Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Western Michigan (7-5) vs BYU (6-6)
Date/Time: Friday, December 21st at 3 pm CT
Location: Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID
Conference tie-ins: Mountain West, MAC
Last year’s result: Wyoming defeated Central Michigan 37-14
Western Michigan bowl history
The Broncos are just 1-7 in bowl games in their history, including a Cotton Bowl loss to Wisconsin in 2016.
WMU’s only bowl win came against Middle Tennessee State in the 2015 Bahamas Bowl.
Western Michigan appeared in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl once before, a 38-24 loss to Air Force in 2014.
Out of the eight bowl games in history, six have been since 2006.
BYU bowl history
BYU is a bowl regular, having appeared in 35 games with a record of 14-20-1.
This will be the first appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for the Cougars.
BYU did not appear in a bowl game last season, snapping a streak of 12 consecutive appearances.
BYU and Western Michigan played each other five times with BYU owning the advantage, 3-2.
The last meeting between the two was a Western Michigan 35-17 win in 1970.
Key player to watch for each team
Western Michigan: Linebacker – Alex Grace
BYU: Defensive Lineman – Corbin Kaufusi
The Broncos offense has performed well this season. Offensive line play has been key as they have only allowed a little over one sack per game. However, the team got off to a hot start before quarterback Joe Wassink was lost for the year. In fact, they lost three games in a row before winning the season finale against Northern Illinois. Additionally, the defense ranks 51st overall, which is certainly not terrible.
Certainly, to say the BYU offense struggles would be an understatement. In fact, the Cougars rank just 109th in total offense per game. BYU does not have a particular strength as they have struggled running consistently as well as in the passing game. The team got off to a good start by beating Arizona and Wisconsin early in the season, however, those wins did not look as impressive by seasons end. BYU still has a strong defensive unit, which helped them to even get bowl eligible. In fact, they rank 18th in the nation defensively.
This game is hard to peg considering Western Michigan’s offense is statistically good for the season, but not the same without their starting quarterback. BYU struggles mightily on offense but plays great defense, which clearly gives them a chance to win this game. Expect a tight, hard-fought game between these two.
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