Stephen Vilardo’s 2021 Sun Bowl Game Notes

Posted on December 30, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

Central Michigan was set to play Boise State in Tucson while Washington State was ready for Miami in this same Sun Bowl.

Pac-12But COVID issues with the Hurricanes and Broncos set up the current matchup in El Paso on Friday morning.

This is evidence in plain sight of why bowl games matter. Both of these teams get another shot at a game after initially having it taken away from them.

And for the Chips and the MAC, it offers a larger payday.

The Arizona Bowl payout was $350,000, to be split between two teams and two conferences. The scheduled payout for the Sun Bowl is $4.55 million, also split between the teams and conferences.

It has been reported that CMU and the MAC will not be receiving the full share that Miami and the ACC would have gotten. But it is also worth noting that both the school and conference will benefit financially from the inadvertent schedule change.

Two spots that have already eaten up some of that extra cash are the additional travel expenses from Tucson to El Paso for the team and staff.

Moreover, Central Michigan was set to wear white jerseys against BSU, and in this one they will be wearing dark jerseys that had to be shipped from Mount Pleasant and adorned with the Sun Bowl patch.

My game notes for both teams appear below.

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl

Washington State Cougars vs Central Michigan Chippewas

Sun Bowl Stadium | El Paso, Texas
Friday, Dec 31, 9:00 AM PT | CBS: Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, and Jamie Erdahl
Series Record: First Meeting

Washington State Cougars (7-5) Game Notes

Washington State Bowl Record: 8-8

• This is the 17th bowl game all-time for the Cougars, but the sixth time in the last seven seasons WSU has gone bowling.

• Since 2015, the Cougars are 34-11 when forcing multiple turnovers.

• Washington State is fourth in the country with 27 takeaways.

• The Cougars are third nationally with 13 fumble recoveries.

• The Cougs have won their last two games by a combined score of 84-31.

• Washington State’s turnover margin of +.83 per game is tied for the 10th-best in in country.

• The Cougars allowed a score on 73.91 percent of Red Zone opportunities, the 17th best Red Zone defensive mark in the country.

• WSU allowed just 43 plays from scrimmage of 20 yards or more, the 12th fewest in the nation.

• Jayden de Laura threw a Pac-12-best 23 TDs this season while averaging a Conference best 250.1 passing yards per game.

• Jahad Woods is fourth in the Pac-12 in tackles with 100 this season.

• Jahad Woods is the Pac-12’s active leading career tackler 419 in his career, the fourth-most in WSU history.

• In seven wins this season, Jayden de Laura averaged 277.4 passing yards per game; in the four losses he played in, he averaged 200.0 per game.

Central Michigan Chippewas (8-4) Game Notes

Central Michigan Bowl Record: 3-9

• Central Michigan has won their last four games, outscoring opponents 164-87 during their current streak.

• This Chippewas are appearing in their 12th bowl game, 10 of them coming in the last 15 years.

• The Chips are ninth in the nation in third-down defense, limiting opponents to 31.9% on third down.

• In wins this season, CMU allowed 110.5 yards rushing per game; the Chips allowed 163.5 in their four losses.

• CMU’s 3.0 sacks per game were the 18th most in the nation.

• Lew Nichols leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,710 on the season, and an average of 142.5 per game.

• Lew Nichols had an FBS leading 2,010 all-purpose yards this season.

• In the last three games, Lew Nichols has run for 628 yards (209.3 per game) and eight touchdowns.

• In the last seven games, Nichols has rushed for 1,307 yards and 13 touchdowns.

• Kalil Pimpleton is one of three players this season to return multiple punts for a touchdown.

• Kalil Pimpleton is only the 13th player since 1937 to have two 70-yard+ punt returns in a season.

• Kalil Pimpleton and JaCorey Sullivan were born a day apart in Muskegon, Michigan. The pair have combined to catch 148 passes for 2,256 yards and 21 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

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