Is Chad Muma playing in Boise? You’re kidding, right?
LARAMIE -- Garrett Crall never had a doubt.
Neither did Craig Bohl.
Chad Muma wonders why anyone would even ask the question it in the first place.
Will the Cowboys middle linebacker play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl after declaring for the NFL Draft? Has the thought even crossed his mind?
"Yeah, no," Muma said with a smile when asked if this was a hard decision. "It wasn't difficult at all. I always knew from the beginning of the season, if we were going to make a bowl game, I was going to play. So, that was never really a question in my mind."
There's a reason it needed to be asked.
The last time Wyoming played in the Boise bowl game, Bohl said "everybody in the world" told quarterback Josh Allen not to play. He was destined to become a first-round pick, not to mention was coming off a right shoulder injury that sidelined him for the Pokes final two regular season games.
Was it worth the risk?
As long as Allen was 100% healthy -- an agreement he made with Bohl -- he was suiting up.
Boy, did he.
"I can tell you what, Josh was lights out that day. He played really well," Bohl said. "In fact, those things helped his (draft) stock."
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Allen completed 11-of-19 passes for 154 yards and tossed three touchdown passes in a 37-14 rout of Central Michigan. Standing on the snow-covered stage during the postgame celebration -- and urged by his teammates below -- Allen declared for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Allen was drafted No. 7 overall by the Buffalo Bills that April.
Two years later, Bohl faced with a similar situation when it came to linebacker Logan Wilson. Would he play in the Arizona Bowl?
The question seemed laughable. The Casper native wasn't missing out on his final game in a Wyoming uniform.
Neither is Muma.
"He was really adamant about playing," Muma recalled, referring to Wilson. "I don't think he ever really questioned whether or not he was going to opt out for the bowl game. I think, you know, Logan is similar to me just thinking that, we play for Wyoming, so we're going to go play our last game."
Wilson registered seven tackles in the Cowboys 38-17 victory over Georgia State. Four months later he was a third-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Chad's going to play in this game," Bohl said. "That's kind of our mantra here."
Muma is ranked No. 2 in the nation with 84 solo tackles. The Colorado native was in on 129 total tackles. That's good enough for fourth in the country. He is also a finalist for the Butkus Award and was the lone Cowboy to earn first team All-Mountain West honors.
Crall, a fellow team captain, said he expected nothing less from Muma.
"I mean, we all come here to play football and that's what we're going to do," said Crall, who will also be playing his final game in a UW uniform. "It doesn't matter our status or anything like that, we're going to play in the game because that's what we came here to do. So, honestly, I don't even think the thought entered his mind."
Kickoff between Wyoming and Kent State is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT on Dec. 21 inside Albertsons Stadium.
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