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Nick’s Pick for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

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Toledo (9-3, 6-2 MAC) vs. Utah State (10-2, 6-0 WAC)

 

Saturday, December 15, 2012 • 4:30 pm ET • Boise, Ida. • Bronco Stadium (32,000)

ESPN • Announcers: Tom Hart (play-by-play), Mike Bellotti (analyst), Quint Kessenich (sideline reporter)

 

About Toledo:

  • Toledo will battle Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Bronco Stadium in Boise on Dec. 15 (4:30 p.m ET on ESPN). The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be the third consecutive post-season for the Rockets, who lost to FIU in the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and defeated Air Force at the 2011 Military Bowl. This will be the 13th bowl overall for Toledo, with a 9-3 bowl record
  • Toledo (9-3, 6-2 MAC) finished in a second-place tie with Ball State in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets won eight consecutive games at one point this season, including a 29-23 victory over then #18 Cincinnati on Oct. 20. Toledo was as high as #23 in the AP poll this season and made it to the BCS Top 25 for the first time in its history
  • Toledo ’s Matt Campbell is in his first full season as head coach. He took over for the departed Tim Beckman at the end of last season and led the Rockets at the Military Bowl. Campbell, who turned 33 in November, is the youngest head coach in the NCAA-FBS
  • Toledo and Utah State are meeting for the first time…Toledo is playing in its third consecutive bowl game, 13th overall…This will be Toledo’s first appearance in Boise for a bowl game, but second trip overall. The Rockets played at Boise State in 2010
  • No. 18 Utah State will be the highest-ranked opponent Toledo has ever faced in a bowl game; the only other ranked bowl opponent was No. 20 San Jose State in 1981 (the Rockets won 27-25)
  • Toledo is 20-4 in its last 24 Mid-American Conference games
  • UT LB Dan Molls’ 166 tackles leads the country. He has made at least nine tackles in 17 consecutive games
  • RB David Fluellen is eighth in the nation in rushing with an average of 132.7 per game and is a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, one of 10 players to make the list for the nation’s best running back…Fluellen’s 1,460 total yards is his first 1000-yard season, and ranks sixth-best in UT history. He needs 11 yards to pass Chester Taylor (1,470 in 2000) for fifth place and 161 to move past Taylor’s No. 2 spot on the list (1,620 in 2001)
  • Toledo PK Jeremiah Detmer has made 14 consecutive field-goal attempts. He has 21 field goals this season, and needs one more to pass Rusty Hannah (21 in 1992) for the UT season record
  • WR/KR Bernard Reedy ranks 19th in receptions (6.8) and 10th in all-purpose yards (163.5)

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About Utah State:

  • Utah State is playing in its second-straight Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 24-23 vs. Ohio in 2011) and in its third bowl game in Boise (L, 35-19 vs. Cincinnati in 1997 Humanitarian Bowl), which is tied with Fresno State for the second-most bowl appearances all-time in Boise behind Boise State’s four appearances
  • Utah State is playing in consecutive bowl games for just the third time in school history as it played in the 1946 Raisin Bowl and 1947 Grape Bowl, and in the 1960 Sun Bowl and 1961 Gotham Bowl. Overall, this is USU’s eighth bowl appearance in school history (1946 Raisin Bowl, 1947 Grape Bowl, 1960 Sun Bowl, 1961 Gotham Bowl, 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl) and USU is 1-6 in its previous seven bowl games
  • Utah State is 15-3 in its last 18 games under head coach Gary Andersen, which is USU’s best stretch since going 15-3 during the 1962-64 seasons…USU’s three losses during its last 18 games have been by a combined six points as it lost to Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and at BYU (6-3) this year. Prior to its current run, USU was 6-12 in its previous 18 games
  • Utah State’s current six-game winning streak is tied with Ball State, San Jose State and Vanderbilt for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Notre Dame (12), Ohio State (12), Northern Illinois (12), Arkansas State (7) and San Diego State (7)…that six-game winning streak is also tied for the fifth-longest winning streak in school history and longest since 1961
  • Utah State has out-scored its opponents 131-6 in the first quarter this year allowing only field goals by San Jose State and UTSA, and USU is the only team in the country to not allow a first quarter touchdown on the year
  • Utah State has a 244-54 scoring advantage in the first-half this season, USU has held 10 of its 12 opponents scoreless in the first quarter and three opponents scoreless in the first half this season

> 2012 MAC Football Standings

> 2012 MAC Football Scores

 

Nick’s Pick: Utah State 27 – Toledo 21

Comment: This should be a fun game to watch, USU is a solid team and certain a tough draw for almost any bowl eligible team this year. The Rockets will need to win the turnover battle and the defense will need to play like they did against Cincinnati to have a chance. The USU defense is outstanding. If the Rockets get off to a fast start this should be a dandy.

 

 

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