Oh, Boise! CSU to take on Idaho Vandals
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.