Raw Utah State Cooks Up Potato Bowl-Worthy Season

Dec 4, 2023, 12:13 PM

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LOGAN, Utah – Famous Idaho Potato Bowl-bound Utah State’s up and down season has led to questions about the ingredients at times. At different times, appearing over-cooked or under-prepared, Blake Anderson’s Aggie time has simmered into an unexpectedly nice stew.

Undersized coming into the season and loaded with injuries at the end, Utah State has managed to ‘tot’-ter through the season with a .500 record. At 6-6, the Aggies will be playing in the third-straight bowl game of the Anderson era.

RELATED: Can USU Exorcise Albertsons Stadium Demons In Bowl Game?

Anderson is one of two coaches in program history (Matt Wells 2013-15) to lead the Aggies to three consecutive bowl appearances. This will be the first time Utah State has played a Sun Belt Conference team in a postseason bowl.

After starting the season 1-3, USU flipped the script by winning three of its final four games to clinch a bowl berth.

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Graduate senior QB Cooper Legas led the Aggies passing attack, completing 138-of-213 (.648) passes for 1,815 yards (201.7 ypg) with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Junior wideout Jalen Royals came on strong after the first month of the season, finishing with 68 receptions for 1,023 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his first season with the Aggies, junior RB Davon Booth led the team with 734 rushing yards on 116 carries with five touchdowns. 68 receptions for 1,023 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Utah State averaged 34.1 points and 446.3 yards of total offense (259.8 passing, 186.6 rushing) per game this season.

Senior linebacker MJ Tafisi Jr. led the team with 131 tackles. Sophomore safety Ike Larsen finished with 91 tackles and team-highs with six pass breakups and four interceptions.

Utah State allowed opposing offenses to score 33.8 points and gain 415.6 yards of offense per game.

RELATED: USU Football To Face Georgia State In Familiar Bowl

Nine Aggies earned all-Mountain West recognition this season. Three first-team players include Tafisi Jr., Royals, and Larsen. Senior wide receiver was named to the all-MW second team.

Senior DT Hale Motu-apuaka, redshirt junior LB Anthony Switzer, junior WR Micah Davis, and junior TE Broc Lane received MW honorable mention.

Larsen, Tafisi Jr., and Vaughn were each recognized by the MW last season.

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The Aggies (6-6, 4-4) face the Georgia State Panthers (6-6, 3-5) in the 27th Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (MT) on December 23.

Find USU football on KSL Sports Zone with the voices of Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White (1988-89).

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here. 

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Raw Utah State Cooks Up Potato Bowl-Worthy Season