The BYU football team will make its second trip this season to Boise where the Cougars will take on the Broncos – the Western Michigan Broncos, that is.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is set for 2 p.m. MT on Friday, December 21.
For the first time since the bowl affiliated itself with the Mountain West Conference in 2013, the game will not feature a Mountain West team. Wyoming, which routed Central Michigan in the 2017 Potato Bowl, was 6-6 in the regular season and the only bowl-eligible MWC team to not get a bowl invite this year.
Instead, Potato Bowl officials opted to invite BYU (6-6), an FBS Independent, and Western Michigan (7-5) of the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which has a tie-in to the bowl game.
According to bowl director Kevin McDonald, there were long-term plans to get the Cougars an invite to the game at some point.
“This is a fantastic matchup for our community with two teams they will really be able to get behind, along with two young quarterbacks and two up-and-coming coaches,” McDonald said in the bowl announcement.
This will be the first time that BYU is playing in the long-running Boise-based bowl game, and Western Michigan's second time. The Broncos lost to Air Force 38-24 in 2014.
"We are extremely excited to be invited and accept an invitation to play in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl," WMU head coach Tim Lester said in a statement. "We know it is a first-class event and are gratified for the opportunity and to play on the famous blue turf."
BYU last played in Albertsons Stadium on Nov. 3, a 21-16 loss to Boise State. The Cougars are 0-5 on the Blue all-time.
“Our guys are excited about going to Boise,” BYU coach Kalani Sitaki said after the game was announced. “We have a lot of players from around that area in Idaho and we’re familiar with being on that blue turf. We’re glad to be around that community and are excited to see our fans there. We have the mindset that we want to win the game. We’re looking forward to a competitive game.”
The two teams' one common opponent this season was Northern Illinois. BYU lost 7-6 at home, while Western Michigan beat the Huskies 28-21.
Western Michigan Broncos vs. BYU Cougars
- Friday, December 21
- Albertsons Stadium, Boise
- Kickoff: 2 p.m. MT
The game will be televised on ESPN, which can be found on the following channels:
- Cable One: Channel 133 / 1133 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 206
- Dish Network: Channel 140
- Cox: Channel 32
The game will stream live on the WatchESPN app, available in Apple and Android app stores. The service is only available to subscribers of participating cable and satellite television providers (including Cable One, Dish Network and DirecTV).
Tickets are available on the bowl's website. Fans can also buy tickets through the BYU and Western Michigan websites to support their team’s athletic programs, and ensure they sit with like-minded fans. Individual tickets range in price from $20 to $75. Premium ticket packages are available. For more package information contact the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl office at (208) 424-1011.
BOWL WEEK EVENTS
The teams will arrive in Boise on Monday, Dec. 17 and will be treated to fun activities leading up to the game. Players will get to go tubing at Bogus Basin or go-kart racing, depending on weather conditions.
Then of course, there is the always-popular Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Mash Bash. Fans are invited to the event, which will feature a showdown of teams' bands and cheerleaders. The Mash Bash will take place on Thursday, Dec. 20 from 7 - 8 p.m. at the Grove Plaza.
Fans with tickets are invited to attend the annual Fan Fest pregame event from 11 a.m - 2 p.m. This year fans will be treated to free food and drinks with French fries provided by Simplot.
Participants can check out military equipment provided by Mission 43, enjoy live music by Big Wow Band, visit with Santa Claus, take photos with the Famous Idaho Potato Truck, and take part in the FitOne Family Field day in the Caven-Williams Sports Complex.
A Battle of the Bands is also scheduled for noon on game day.
Parking in any of the university's parking garages is free with the donation of one canned food item. Click here to view a campus map.