Ohio vs. Utah State: What You Need To Know About the 2011 Potato Bowl
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl may be one of the funniest bowl names of the season, but that doesn't mean that the game itself is going to turn out to be a laugher.
Utah State and Ohio may not get a ton of national attention, but these two teams have the type of offensive firepower to really put on a show.
If you're a fan of offensive football, then make sure to tune in for this one, because these two offenses can really light up a scoreboard and they should be able to heat up the chilly field up in Boise, Idaho on Saturday.
Here's a look at what you need to know for this year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
The Basic Details
Date: Dec. 17, 2011
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
The Spread: Utah State (-2.5)
Sponsor: The Idaho Potato Commission
Conferences Represented: MAC (Ohio), WAC (Utah State)
Stadium: Bronco Stadium
City: Boise, Idaho
Last Year's Result: Northern Illinois 40, Fresno State 17
Ohio 2011 Resume
Overall Record: 9-4
Conference Record: 6-2
Sagarin Schedule Rank: 124
Who They Beat: New Mexico State (44-24), Gardner Webb (30-3), Marshall (44-7), Kent State (17-10), Akron (37-20), Temple (35-31), Central Michigan (43-28), Bowling Green (29-28), Miami of Ohio (21-14)
Who Beat Them: Rutgers (38-26), Buffalo (38-37), Ball State (23-20), Northern Illinois (23-20)
Utah State 2011 Resume
Overall Record: 7-5
Conference Record: 5-2
Sagarin Schedule Rank: 94
Who They Beat: Weber State (54-17), Wyoming (63-19), Hawaii (35-31), San Jose State (34-33), Idaho (49-42), Nevada (21-17), New Mexico State (24-21)
Who Beat Them: Auburn (42-38), Colorado (35-34), BYU (27-24), Fresno State (31-21), Louisiana Tech (24-17)
Ohio by the Numbers
Points per Game: 31
Yards per Game: 453
Passing Yards per Game: 251
Rushing Yards per Game: 202
Yards per Play: 6.14
Points per Game: 22.1
Yards per Game: 354
Passing Yards per Game: 228
Rushing Yards per Game: 126
Yards per Play: 5.16
Field-Goal Percentage: 24-of-33 (72.7%)
Yards per Punt: 38
Yards per Kick Return: 21.7
Yards per Punt Return: 8.3
Turnovers (Caused vs. Lost): 26-27
Third-Down Conversions: 48%
Red-Zone Percentage: 80%
Utah State by the Numbers
Points per Game: 34.5
Yards per Game: 458
Passing Yards per Game: 181
Rushing Yards per Game: 277
Yards per Play: 6.5
Points per Game: 28.3
Yards per Game: 368
Passing Yards per Game: 240
Rushing Yards per Game: 128
Yards per Play: 4.9
Field-Goal Percentage: 6-of-10 (60%)
Yards per Punt: 44
Yards per Kick Return: 23.4
Yards per Punt Return: 8.2
Turnovers (Caused vs. Lost): 15-23
Third-Down Conversions: 48%
Red-Zone Percentage: 88%
Ohio Key Player: QB Tyler Tettleton
There were definitely a few quality quarterbacks in the MAC this year such as Western Michigan’s Alex Carder, Northern Illinois’ Chandler Harnish and Miami of Ohio’s Zac Dysert, but one name that belonged right up there was Ohio's Tyler Tettleton.
This may have been Tetteleton’s first year as a starter, but he didn’t let his inexperience stop him from being highly productive and successful, as he led the Bobcats all the way to the MAC championship game.
This season, the sophomore signal-caller completed 63 percent of his passes, threw for over 3,000 yards and hit 26 touchdown strikes.
He also showed that he can run a little bit, as he added 590 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
Tettleton is the type of dual-threat quarterback who can really put pressure on a defense, and the Aggies are going to have to make sure that they keep him him in the pocket and get consistent pressure on him.
Utah State Key Player: RB Robert Turbin
This year, everyone around Utah State was eager to see how RB Robert Turbin would perform after returning from a serious knee injury that cost him the entire 2010 season.
As it turns out, Turbin didn’t miss a beat, as he racked 1,416 yards on the ground and scored 23 total touchdowns.
Turbin is truly one of the hidden gems of college football, and if he can put together a big performance in front of a national audience, he should really make a name for himself and cause some buzz for next season.
The 5’10’’, 215-pound junior is a physical runner, who uses his strength and muscular frame to his advantage, and he’s definitely the type of back that can cause a lot of headaches for an opposing defense.
If Turbin gets in a groove early, it’s going to be a long day for the Ohio defense.
Utah State coach Gary Andersen has done a remarkable job with the Aggies in his third year at the helm, as he's managed to guide the team to its first bowl berth since 1997.
The season started off in encouraging, yet disappointing fashion, as Utah State came so close to pulling off an upset of defending national champion Auburn in the season-opener before giving up a double-digit lead late in the game.
The Aggies managed to recover from that heartbreaking defeat, though, and behind the play of RB Robert Turbin and a surprisingly explosive offense, they put together their first winning season in over a decade.
Now, they'll get the chance to show the college football world what they're made of when they play Ohio, which is still reeling from a tough loss to Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game.
Utah State's postseason inexperience could be somewhat of a hindrance, but they have the type of dangerous offense that can explode at a moment's notice.
The real key factor in this game will be Ohio's attitude.
The Bobcats have the type of offensive weapons, with guys like QB Tyler Tettleton, RB Donte Harden and WR LaVon Brazill, to keep pace with Utah State's offense, but if they get stuck sulking and looking back on that loss in the conference championship game, they could find themselves down in a hurry.
When looking at this game, what really stands out to me is Utah State coach Gary Andersen, and I like the type of momentum that his team finished the season with, as the Aggies reeled off five straight wins to end the year.
I could see this one going either way, but I'm going to stick with the team with the most positive energy right now, and that's Utah State.
Prediction: Utah State 38, Ohio 31
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