The 2023 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl features the 6-6 Georgia State Panthers against the 6-6 Utah State Aggies. Here is the 2023 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview.
Georgia State Panthers (6-6)
Georgia State won six games to qualify for their first bowl game since 2021. They defeated three teams who ended up qualifying for bowl games: Marshall, Coastal Carolina and Louisiana. All six losses were at the hands of bowl teams.
They score 25.8 points per game, ranking them 77th in the FBS. The Panthers pass for 200.9 yards (ranked 96th) and rush for 171.6 yards per game (ranked 51st).
Darren Grainger has led the team at quarterback this season. He has 2,364 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 67 percent completion. Four players have at least 200 receiving yards on the season. Top receiver Robert Lewis is in the transfer portal. Tallique Williams and Jacari Carter will have to pick up some of the receiving workload after having 581 and 227 receiving yards respectively during the season.
Marcus Carroll and KZ Williams were the two top running backs for the Panthers, but they are in the transfer portal. Grainger had 625 rushing yards from the quarterback position, but other running backs will need to step up.
Defensively, the Panthers allow 30.8 points per game, which ranks them 102nd in the country. They give up 144.8 rushing yards (ranked 49th) and 287.1 passing yards per game (ranked 128th). Linebacker Jontrey Hunter leads the team with 94 total tackles. Javon Denis and Kevin Swint are tied for the team lead with four sacks. Gavin Pringle has impressed in the secondary with four passes defended and four interceptions.
Utah State Aggies (6-6)
Utah State won six games to make their third straight bowl game. They did not defeat a team that qualified for a bowl game this season. All six of their losses were to teams who qualified for a bowl game.
They score 34.1 points per game, ranking 23rd in the FBS. The Aggies pass for 259.8 yards (ranked 43rd) and rush for 186.6 yards per game (ranked 26th).
At the quarterback position, the Aggies have played a few different players. Cooper Legas and McCae Hillstead have both played, passing for 1,815 and 1,005 yards respectively. Legas has thrown 18 touchdowns, while Hillstead has thrown 10. The Aggies have five receivers with at least 200 yards on the season. Jalen Royals and Terrell Vaughn have been the biggest targets with 1,023 and 847 receiving yards a piece.
Four running backs have at least 400 rushing yards this season for the Aggies. The leading rusher is Davon Booth with 734 yards and five touchdowns. Rahsul Faison and Robert Briggs Jr. have 688 and 401 rushing yards respectively.
The defense allows 33.8 points per game, ranking 115th in the country. They concede 199.1 rushing yards (ranked 125) and 216.5 passing yards per game (ranked 52nd). MJ Tafisi Jr. has been a tackling machine with 131 on the season. Blaine Spires and Paul Fitzgerald have both pressured the quarterback well with five sacks. Ike Larsen has made plays on the ball with six passes defended and four interceptions.
While Georgia State will need to find running backs who can produce, the important thing is that Grainger is playing. He can use his arm and legs to take advantage of Utah State’s lackluster defense. It might be harder for Utah State to put up points with the quarterback rotation they have going on.
Georgia State Panthers 38 Utah State Aggies 32
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