WSU

Central Michigan beats WSU Cougars 24-21 in Sun Bowl

Dec 31, 2021, 2:25 PM | Updated: 2:25 pm

EL PASO, Texas (AP) – Lew Nichols III ran for 130 yards and a touchdown, leading late replacement Central Michigan to a 24-21 victory over WSU in the Sun Bowl on Friday.

Central Michigan 24, WSU 21: Box Score

The Chippewas (9-4) ended a five-game bowl losing streak with their fifth consecutive victory this season. When Boise State opted out of the Arizona Bowl because of COVID-19 issues, Central Michigan switched about 300 miles west from Tucson, Arizona, to the Texas border city of El Paso.

Miami skipped the Sun Bowl for COVID-19 reasons as well. Central Michigan stayed in Arizona before bussing to El Paso the day before the game.

It was the first bowl victory for the Chippewas since beating Western Kentucky in the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl.

WSU (7-6) never could get its offense going in the first half, finishing with just 53 yards and trailing 21-0 at the break. The Cougars dropped to 8-9 all-time in bowls.

The Cougars rallied in the second half behind backup quarterback Victor Gabalis, scoring three times to make it close. Gabalis was 12 of 23 passing for 180 yards and two TDs.

After a 13-yard scoring toss to Lincoln Victor pulled the Cougars within three points with 3:13 remaining, they had another chance starting at their 14-yard line with 2:41 remaining. Central Michigan stopped Joey Hobert a yard short on a catch on fourth-and-5.

Marshall Meeder kicked three field goals for Central Michigan, including a 52-yarder for a 6-0 lead and a 43-yarder for a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

THE TAKEAWAY

Central Michigan: It was the first victory in a bowl against a Power Five opponent for the Mid-American Conference team. The Chippewas were seven-point underdogs.

Washington State: The Cougars were without starting tackles Liam Ryan and Abe Lucas for coach Jake Dickert’s first game on the sideline since having the interim tagged removed. Running backs Max Borghi and Deon McIntosh also opted out.

UP NEXT

Central Michigan: The Chippewas will return 10 starters on offense and eight on defense next season. They open on Sept. 3 at Oklahoma State.

Washington State: The Cougars will return eight starters on offense and eight on defense. They open the 2022 season on Sept. 3 at home against Idaho.

More WSU Cougars coverage

WSU

WSU Utah...
The Associated Press

Jakimovski, Roberts help WSU Cougars beat Utah 71-54

Andrej Jakimovski and Tyrell Roberts scored 15 points apiece and WSU used a 22-3 run in the second half to beat Utah 71-54.
24 hours ago
WSU...
The Associated Press

Andrej Jakimovski sparks WSU Cougars to 65-57 victory over Cal

Andrej Jakimovski came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers on his way to a season-high 16 points and WSU turned back California 65-57.
12 days ago
WSU Stanford...
The Associated Press

Stanford uses 23-0 run to beat WSU Cougars 62-57

Brandon Angel and Spencer Jones each scored 16 points and Stanford used a 23-0 second-half run to beat WSU 62-57 on Thursday in a game delayed 75 minutes due to COVID testing.
14 days ago
WSU Martin Stadium...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Why WSU has a ‘huge get’ in transfer QB Cameron Ward

WSU won't have Jayden de Laura in 2022 after he transferred to Arizona on Monday, but they got a stellar replacement at QB in Cameron Ward.
16 days ago
WSU D.J. Rodman...
The Associated Press

WSU gets first win at Utah since 1946, beating Utes 77-61

Tyrell Roberts knocked down five 3-pointers and WSU picked up its first win at Utah since 1946, winning 77-61 in a Pac-12 battle Saturday.
19 days ago
WSU Colorado...
The Associated Press

WSU edged out by Battey, Colorado 83-78 in return to action

Evan Battey scored 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting, Keeshawn Barthelemy scored 17 points and Colorado beat WSU 83-78 on Thursday night.
21 days ago
Central Michigan beats WSU Cougars 24-21 in Sun Bowl