Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview: Toledo, Utah State Meet in a Battle Between MACtion and WACtion

Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

The second bowl of the college football postseason actually features a team that plays -- gasp -- defense. But can that team win, or will MACtion break out?

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Why it exists: To prove that the Idaho potato isn't really all that famous, because something that is famous doesn't need to describe itself as famous

The Teams: Toledo and Utah State

How Toledo got here: #MACtion. The Rockets won eight in a row at one point this year, including a victory against Big East title contender Cincinnati. That included four straight games when Toledo scored at least 37 points, including a 50-35 win against Central Michigan and a 52-47 victory at Eastern Michigan. Given that the sole loss at that point was a seven-point overtime defeat at Arizona, Toledo was getting some poll consideration before they dropped two straight against Ball State and at BCS-bound Northern Illinois to deep-six their conference hopes. Opponents actually outgained Toledo on average, churning out 464.1 yards a game to 456.1 for the Rockets. But Toledo also wasn't extraordinarily lucky, averaging an advantage of slightly more than half a turnover per game.

How Utah State got here: With perhaps the best season in school history. The Aggies won 10 games for the first time in their history and claimed the final WAC football championship -- and the first conference title of any kind for Utah State since their 1997 share of the Big West crown. State also beat Utah 27-20 in overtime and its two losses came by a total of five points -- a 16-14 defeat at Wisconsin and a 6-3 loss at BYU. The Aggies mix a powerful offense, averaging 459.7 yards a game, with a defense that yields just 322.7 yards per contest, the best in the WAC. They average almost 3.3 sacks a game, good for eighth in the nation.

College football fans care because: This is actually a pretty good mid-major bowl game for mid-December.

SEC fans care because: College football defense has returned, at least with Utah State.

Watch this game if...: You want to see a game that might actually be better than some of the BCS bowls.

The result: Utah State 34, Toledo 27

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