Oh, Boise! CSU to take on Idaho Van­dals

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Mike Bro­hard

fort collins» Colorado State met its goal of reach­ing a fourth con­sec­u­tive bowl game, and it will mean a se­cond game this sea­son on the blue turf of Al­bert­sons Sta­dium.

Colorado State learned Sun­day it will play the Idaho Van­dals in the Fa­mous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 22, with a 5 p.m. kick­off on ESPN.

“We’re ex­cited. For the guys that have played here in the time I have, we haven’t got­ten a win on the blue turf, so it’s go­ing to be an op­por­tu­nity for us to go out and do that,” CSU se­nior tight end Nolan Per­alta said. “Just an­other chance to go play foot­ball, and we love do­ing that, es­pe­cially for the se­niors who are ex­cited to go out and fin­ish the sea­son the right way.”

That blue turf is the home of Boise State, which beat the Rams 28-23 there this sea­son and is 5-0 against CSU all time in a se­ries that be­gan in 2011.

The Rams (7-5) head into the bowl game hav­ing won four of their past five games. Idaho, in its penul­ti­mate year as an FBS team — the Van­dals are drop­ping down to FCS start­ing in 2018 — is 8-4 and fin­ished fourth in the Sun Belt Con­fer­ence.

The Van­dals are av­er­ag­ing 28.3 points per game but are al­low­ing 29.8, and al­low more yards (414) than they amass (379). They have not beaten an op­po­nent with a win­ning record this sea­son but did beat CSU 31-29 in 2009, the last time the teams met in Idaho.

The two have one com­mon op­po­nent, UNLV, both of whom they de­feated in Las Ve­gas. Idaho won 33-30, while the Rams won 42-23.

CSU is on the hook to sell 8,000 tick­ets for the game. Judg­ing from fan re­ac­tion on so­cial media, that will be a dif­fi­cult num­ber to meet. The pay­out for the game is $325,000, listed as the se­cond smallest of the 40 bowl games, but that money is pooled in the over­all con­fer­ence take. Colorado State will have a travel bud­get from the Moun­tain West based on ho­tel and travel costs.

The play­ers had a feel­ing they were headed to Boise.

“I think we’re play­ing the best we have played all sea­son,” line­backer Kevin Davis said. “We’re play­ing of­fense, de­fense, spe­cial teams. … We’re play­ing at our best over­all, so it’s very ex­cit­ing.”

The Moun­tain West is send­ing seven teams to the post­sea­son. Con­fer­ence cham­pion San Diego State, which beat Wy­oming 27-24 on Satur­day, is headed to the Las Ve­gas Bowl, while the Cow­boys are headed to the Poinsettia Bowl. Boise State will play in the Cac­tus Bowl, fill­ing a Pac-12 slot, New Mex­ico and Hawaii are stay­ing home for the New Mex­ico and Hawaii bowls, and Air Force is headed to the Ari­zona Bowl.

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