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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl preview: Utah St. vs. Toledo

Keeton and the Aggies take on Fluellen and the Rockets. Dave Miller

Print This December 15, 2012, 07:45 AM EST

The 2012-13 college football postseason kicks off Saturday with two games. After the New Mexico Bowl game between Arizona and Nevada takes place, Utah State and Toledo will battle in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Let's take a look at some of the most important aspects of this matchup between the Aggies and the Rockets.

Toledo (9-3) vs. Utah State (10-2) at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Boise, Idaho

• A tale of two defenses: Utah State has been one of the stingiest defenses in the nation this fall, as the team is giving up just 4.3 yards per play. The unit is led by safety Will Davis, who has five interceptions and 16 pass breakups. The defense was one of the big reasons why the WAC champions played like a true BCS buster all season long. If a couple of missed field goals had gone through the uprights, we could be talking about Utah State in the Orange Bowl and not Northern Illinois. The Aggies' 10 wins are the most in school history, and their two losses to BYU and Wisconsin were by a combined five points. Meanwhile, Toledo's defense ranks 107th nationally, as the unit is giving up 6.3 yards per play. Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton and running back Kerwynn Williams could put up big numbers in Boise on Saturday.

David FluellenUS PRESSWIREDavid Fluellen was a first-team, all-MAC selection after rushing for 1,460 yards and 13 touchdowns.

• Can the Rockets give the Aggies' defense fits?: Under first-year head coach Matt Campbell, Toledo suffered just three losses, as its success was due mostly to its prolific offense. Running back David Fluellen averages 132.7 rushing yards per game, and stopping him will be Utah State's main priority. Fluellen rushed for more than 200 yards three times this fall, and he was a first-team, all-MAC selection after rushing for 1,460 yards and 13 touchdowns. The junior is also a nice pass-catching threat out of the backfield, logging 32 receptions on the year. Toledo averages nearly 33 points per game and more than 456 total yards, but the Aggies' defense is stout, particularly against the rush.

• The Keeton/Williams combo: Utah State's talented backfield will pose serious problems for Toledo's soft defense. Behind first-team All-WAC offensive linemen Tyler Larsen and Eric Schultz, the dual-threat Keeton recorded 3,144 yards through the air and 527 yards on the ground this fall, and he limited his turnovers in the team's marquee matchups. He has seven rushing scores in his last six games, so his dual-threat capabilities will provide a tough matchup for Toledo. Meanwhile, Williams was a first-team, all-conference selection after recording 17 touchdowns, and he leads the Aggies in rushing, receiving, touchdowns and scoring. Utah State usually has no problem moving down the field immediately after kickoff, as the Aggies have outscored opponents 131-6 in the first quarter this season. The Rockets, quite simply, have to be able to sustain that initial early storm from the Aggies.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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