Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Georgia State vs Utah State
By Rory Daniels
Bowl season, a blue field, and potatoes! How much more Idaho can we get? The iconic blue tuft of Albertsons Stadium will play host to Utah State as the Mountain West representative, who will face off against Georgia State of the Sun Belt.
Where and When
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
Date: 23rd December 2023
Time: 3:30 pm (ET)
Story so far…
Neither team will enter this bowl game in a fantastic vein of form, but that said it should be a close encounter between two closely matched teams. At the time of writing the bookies have Georgia State as 1 point favourites which says it all.
Georgia State hasn’t won a game since October 21st when they overcame the University of Louisiana. The Panthers were ticking along quite nicely until that time but since their form has dropped off a cliff, and what’s more alarming is that of those five losses since, only one game has even been close.
That close game against Old Dominion was their most recent outing but they’ll be hoping for a big upturn in performance levels as they round off their season on Saturday.
As for Utah State, form has been a bit more of a see-saw throughout the year but they managed to win three of their final four regular season games.
The Aggies finished in the middle of the pack in what was a strong Mountain West conference this year – A fairly similar year to last year under third-year Head Coach, Blake Anderson.
Anderson has been bowling each of his first three seasons in Logan, and is seven years at Arkansas State, he appeared in six bowl games. However, Anderson will be looking to improve on his personal 3-5 bowl record.
Former Furman QB, Darren Grainger will be under center for the Panthers in what will be his Senior season finale. Grainger is a true dual-threat quarterback with over 2,300 career rushing yards and 22 rushing TDs to his name, who is coming off his most accurate season as a college passer (67%).
Grainger has shown a great deal of growth since coming in from the FCS level, and as much as he appears to have topped out at his current level. He can still be proud of leading Georgia State to a bowl win in 2021 and will be looking to add another win to his collection for Shawn Elliott’s men. Watch out for plays like this on Saturday!
The Panthers come into the game with a solid QB situation, which is something that cannot be said for the Aggies.
Senior starter Cooper Legas has played the majority of snaps, however, Freshman McCae Hillstead has almost 150 attempts across 7 games this year. And just to add more confusion, third-string QB, Levi Williams has also seen more action than most third-string transfers have been as well.
Maybe the situation will become clearer, once former Iowa passer, Spencer Petras arrives next season.
Prospects to watch…
Jamyest Williams, Running Back – Williams is certainly a late-round draft prospect as a Sun Belt running back, especially since he has only been playing the position for two years. Williams began his college career as a defensive back for South Carolina and registered three interceptions in his first two years. Will someone bet on SEC-level traits and take on this project?
Malik Sumter, Center – Sumter is an extremely experienced center prospect with over 3,000 snaps across 58 colligate games. A people mover in the run game despite being less than 300lbs, but with in-built leverage at 6’1 tall. Sumter is a four-time All-Sun Belt center who was a huge part of a solid Panthers rushing attack
MJ Tafisi – The former Utah linebacker has had some injury issues but he can accumulate tackles in a hurry as well as make splash plays in the backfield, stuffing runs before they even get started.
The shackles should be off for both of these teams in this game and hopefully they can play without pressure. Younger players should also get the chance to perform due to transfer portal entries, which should add to the hunger on show. That said I think Grainger could take this game over with nous and his legs and loft the trophy at Albertsons Stadium.
Georgia State 28 – 14 Utah State
NFL, CFB & NFL DRAFT
LEE WAKEFIELD IS A DEFENSIVE LINE ENTHUSIAST, CHARGERS SUFFERER, AND LONG-TIME WRITER AND PODCASTER WITH A NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS. @WAKEFIELD90 ON TWITTER/X