ATHENS, Ohio – Following a 2011 season where the Ohio University football team (9-4; 6-2) recorded nine wins for just the sixth time in school history and set nine team records, the Bobcats have been invited to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 17 in Boise, Idaho.
The Bobcats will take on Utah State (7-5; 5-2) on ESPN, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (ET) inside Bronco Stadium. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is the second game of the entire bowl calendar and the only one in its timeslot.
“This is a great bowl with a long-standing tradition and we are honored to be a part of the experience,” said athletic director Jim Schaus. “Having an opportunity to compete in a third straight bowl game is a tremendous step for our football program and we couldn’t be happier to play on the blue turf in Boise.”
Ohio will play in a bowl game for the third straight season and will make its fourth bowl appearance in the last six seasons. The Bobcats will make their sixth bowl appearance all-time. A year ago, the Bobcats represented the Mid-American Conference in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
“The Ohio University football program is extremely excited for this wonderful opportunity in Boise,” said head coach Frank Solich. “For the past two years, this has been one of the premier bowl games for the Mid-American Conference. I couldn’t be happier for our team and our 17 seniors, who have given so much to this program.”
Ohio enters the game after it won the MAC East Division crown for the third time in the last six years. The Bobcats got off to the best start to a season since 1976 as they started 3-0. Ohio closed the regular season on a high note as it posted five straight victories. Following the year, the Bobcats’ earned a league-best 11 spots on the All-MAC team.
Offensively, sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) set 12 single-season records, accounted for 35 touchdowns (26 passing; 9 rushing) and 3,709 total yards of offense. Senior LaVon Brazill (Lantana, Fla.) caught a team-best 10 receiving touchdowns and became the first wide receiver in school history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards.
Defensively, senior linebacker Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.) anchored a defensive unit that ranked second in the league in points allowed (22.1 points per game). Keller finished the year with team-best 103 tackles.
“We’re delighted that Ohio and Utah State will be the match-up in our Bowl,” said Kevin McDonald, Executive Director, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. “Both teams have well-coached, resurgent programs with powerful offenses so the fans are sure to see a competitive and entertaining game on the blue turf in Boise.”
Utah State finished the year with five-straight victories and brings the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing attack into Bronco Stadium. Utah State faced a tough out-of-conference schedule and lost narrowly to two national powers, Auburn and BYU. Utah State’s last bowl appearance was in 1997 vs. Cincinnati in the same venue, the formerly-named Humanitarian Bowl. Overall, this will be Utah State’s seventh bowl appearance in the program’s history.