EL PASO, Texas – With the COVID-19 situation around the country affecting Bowl Season, College Football and air travel, another team having issues fielding a team has given life to the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
The Sun Bowl Association has announced that, due to Boise State dropping out of the Arizona Bowl, Central Michigan University has now accepted an invitation to play in the 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, at 10 a.m. (MT) in El Paso, Texas.
The Barstool Arizona Bowl is, unfortunately, the fourth bowl game to be affected by COVID-19 in 2021.
CMU arrived in Tucson on Sunday and is ready to play. Being a four-hour drive from El Paso, the Chippewas are set up logistically to make the trip and compete on Friday.
The co-MAC West champion Chippewas will take on the Washington State Cougars after driving from the Arizona desert into the Borderland. This would still make it the second time in as many years that the Central Michigan Chippewas (8-4, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) would make a trip out west in postseason play. The last trip CMU made west of the Mississippi River was when it was in the 2019 New Mexico Bowl versus San Diego State.
The Chippewas are trying for their first bowl win since 2012, when they were victorious over Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
The Washington State Cougars (7-5) will be making their third appearance in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl and will now face CMU, who is out of the Mid-American Conference
Under newly named first-year head coach Jake Dickert, the Cougars finished the regular season with a 7-5 overall record, 6-3 in Pac-12 play. It also marks the sixth bowl appearance in seven seasons by the Cougars, and sixth-straight when not including the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
The 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl marks the 17th overall bowl game for the Cougar program.
In 2019, WSU fell short against Air Force at the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. In 2018, the Cougars came away with a 28-26 victory over No. 25 Iowa State in the Valero Alamo Bowl, en route to a program-record 11-win season and a No. 10 final ranking. Previously WSU has played in the Rose Bowl (1916, 1931, 1998, 2003), the Holiday Bowl (1981, 2003, 2016, 2017), the Aloha Bowl (1988), the Copper Bowl (1992), the Alamo Bowl (1994, 2018), the Sun Bowl (2001, 2015) and the 2013 New Mexico Bowl. The Cougars are 8-8 in bowl games all time.
Tickets for the 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl are on sale through Ticketmaster and the Sun Bowl Association office. The 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl is set for Friday, Dec. 31 in Sun Bowl Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 10 a.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on CBS.
All information for the game can be viewed online through the link available at www.sunbowl.org. Customers and fans can also call the Sun Bowl Association office (915-533-4416) and are also invited to stop by the Sun Bowl Association office located at 4150 Pinnacle Street, Suite 100 in El Paso to purchase tickets.
VISITING TEAM: Washington State Cougars
HOME TEAM: Central Michigan Chippewas
Appearances in Sun Bowl
Washington State (2-0)
Win vs. Purdue, 33-27 (Dec. 31, 2001)
Win vs. Miami, 20-14 (Dec. 31, 2015)
Central Michigan (FIRST)
Sun Bowl Association
4150 Pinnacle Street
El Paso, Texas 79902