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PREVIEW: UI Vandals VS CSU Rams in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Idaho Vandals take on the Colorado State University Rams at Albertson's Stadium in Boise, Idaho for the Idaho Potato Bowl

Here is a look at my year in terms of attending sporting events:

  • 12/26/2015 - Clippers at Jazz
  • 3/28/2016 - Kobe’s farewell against Jazz
  • 10/1/2016 - Vandal Homecoming football against Troy
  • 12/8/2016 - Warriors at Jazz
  • TODAY - CSU Rams VS Idaho Vandals in Boise, ID

Trust me, I was excited about all of the events I’ve attended this year. Sure, Kobe and the Lakers got destroyed that game, and the Vandals did lose their homecoming game, but live games never disappoint. The one I’ll be attending today is only a little different—it’s a rare Vandal bowl game.

After attending the University of Idaho for six years, I consider Moscow, Idaho a second home. In high school, they always push “school spirit” and how important it was (and it was important), but school spirit never had more meaning until I got the full Vandal experience. That Vandal experience came with an awesome social life, fulfilling academic life, and woes of having bottom tier basketball and football teams. The Vandals may not have the winningest teams in my favorite sports, but the feeling when we DO win is just that much sweeter. Plus, who doesn’t like an underdog?

There are some big differences between the Rams and Vandals bowl history. While the Rams have been to 15 bowl games since 1949 with a 6W-9L record, the Vandals have only been to two bowl games with a record of 2W-0L. See what I mean by a “rare” Vandal bowl game? This will also be CSU’s fourth straight bowl game, which might give them a bit of an edge in this one.

According to OddsShark, the spread is in CSU’s favor 39.3-28.3. A counter to that would be that the Vandals started the season at 2W-3L, but got hot down the stretch, winning six of their last seven games. Will the Vandals carry that momentum through the long break in games, or will the cold weather shake the dome-dwelling “tribe from the North”?

According to that same OddsShark link above, these two teams have met twice in their history, and the numbers make for an interesting story. October 3, 2009, the Vandals came out on top 31-29 with both teams virtually putting up identical numbers. September 25, 2010, the Rams came out on top 36-34, with nearly identical stats except for the Rams +40 rushing yards. Notice a pattern here? I think the Vandals are due for another two-point win… let’s say 30-28?

I could have attended the Humanitarian Bowl against Bowling Green in 2009, but terrible road conditions kept me stranded in Idaho Falls. I watched the game on TV, so I didn’t miss Coach Robb Akey’s “you’re gonna love it” halftime interview and the game-winning two-point conversion in the fourth quarter as time expired. I was only a sophomore at the time, but I’ve never been so excited about a win in my life. Today, all I’m hoping for is a well-fought game on both sides, but it would be amazing to see the Vandals get this win on the blue turf in Boise, clutch plays or not.

I will do my best to post some updates on Twitter @AbstractSports, but my fingers may freeze off at some point with a cold 25-degree high forecast. But I will definitely be compiling a fun story of the trip to Boise on the blog's Instagram @abstractsports. Follow us for some second-row bowl game shenanigans.

As a proud University of Idaho alumnus, I just have to say one more thing:

GOOOOOOOO VANDALS!

Kyle Richards

Kyle Richards

I'm a design thinker, a builder of digital things, and a firm believer in the power of sports.

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