Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview: Ohio, Utah State and the Limits of Luck

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, December 17, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: An opportunity to remind the rest of the country that Idaho does actually exist. And a chance to see someone other than Boise State play on the famous blue turf.

The Sponsor: I really hope you don't need help with this one.

The Teams: Ohio and Utah State

How Ohio got here: By kicking a lot of field goals. Matt Weller led the nation with 33 attempts and was second in the country with 24 successful kicks. Which of course means that he would have been the most important player on Alabama or LSU's team, but I digress. The Bobcats also ran for more than 200 yards a game, despite no player averaging 90 or more, and had enough of a passing game to have the third-best total offense in the offense-happy MAC. (How many times do you get to say that?) The trip to Rutgers was the only game Ohio lost convincingly; the three other losses came by a combined seven points.

How Utah State got here: By being incredibly hot and luck at the same time. The Aggies went on a five-game winning streak to finish the season that included victories by four, one, seven in double-overtime, four and three. That was weeks after what you might more clearly remember about Utah State: The thrilling game against Auburn that barely wound up as a 42-38 Tigers victory and was the first sign that the Auburn defense was going to be a typical Ted Roof defense somewhat lacking this year. In between, Utah State also lost some other heartbreakers, including a one-point loss to Colorado State in double-overtime.

College football fans care because: Well, both Ohio and Utah State are intriguing as bowl teams. But I don't really have anything beyond that ...

SEC fans care because: If Ohio wins by more than four points, we can laugh about how they're better than Auburn.

Watch this game if...: You like field goals and close games. You know who I'm talking about there.

The result: Ohio 38, Utah State 35

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