The 2019 Arizona Bowl features Georgia State (7-5, 4-4 Sun Belt) and Wyoming (7-5, 4-4 Mountain West) and is set to kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 31 in Tuscon, AZ. Arizona Stadium plays host to the postseason showdown.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
For the third time in its six seasons in the FBS, Georgia State will makes an appearance in a bowl game. The Panthers began the season with an absolute stunner over Tennessee and the Panthers' 38-30 victory over the Volunteers caught the attention of the nation.
Georgia State went on to finish the season 7-5 with losses to now-No. 20 App State and Georgia Southern.
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Wyoming began the season on a similar note, beating Missouri 37-31. The victory over the Tigers propelled the Cowboys to a 3-0 start to the season, and eventually led to the Cowboys' 16th bowl appearance and their third in the last four years. They missed a bowl game last season despite winning six games.
Georgia State vs. Wyoming football: Time, TV channel
Where: Arizona Stadium | Tuscon, AZ
How to watch: CBS Sports Network
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Arizona Bowl: Preview, prediction
In a season in which Georgia State won five more games than last season, the Panthers built a stunning ground game, ranking 14th in the country with 245.2 rushing yards per game. Tra Barnett has been the Panthers' main running weapon, leading the team with 1,389 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
Through the air, Dan Ellington passed for 2,291 yards with 26 total touchdowns and seven interceptions. He brought consistency to the offense, along with his primary weapon, receiver Cornelius McCoy. The sophomore leads the team with 679 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
The passing game has been an issue for Wyoming, however. The roster is thin with the top two quarterbacks dealing with injuries. The Cowboys' leading passer, Sean Chambers, threw for 915 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games, but he is out for the season with a knee injury he sustained against Nevada on Oct. 26.
Two other quarterbacks, Tyler Vander Waal (seven games) and Levi Williams (two games), accounted for a combined total of 621 passing yards and one touchdown. But now Vander Waal enters the Arizona Bowl as questionable after injuring his ankle against Colorado State on Nov. 22.
|7-5 (4-4 Sun Belt)||Record (Conference)||7-5 (4-4 Mountain West)|
|32.4||Points per game||24.3|
|36.1||Points allowed per game||17.8|
|446.9||Yards per game||337.5|
|449.8||Yards allowed per game||364.5|
|2,859||Passing yards allowed||3,181|
|2,539||Rushing yards allowed||1,193|
2,291 (21 TDs, 7 INTs)
|Passing yards leader||Sean Chambers
915 (7 TDs, 3 INTs)
1,389, 12 TDs
|Rushing yards leader||Xazavian Valladay
1,061, 5 TDs
679, 4 TDs
|Receiving yards leader||Raghib Ismail Jr.
305, 2 TDs
100 total tackles, 7.0 tfl, 1 sack
|Defensive leader||Alijah Halliburton
119 total tackles, 10.0 tfl, 2.0 sacks
It would not be a surprise to see Georgia State win this one, especially with the injuries Wyoming has at quarterback.
But the Cowboys' opponents this season were collectively more challenging than those the Panthers have played. According to teamrankings.com, Wyoming's strength of schedule ranks 85th in comparison to Georgia State, which ranks 103rd in the country.
But I'm willing to give Georgia State the benefit of the doubt. Opening the season with a major upset, I believe the Panthers can end the season on another high note, winning its second bowl game in program history.