On Friday, December 22nd, the Central Michigan University Chippewas (8-4) travel west to take of the Wyoming Cowboys (7-5) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. And while this bowl doesn’t feature the big name powerhouse programs, there are still many reasons to tune in and watch this game.
The biggest factor that will draw viewers is Wyoming’s talented quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen has been the talk of the NFL draft community for more than a year now. His amazing arm and ability to make unbelievably difficult throws has led many such as myself to believe he will be a first round draft pick this year. However, due to his inconsistent and often times sloppy fundamentals others believe he will be a low level prospect who probably won’t make it in the NFL. This debate has gone back and forth all season and many will want to see Allen take the national stage for what will likely be his final collegiate game.
With that being said, there will be other prospects worth seeing this this game.
For the Chippewas on offense look for WR Corey Willis and TE Tyler Conklin. Willis has averaged 15 yards per catch each of the last three years and has had 9 touchdowns each of the last two seasons. You might remember him as the guy who scored the game winning touchdown as time expired to upset Oklahoma State last season. Conklin, who will also be playing in the Senior Bowl this year, has good tools to be a pass catching TE and could here his name called late in the draft. The Chips also have defensive end Joe Ostman who has 11 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss this season.
Wyoming doesn’t have many noteworthy offensive prospects outside of Allen, but they do have a few guys who may draw interest on the defensive side of the ball. Andrew Wingard is a junior safety who has recorded 100+ tackles each of his first three seasons, including 111 this year. He also has 4 interceptions and 7 tackles for a loss this year. Carl Granderson comes in with 15 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks this year at the defensive end position. The junior DE also has 2 interceptions this season.
Then of course there is the actual game which should be an interesting matchup as well. I don’t expect a ton of points scored in this one as Wyoming has a pretty good defense, but really struggles offensively. Going against a solid, although not especially good in any area, CMU team should prove for a good test for both parties. In the end I believe it will come down to which receiving core is able to create separation and which quarterback is able to make the most big plays.
I give a slight edge to former Michigan quarterback Shane Morris and the Chippewas. Even though they’re going against a pretty good defense the Chips have more offensive firepower to work with. The Cowboys just don’t have the enough talent surrounding Allen for me to take them in this game.
Prediction: CMU 20, Wyoming 16