Two rising college football programs will meet next week at Bronco Stadium in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
No. 18 Utah State (10-2) swept through the Western Athletic Conference this season for its first outright conference title since 1936. Coach Gary Andersen, who led the Aggies to a breakthrough appearance in the Potato Bowl last year, has renewed his commitment to the program that joins the Mountain West next year.
He was named the WAC Coach of the Year on Monday.
The future is very bright because of what the administration has done, said Andersen, who has secured additional funding for assistant coach salaries. Its the right place for me. I love these kids. Its not about chasing money or doing anything like that. Its about being around quality young men and kids I like to coach. I know this, when I look at these two teams, theyre similar because theyre tough-minded, physical kids that love the game of football.
Toledo (9-3) is 26-12 in the past three seasons. The Rockets lost coach Tim Beckman to Illinois after last season but replaced him with offensive coordinator Matt Campbell, a 33-year-old who has added to the programs momentum.
The Rockets beat Big East co-champion Cincinnati this season and have road losses to Arizona (in overtime), which spent time in the Top 25, and Northern Illinois (by seven points), the Mid-American Conference champion that will play in the Orange Bowl.
The Rockets are eager for another spotlight game.
You put yourself up against a great, quality program and you get to see where your program is at, Campbell said. Coach (Andersen) hit it right on the head these are two teams and two programs that attitude and effort are at the foundation of what theyre built on.
The Potato Bowl kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15.
WAC HONORS TWO VANDALS
Senior cornerback Gary Walker and senior kicker Trey Farquhar have been named to the All-WAC team.
Walker led the Vandals in tackles with 99. He also had one interception, recovered a fumble and forced another.
Farquhar made 19-of-25 field goal attempts, including a long of 55 yards. He was 19-of-19 on PATs and led the team in scoring (76 points).
COMPLETE ALL-WAC TEAM, S4