Get ready for the 2023 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, where Sun Belt and Mountain West teams will collide in a spud-tacular showdown! These are the top two G5 conferences and should make for an entertaining matchup. Georgia State is one of 12 Sun Belt teams going bowling the season, a conference record and tops in the nation. So much for the SEC just wanting more. Utah State will represent the Moutain West in the bowl game. The Mountain West has sent seven teams to bowl games, the fourth time in five years that at least seven teams have competed in the postseason. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. It’s safe to say that the potato spirit is alive and well in college football! Let’s peel away from the potato banter and dive into the preview before our editors threaten to mash our creative spud streak.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Details

Location: Albertsons Stadium | Boise, Idaho.
Date: Saturday, December 23
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Line: USU -2.5
Over/Under: 59.5

Georgia State Preview

Georgia State is making its Famous Idaho Potato Bowl debut. The Panthers boast a 3-2 bowl record since joining the FBS in 2010. Head Coach Shawn Elliott, with a 40-44 overall record, has led the Panthers to five bowl games, leading them to each of their three wins. Elliott spoke of the excitement for his team to go to a bowl and explore a new part of the country. “To be able to take our players to a part of the country they’ve never been to and experience things they’ve never experienced is exciting. That’s what these bowl games are about.” The bowl game also allows the Panthers to snap a five-game losing streak to end the regular season.

Offensively the Panthers will be led by quarterback Darren Grainger and running back Marcus Carroll. Grainger was the MVP of the 2021 TaxAct Camellia Bowl. Grainger is GSU’s career leader in total offense, touchdown passes, and touchdown responsibility, ranking second in passing yards and fourth in rushing yards. Carroll led the Sun Belt and is seventh nationally with 1,350 yards rushing. He is eighth in the country with 112.5 yards per game and has 13 touchdowns on the ground. The Panthers will be missing wide receiver Robert Lewis who entered the Transfer Portal at the end of the season. Lewis, who committed to Auburn, led the Panthers with 70 receptions and seven receiving touchdowns this season.

 

Utah State Preview

Utah State holds the distinction of making its fifth appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, marking the most appearances by any school in the postseason. Head Coach Blake Anderson, now in his third season at Utah State, has accumulated a commendable 23-16 record and has qualified for a bowl game each year. With an overall coaching record of 74-53 spanning 10 seasons, Anderson is known for fostering explosive offenses, a trend that continues to define the Aggies this season.

Utah State has multiple quarterbacks, Levi Williams and Cooper Legas, with a combined record of 3-1 in all-time bowl games. During his time at Wyoming, Williams achieved a 2-0 record in bowl games. Notably, he secured a 38-17 victory against Georgia State in the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. The quarterback has an impressive weapon in wide receiver Jalen Royals. Royals has 68 receptions, for 1,023 yards and 14 touchdowns, tying a school record. He ranks second nationally for touchdowns this season, and he leads the nation with an outstanding seven scoring receptions of 50 yards or more.

We would be remiss if we didn’t call out Aggies senior linebacker MJ Tafisi, Jr. Tafisi, recognized as a first-team All-Mountain West selection, currently stands out as the conference leader and ranks eighth nationally with an impressive 10.9 tackles per game. Throughout the season, he has amassed a total of 131 tackles, consistently achieving at least 10 tackles in eight consecutive games.

 

Prediction

Even though this is the first meeting between the two teams, Elliott spoke of the familiarity with Anderson. “They’re a good offensive football team,” Elliott said. “I know their head coach (Blake Anderson) – he’s an old Sun Belt guy from Arkansas State. So we’ve played him a few times, and he’s always going to have a well-coached, well-prepared football team. We have to go out and play very well.” The biggest question heading into the game is if that familiarity can limit or slow down the Aggie offense. The Panthers have been gashed in the back half of the season. That doesn’t bode well on the blue turf in Boise.

Prediction: Utah State 42 Georgia State 28

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Akash Mahi, a dedicated enthusiast of the game, is a recognized expert in the domain of tennis balls. With a keen understanding of materials and aerodynamics, he has contributed to the evolution of tennis ball design, enhancing playability and performance. Mahi's expertise continues to impact both casual players and professionals alike.