Dec. 17

Las Vegas Bowl: San Diego State (10-3) vs. Houston (9-3), 1:30 p.m., Dec. 17

Poinsettia Bowl: Wyoming (8-5) vs. Brigham Young (8-4), 7 p.m., Dec. 21

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Colorado State (7-5) vs. Idaho (8-4), 5 p.m., Dec. 22

Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii (6-7) vs. Middle Tennessee State (8-4), 7 p.m., Dec. 24

Cactus Bowl: Boise State (10-2) vs. Baylor (6-6), 8:15 p.m., Dec. 27

Arizona Bowl: Air Force (9-3) vs. South Alabama (6-6), 3:30 p.m., Dec. 30

Note: All games but the Arizona Bowl will be on ESPN. The Arizona Bowl will be carried by the American Sports Network and online by Campus Insiders.


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