Saturday, December 15, 2012
Pregame: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
By Chris Low
Toledo (9-3, 6-2 MAC) vs. Utah State (10-2, 6-0 WAC)
WHO TO WATCH: Toledo receiver Bernard Reedy. The speedy junior stepped in for record-setting Eric Page this season as the Rockets’ go-to receiver and carved out a mighty impressive season of his own. Five-foot-9, 175-pound Reedy has 82 catches for 1,051 yards and six touchdown receptions. When he’s not catching touchdowns, he’s returning them. Reedy has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, including a 91-yarder in the 29-23 win against Cincinnati, and he also has returned a punt for a touchdown.
WHAT TO WATCH: Toledo coach Matt Campbell has indicated he plans to use both of his quarterbacks in this game. Junior Terrance Owens missed the regular-season finale against Akron with an ankle injury, and senior Austin Dantin stepped in and passed for 327 yards and five touchdowns. Owens had been the starter for 10 games this season until his injury. Both guys will get their chances, and Campbell likely will go with whoever has the hot hand. Either way, the Rockets have responded to both quarterbacks.
WHY TO WATCH: Utah State could easily be unbeaten right now. The Aggies lost 16-14 to Wisconsin on a missed field goal as time expired and dropped a 6-3 decision at BYU. They’ve won 15 of their past 18 dating to last season and are riding a six-game winning streak. They don’t have much of a track record in bowl games, though, and have won only one bowl game in their history -- and that was back in 1993 against Ball State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Utah State enters this game ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press poll. A win against Toledo would assure the Aggies of their first Top 25 ranking in the final polls in 40 years.
PREDICTION: Utah State 34, Toledo 20. Campbell is no stranger to this stage. He stepped in at the last minute a year ago when Tim Beckman left for the Illinois job and led Toledo to a 42-41 win against Air Force in the Military Bowl. Utah State would like to forget the disappointment of last season in this same bowl, when the Aggies fell 24-23 to Ohio. Thanks to the Aggies' rock-solid defense, they’ll be able to do so, and reward coach Gary Andersen for his loyalty with only the second bowl victory in Utah State history.