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University of Wyoming football team prepares to face Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 2:54 AM CST
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BOISE, Idaho (Wyoming News Now) - The University of Wyoming Cowboy football team will play in its fourth bowl game in the last six seasons on Tuesday. This year’s group had Mountain West Championship aspirations, but they finished the regular season 6-6.

The 6-6 overall record landed the Pokes in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise against Kent State.

Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl said he and his team are “excited” to play in Tuesday’s contest.

“It’s a great experience for our players. Many times I think we forget why we’re doing this, and for the betterment of the student-athlete to be able to be in these type of games to experience this and to go to different parts of the country, so I just want to get off my soapbox, but do say all these games are so important.”

On the other side of the blue turf, the Cowboys will line up against Kent State out of the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes finished as the runner-up in the MAC with a 7-6 overall record, and they lost the conference championship game 41-23 to Northern Illinois.

The Pokes beat the Huskies earlier this season 50-43 in Dekalb.

Kent State has featured one of the most prolific offenses in college football this season. The offense averaged 32.6 points per game and 480.8 yards of total offense per game.

“I think they’re very athletic,” said Bohl during Wyoming’s press conference before Tuesday’s game. “It’s gonna be imperative. I say over and over again. A key for us is the turnover margin. For our defense and Chad’s crew to get a couple, and then on the other side to make sure we take care of the football. You throw the ball up, and you put it in harms way they’re very opportunistic and going after it so we’ve gotta be on point. Levi’s gotta throw the ball well, and we need to catch it well.”

A couple of Cowboys will be looking to shine in the 2021 season finale.

Senior Linebacker Chad Muma announced his decision earlier this fall to enter the NFL Draft this spring, and the game against Kent State will be his last in brown and gold.

Muma has racked up plenty of accolades and stats in his final season in Laramie. He was one of the finalists for the Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s top linebacker, a Walter Camp Second Team All American and top five in the country in total tackles.

On Monday, Muma said Wyoming has done everything he could have asked for to prepare him to take the next step in his football journey.

“Going into college I only weighed about 195 lbs,” said Muma. “I think that everything I received from Wyoming has gotten me to this point and allowed me to be ready and put on weight and learn about the game the way I needed to, and so I think that everything Coach Bohl has done for this program and for me especially has been tremendous to get me ready for that next level.”

Senior Running Back Xazavian Valladay will enter Tuesday’s contest 16 rushing yards shy of reaching 1,000 yards for the season. If he is able to get 16 yards on the ground, he will join only three other Cowboys to have two 1,000 rushing yard seasons in Laramie.

Valladay said that’s not something he’s thinking about entering the matchup against Kent State.

“I just have my mind set on winning the football game and just enjoying this experience with my team and my coaches and ya know all the Wyoming fans. I definitely feel like this is a great experience for our fans as well and the whole entire community.”

The game will kick off in Boise at 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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