Arizona Bowl

Wyoming and Georgia St. ready to knock heads in the Arizona Bowl

(Tucson, AZ)  Both the Wyoming Cowboys and Georgia State Panthers are in the Old Pueblo and settled into their respective hotels in the Catalina Foothills. Each team comes in with 7-5 records

The Cowboys came to town in an “all business” attitude after being snubbed last year by the NCAA, even though their 6-6 record and third place in the Mountain West deemed them Bowl elegible.

Wyoming is led by linebacker and Butkus Award finalist Logan Wilson, who stayed at home for school from Casper.

Unlike other top players this year from bowl teams, Wilson never gave a second thought to sitting out the Arizona Bowl. According to Head Coach Craig Bohl, he wants to experience all the hype and activities of Bowl Week.

Wilson is not alone with performance accolades. Placekicker Cooper Rothe made the preseason All American Team and was on the Lou Groza Award Watch List given to the nation’s best kicker.

Cassh Maluia was named on the Polynesian Player of the Year Watch List. Defensive End Josiah Hall made the Burlsworth Trophy Watch List given to an FBS player that started his career as a Walk On.

The entire Offensive Line made the Joe Moore Award Midseason Academic Honor Roll.

The only significant injury that Wyoming must deal with is featured Running Back Xazavian Valladay who earned Mountain West Conference Player of the Week and will not play.

Georgia State is in just its tenth season in Division 1 FBS play that began in 2010. This will be their third Bowl appearance in the last five years which is nothing short of remarkable.  They’re 1-1 in the bowls playing in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando Florida in 2015 and 2017.

Panther Head Coach Shawn Elliott was elated to be coming to Tucson this year never having been to Arizona. Elliott said, “I love coming to new spots, new places.” Needless to say, the Panthers come with a lot of gratitude and enthusiasm.

In their opening game, usually reserved for “cannon fodder” against an SEC team at their house, Georgia State went into Knoxville and stunned Tennessee 38-30. The Volunteers are 7-5 and will be playing in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Indiana on January 2nd.

As a team, the Panthers rank high nationally. They’re #14 in rushing at 245.2 yards per game and  #27 in total offense.

Ten Georgia State players made the All Sun Belt Conference Team, led  by Running Back Tra Barnett, who led the conference in rushing with 115.8 yards a game and 2,092 career yards. Offensive Tackle Hunter Atkinson also made the First Team.

Panther Quarterback Dan Ellington tore his ACL against Louisiana – Monroe in the ninth game of the year. He’s chosen to play through the injury saying, “I’m not going Pro so I want to finish my college career on the field.” That’s quite an accomplishment seeing as the ACL controls lateral movement in the knee.

 

Wyoming comes in with a potent ground game averaging 209.5 rushing yard and Georgia State gives up and average of 211.6 yards on the ground.

The Cowboys have a big front line averaging 290 pounds and fires off the ball to create big holes for the running backs.

The Panthers attack is balanced averaging 245.2 rushing and 201.8 through the air.

Both teams have offensive injuries but for the most part come in healthy and ready to go.

Wyoming comes in as a touchdown favorite in Vegas, but most believe it could be a closer game down the stretch.

The Game time temperature is expected to be near 60° at 2:30 pm for kickoff.

The last two Arizona Bowl games have gone into overtime, so buckle up and experience one of the nation’s fastest growing bowl games.

Tickets are still available (click the Arizona Bowl logo above).

 

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