Next team up! Cougs will now face Central Michigan in Sun Bowl

EL PASO, Texas – The roulette wheel of college football bowl games has landed on a new Sun Bowl opponent for the Washington State Cougars.  The Cougs will face Central Michigan in Friday’s game.

The game itself was put in jeopardy Sunday, when the University of Miami announced it didn’t have enough players to compete in the Sun Bowl because of COVID-19 protocols.

The team made the announcement three hours after the WSU contingent arrived in El Paso.

Over the next 24 hours, the Sun Bowl and the Cougs scrambled to find an opponent.

“Our team is in El Paso and willing to play any opponent,” WSU coach Jake Dickert said on Twitter Sunday. “Our team just wants one more chance to finish this story 2021 season.”

The path cleared Monday morning when Boise State announced it was withdrawing from the Arizona Bowl because of COVID. That left Central Michigan searching for an opponent just a four-hour drive from Tucson, where they’ve already started practicing.

College football reporter for Yahoo Sports Pete Thamel reported Monday afternoon that WSU has been informed it will play CMU in Friday’s game. Moments later, 4 News Now sports reporter Alex Crescenti confirmed that information.

The WSU Cougar football account also tweeted “Back On” and tagged CMU.

The Sun Bowl kicks off at 9 am pacific time on Friday.

COVID-19 and the omicron surge have forced the cancellation of sporting events at all levels. Several bowl games have been canceled as of Monday morning.

Central Michigan finished 8-4 overall and second in the MAC.

Cougar fans will recognize some familiar faces on the sideline for the Chippewas. Former WSU coach Robb Akey is the defensive coordinator. CMU head coach Jim McElwain played quarterback at EWU in the 1980s and started his coaching career in Cheney.

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