The MAC and Mountain West Conference meet up for one of the best named bowls this afternoon. A couple of bowls on the docket today, with Toledo and Temple playing later tonight in the Raton Bowl. In other words, it is a day of classic bowling as the Potato Bowl and Raton Bowl are on center stage on Tuesday. Ha, yeah, not so much classics, but we made money off the Miami Beach Bowl yesterday and that is all that matters. No the game wasn’t played on a beach, which would have made for an interesting variable in that one. Other than Akron and Utah State fans, along with sports bettors no one cares about what transpires this afternoon. Akron has fans? I mean there are probably a few of them out there. If anything, this game is a so long final lap for Chuckie Keeton. The senior quarterback could have been something special at Utah State if it weren’t for injuries. Injuries though sent Keeton for a turbulent college career. When healthy, Keeton is a dynamic thrilling player to watch. It is unfortunate we haven’t had the full Keeton throughout his entire career.
His best year came in 2012-2013 where he threw for 3373 yards and 27 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. Keeton also rushed for 619 yards and 8 touchdowns. He followed it up the following season passing for 18 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. His year was cut short because of injuries. He hasn’t been able to stay on the field since. Keeton has played the last three weeks after exiting early this year. Mixed reviews thus far, but his best performance came last week in a 51-28 loss to BYU, throwing for 243 yards with 1 touchdown, and 54 rushing yards with another touchdown. Kent Myers who took over for Keeton, is the future of Utah State. I expect to see both in this game, but this game is about sending Keeton out on top.
Akron tried to keep up in the MAC, but the likes of Toledo, Bowling Green, and Northern Illinois were too much. We’ll get a full dose of the MAC today, as Toledo takes the field tonight. Find my pick for that one on the blog as well. But for Akron, a bowl win would be a nice consolation for a team like them. The Zips had a late strong surge to make it to bowl season, winning four straight games. It wasn’t against the stiffest competition, but they did what they had to do to reach the Potato Bowl.
Akron Zips vs. Utah State Aggies Potato Bowl Betting Odds:
vs. Utah State -7(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Akron vs. Utah State Pick:
Keeton will look to wear Akron out through the air and ground. My problem with Akron is that they haven’t beaten anybody at all. There is not one big win on their resume. All of the good teams they played, the Zips had a hard time doing anything against them. Maybe Buffalo is the best win they have this season? And that isn’t even a team that finished .500, a 5-7 squad in the MAC. Other than Bowling Green, who they got dismantled against by the way 59-10, Utah State will be the best team that Akron has played this season. I know the Aggies are only 6-6 but their schedule was much more difficult. They played Washington, Boise State, BYU, Nevada, Air Force New Mexico as their notables. The biggest win came against Boise State, a 52-26 blowout of the Broncos.
Utah State will look to erase that loss against BYU in their last time out, a 51-28 defeat. I see the Aggies being extra motivated this being Keeton’s last game and all. I also expect Keeton to go out in style with a pretty nice showing against Akron. I can’t put faith in a team that hasn’t shown they can beat anybody. Akron has won four straight games, but that was against UMass, Miami-Ohio, Buffalo, and Kent State. The Zips see a big increase in talent today. Give me Utah State for the Potato Bowl.
PICK: UTAH STATE -7 (-110)