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Potato Bowl preview: Utah State vs. Toledo

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton (USA Today Sports Images)

Potato Bowl
Utah State (10-2) vs. Toledo (9-3)
Dec. 15, 2013, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

About the Aggies: Utah State doesn't have good memories of this bowl, but is hoping to change that. Last year, the Aggies blew a late lead and Ohio scored with 13 seconds left to beat Utah State 24-23. Utah State has just one bowl win in program history, in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl over Ball State, but this Utah State team has a resume like no other Aggies team. Utah State won 10 games for the first time in school history, and won the first outright conference championship since winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1936.

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Toledo DE Jayrone Elliott (USA Today Sports Images)

About the Rockets: There's a bit of a quarterback controversy in Toledo. Terrance Owens took control of the starting job in the second game of the season and played very well during his 10 starts, but an ankle injury kept him on the sideline in the Rockets' last game. Senior Austin Dantin started against Akron and threw for 327 yards and five touchdowns, which gave the staff some pause over who should start the bowl game. No announcement has been made, according to the Toledo Blade. Dantin and Owens split time last season, so it wouldn't be a new arrangement if both played against Utah State.

Key number: 131-6
If Toledo is going to beat Utah State, it better get off to a good start. The Aggies are outscoring opponents 131-6 in the first quarter of games this season.

The breakdown: The Rockets won an exciting 42-41 Military Bowl last year against Air Force, and this should be another high-scoring game. Both teams average more than 30 points per game. Utah State comes in with a stronger body of work, having lost two games by a combined five points, at Wisconsin and at BYU. Toledo had a good season too, though. Its three losses all came against bowl teams - at Arizona, at Northern Illinois and against Ball State - and all were by a touchdown.

Frank Schwab: Utah State 35, Toledo 24
Both teams are very similar with balanced and explosive offenses led by good quarterbacks. The key difference is, Utah State has a much better defense and can get the stops it needs. The Aggies should get their second ever bowl win.

Graham Watson: Utah State 37, Toledo 27
Utah State has won its last six games, including convincing wins over the WAC's best teams in San Jose State and Louisiana Tech. The Aggies have no trouble scoring and its defense has been solid for the most part. We all know Mid-American Conference teams like to get into shootouts, but Utah State is too good on both sides of the ball to let this game get out of hand.

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