Wyoming Starts Fast, Finishes Strong in 34-17 Win
BOISE, Idaho – Wyoming’s defense and quarterback Josh Allen carried plenty of hype throughout the 2017 season. Both put on a show in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, as the Cowboys (8-5, 5-3 MW) defeated Central Michigan (8-5, 6-2 MAC), 37-14, Friday at Albertsons Stadium.
Allen finished the game 11-of-19 passing, with 154 yards and three touchdowns, while the Cowboy (8-5, 5-3 MW) defense forced eight turnovers and held the Chippewas to 18 yards rushing.
The eight turnovers forced by the Wyoming defense sets a Famous Idaho Potato Bowl record for most turnovers, besting the previous record of six by Georgia Tech in 2003.
Allen was named the game’s MVP, and declared for the 2018 NFL Draft following the game.
Wyoming overcame a three-and-out on their opening drive to force a fumble on the next Chippewa possession and score on their next four drives to go up 24-7.
Allen hit scoring strikes to Jared Scott for 23 yards, Austin Conway from 11 yards out and C.J. Johnson for 45 yards to put the Cowboys up 21-7 – breaking the Potato Bowl record for most points in the first quarter in the process.
A pair of field goals from Cooper Rothe in the second quarter gave Wyoming the 27-7 lead to head into the lockeroom at halftime.
Tyler Hall intercepted Chippewa quarterback Shane Morris’ pass at their own 37-yard line to open the second half, paving the way for Rothe to chip in a 20-yard field goal to put the Cowboys up 30-7.
On the ensuing drive, Morris hit wide receiver Corey Willis for 30 yards to the Wyoming three-yard line. Two plays later, Jonathan Ward pushed the ball across the plane for Central Michigan’s second touchdown of the game. Michael Armstrong made the point after to make it a 30-14 game.
Morris finished the game with 329 yards passing, seventh-most in Potato Bowl history. Ward and tight end Tyler Conklin led Central Michigan with 109 and 98 yards receiving, respectively.
Central Michigan was knocking at the door of the red zone with 11:23 remaining in the game, but Morris was hit on the run by Youhanna Ghaifan and fumbled. The Cowboy’s Carl Granderson scooped the fumble and took it 58 yards for the score to go up 37-14.
Wyoming scored 23 points off of turnovers.
The win gives Wyoming consecutive eight-win season for the first time since the 1987-88 seasons.