Ohio vs. Utah State
Dec. 17, 2011 - 5:30 p.m. PST
The 7-5 Utah State Aggies and 9-4 Ohio Bobcats meet up in the second bowl of the season on the “smurf turf” in Boise.
The Aggies have one of the best rushing attacks with 277.5 yards per game on the ground, while the Bobcats feature a balanced attack with over 250 yards per game through the air and 200 on the ground.
Both teams ended the regular season with a five-game win streak (Ohio lost 23-20 to Northern Illinois in the conference championship game).
The match-up of the Aggies’ rushing attack vs. the front line of the Bobcats will be the key to the game. The Aggies feature the No. 6 rushing attack in the country led by junior running back Robert Turbin with 1,416 yards rushing on the season.
Ohio’s run D is pretty good as well, only allowing 126 yards per game on the ground.
USU’s ability to create holes for the backs to run through will be the key. Whoever wins the match-up likely will win the game.
This match-up won’t be as important as the previous slide. The reason being that Utah State just doesn’t pass the ball that often. The Aggies rank 95th out of 120 FBS schools with only 181.2 yards per game through the air.
Ohio’s secondary has been good at times, and bad at times this year. In 2011, they rank No. 67 in the FBS allowing 228.5 yards per game through the air.
While this match-up won’t have huge importance, it still will matter if the Aggies get down early and need to play catch-up.
The Bobcats’ dual-threat quarterback Tyler Tettleton has been absolutely electric in 2011 with 26 TDs through the air and nine on the ground. Ohio also has a great running back in Donte Harden who has rushed for 939 yards on the ground this season.
The Aggies are great at shutting down the run as well ranking 32nd in the FBS, only allowing 128 yards per game on the ground. While there isn’t a huge advantage, the Aggies do seem to have the slight advantage at the line of scrimmage.
The Bobcat’s Tyler Tettleton is the key for Ohio’s offense against the Aggies. So far this season, Tettleton has passed for 3,086 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
If Tettleton struggles to find open receivers or he throws an interception or two, look for him to tuck the ball and run. The Aggies have a weak secondary that ranks 75th in yards allowed through the air.
Turnovers is the key to this match-up. Tettleton needs to protect the football, and the Aggies need to be aggressive.
Both of these teams are terrible when it comes to turnover margin.
The Bobcats have a -1 turnover margin, and Utah State is even worse at -8.
Fumbles have plagued both of these teams, so whoever protects the football should come out on top.