The blue turf of Boise plays host to Ohio and Utah State in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 17, 2011. The Ohio Bobcats earned a bowl invite after finishing 6-2 in MAC conference play and 9-4 overall. The Bobcats are still looking for their first bowl victory in school history. Ohio led Northern Illinois 20-0 at halftime of the MAC championship game, but went on to lose 23-20. Utah State finished second in the WAC with a record of 5-2 and had an overall record of 7-5.
When Ohio has the Ball
The Bobcats offense averaged 31 points per game this season behind a balanced attack. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton played well this year with over 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns. Wide receiver LaVonn Brazil was Tettleton’s favorite target with 64 catches and 1042 yards. The rushing attack was also solid for the Bobcats this season averaging over 200 yards per game. Donte Harden averaged 5.5 yards per carry on his way to 939 yards on the year. Tettleton also runs well out of the quarterback position with 627 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Utah State’s defense left much to be desired this year. The Aggies gave up an average of 28.3 points per game, 73rd in the nation. Their defense only came up with 4 interceptions in 12 games this season. They will have their hands full trying to stop the dual threat Tettleton.
When Utah State has the Ball
The Aggies averaged 34.5 points per game this year behind a great running game. Utah State had the 6th best rushing attack in the nation at 277.5 yards per game on the ground. Junior running back Robert Turbin finished the regular season with 1,416 yards and 19 touchdowns. Michael Smith (713 yards) and Kerwynn Williams (480 yards) will also see carries at running back. Quarterback Adam Kennedy made the last five starts of the year for Utah State and helped the Aggies win those five games to become bowl eligible.
Ohio’s defense was able to come up with 15 interceptions this year and held opponents to 22.1 points per game. Against the running attack of the Aggies, Ohio will need to stay disciplined and tackle well. Don’t be surprised to see Ohio load up the box and try to stop the run and set up third and long situations for Utah State.
2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Pick Against the Spread
The line currently has Utah State favored to win by 3 points. This should turn out to be a high scoring affair with both offenses having a clear advantage over the opposing defense. I really like the way quarterback Adam Kennedy has played the last five games for Utah State to help make the Aggies a more two-dimensional offense. I am taking Utah State and giving the points.
2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Prediction
Utah State – 34
Ohio – 27