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BOWL GAME PREVIEW: Utah State vs. Ohio

BOWL GAME PREVIEW: Utah State vs. Ohio

By Justin McKissick, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Dec. 15, 2011 at 5:11 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

LOGAN — The Utah State Aggies football team is on a five game winning streak as it heads into the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the Ohio Bobcats this Saturday in Boise. No matter the outcome, this will be a game for the outgoing Aggie seniors to remember.

Utah State has played some tough games this season and had several heartbreaking losses to start the year. All that is in the past now as the Aggies are on a roll, becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1997.

Here are the top five questions about the Aggies going into the bowl matchup.

What did we learn about USU against New Mexico State?

The Aggies are proving that they are more than just a Robert Turbin running game. In the Aggie Bowl, USU had three running backs that ran for 95 yards or more: Turbin put up 98 rushing yards, senior running back Michael Smith ran for 121 and junior quarterback Adam Kennedy ran for 95.

Utah State's QB Adam Kennedy throws a pass 
against San Jose State.
Utah State's QB Adam Kennedy throws a pass against San Jose State.

Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy is a winner. The Aggie signal-caller threw for three touchdowns against NMSU on 12-16 passing and 123 yards through the air. Kennedy has proven he is the leader of this football team, and the Aggies follow his heart to victory.

What questions do we have about USU? The question the Aggies have heading into the bowl game and into the off-season is how to handle freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton. Keeton began the year as the Aggies' starter but was replaced by Kennedy after a neck injury during the Hawaii game.

Kennedy played his way into keeping the job, and he has only one year of eligibility left. Keeton has the opportunity to redshirt and have three years of eligibility, but it's the road games that head coach Gary Andersen wants and Keeton is willing to take.

The good news is, Keeton, Andersen and the rest of the Aggies staff has a whole off-season to ponder this question.

What can USU expect from Ohio? The Bobcats like to throw the football, and sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton has the arm to spread the ball around. Tettleton also has the ability to run, and the Aggies will need to keep their eyes on him so they don’t get beat on the ground.

This will be a great test for the Aggie defense and especially the secondary as it looks to contain Tettleton and his wide variety of wide receivers.

Miscellaneous

  • This is just the second time the Aggies have faced Ohio. Ahe first time came in 1995, a game in which the Aggies won 5-0.
  • The Aggies' five-game win streak is the longest such streak since 1993, the last year Utah State won a bowl game.
  • Utah State is seeking its first eight-win season since 1974.
  • Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner needs just eight tackles to become USU’s all-time leading tackler.
  • Junior running back Robert Turbin needs only one rushing score to be along on top of the Aggie Career Rushing TD list.

Conclusion The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be a great experience for the Aggies, win or lose. Andersen would love to bring home a bowl win and the Aggie seniors want to end their careers on the highest note possible. This is a very difficult game to predict, but it’s safe to say that whichever defense creates the most turnovers just might create the win as well.

Justin McKissick is a KSL.com contributor originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently seeking a Communications degree. Justin has been covering USU sports since 2011. Follow him on Twitter: @justin_sr.

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Justin McKissick

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