In Craig Bohl's finale, Wyoming takes on Toledo in Arizona Bowl
League: NCAA Football
Posted on: 28 Dec, 2023 at 09:34 PM
Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
Wyoming will mark the end of an era when it squares off against Toledo on Saturday afternoon in the Arizona Bowl in Tucson.
The contest will mark the final game for veteran Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, who will retire at the end of the season. Bohl, 65, has spent 42 years on the sidelines, including the past 10 as the Cowboys' head coach.
After the bowl game, Jay Sawvel will take over as Wyoming's next coach. Sawvel has been the team's defensive coordinator and safeties coach since 2020.
"I always joke with all of our support people around here," Bohl said, deflecting questions about his legacy. "I say, ‘You put your hand in a bucket of water, take it out, and that's how long you're going to be missed."
Bohl and his Mountain West team are serious when it comes to the season finale for Wyoming (8-4), which is making its third straight bowl appearance, including its second consecutive in the Arizona Bowl.
Toledo, meanwhile, is eager to show what it can do in front of a national audience. The Rockets are 11-2, including 8-0 in the Mid-American Conference.
A major reason for Toledo's success this season has been the play of quarterback Dequan Finn, who passed for 2,657 yards and 22 touchdowns along with rushing for 563 yards and seven scores. But Finn announced earlier this month that he is transferring to Baylor for his final season of eligibility, and he will not play for the Rockets in the bowl game.
In place of Finn, backup quarterback Tucker Gleason will start. Gleason has completed 14 of 21 passes for 199 yards and four touchdowns in spot duty this season, and he has completed 50.7 percent of his passes for 1,152 yards and 12 touchdowns, with three interceptions, in his collegiate career.
"We wish (Finn) nothing but the best of luck," Toledo coach Jason Candle said. "He's won a lot of football games for us here. He's done a lot for this program, he's done a lot for this institution. Give him a lot of credit -- he had a tremendous season.
"We turn our focus to Tucker Gleason starting this football game and building a plan around him to go play very, very well in the game," Candle added. "Tucker's a guy that has got a lot of great respect in our locker room, and he's somebody the guys will definitely rally around and go play very well for. We're excited about the opportunities for Tucker."
Toledo also lost top running back Peny Boone to the transfer portal this week. Boone racked up 1,400 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns this season and reportedly is drawing interest from Florida State, Kentucky and Louisville.
Wyoming is led on offense by quarterback Andrew Peasley, who has thrown for 1,823 yards and 20 touchdowns, with five interceptions, this season. The team's top rusher is Harrison Waylee, who has run for 856 yards and five touchdowns and has averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
This will be the third all-time meeting between the programs. Wyoming won the first matchup 20-15 in 2010, and Toledo won the second matchup 34-31 in 2012.
--Field Level Media