Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Predictions: Ohio Bobcats vs. Utah State Aggies

Ohio Bobcats vs. Utah State Aggies
Saturday, 12/17/11, 5:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Utah State -3
Current Betting Line:  Utah State -1.5
Opening Total:  58
Current Total:  58
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Big South Tournament
The Ohio Bobcats will try to win their first-ever bowl victory Saturday

Ohio will make its third straight bowl appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl that will be played inside Bronco Stadium in Boise, ID.  The Bobcats are in search of their first-ever bowl victory, posting an 0-5 record in postseason play that includes three losses under current head coach Frank Solich.  “The Ohio University football program is extremely excited for this wonderful opportunity,” Solich commented in practice this week.  It’s important to note that the Bobcats four losses are by an average of just 4.7 points per game.  Ohio is 9-4 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.

The Bobcats are a very consistent bunch in ranking fourth in the Mid-American Conference in both total offense and total defense.  Ohio set a school record by averaging 453.5 yards per game offensively, including going over the 500-yard mark in three of the last six weeks.  The running game is incredibly balanced in being one of just two teams in the conference that have four players that have rushed for 400 yards or more this season.  Sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton finished the regular season with 3,082 yards and 26 touchdowns, but also looms dangerous on the ground with 627 rushing yards.

Utah State is set to make its first bowl appearance since 1997 and it will be its seventh overall.  The Aggies are 1-5 in their previous six tries in the postseason.  “This is a tremendous opportunity for our program.  It is a fantastic reward for all of the hard work and dedication that these kids have put in,” stated Aggies head coach Gary Anderson.  The program’s five-game win streak is its most wins in a row since the 1993 campaign, as the goal is to post the school’s first eight-win season since 1974.  Utah State went 2-5 ATS as a favorite this year.

The Aggies are led offensively by running back Robert Turbin, who is just 120 yards away from the school’s single-season rushing yardage record, as he enters with 1,416 yards.  Utah State’s offense has accumulated a school-record 5,504 yards of total offense.  Quarterback Adam Kennedy has led the offense since early November and has completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 909 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions on the season.  It will be interesting to see if he splits time with freshman Chuckie Keeton.

Bettors will likely back the Bobcats due to their 4-1 ATS mark as a underdog of three points or less, while the Aggies are 1-4 ATS as a favorite in the same point range.

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