Utah State vs. Toledo Predictions & Analysis: 2012 Idaho Potato Bowl

Last Updated: December 12th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The 2012 Idaho Potato Bowl picks are going to be difficult to make, as the Utah State Aggies and Toledo Rockets are set to do battle with one another on the Smurf Turf. Check out our Idaho Potato Bowl predictions and the keys to the game for Utah State vs. Toledo.

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2012 Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State Aggies vs. Toledo Rockets
2012 Idaho Potato Bowl Location: Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID
2012 Idaho Potato Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
2012 Idaho Potato Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Key #1: Kerwynn Williams has to continue to be a star in every facet of the game
You’re not going to find a man who can do more for his team than what Williams can and will do for the Aggies. This is a man that will run the ball 15-20 times and catch at least five or six passes as well, and we wouldn’t bet against him scoring multiple touchdowns to boot. With a total of 200 carries and 43 receptions this year, Williams leads the team in both categories, and he was also the leading receiver in terms of yardage (663 yards) as well. Obviously, the main threat for Williams is his running ability, and he has rumbled for 1,277 yards and 12 TDs. Last year, in spite of the fact that he was splitting the backfield with two other backs, including RB Robert Turbin, who is now in the NFL, Williams had 62 yards on just nine carries. He can do it all, and he frequently will, and he is going to need to come up with the big plays in order to win this game.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Utah State Aggies -10.5
Toledo Rockets +10.5
Over/Under 58.5
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Key #2: Utah State needs to get over the fact that it didn’t make the big play last year
Utah State would have had its second ever bowl victory last year if not for the fact that QB Tyler Tettleton scored for the Ohio Bobcats in the dying seconds of the game to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Aggies had a defense all that year remembered that moment, especially with so many players that were on the field for that one returning all year long. What we have to remember though, is that Toledo DID make the play in its bowl game, winning the Military Bowl over the Air Force Falcons by stuffing up a two-point conversion to win the game. The Aggies haven’t been tested in all that many games this year that came down to the wire, so if this one is close, as it has the distinct potential to be, the Aggies will need to come up with the big play on one side of the ball or the other to be able to walk away with a ‘W’ this time around from Boise.

Key #3: David Fluellen has to be healthy and post a consistent YPC average
In the regular season finale against the Akron Zips, both QB Terrence Owens and RB David Fluellen sat out with injuries. Both are considered probable on the Idaho Potato Bowl injury report, so there aren’t worries there. What is bothersome though, is the fact that the Rockets really didn’t run the ball well without Fluellen in there. The team averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in that game against a bad Akron team that had a terrible defense this year. That’s a sharp contrast from the 5.8 yards per carry that Fluellen averaged for the season. Granted, there were some games that proved to be problematic for the Rockets when Fluellen didn’t have a great YPC average. He rushed for just 3.6 YPC against the Northern Illinois Huskies and 3.6 YPC against the Arizona Wildcats. These were the only games this year in which he was below 3.9 YPC, and needless to say, they were two of the team’s three losses on the campaign. Utah State is allowing just 111.4 yards per game this year on the ground, and there have been some stout rushing teams in the fold as well. Don’t be all that shocked if Fluellen’s YPC turns out to be the most important number in this game.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 @ 9:40 am (EST)
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