Utah State was knocked off in last year’s edition of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in a tough one-point loss to Ohio. Will they suffer the same fate on the college football betting odds at the hands of Toledo on Saturday?
Toledo Rockets vs. Utah State Aggies
Odds: Utah State -10.5
How The Rockets Can Win
Toledo finished 9-3 this season and 6-2 in the MAC, but they’ve managed to do that with a terrible pass defense that came in 117th in the country. The Rockets are somehow 59th in points scored (turnovers have something to do with it), but Utah State has a solid passing attack and they can expose the Rockets through the air. Offensively, look for a lot of David Fluellen, who ran for 1,460 yards and he may be their best chance to keep Utah State’s offense off the field and on the sidelines. The Rockets can put up points, but they don’t want to get into a shootout with the Aggies.
How The Aggies Can Win
Utah State come into this game with a 10-2 record and a perfect 6-0 in the WAC (the Aggies are also 22nd in the BCS standings); their only losses came at Wisconsin and BYU, two very tough places to play. The Aggies have a balanced offense (37th in both passing and rushing offense), but their defense will be the key to this game as Utah State are 15th in total defense and eighth in points allowed. The pass rush plays a major role in that success as Utah State are eighth in sacks, but they’ll have to slow that down a little and not overpursue if the Rockets decide to run a lot.
Outlook & Pick
The Aggies are favored by 10.5 points in their first meeting with the Rockets, who are making their first appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and are 8-4 overall in bowls. Meanwhile, the Aggies haven’t had a lot of success in the postseason as Utah State is 1-6 in their seven bowl appearances, and last season’s loss in this game was their first bowl appearance since 1997, so their fans may be just happy to be back in the bowls.
Utah State has an excellent chance of picking up bowl win #2 in their history if their defense can hold up and play the way that it has all season. Their offensive balance should keep the Rockets off balance, but they can really take control of this game if they can throw on Toledo, which hasn’t been difficult to do in 2012. Turnovers will also be a factor in this game; Toledo has a better turnover margin and that is the only way they can keep this game close. Utah State will cap a very successful season by getting to 11 wins with a victory, while covering the college football betting spread against Toledo.
College Football Betting Pick: Utah State -10.5