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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview

NCAAF Bowl Record: 0-0

Toledo (+10.5) vs. Utah State (-10.5); Total set at 58.5

This is the second Bowl game of the holiday season as Toledo and Utah State play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl out on Boise St's "smurf turf." This is the second straight year Utah State finds themselves in this bowl as they fell 24-23 last year to another MAC team; the Ohio Bobcats. Ohio scored a 1-yard TD with 13 seconds left last year to tie the game and the XP gave them the one point lead which they were able to hold on too. That loss has motivated the Aggies all season and with the better (10-2) it's not surprising to see them be laying double digits this time around.

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However, on another level it has to be a bit of a disappointment to be in the same Bowl game this year after going 10-2 SU. Last year, Utah State was 7-6 SU, barely eligible, and happy to be in their first Bowl game since 1997. It showed as they played not to lose rather than to win down the stretch, a mistake they will no doubt correct this time around. The Aggies are out for revenge on the MAC and after sporting a 10-1-1 ATS record this season, they have been money for bettors too. Their only ATS loss came in the season finale as 37-point favorites vs. Idaho in a game they coasted through, losing ATS by 1 point in the 45-9 victory. They have scored 40 or more points in five of their past six contests and the lone time they didn't they still put up 38. In fact, if you take out a 6-3 loss @ BYU in early October, Utah State has scored at least 31 points in every game since Week 3 when they lost 16-14 @ Wisconsin. Toledo's defense is nothing spectacular either, ranking 107th in the nation in yards allowed per game (463) and giving up 27.3 points per contest. As long as the Aggies don't get caught up in the moment of being in another Bowl game, they should have no problems moving the ball against this team.

Toledo's 3-8 O/U mark may have some people believing their defense will step up and play, but you've got to remember that they play in the MAC where points are a plenty and totals are routinely in the 60's. In fact, Toledo hasn't had a total under 60 in any of their games since playing Eastern Michigan back on October 13th when they won 52-47. They are an offense that knows how to move the ball, ranking 28th in the nation in yards per game and scoring 32.9 points per contest themselves. The Aggies defense will be one of the better units the Rockets have seen all year, but coming in as big underdogs they won't hold back any punches. Toledo has been to a Bowl game in each of the past two years and both times they combined for over 66 points. They lost 34-32 to FIU in 2010 as 1.5-point favorites and beat Air Force 42-41 last year, so expect plenty of big plays offensively from the Rockets.

Whether or not it will be enough to cover this massive spread or pull off the outright upset, I'm not sure, but the total is the way to go here. Both teams' 3-8 O/U mark will scare some people away from this over, but this will be an entertaining back-and-forth game that will reach in the 60's.

Take the over.

  
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