The end of the Josh Allen era at Wyoming ended with his own fireworks, and made his mark as an all-time great Cowboy at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho. Josh Allen threw for three first quarter touchdowns as the Cowboys defeated the Central Michigan Chippewas 37-14. Wyoming earned their first bowl victory since 2009 with a win over Central Michigan. The 37 points were the most that Wyoming had scored in a bowl game since the 35 points in 2009.
Allen has officially declared for the NFL draft, and will continue his journey next season in the NFL. Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was in attendance today to see the Cowboy quarterback in person. Josh Allen has made his mark in Laramie and Wyoming in his three seasons as a Cowboy. Allen was named the MVP of the bowl game.
The Cowboys got their day started on their second drive of the game as Josh Allen threw a pass across the middle to Jared Scott for a 23 yard pass. The Cowboys got the ball back and kept on scoring. Allen scrambled to his right and found Austin Conway in the endzone for an 11 yard score to go up 14-0.
Central Michigan got on the board with their first touchdown, a wheel route to Jonathan Ward for a 74 yard score which Ward dove over the pylon and hit it with the ball. Josh Allen’s first quarter wasn’t done, however, as he found CJ Johnson on a 45 yard pass for a touchdown to go up 21-7. Following that the Cowboy offense got slightly more conservative. Cooper Rothe kicked three straight field goals to put the Pokes up 30-7 in the third quarter.
After Rothe’s last field goal he kicked the ball out of bounds giving Central Michigan the ball at their own 35 yard line. The Chippewas used that field position, some of their best of the day, to punch in their second drive. After an impressive drive down the field the Chips capped the drive with a three yard rush from Ward to start their comeback.
The Cowboy defense was the real star of the show today in Boise, however. The Pokes forced eight turnovers on the Chippewas, the highest in Cowboy football history, as well as Idaho Potato Bowl history. The turnover that sealed the deal for the Cowboys was a Youhanna Ghaifan strip sack of quarterback Shane Morris which led to Carl Granderson picking up the ball and running 58 yards to the endzone to put the Cowboys up 37-14.
Granderson, an SB Nation Piesman Trophy finalist, finished the day with five tackles and one sack. The junior was disruptive the entire day, but his biggest play of the year resulted in icing the game for the Cowboys in Idaho. Leading the Cowboys on defense was Casper-Natrona product Logan Wilson who piled up nine tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble. Andrew Wingard also contributed an interception and three tackles to the defenses effort. The defense finished the season with 38 turnovers, which currently leads the nation. Central Michigan led the country coming into the game.
On the offensive side the ball Josh Allen was 11/19 for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Kellen Overstreet led all rushers with 85 yards. He had a nice 20 yard rush in the second half to set the Cowboys up for one of their three field goals. CJ Johnson finished the day with 63 yards receiving and a touchdown. Craig Bohl said in his post-game presser than Johnson may have suffered an ACL tear in his knee and would be evaluated with an MRI. Johnson’s leg was caught up underneath of him in the second half on a play near the sideline.
Cooper Rothe finished the day 3/3 on field goal attempts. Punter Tim Zaleski turned in a nice day for his first appearance in a post season game. He had six punts averaging 36 yards per punt, four of them landing inside the Central Michigan 20 yard line. A big stat in this game, aside from Wyoming’s +8 in the turnover margin was starting field position. Central Michigan average starting field position was their own 22, while Wyoming’s was their own 44 yard line. Several Wyoming drives started in Chippewa territory due to turnovers. The Chippewas outgained the Cowboys 364 to 257 in total yards.
Central Michigan quarterback had himself a game despite the final result. He finished the day 23/39 for 329 yards and one touchdown. However, Morris had four interceptions on the day. Morris was also sacked four times on the day. The Chippewas finished the day with 18 yards rushing.
This was Wyoming’s 15th appearance in a bowl game. Their first win since a 2009 win over Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl that finished in overtime. Wyoming is now 7-8 all-time in bowl games. This was their first appearance in a Boise bowl game.
The Cowboys finished their season at 8-5 on the season, the same record the Cowboys finished last season with. The Cowboys will be replacing Josh Allen, Ryan Cummings, Jalen Ortiz, and Rico Gafford from their starting lineup in the bowl game.