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College Football Bowl Previews

Jeff Shain, OFN CFB writer
12/22/2017 9:06AM ET


Site: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho.

Kickoff: 4 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Line: Wyoming by 3 ½.

All-time series: Tied 1-1.

Last meeting: Central Michigan 32, Wyoming 20 (2002).


Coach: John Bonamego (3rd season, 21-17).

All-time postseason: 3-7.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Tulsa 55-10 in 2016 Miami Beach Bowl.

Draft spotlight: DE Joe Ostman. Currently No.21 among this year’s DE draft crop, Ostman’s 12 sacks this year are tied for second in the nation and 18 ½ tackles for loss are seventh. Outstanding initial burst often gets opposing lineman back on their heels. Smallish frame could prompt a move to OLB in the pros.

Other Chippewas to watch: WR Corey Willis, TE Tyler Conklin, CB Amari Coleman, S Josh Cox.

Chippewa Tracks: Central Michigan leads the nation with 31 takeaways, with 19 INTs sharing the top spot with Iowa. Cox has six INTs, tied for No.3 nationally. … CMU’s 12 fumble recoveries, meantime, are exceeded by only eight teams. … The Chippewas take a five-game win streak into the game, their longest run since 2009.


Coach: Craig Bohl (4th season, 21-29).

All-time postseason: 6-8.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to BYU 24-21 in 2016 Poinsettia Bowl.

Draft spotlight: QB Josh Allen. Once considered a possibility as the overall No.1 pick, Allen is set to return after missing two losses with a straight right shoulder. He still threw for 1,658 yards in 10 games, with 13 TDs and six INTs. Scouts generally love his size, speed and arm strength but are concerned about mediocre stats.

Other Cowboys to watch: FB/LS Drew Van Maanen, CB Rico Gafford, *SS Andrew Wingard.

Cowboy Tales: For CMU’s abundance of takeaways, Wyoming is right behind. The Cowboys have 30, with 16 INTs and 14 fumble recoveries. … Wyoming has held four of its past five opponents to 14 points or fewer. … A victory would give Wyoming eight wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1998 and just the second occurrence since the 1960s.

* underclass draft prospect

Click here to listen to Robert Gagliardi, senior sports editor and beat writer for Wyoming football and MWC sports in Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming, to preview MWC bowl games.