2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview
Idaho gets to stay in state for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and take on the Colorado State Rams.
The Vandals started the season at 4-4, but finished with four straight wins to finish the season at 8-4. Their wins over bowl eligible teams include Louisiana Lafayette and South Alabama. All of their losses were to solid teams that are: Washington, Washington State, Troy and Appalachian State.
Matt Linehan has been a solid starting quarterback with 2,803 passing yards and 15 touchdowns, with only 10 interceptions. He spreads the ball around well, with five receivers who have over 300 receiving yards. Tight end Trent Cowan has been the most impressive this season with 532 yards on 46 receptions for six touchdowns.
Idaho has two running backs with over 500 rushing yards and they split the carries almost evenly. Aaron Duckworth is the speed guy with 619 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while Isaiah Saunders is the power back 584 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
The run defense of the Vandals is above average with 144 rushing yards allowed per game. Pass defense is the bad part of the defense, as the allow 270 yards passing per game.
Junior Aikeem Coleman leads the team with eight sacks on the season and will be tasked with pressuring Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens.
Forcing turnovers comes easily to two defenders on the Vandals. Linebacker Kaden Eliss and defensive back Jayshawn Jordan both have five interceptions on the season
Colorado State Rams
Colorado State finished the season at 7-5 and beat teams of not like San Diego State and New Mexico, both of which are bowl eligible. All five of their losses came to bowl eligible teams.
Nick Stevens has not had a great season, but battled injury early in the season. He finished with 1,491 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, but protected the football with only three interceptions.
There is only one truly productive receiver for Colorado State, Michael Gallup. He finished with 1,164 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. This has been particularly impressive given the injury issues at quarterback.
The Rams have three running backs of over 500 rushing yards. Daylin Dawkins is the scat back with 801 yards. Marvin Kinsey and Izzy Matthews are bigger backs and have 546 rushing yards.
Colorado State gives up a lot of rushing yards at 213 allowed per game, bur fortunately the pass defense is better giving up 188.7 passing yards allowed.
Kevin Davis has been there best defensive player this season at weak-side linebacker and had 19 tackles against Colorado, 17 of which were solo tackles. He has also forced four fumbles, demonstrating his play-making ability.