Ohio’s impressive season is coming to an end.
The Bobcats have had many ups and downs in 2022, from going undefeated at home to losing in the Mid-American Conference Championship game. However, they’re not done yet. The Bobcats have one more chapter of their season to write at the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl in Tucson, Arizona.
In order to end its season with a win, Ohio will have to get through Wyoming, who it has faced twice before. In both meetings, which took place in 2007 and 2008, Ohio lost by one point. Ohio hopes that won’t be its fate again Friday.
This year, Wyoming is one of the youngest in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Just three of its players are seniors, and 58 are true or redshirt freshmen. Despite that, it put together another winning season.
Here is everything else to know about Wyoming before the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl:
Craig Bohl has been the head coach at Wyoming since 2014. Previously, he coached at Nebraska and North Dakota State with Ohio coach Tim Albin. He also coached at Tulsa, Wisconsin, Duke and Rice.
Bohl’s time at Wyoming got off to a rocky start but has been better ever since. He went 6-18 in his first two seasons with the Cowboys, but is now 46-37 and has won one conference championship since then. He won his 150th game with the Cowboys on Sept. 3 against Tulsa.
Like the Bobcats this season, Bohl and the Cowboys exceeded expectations. They beat all but one opponent in their division, finished with a 7-5 record and are heading to their fifth bowl game under Bohl. They played in the Arizona Bowl in 2019, which was then sponsored by Nova Home Loans, and beat Georgia State 38-17.
Andrew Peasley played at Utah State before transferring to Wyoming for the 2022 season. There, he completed 70 passes for 830 yards throughout four seasons.
Since earning the starting job at Wyoming, Peasley has fared much better. He played in 11 games this season and threw for 1388 yards. However, arguably Peasley’s best play this season came on a 61-yard run against San Jose State. He had 13 other running plays for 10 yards or more this season.
Wide receiver Joshua Cobbs leads the Cowboys in receiving yards with 407, while tight end Treyton Welch leads them in receiving touchdowns with four. Both are two of the Cowboys' few returning players from last season.
The Cowboy’s rushing attack is the key to their offense. They rank No. 37 in the FBS in rushing yards with 2253 and average 187.8 rushing yards per game. Wyoming put up back-to-back 300-yard rushing games this season against Utah State and Hawaii, its first time doing so since 1995. The most rushing yards Ohio had in a game this season was 224.
The player behind the majority of Wyoming’s rushing yards is Titus Swen. He leads the team and is No. 34 in the FBS with 1039. However, Swen has since been dismissed from the team for violating team rules. He will not play in the bowl game. The next leading rusher, Dawaiian McNeely, has 356 rushing yards.
Wyoming’s defense may be tough to crack, and Albin knows it. When addressing the media on Dec. 12, he expressed how physical Wyoming’s defense plays. They’ve only given up an average of 23.4 points per game, which is good for a tie at No. 41 in the nation.
Ohio’s offensive line will have to be strong Friday as well, as Wyoming totaled 34 sacks so far this season. Ohio’s previous opponents have amassed 22.
Place-kicker John Hoyland walked on at Wyoming in 2020 and has played a big part in its 2022 season. He has made 20 field goals so far, which is tied for the most in a single season in school history. He also tied the record for the fourth longest field goal made in school history, a 55-yarder that he made this season in the game against Tulsa. Hoyland ranks No. 13 in the FBS in field goal percentage at 84.3% and No. 14 in average field goals per game with 1.39.
Ohio is coming off a disappointing loss in the MAC Championship game, where a handful of players, including linebacker Keye Thompson, suffered injuries. Thompson had surgery earlier this month to treat his injury and will miss the bowl game Friday. The rest of the defense will have to step up without him.
Also needing to step up is Ohio’s offense. It totaled 262 yards on offense in the MAC Championship game, which was its lowest since playing Iowa State in Week 3. Ohio will need more than that, especially in the run game, if they want to end their season on a positive note Friday.