Back Hot Read: Offenses Slice, Dice as Idaho Wins Potato Bowl

Hot Read: Offenses Slice, Dice as Idaho Wins Potato Bowl

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Idaho reaches 600 yards of total offense in a wild 61-50 win over Colorado State.

1. Though a large lead was trimmed considerably late in the fourth quarter, Idaho made a statement by beating Colorado State 61-50 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in a game, feautring over 1,200 total yards, that broke wide open in the second quarter. The Vandals tied a school record with their ninth victory, reaching a milestone only previously met by the program back in 1998. Paul Petrino's team won seven of eight contests to finish the year. From the start of November on, Idaho was not played within single digits by one single opponent. Improving as the season went along, the Vandals ended the year with quite the exclamation point.

2. Idaho's offensive productivity, fit with home run conversions, dynamic drives and great front line play, was very impressive. Quarterback Matt Linehan had the performance of his career: 21-of-31 passing for 381 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Linehan even ran for a score. Among his touchdown passes, were strikes of 74 and 54 yards. Along with running back Isaiah Saunders'  147 yards and three scores, Linehan paced an attack that compiled 30 first downs and over 600 yards of total offense.

3. After a scoreless first quarter, the Vandals had a remarkable middle-of-the-game flurry, scoring touchdowns on five consecutive possessions and reaching the endzone on a staggering nine-of-ten offensive drives. Idaho, following the opening period, punted only on its final two possessions at the very end of regulation. A late rally brought CSU, who finished with 600 yards of offense, close in the final minutes. 

4. In addition to the big plays, the Vandals largely played efficient, mistake-free offensive football. Idaho did not have a turnover in the game, while the Rams had three to pair with ten penalties.

5. It has been a productive postseason for the Sun Belt so far. With the Vandals' victory, the league is 3-1 with two matchups remaining. Idaho is now 3-0 in bowl games all-time, with each meeting being played in Boise.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports