For the first time since 1988, the Wyoming Cowboys are playing in a second consecutive bowl game, and it takes place this afternoon.

Wyoming (7-5) plays Central Michigan (8-4) in the 21st annual Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Kick-off is at 2 p.m. You can listen to the game on KOWB radio (AM 1290), KOWB’s live stream or take the game mobile with the new KOWB app.

The game is also being televised on ESPN.

Wyoming sees the return of junior QB Josh Allen. He led the Cowboys to a 7-3 record this season, but missed the last two games due to injury. UW lost both those games. Head coach Craig Bohl announced Wednesday morning that Allen will play in this game.

The Cowboys are led by their defense that tied for No. 2 in the country with 30 takeaways this season. They allowed only 332.8 yards per game. Wyoming had three First Team All-MW defensive players in juniors Andrew Wingard and Carl Granderson, plus sophomore Youhanna Ghaifan. Those three helped the Pokes ‘D’ surrender only 160.7 yards per game through the air, which is good for No. 5 in the nation.

Offensively, UW averages 286.9 yards per game. They’ve been really good at capitalizing on turnovers. The Cowboys scored on 17 possessions after forcing a turnover. That produced 99 points, which is 37 percent of their points scored on the season. Wyoming also protects the ball with only 14 total turnovers. That helped UW become No. 1 in turnover margin, at plus-16. They are also 29-of-30 in red zone scoring chances, which is good for No. 3 in the country.

The Chippewas are a hot team. They have won five straight games after a 3-4 start. Central Michigan is also led by their defense, who is No. 1 in the nation with 31 takeaways. Corner Amari Coleman and defensive end Joe Ostman anchor the Chippewas defense. They were both All-MAC First Team performers.

Offensively, Central Michigan is led by graduate transfer quarterback Shane Morris. He’s throw for 2,908 yards and 26 touchdowns, but was also intercepted 13 times. Running back Jonathan Ward and receiver Corey Willis are two skill players to watch.

This will be the third meeting between the two, but the first since 2002. The series is 1-1, with each team winning at home. Both teams are making their first appearance in this bowl game.

Bowl Notes – Did You Know?

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl used be called the Humanitarian Bowl (1997-2003, 2007-2010) with various sponsors and the MPC Computers Bowl (2004-2006).

The Mountain West has lost the last two match-ups, with Colorado State and Utah State losing those games, respectively. Cincinnati beat Utah State, 35-19, in the first edition of this bowl game in 1997.