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

By Robert Gagliardi
WyoSports 

UW to play Central Michigan in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

LARAMIE – Last year's bowl game was nice, but now the University of Wyoming football team wants more. "We're very motivated. We lost our last two games – games we could have won," UW redshirt sophomore middle linebacker Logan Wilson said. "We don't want to end the last two seasons with a loss and not on a three-game losing streak this season."

 

December 5, 2017

SHANNON BRODERICK/Boomerang photographer

Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson (30) tackles CSU running back Izzy Matthews (24) during a game at War Memorial Stadium, in Laramie on Nov. 4.

LARAMIE – Last year's bowl game was nice, but now the University of Wyoming football team wants more.

"We're very motivated. We lost our last two games – games we could have won," UW redshirt sophomore middle linebacker Logan Wilson said. "We don't want to end the last two seasons with a loss and not on a three-game losing streak this season."

UW accepted an invitation Sunday to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and will take on Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference at 2 p.m., Dec. 22 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

The Cowboys will play in their second consecutive bowl game for the first time since 1987-88, and look to snap a two-game bowl losing streak dating back to 2009. UW lost in last year's Poinsettia Bowl 24-21 to Brigham Young in San Diego.

"On behalf of the University of Wyoming and the state of Wyoming, we are thrilled to be in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl," UW athletics director Tom Burman said. "It is an honor to be in a bowl game, and it is a real special testament that we are in back-to-back bowl games.

"Our goal is solely focused on winning this bowl game. We believe that will enhance the development of our program going forward."

Fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl wasn't available for comment Sunday because he is on the road recruiting. He will address the media today via conference call.

UW (7-5 overall, 5-3 Mountain West) lost its final two regular season games by a combined nine points, and also without junior starting quarterback Josh Allen due a sprained right throwing shoulder.

Burman told WyoSports last week he was "cautiously optimistic" that Allen would be medically cleared to play in a bowl game. Allen was injured late in the first half of UW's Nov. 11 game at Air Force.

When asked if Allen's uncertain health status played a factor in what bowl UW was chosen for, Burman said: "No, not at all."

It is the first time UW and Central Michigan (8-4, 6-2 MAC) have played in the Potato Bowl. The Chippewas enter the game on a five-game winning streak.

"When the news broke, everyone I talked to was excited and are excited to get back out there," UW redshirt senior fullback and long snapper Drew Van Maanen said.

Ticket information

Both schools have a financial requirement to sell $125,000 worth of tickets, which are $50 apiece. Only tickets purchased through the schools will count toward their respective financial obligation.

According to a UW news release, fans are encouraged to purchase tickets by 5 p.m. Tuesday to be part of the first seating allocation and get the best seats available.

UW is also partnering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho on tickets. Fans that can't attend the game but want to purchase tickets can do so, and those tickets will go to children in the Boise area.

"I'm a realist, selling tickets to Boise isn't going to be as easy as selling tickets to San Diego," Burman said. "It is going to be a great challenge, but our fans are amazing. We've already had people step up who have Christmas plans and can't make it to Boise, but they want to buy tickets.

"We are going to have good crowd. I'm very confident in that."

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit gowyo.com/tickets or call 307-766-7220.

Mirror images

UW and Central Michigan have made a living forcing turnovers.

Central Michigan led all 129 Football Bowl Subdivision teams this season with 31. UW was second with 30. The Cowboys' turnover margin was plus-16, second-best in the FBS. Central Michigan's was plus-eight.

The Chippewas intercepted 19 passes, tied for the second-most in the FBS. UW tied for 11th with 16.

Individually, Central Michigan senior defensive end Joe Ostman led the FBS with 12 quarterback sacks and was fourth with 18.5 tackles for loss. UW junior defensive end Carl Granderson had 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Both were team highs, and ranked in the top 30 in the FBS.

Central Michigan defensive backs John Cox, a senior, and Sam Bunting, a sophomore, combined for 11 interceptions. They ranked in the top 10 in the FBS with six and five, respectively. UW senior cornerback Rico Gafford and junior strong safety Andrew Wingard had four interceptions, apiece.

Extra points

This is UW's 15th bowl appearance in school history. It has a 6-8 bowl record. ... Central Michigan is 3-7 in bowl games, but this will be its ninth appearance in the last 12 years. ... UW and Central Michigan are 1-1 against each other. UW won 31-10 on Sept. 16, 2000, in Laramie. Central Michigan won 32-20 on Sept. 7, 2002, at home.

Cowboys game day

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Wyoming (7-5 overall, 5-3 Mountain West) vs. Central Michigan (8-4, 5-2 Mid-American Conference)

When: 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22

Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho

TV: ESPN

Radio: KFBC (1240 AM, 97.5 FM), Cheyenne; KOWB (1290 AM), Laramie

Tickets: gowyo.com; 307-766-7220

 
 

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