Dec. 3, 2017 / For Immediate Release
Central Michigan, Wyoming Accept Invites to Play in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Matchup slated for Friday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. MST
BOISE, Idaho – Central Michigan University (8-4) of the Mid-American Conference and the University of Wyoming (7-5) of the Mountain West Conference have accepted invitations to play in the 21st Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Friday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. MST. The game will take place at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State University and will air on ESPN. This is the two schools’ third meeting and first bowl matchup. The teams are looking to break a 1-1 tie in the series, each boasting a win on their home turf. The last tilt went to CMU, 32-20, back in 2002.
The Chippewas rattled off five consecutive wins to end the regular season at 8-4, including a 6-2 conference mark to finish second in the MAC West Division. Head coach John Bonamego is in his third season at the helm, leading CMU to a bowl game each year. The Chippewas are headed to a bowl game for the 11th time in program history and ninth time in the last 12 years.
Central Michigan boasts one of the top pass defenses in the country, including the top turnover-producing unit in the FBS and the nation’s leading sack artist. First-team All-MAC defensive end Joe Ostman has 12 sacks in 10 games. Ostman’s 1.2 sacks per game is the highest average in the country. Defensive backs Josh Cox (six) and Sean Bunting (five) have combined for 11 of CMU’s 19 interceptions. Cox and Bunting both rank in the top 10 nationally in interceptions. The Chippewas have also recovered 12 fumbles to total 31 takeaways, the top mark in the country.
Quarterback Shane Morris ranks second in the MAC with 26 touchdown passes, 14 going to all-league wide receivers Corey Willis and Mark Chapman. Willis leads the way with nine scores. Running back Jonathan Ward enters the postseason 12 yards shy of 1,000 for the season.
This is CMU’s first appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Chippewas have a 3-7 all-time record in bowl games, last picking up a win in the 2012 Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl.
The Cowboys finished the regular season 7-5, earning their second consecutive bowl bid under fourth-year head coach Craig Bohl. Their 5-3 record in the Mountain West was good for second place in the Mountain Division.
Five Cowboys were named All-Mountain West on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive back Andrew Wingard earned first-team honors for the second time and was joined by linemen Youhanna Ghaifan and Carl Granderson. Linebacker Logan Wilson and defensive back Rico Gafford each picked up second-team recognition.
The all-conference quintet leads an opportunistic defense which ranks 13th nationally in points allowed (17.8 per game), thanks in large part to 16 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries. The 30 takeaways rank second in the country, behind only Famous Idaho Potato Bowl counterpart Central Michigan.
Wyoming’s offense is guided by highly-touted NFL prospect Josh Allen at quarterback. Allen has accounted for nearly 2,000 yards of total offense and 18 touchdowns. Big-play receiver C.J. Johnson has caught six touchdowns and averages 17.3 yards per reception.
Wyoming is making its first appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It will be the 15th bowl appearance in program history. The Cowboys are 6-8 in their previous 14 bowl games.
“We are very excited to welcome Central Michigan and Wyoming to the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl,” said Executive Director Kevin McDonald. “There is always extra enthusiasm around the bowl when we have two first-time participants and this year will be no different.”
“We have a great lineup of bowl-week events for the teams, their fans and the local community,” said McDonald. “Now we have two exciting teams with big-play capabilities who will put an exclamation mark on the festivities with a really competitive game.”
Tickets for the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl are available for purchase at FamousIdahoPotatoBowl.com. Prices start at $20 for reserved seating in the South End Zone. Tickets for reserved seating in the upper curves are on sale for $30, while main stadium seating is priced at $50 and Stadium Club seats are priced at $75. A limited number of suites, club seats and loge boxes are available by contacting the Boise State Athletic Ticket Office at (208) 426-4737. Tickets for those areas start at $100.
The 21st annual game is becoming synonymous with the holiday season, being played on Dec. 22 for the third consecutive year. Last year Idaho held off a tenacious Colorado State team, 61-50, in a record-setting affair. For just the third time in college football bowl history, both teams eclipsed the 600-yard mark, combining for 1,206 yards of high-flying offense — and that was after a scoreless first quarter.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl proceeds provide tickets and/or contributions to Idaho Charities that include the United Way, Optimist Youth Football, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boise School District, Treasure Valley YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Scouts and Armed Forces personnel.
PrimeSport, the leader in providing direct access to the biggest sports and entertainment events, has renewed a partnership as the official ticket exchange and game day experience partner for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. As part of the partnership, PrimeSport will be offering premium ticket packages that include game tickets plus VIP experiences like pregame field passes and more. PrimeSport will also offer college football fans an officially designated and approved Ticket Exchange marketplace for fans to buy and sell tickets in a convenient, secure and protected environment. Ticket holders who are unable to attend the event will have a place to safely sell their tickets, while buyers can be assured that the tickets bought from other fans are authentic and guaranteed.
For more information on the official tickets and packages available for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, please visit PrimeSport.com.
PRIMESPORT is an industry leader in providing direct access to the biggest sporting events in the world, offering tickets, travel, hospitality and VIP experiences on behalf of more than 25 bowl games and nearly two dozen universities. PRIMESPORT additionally partners with over 150 teams, leagues and events, including select NCAA Championships, NHL fixtures, 20 NFL teams, and many more. For more information, visit www.PRIMESPORT.com or call (800)591-9198.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Media Contact: Danielle Walsh at 970-980-7353 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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