High-scoring Ohio faces stingy Wyoming in Arizona Bowl

The Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Bowl: Ohio (9-4, Mid-American) vs. Wyoming (7-5, Mountain West), Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m. Eastern (Barstool TV)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Ohio by 2 1/2.

Series record: Wyoming leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Ohio can finish off its first 10-win season with a victory in the desert. The Bobcats opened the season 2-3, then won seven straight before losing to Toledo in the MAC championship game. The Cowboys were one of the nation’s youngest teams and were picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming ended up second and can match the program record with a fourth straight bowl win if it beats Ohio.

KEY MATCHUP

Ohio’s offense vs. Wyoming’s defense. The Arizona Bowl will be strength vs. strength. The Bobcats average nearly 32 points and 424 yards per game. Ohio averages 285 yards passing per game, but RB Sieh Bangura is also a threat, rushing for 940 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season. The Cowboys held opponents to 23.4 points per game and were 20th nationally with 34 sacks. Wyoming averages just over 20 points per game on offense, so will need to slow the Bobcats to have a chance.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ohio: QB CJ Harris. The sophomore became the starter when MAC offensive player of the year Kurtis Rourke went down with a season-ending knee injury against Ball State on Nov. 15. Harris has thrown for 359 yards and a touchdown with an interception in two starts. He’s also a threat to tuck it and run, scoring three rushing touchdowns in a win over Bowling Green.

Wyoming: LB Easton Gibbs. The leader of the Cowboys’ defense topped them with 111 tackles. His 9.2 tackles per game was 23rd nationally. Gibbs also had 8.0 tackles for loss and was named to the all-Mountain West Conference’s first team.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ohio is in its first bowl game since the 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and 14th overall. Wyoming is in its 18th bowl game. … Wyoming has won both games in the series, one-point wins in 2007 and 2008. … Wyoming K John Hoyland has made 87% of his field goals this season. His 1.67 field goals per game was ninth nationally. … Ohio had five interceptions in a win over Western Michigan and 11 for the season. Tariq Drake and Zack Sanders had three each. … Wyoming QB Andrew Peasley has thrown for nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.