Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Betting Preview: Toledo Rockets vs #22 Utah State Aggies

2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Toledo Rockets vs Utah State Aggies
Saturday, December 15, 2012, 4:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho
Opening Line: Utah State -10
Current Line: Utah State -10 1/2
Opening Total: 57 1/2
Current Total: 58 1/2
Opening Money Line: Utah St -400 / Toledo +330
Current Money Line: Utah St -425 / Toledo +355

The 10-2 Utah State Aggies take on the 9-3 Toledo Rockets in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise Saturday. The Aggies are 10 point favorites.

The 9-3 Toledo Rockets of the MAC take on the 10-2 Utah State Aggies who are champions of the WAC in Boise for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. This is the first ever meeting between the teams.

Toledo is making their third straight trip to bowl and 13th overall. The Rockets beat Air Force last year 42-41 in the Military Bowl. Toledo is 8-4 overall in bowl games in their history. Toledo has never played in the Boise bowl game, which was known as the Humanitarian Bowl until last year.

Utah State is making their 2nd straight bowl appearance and 8th overall. They lost to Ohio last year 24-23 in this same bowl in Boise. The Utah St campus in Logan is less than 300 miles away from Boise. The Aggies are 1-6 in Bowl games in their history. Utah St has lost 2 straight bowl games, ironically both in Boise against teams from Ohio. The Aggies lost to Cincinnati in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl.

Toledo was 6-2 in the MAC led by first year coach Matt Campbell. The Rockets won 8 straight games after a season opening loss at Arizona 24-17 in overtime. However, Toledo then lost two straight games at home to Ball St 34-27 and at Northern Illinois 31-24. The losses cost the Rockets a shot at the MAC West division and a spot in the conference championship game. Toledo has home wins over Bowling Green 27-15, Coastal Carolina 38-28, Central Michigan 50-35,  Cincinnati 29-23, and Akron 35-23 along with road wins at Wyoming 34-31, Western Michigan 37-17, Eastern Michigan 52-47 and at Buffalo 25-20. The Rockets are 7-5 ATS and the total is 3-8 this season.

Toledo is averaging 456.1 yards per game on offense, including 258.9 passing yards and 197.2 rushing yards per game. The Rockets are outscoring teams 33-27 this season. Toledo is in the top 44 nationally in all offensive categories. The Rockets are +7 in turnovers with 18 giveaways. Toledo is averaging 69.2 penalty yards per game and has allowed 23 sacks. The Rockets are 83/190 on third and fourth down conversions and 40/49 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns. On defense, Toledo is allowing 463.2 yards per game including 295.2 passing yards and 168.1 rushing yards. The Rockets are #107 in total defense, #120 in pass defense, #73 against the rush but #59 in scoring defense. This is mainly because the Rockets have forced 25 turnovers and 24 sacks. Toledo opponents  are 73/186 on third and fourth down conversions and 31/46 scoring in the red zone with 22 touchdowns. The Rockets have 8 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.

Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens has completed 209 of 333 passes (62.8%) for 2,677 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 91 carries, 385 yards and 5 touchdowns. He missed the season finale against Akron with a foot injury, and is probable for the bowl game. If he can’t go Austin Dantin will start at quarterback. He is 42/67 passing for 407 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception, along with 21 carries for 49 yards. Most of his action came against Akron when he started in place of Owens, including all 5 of his touchdowns and the interception.

Running back David Fluellen has 252 carries, 1,460 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with 32 catches for 246 yards. He is probable with a ankle injury after he also missed the Akron game. Both Owens and Fluellen were held out of the Akron game mainly for precautionary reasons because it was a meaningless game for the Rockets against a one win team. Cassius McDowell has 72 carries, 351 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 20 catches, 169 yards and a touchdown.David Pasquale has 27 carries, 142 yards, and 8 catches, 113 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Bernard Reedy has 82 catches, 1,051 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is one of the best return men in the country with 2 kickoff returns and a punt return for touchdowns. He has almost 2,000 all-purpose yards. Alonzo Russell has 54 catches, 925 yards and 5 touchdowns. Justin Olack, Cordale Scott, Dwight Macon, James Green, and Alex Zmolik will also get some catches. Scott and Zmolik each have 2 touchdowns.

Utah St won the WAC with a 6-0 record under coach Gary Andersen. The Aggies will join the Mountain West next season, as the WAC will no longer sponsor football. Utah St lost at Big Ten champion Wisconsin 16-14 and at in state rival BYU 6-3.  The Aggies have home wins over Southern Utah 34-3, Utah 27-20 in overtime, UNLV 35-13, New Mexico St 41-7, Texas St 38-7, and Idaho 45-9, along with road wins at Colorado St 31-19, San Jose St 49-27, Texas-San Antonio 48-17, and Louisiana Tech 48-41 in overtime. The Aggies have won 6 straight games. Utah St is 10-1-1 ATS and the total is 3-8 this season.

On offense, Utah St is averaging 460.7 yards per game including 267.8 passing yards and 192.8 rushing yards. The Aggies are outscoring teams 34-15 this season. Utah St is in the top 38 in all offensive categories. Utah St is -1 in turnovers this season with 19 giveaways. The Aggies are averaging 71 penalty yards per game and have allowed 18 sacks. Utah St is 82/179 on third and fourth down conversions, and 40/49 scoring in the red zone with 32 touchdowns. On defense the Aggies are allowing 322.7 yards per game, including 211.2 passing yards and 111.4 rushing yards. Utah St is in the top 15 nationally in total defense, against the rush and in points allowed. The Aggies have forced 39 sacks and 18 turnovers this season. Utah St opponents are 75/221 on third and fourth down conversions and 25/39 scoring in the red zone with 13 touchdowns.

Utah St quarterback Chuckie Keeton has completed 254/376 of his passes (67.6%) for 3,144 yards with 27 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He is also the second leading rusher for the Aggies with 120 carries for 527 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back Kerwynn Williams is the leading rusher and receiver for the Aggies. He has 200 carries for 1,277 yards with 12 touchdowns, along with 43 catches, 663 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Joe Hill has 40 carries, 243 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 10 catches, 183 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Matt Austin has 42 catches, 652 yards and 5 touchdowns. Chuck Jacobs has 36 catches, 550 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Kellen Bartlett has 37 catches, 261 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Cameron Webb and Travis Reynolds will also get some catches.

Toledo is 4-1 ATS after passing for more than 280 yards, 20-8 after failing to cover, 5-12-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 1-3-1 in neutral site games, 1-4 against WAC teams, and 0-4 after gaining more than 450 yards.

Utah St is 7-0-1 ATS after allowing less than 20 points, 6-0 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, 5-0 against teams with losing records, 4-0-1 after allowing less than 275 total yards, and less than 170 passing yards, 8-1 after a straight up win, and after passing for less than 170 yards, 8-1-1 on fieldturf, 4-1 after scoring more than 40 points, and gaining less than 275 total yards, and 16-5-1 in non-conference games.

Utah St has a top 15 defense nationally and is the only team in the country who hasn’t allowed a touchdown in the first quarter. Toledo struggles on defense, but the Rockets are still a dangerous team. I would like Toledo’s chances more if Owens and Fluellen play and are healthy. Still, I think Utah St wins a close game in a potential shootout, but I think 10 points is a bit much.

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