Utah State (7-5) will make their first postseason appearance in 14 years when they face Ohio (9-4), who have failed to win a bowl game in three straight appearances, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Broncos Stadium in Boise, on Saturday.
Utah State have a five-game winning streak heading into the bowl game. The Aggies are led by WAC offensive player of the year Robert Turbin, who is 10th in the nation with 118.0 rushing yards per game. The junior running back has gained for over 100 yards in seven games this season, and is also a weapon as a receiver.
The Aggies' best game may have been in a loss in the first game of the season. Playing on the road against the defending national champion Auburn, Utah State led by 10 with under three minutes remaining before the Tigers used an onside-kick recovery to escape with a victory. In the loss, 11 players on the Aggies had receptions, and the defense held Auburn to just 364 total yards.
Ohio is led by dual-threat quarterback Tyler Tettleton. The sophomore threw for 3,082 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 627 yards and nine touchdowns. Tettleton's main target is senior wide receiver LaVon Brazill, who has 64 receptions for 1042 yards this season.
The Bobcats didn't play a ranked opponent all season, but were never beated by more than two scores in their four losses. Ohio may still be shock over their 23-20 loss to Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship, as the Bobcats conceded 23 unanswered points in the second half. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak.
LINE: Utah State is favored by 1.5 points.
PREDICTION: Expect plenty of running, as both teams should establish the running game early. Utah State quarterback Adam Kennedy may not be as explosive as Tettleton, but he offers a balance to the Aggies' offense, and is capable of throwing off opposing defenses. The key to the game might be the location. Ohio has a longer distance to travel, while Utah State is a relatively short distance from Boise. The Bobcats will need to be prepared for an Aggies squad that is very physical.
PREDICTED SCORE: Utah State 33, Ohio 23.