Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Get To Know Central Michigan
Get to know Wyoming’s foe.
Here is an early look at the Chippewas?
Central Michigan has great playmakers that Wyoming will need to be prepared to stop for success
WHAT: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Wyoming vs Central Michigan
WHEN: Friday, December 22nd, 2017 — 2:00 p.m. MT
WHERE: Albertson’s Stadium, Boise, ID
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network- 1030 AM Casper, 1240 AM Cheyenne, 1290 AM Laramie and 1600 AM Denver
About Central Michigan
Central Michigan will be playing in a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season and third consecutive under head coach John Bonamego. The 2017 Central Michigan Chippawas enter the Potato Bowl at 8-4 (6-2 MAC) with a 5-game win streak. CMU went 2-2 vs bowl teams on the season.
Central Michigan holds an all-time record of 305-290-17. CMU is 3-7 all-time in bowl appearances and enter the Potato Bowl on a 3-game bowl losing streak. The Chippewas are 2-3 all-time against current MW teams including 1-1 against Wyoming. The 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be the first CMU game played outside of the Central or Eastern time zone since a 2013 loss at UNLV.
About the Head Coach
CMU coach John Bonamego has compiled a 21-17 record over his 3 years at CMU. After graduating from Central Michigan and spending 10 years as an assistant college coach, Bonamego coached in the NFL as a special teams coach from 1999-2014 with 5 different franchises before returning to Mount Pleasant to become CMU’s head coach.
Offensive Players to Watch
QB Shane Morris
Michigan transfer Shane Morris is the starting quarterback for CMU. A highly touted 4-star recruit out of Michigan, the left-hander had an underwhelming career with the Wolverines before transferring to CMU. Morris had a solid 2017 campaign leading the Chippewas with 2,908 passing yards and 26 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. His best game was Week 2 in Lawrence, Kansas, against the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks where he went 28-37 for 467 yards and 5 touchdowns in an easy 45-27 victory.
RB Jonathan Ward
Sophomore running back Jonathan Ward is Central Michigan’s leading rusher checking in with 988 yards and 9 touchdowns on 5.9 yards per carry. He topped the 100-yard mark in 4 games this season. During CMU’s 5 game win streak to end the season, he averaged 125 yards per game. Ward is also the 3rd leading receiver for the Chippewas with 41 catches for 361 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Defensive Players to Watch
DB Josh Cox
Senior defensive back Josh Cox led CMU in tackles (82) and interceptions (6). Cox had four games with at least 9 tackles. Against Rhode Island, he finished with 8 tackles and 2 interceptions. In the final week of the season, Cox recorded 10 tackles and a pick against Northern Illinois. Cox was 2nd team All-MAC in 2016.
DL Joe Ostman
Senior Joe Ostman is a 6’3” 259 pound defensive lineman from St. Ignace, Michigan. Ostman led CMU in tackles for loss (17.5) and sacks (11). In a 56-9 victory at Ball State, Ostman had 4 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Ostman was 2nd team All-MAC in 2016.
The Central Michigan Chippewas are a quality opponent that will provide a tough challenge for Wyoming. CMU beat Kansas this year and won a controversial game at Oklahoma State last season. A bowl game in Boise was not a sight that Cowboys fans wanted to see at the end of the 2017 season but Wyoming has a quality opponent that should make for an interesting game.