2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick
For the whole sack of potatoes.
The 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is one of the few bowl games in the northern half of the United States. Guess that’s what happens this time of year.
On the Smurf Turf at Boise State, two teams will do battle for a bowl championship. Also making the teams happy: a bowl payout of almost a million bucks. Those contenders for the trophy are the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Western Michigan Broncos. In a contest of MAC vs. FBS independent, who mashes the competition?
2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info
|Friday, December 21, 2018, 4:00pm ET (1:00pm PT)|
|Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho|
|Broadcast on ESPN|
|$950,000 payout (Link: College Football Poll)|
|BYU is a 12-point favorite|
2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Western Michigan Broncos
|7-5 (5-3 MAC); T-2nd in MAC West|
|Best Win: Northern Illinois|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 36th, Total Offense 30th, Rushing Offense 32nd, 3rd Downs 97th, Time of Possession 9th, Turnover Margin T-58th, Sacks Allowed 25th, Red Zone T-87th|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense T-102nd, Total Defense 51st, Rushing Defense 72nd, Opponent 3rd Downs 26th, Sacks Per Game T-50th, TFL Per Game T-32nd, Interceptions T-74th, Opponent Red Zone 115th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-93rd, Punts Per Game T-78th|
2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: BYU Cougars
|6-6; FBS independent|
|Best Win: Wisconsin|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 95th, Total Offense 109th, Rushing Offense 89th, 3rd Downs 94th, Time of Possession 38th, Turnover Margin T-58th, Sacks Allowed T-64th, Red Zone T-73rd|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 28th, Total Defense 18th, Rushing Defense 25th, Opponent 3rd Downs 50th, Sacks Per Game T-75th, TFL Per Game T-120th, Interceptions T-89th, Opponent Red Zone T-66th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-89th, Punts Per Game T-51st|
2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Head-to-Head
The Idaho Potato Bowl will be the sixth all-time meeting between BYU and Western Michigan.
BYU leads the all-time series, 3-2.
Their most recent meeting came in 1970, in which Western Michigan won, 35-17. BYU creamed the Broncos a few times in the 1960s, which makes no difference whatsoever in this game. (Link: Winsipedia)
2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Most Likely Standout Player
Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU. Takitaki is a senior about to play in his Cougars finale, but as he hopes to catch the attention of NFL scouts, it could be a day in which he whips the competition. He amassed 99 tackles during the season and figures to add to that total, getting him over 100 for the year. He had double-digit tackles in a game five times, including four of the last five games prior to the bowl. Takitaki may be the best player on BYU’s defense, which itself could be the best unit on the field in this game.
2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Pick
When it comes to hashing out who will win the Idaho Potato Bowl, we must consider several elements. Neither team is great, but each has a strength. It so happens that those strengths will be on the field at the same time when the WMU offense meets the BYU defense.
BYU hopes to play with chips on their shoulder after losing the Holy War game against Utah in a close contest. Western Michigan is no half-baked team, either, having gone 7-5 and forming a reasonable offensive football team. The problem for the Broncos is that while they can move the ball, they get roasted on defense. These Broncos had a six-game win streak in the middle of the season, beating up many of the lesser teams in the MAC as well as inferior FBS and FCS opponents. That got them to bowl eligibility, but it was followed by a three-game losing streak. In it, their defense got fried for a total of 152 points in three games. Sure, those skewed the numbers for the whole season, but Syracuse hung 55 on the Broncos as well.
Meanwhile, BYU is loaded with defense and they say that good defense beats good offense. This game will once again put that theory to the test. Western Michigan runs for over 200 yards per game on average, but will they be able to wedge in against the BYU defense?
For whatever reason, we’re getting hungry.