GAME AT A GLANCE
▪ Who: Utah State (6-6, 5-3 Mountain West) vs. Akron (7-5, 5-3 Mid-American)
▪ When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22
▪ Where: Albertsons Stadium (36,387, FieldTurf), Boise
▪ TV: ESPN
▪ Series: First meeting
▪ Tickets: $20-$90, at ticketmaster.com; $24 for FitOne Family Field Day (pre-game NFL combine-type event at 10:30 a.m., lunch and game ticket)
▪ Notable events: Team arrivals and bowling, Dec. 18; Humanitarian Awards dinner, Dec. 19; Winter sports or go-kart racing day, Dec. 20; FCA breakfast, Mash Bash at The Village, Dec. 21
UTAH STATE AT A GLANCE
▪ Coach: Matt Wells (25-15, three years)
▪ Season recap: The Aggies lost nonconference games to Washington and Utah of the Pac-12, but started 4-2, including a 52-26 win over Boise State. They couldn’t keep their spot in the Mountain Division driver’s seat, going 2-4 after beating the Broncos, losing to San Diego State, New Mexico, Air Force and BYU.
▪ Offensive stats: 29.7 points per game (60th in FBS), 370.8 yards per game (92nd), 167.9 rushing yards per game (70th), 202.9 passing yards per game (82nd).
▪ Offensive player to watch: Senior QB Chuckie Keeton has missed 25 of the Aggies’ past 40 games with knee injuries, but still has the school record with 61 TD passes.
▪ Defensive stats: 27.0 points allowed per game (64th in FBS), 336.7 yards allowed per game (22nd), 156.2 rushing yards allowed per game (51st), 180.4 passing yards allowed per game (14th).
▪ Defensive player to watch: Junior LB Nick Vigil is tied for third nationally with 140 tackles and is second on the team with 12.5 tackles for loss. He also has a rushing TD.
AKRON AT A GLANCE
▪ Coach: Terry Bowden (18-30, four years at Akron; 158-92-2, 22 years)
▪ Season recap: Zips won four straight to clinch second-ever bowl (first since 2005). All seven wins came against teams that finished with losing records, but two losses came where Akron allowed only 14 points.
▪ Offensive stats: 24.0 points per game (100th in FBS), 364.1 yards per game (98th), 169.5 rushing yards per game (67th), 193.8 passing yards per game (96th).
▪ Offensive player to watch: Still listed as a receiver/linebacker, sophomore Jerome Lane switched from defense this season and the 6-3, 220-pounder leads with 750 yards on 35 catches and eight TDs.
▪ Defensive stats: 21.5 points allowed per game (27th in FBS), 328.5 yards allowed per game (17th), 89.8 rushing yards allowed per game (3rd), 238.8 passing yards allowed per game (87th).
▪ Defensive player to watch: Senior LB Jatavis Brown is the MAC Defensive Player of the Year (led the Zips with 108 tackles, 17.5 for loss and 10.5 sacks).