In an underrated bowl matchup, the 9-3 Toledo Rockets out of the MAC take on the 10-2 Aggies of Utah State from the WAC in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday afternoon in Boise (4:30 pm ET, ESPN).
Early odds listed Utah State as an eight- or nine-point favorite over Toledo, and that spread quickly got bet up to 10 points by Tuesday.
The Aggies lost this bowl game last year to Ohio, 24-23, according to the bowl histories of each team. Toledo, meanwhile, is riding a 3-1 ATS bowl streak in recent years.
In its first season under Coach Campbell, Toledo hoped to contend in the MAC's West Division, and did so until two late losses put them at 6-2 in conference play and tied for second.
The Rockets lost their season opener by a touchdown to Arizona, then won their next eight games in a row, picking up a nice upset in the process when they beat Cincinnati.
Toledo then lost to Ball State by a touchdown, then at eventual MAC champion Northern Illinois by a touchdown. The Rockets then ended their regular season with a 35-23 win over Akron.
Toledo, led by RB David Fluellen (1,460 yards, 13 TDs) and WR Bernard Reedy (82 catches for 1,050 yards), averaged 456 YPG offensively this season. But the Rockets' defense gave up 464 YPG and at least 28 points in half their games.
Utah State, meanwhile, figured to contend in the WAC this year, and ended up winning the conference title by going a perfect 6-0 in WAC play. The Aggies opened 2-0 with a rivalry win over Utah, then lost a game at Wisconsin 16-14 on a missed field goal at the buzzer.
USU then won two more in a row before losing a tough 6-3 decision at BYU. Since then the Aggies have won their last six games, including four blow-outs and a 48-41 win at ranked Louisiana Tech.
Led by QB Chuckie Keeton (68 percent completions, 27/9 TD/INT) and RB Kerwynn Williams (1,270 yards, 12 TDs) Utah State averaged 461 YPG on offense this season. On the other side of the ball the Aggies allowed just 323 YPG defensively, and held eight of their opponents to 17 points or less.
Idaho Potato Bowl Pick: Toledo has had a fine season, but its defense is a little on the generous side. Utah State, meanwhile, is two field goals away from being perfect on the season, and battle-tested after tough games with Wisconsin, BYU and Louisiana Tech. We'll give the points and take the Aggies. (courtesy of PickShark.com)