Idaho, Colorado State Accept Invites to Play in 20th Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

December 4, 2016 / For Immediate Release

Idaho, Colorado State Accept Invites to Play in 20th Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Matchup slated for Thursday, Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. MST

BOISE, Idaho – The University of Idaho (8-4) of the Sun Belt Conference and Colorado State University (7-5) of the Mountain West Conference have accepted invitations to play in the 20th Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. MST. The game will take place at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State University and will be aired by ESPN and ESPN Radio. This is the two schools’ eighth meeting and first bowl matchup. CSU has the edge in the all-time series at 4-3, last hosting Idaho in 2010.

About Idaho

With an 8-4 record the Vandals are bowl eligible for the first time since 2009. Idaho finished the regular season with a 6-2 mark in league action, its first winning record since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. This is the team’s third bowl berth in school history, as well as its third berth to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Vandals hold a 2-0 mark in postseason play, with a win over Southern Mississippi (42-35) in 1998 at what was formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl, and a thrilling victory over Bowling Green (43-42) in 2009 at the former Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl.

Head Coach Paul Petrino’s squad has won six of its last seven games, averaging 40.7 points in its last three matchups. Idaho is powered by a high-scoring offense led by junior quarterback Matt Linehan. He ranks fifth in the Vandals’ record book with 8,315 career yards. Senior kicker Austin Rehkow is tied for first in the FBS with 2.17 field goals per game, splitting the uprights with a .897 accuracy rating. He holds Idaho’s single-season record with 26 this year. On the defensive side of the ball junior transfer Aikeem Coleman has racked up eight sacks on the season, ranking 35th in the nation.

About Colorado State
Second year Head Coach Mike Bobo has led Colorado State to its fourth consecutive bowl appearance, and first appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Rams (7-5, 5-3 MW) finished the regular season winning five of their last seven games, including a dominant road performance against Mountain West champions San Diego State. CSU is averaging 47.4 points and 520.6 yards over the past 5 contests.

Three players were named first-team all-Mountain West, including CSU’s standout junior wide receiver Michael Gallup, who has scored a touchdown in seven consecutive games and leads the MW with 11 receiving touchdowns on the year. Fellow all-conference teammate Fred Zerblis leads the offensive line, standing guard in front of junior quarterback Nick Stevens, who regained starting responsibilities following an injury to Collin Hill in early October. Stevens has thrown eight touchdowns and just one interception since returning to the starting position against Boise State on Oct. 15. The Rams’ third first-team all-MW recipient is punter Hayden Hunt. The only punter named to ESPN’s Preseason All-America team has downed 50 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line this season, with only two touchbacks.

“We are very excited about this year’s matchup between the University of Idaho and Colorado State University,” said Kevin McDonald, Executive Director, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. “It will be great to host Idaho for the third time with its great local and regional fan base. They always bring excitement to the city of Boise. We are also thrilled to welcome Colorado State for the first time and look forward to its electric offense.”

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is one of 13 owned and operated postseason bowl games by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

Tickets for the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl are available for purchase at www.ticketmaster.com. In celebration of the 20th annual bowl game, tickets will start at $20 for reserved seating in the South End Zone. Tickets for reserved seating in the upper curves are on sale for $30, while main stadium seating is priced at $50 and Stadium Club seats are priced at $90. A limited number of suites, club seats and loge boxes are available by contacting the Boise State Athletic Ticket Office at (208) 426-4737. Tickets for those areas start at $100.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl proceeds provide tickets and/or contributions to Idaho Charities that include the United Way, Optimist Youth Football, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boise School District, Treasure Valley YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Scouts and Armed Forces personnel.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl(Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl(Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Montgomery Kickoff Classic (Montgomery, Ala.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Uncasville, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); State Farm Armed Forces Classic (Honolulu); State Farm Champions Classic(New York City); Tire Pros Invitational (Orlando, Fla.) and Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.)

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ESPN Media Contact: Rachel Margolis Siegal at 860-766-2798 or [email protected]