Cowboys to Face Toledo in 2023 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl

Kick set for 2:30 on Dec. 30 on The CW

For the third consecutive season the Wyoming Cowboys will be playing in a bowl game, which is the first time that has happened in Wyoming school history. The Cowboys have accepted an invitation to the 2023 Bartstool Sports Arizona Bowl, marking the second consecutive year the Pokes will play in Tucson and the third time in the past five seasons. Wyoming will face the University of Toledo Rockets in this year’s Arizona Bowl.

The 2023 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m., Mountain Time in Tucson, Ariz. Wyoming will bring an 8-4 overall record and a 5-3 Mountain West Conference record into the game. Toledo finished its season with an 11-2 overall mark and an 8-0 record in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).


Where to Watch and Listen

The 2023 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl will be telecast live nationally on the CW and on Barstool TV.

The game will be broadcast on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, with Keith Kelley (play-by-play), Kevin McKinney (color analyst) and Randy Welniak (sideline analyst) describing the action.

Cowboy Bowl History: The Cowboys are 9-9 all-time in Bowl games dating back to their first contest against Washington & Lee in the 1951 Gator Bowl. Wyoming has won three of their last four bowl games dating back to 2017 and are 3-2 in Bowl Games under head coach Craig Bohl. It marks the fourth time in the last five trips to a Bowl that Wyoming has played against a team from the MAC. Wyoming owns wins over Central Michigan (37-14 in 2017) and Kent State (52-38 in 2021) and fell last season against Ohio in overtime by a score of 30-27.

Against the MAC: The Cowboys are 11-6 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference. Since 1996 when the Wyoming Cowboys first played a Mid-American Conference team in Western Michigan, the Cowboys are 11-5 all-time against current teams from the MAC. UW is 5-3 against MAC foes in Laramie, 4-2 on the road and 2-1 at neutral sites. Wyoming fell in overtime last season against Ohio in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl 30-27. Wyoming will meet Toledo for the third time, which is tied for the most games against a MAC team with Ohio and Central Michigan.

Head Coach Craig Bohl to Coach Last Game: University of Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl announced on Dec. 6 that he is retiring as head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys. Bohl’s retirement will end his 10-year tenure leading the Cowboys, which is the longest of any head football coach in school history. He will coach the Cowboys through this year’s Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl on Dec. 30 in Tucson, Ariz. Bohl steps away from Wyoming Football after one of the most sustained periods of success in program history, including: more bowl victories (3) and more bowl appearances (6) than any coach in school history; six winning seasons -- second most of any Wyoming coach; and more NFL players developed than at any time in program history.

Jay Sawvel to Take Over for Craig Bohl: Jay Sawvel was introduced by University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman as the new head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys during a team meeting on Dec. 6. He will replace head coach Craig Bohl following Wyoming’s bowl game against Toledo in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl on Dec. 30. Bohl announced he will retire after the Toledo game to the team on Wednesday. Bohl leaves the program after 10 seasons that saw him engineer one of the most successful runs in program history. Sawvel is the 33rd coach in Wyoming history and has served as the team’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach since February of 2020. Over his career, he has been part of 21 teams who advanced to postseason play, including 14 bowl appearances and seven NCAA Playoff appearances. Sawvel has learned from some of the top minds in college football history. Some of the names include Craig Bohl, Lou Holtz, Roy Kidd and Jerry Kill. Of the seven head coaches that Sawvel has worked for, the group owns over 1,200 wins.

Wyoming-Toledo Previous Meetings Marked by Two Close Games Both Won by the Road Team: This year’s Wyoming-Toledo match-up in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl will be only the third time the two teams have met in history. Both of the previous meetings were decided by one possession. Here is a breakdown of the previous meetings between the Cowboys and Rockets.

  • The road team won each of the previous two meetings.
  • Wyoming won the first meeting on Oct. 2, 2010, in Toledo by a margin of five points (20-15).
  • Toledo won the second meeting on Sept. 8, 2012, in Laramie by a margin of three points (34-31).

Other Wyoming-Toledo Comparisons: In addition to both the Cowboys and Rockets featuring dual-threat quarterbacks, the two teams share other similarities.

  • Running Backs: The two teams’ leading running backs both rank among the Top 25 rushers in the nation this year. Wyoming’s Harrison Waylee has averaged 95.1 rushing yards per game this season to rank No. 23 in the nation. Toledo’s Peny Boone has averaged 107.7 yards per game, and ranks No. 11 in the country.
  • Linebackers: Both teams two leading tacklers are their linebackers. For Wyoming Easton Gibbs is the Cowboys’ leading tackler with 106 tackles in 12 games this season and his 8.8 average per game ranks No. 32 in the nation. Cowboy linebacker Shae Suiaunoa has been credited with 88 total tackles this season to rank second for Wyoming. Toledo’s leading tackler is linebacker Dallas Gant, who has recorded 110 tackles in 13 games and his 8.5 average ranks No. 42 in the FBS. Fellow Rocket linebacker Daniel Bolden ranks second on the team with 85 total tackles.

2023 Extends Series of Winning Seasons: The 2023 season marks the sixth time in the last eight seasons that Wyoming has posted a winning record. The last time that Cowboy Football had six winning seasons in an eight-year period was from 1993-2000.


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