Central Michigan vs. Washington State Set for 2021 Sun Bowl After Miami Withdraws

Doric SamDecember 28, 2021

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 07:  Footballs on the field before a college football game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Syracuse Orange at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on September 7, 2019 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Mitchell Layton

It didn't take Washington State long to find a new opponent for the Sun Bowl on Friday.

After Miami withdrew from the game on Sunday because of COVID-19 issues within its program, the Cougars announced Monday that they would face Central Michigan. The Chippewas were set to take on Boise State in the Arizona Bowl, but the Broncos withdrew earlier on Monday also because of COVID-19.

Washington State Football @WSUCougarFB

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"We are grateful for the diligent work of the Sun Bowl Association, the Pac-12 Conference, the Mid-American Conference and Central Michigan University to ensure the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl will be played," Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement.

The Cougars went 7-5 this season and won three of their last four games. In its last two wins of the year, Washington State scored 40 or more points and had a scoring differential of plus-26.5.

Central Michigan has a record of 8-4 and ended the regular season on a four-game win streak. The Chippewas won six of their last seven games and scored at least 30 points in each of their last five contests.

The Sun Bowl isn't the only bowl game to be modified due to a team dealing with COVID-19 issues. Rutgers replaced Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest after the Aggies were forced to withdraw.

The Arizona Bowl is now the fourth bowl game to get canceled this season. Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated noted that a financial agreement was likely reached to release the Chippewas from the game and allow them to play against the Cougars. The Hawai'i Bowl, Military Bowl and Fenway Bowl also were all canceled.