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BOISE -- Aggie Nation has been waiting for this moment for 14 long years. At 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, the wait was finally over as Utah State and Ohio kicked off the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Bronco Stadium.
The game was televised nationally on ESPN and featured a packed house in Boise. Along with that, the social media world was buzzing with excitement. It was so intense at one point that Utah State actually started trending nationally on Twitter.
Early on, Utah State looked to make a statement with a 4th-down conversion from the 1-yard line. But, it didn't work out so well for the Aggies.
Justin McKissick (@justin_sr) wrote, "Turbin stopped on the ¼-yard line. Turnover on downs, good call to go for it in my eyes. I don't get paid to make decisions though."
But the Aggies didn't leave that end of the field without being rewarded.
On the very next play, Utah State Football (@USUFootball) tweeted, "Ohio QB fumbles in the end zone, recovers, and goes out of endzone for the safety."
Utah State wasn't done yet, however. The Aggies marched back down the field to the 2-yard line before a potentially costly turnover stopped them in their tracks.
Kraig Williams (@DesNewsKraig) wrote, "Kennedy throws an INT at the USU 2-yard line. Ohio takes over. Aggies are clearly trying to get another safety."
But thanks to the miracle of instant-replay technology, the referees got a second look at the play and changed the call. Utah State then attempted a field-goal, which they made, however there was a personal foul on the play which gave the Aggies the football 1st-and-10.
Three plays later, USU finally hit paydirt.
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville) wrote, "Adam Kennedy to Tarren Lloyd for a USU touchdown!"
HJ Sports (@hjsports) wrote, "That was a 9-play, 50-yard drive by the Aggies. It took 4:23 off the clock. USU owned the 1st quarter and the score reflects that."
Even with the Aggies up 9-0 going into the second quarter, there were some rumblings on Twitter on the questionable play-calling by Utah State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin, namely the lack of Robert Turbin in the offense.
James Rust (@espn700jimmer) tweeted, "Why does Robert Turbin not get the football more?"
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville) wrote, "Dave Baldwin has just called his 134th bubble screen of the quarter."
Jordan Brown (@jobrown5509) commented, "Baldwin's play calling never ceases to amaze me. Thank the Lord that USU has raw athletes."
Despite that, the energy at the game was heavily in favor of the Aggies.
Riley Jensen (@RileyJensen), who was at Bronco Stadium, tweeted, "Live at the USU game, feels like Ohio is playing with little energy. USU is excited to be here."
Ohio finally hit the scoreboard as Derek Roback punched in a 22-yard touchdown to make the score 9-7.
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville) wrote, "Utah State will take a 9-7 lead into halftime. Very low-scoring Potato Bowl. I was expecting the opposite."
Even with the low score, it was just a matter of time before someone began lighting up the scoreboard.
That person was Utah State's Michael Smith.
After Tavaris McMillan personally forced Ohio to go three- and-out, Smith took the field and began a rushing rampage.
HJ Sports (@hjsports) tweeted, "A 63-yard TD run by Michael Smith gives the Aggies a 16-7 lead with 12:19 left in the 3rd quarter."
After a short field goal by Ohio brought the score to 16- 10, Smith struck again.
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville) tweeted, "Michael Smith with an 11-yard touchdown run. He's having a career game right now."
CBS Sports College Football Blog (@EyeonCFB) wrote, "Michael Smith has been a beast in the 3rd quarter, adding another rushing TD and pushing USU to a 23-10 lead. Smith has 11 rushes, 150 yards, 2 TD's."
After a quick strike touchdown to Lavon Brazill for Ohio, the Bobcats pulled within 23-17.
On the second play after the touchdown, Chuckie Keeton made a rare-appearance on the field after Adam Kennedy went down with a leg injury.
Keeton gained nine yards on his first play from scrimmage since Nov. 5th, but his first series resulted in a punt.
Graydon Johns (@gjohns) tweeted, "End of 3rd quarter and USU up 23-17. 15 minutes to go folks."
Although Bobby Wagner has been rather quiet in comparison to other games, he was able to break a WAC record by the end of the third quarter.
HJ Sports (@hjsports) wrote, "Wagner had six tackles by the end of the third quarter. That means he is now the WAC's all-time leading tackler."
As the fourth quarter began, the big question was which quarterback would trot back out on the field.
Tyler D. Huskinson (@TDHuskiSports) gave us the answer when he tweeted, "USU has the ball at their own 11-yard line and AK2 (Adam Kennedy) is back out on the field."
Even with Kennedy under center once again, very little scoring ensued on both sides of the field.
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville) tweeted, "This is all going to come down to the Utah State defense."
Scott Garrard (@ScottyGKFan) also commented, "This isn't going to end well."
Sammy Hislop (@MrHislop) wrote, "Conservative Aggie football. We all saw this coming."
After a punt by Utah State into Ohio territory, the Aggies needed to stop the Bobcats with 2:02 remaining.
The Upset Blog (@TheUpsetBlog) tweeted, "Never a dull moment with Utah State."
Ohio drove all the way to the USU 11-yard line with 45 seconds remaining. On 4th-and-6, Ohio WR LaVon Brazill caught the ball at the 1-yard line and was tackled. However, the official called it a touchdown.
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville)(@TonyAggieville) wrote, "Replays indicate that Brazill was clearly down."
After several clarifications from the officials, the touchdown did not count but Ohio retained possession of the ball at the 1-yard line.
After a stop on first down, Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton punched in a touchdown on a broken play, giving the Bobcats the lead.
With the extra-point made, Ohio knocked off Utah State 24- 23 in a heartbreaking loss for the Aggies.
Tony Jones (@TonyAggieville) wrote, "Utah State came up short in a game it had no business losing."
Justin McKissick (@justin_sr) tweeted, "This loss goes on the play- caller. Goodbye Baldwin."
Despite the disappointing loss, it was a bright season for the Aggies in many respects.
USU Aggies (@USUAggies) tweeted, "We love our Aggies! Hold your heads high; be proud of a WINNING season! GO AGGIES!"
It really was a phenomenal turnaround for Utah State this season. Unfortunately, like so many times previous, they just came up a little bit short.
Eric Frandsen (@efrandsen) finished it all up, saying, "Missed opportunities. That is the story of the USU season. What could have been an extremely special season ends in a loss."