The 2012 bowl season gets under way Saturday afternoon with two games; the second is the Idaho Potato Bowl from Bronco Stadium in Boise, ID at 4:30pm ET with the Toledo Rockets (9-3) out of the MAC taking on the 28th ranked Utah State Aggies (10-2) out of the Western Athletic Conference. Toledo is 7-5 ATS this season, and the Rockets are headed to their third straight bowl appearance. Utah State is 10-1-1 ATS this season coming off of the best season in school history with a record 10 victories overall; and the Aggies played in last season’s Potato Bowl and lost at the last second 24-23 to Ohio University.
The Toledo offense ranks 39th among FBS teams with 32.9 points per game scored and 28th in total offense with 456.1 yards per game. The Rockets have struggled defensively against the pass, ranking 120th among FBS teams with 295.2 YPG allowed. Overall they have employed a bend but don’t break style of play, ranking 59th in the nation in scoring defense with 27.3 PPG allowed and 107th in total defense with 463.2 YPG allowed. Toledo has been a streaky team this season, as the Rockets won eight straight games at one point this season, and was ranked as high as 23rd in the nation prior to dropping consecutive game to Ball State (34-27) and Orange Bowl-bound Northern Illinois (31-24) in November.
Utah State has averaged 34.4 PPG on offense to rank 36th in the nation in scoring and 460.7 YPG to rank 26th among FBS teams in total offense. The Aggies’ defense ranks an impressive 8th among FBS teams in scoring defense with 15.4 PPG allowed and 15th in total defense with 322.7 YPG allowed.
Toledo vs. Utah State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Toledo Rockets +10
@ Utah State Aggies -10
Over 58.5 (-110)
Under 58.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Toledo vs. Utah State Pick:
Toledo has a 20-8 record ATS in their last 28 games following an ATS loss, a 1-3-1 record AST in their last 5 neutral site games and are 104 ATS in their last 5 games against WAC teams. The Aggies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams, 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall and 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 non-conference games. The under is 5-0 in Toledo’s last 5 games overall, 5-0 in their last 5 games on field turf and 5-0 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss. The under is 6-0 in the Aggies’ last 5 non-conference games, 9-2 in their last 11 games on field turf and 11-3 in their last 14 games overall.
These two teams both have the ability to score planet of points on offense and are both coming off of very impressive seasons. The edge defensively has to go to Utah State, with the Aggies defeating Utah (27-20) out of the PAC-12 this season, as well as San Jose State (49-27) and Louisiana Tech (48-41), two teams that were ranked this year. Toledo finished the season in meek fashion, while the Aggies ended the season on a six-game winning streak and has won 15 of their last 18 games overall en route to their first league championship since 1936. The Aggies have the advantage on offense as well as defense, with sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranking second in the WAC and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 156.7 and 17th in the nation in total offense with 305.9 YPG. With a clear advantage on offense and defense as well as a sterling record ATS this season, Utah State is a solid pick to cover in this game.
PICK = Utah State -10