Halftime: Wyoming 27, Central Michigan 7

Senior wide receiver Corey Willis scores the winning touchdown during the football game against Northern Illinois University on Nov. 24 at Kelly Shorts Stadium.

After the first half of action in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, one player has set Wyoming apart from Central Michigan. 

Josh Allen. 

The junior quarterback tossed three first half touchdowns at Albertsons Stadium, giving the Cowboys (7-5) a 27-7 lead over the Chippewas (8-4) on Dec. 22.

Both teams came up empty on their first two drives, led by CMU senior defensive end Joe Ostman. He pressured Allen, forcing an incomplete pass on third down. 

On Wyoming’s second drive of the game, Allen proved the reason for his 2018 NFL Draft status, which has him as a top pick. He threw a 23-yard dart to freshman wide receiver Jared Scott to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead with 7:55 remaining in the first half. 

After the defense of the Cowboys forced CMU senior quarterback Shane Morris to fumble the ball away, Allen went back to work. He delivered an 11-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Austin Conway in the end zone, making it a 14-0 lead over the Chippewas. 

Following two scores from Allen, Morris and the Chippewas bounced back. 

The graduate transfer from Michigan connected with sophomore running back Jonathan Ward on a wheel route, which he took 74 yards to the end zone with 3:10 left in the first quarter, cutting CMU’s deficit to seven points. 

Allen continued to prove his excellence in the first half on a 45-yard bomb to C.J. Johnson for a score with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter. The score, which was Allen’s third of the game, gave the Cowboys a 21-7 edge. 

Following another forced fumble by the Wyoming defense, the Cowboys cashed in on a 27-yard field goal from sophomore Cooper Rothe. The field goal pushed CMU into a 17-point deficit early in the second quarter. 

With 6:54 left in the first half, Morris overthrew senior receiver Corey Willis. The ball was not only incomplete, but intercepted by Wyoming junior safety Andrew Wingard to give the ball back to the Cowboys. 

Rothe, after Wyoming’s interception, made his second field goal of the game from 28 yards out, giving his team a 27-7 lead over the Chippewas. 

Wyoming sophomore defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan tipped a pass from Morris and sophomore linebacker Logan Wilson made the interception. 

The Cowboys took back over on offense with 3:04 left in the first half, but a 10-yard sack of Allen stalled the ensuing drive for Wyoming. 

Allen, completing 8-of-13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns, was the key factor in leading Wyoming to a 27-7 lead at the break. 


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