Dec. 13, 2011
BOISE, Idaho - Utah State football arrived in Boise, Idaho Tuesday afternoon, being welcomed by the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at the Aggies' team hotel, then later won the Strikes For Spuds bowling event, earning 1,400 pounds of potatoes for charity.
The Aggies rode by Utah State-themed buses, courtesy of Holiday Motor Coach Company, arriving at their team hotel where they were greeted by the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl along with Boise High School marching band serenading them with the USU fight song.
After lunch, the team went to Westy's Garden Lanes in Garden City, for the Strikes for Spuds charity bowling event. The USU offense faced off against the Ohio defense, while the Aggies' defense squared off against the Bobcats' offense, and the scores were added from the two games, and Utah State emerged victorious, 238-211.
USU's score was boosted by three strikes, including one from senior offensive lineman Robert Hill.
"It was great. They just called my name. I didn't think about it; I just walked up there and threw it and it was a strike. I don't bowl that often. I have only bowled a few times since I have been in Utah," Hill said. "The best part was the food that we were able to donate to charity."
"I had to come through for my team. I think of myself as a pretty good bowler. I am not going to lie I was nervous. When the opportunity came, I just tried to do well," Turbin said. "I don't bowl as often as I used to, but when I get the chance I like to bowl. It is a great thing to be able to get those potatoes out there and to help out the Ronald McDonald House as well. To be able to help the Food Pantry in Logan is also a very good thing. It is a great start to the bowl."
For their winnings, USU earned 350 pounds of potato products for the Cache Community Food Pantry in Logan along with the Ronald McDonald House of Boise. The potatoes were donated by two Idaho-based companies, the J.R. Simplot Company and Potandon Produce and then the Food Services of America matched the donations, meaning the respective charity groups will earn 700 pounds each. Ohio earned 600 pounds each for its two charities, Southeastern Ohio Regional Food Center in Logan, Ohio and Meals on Wheels in Boise.
"It was a tremendous event, the kids had a lot of fun. It was a terrific opportunity for us to help charities back home in Cache Valley with the Cache Community Food Pantry and the Ronald McDonald House here in Boise. This time of year it is important to give back and help the communities and we were more than happy to do so today with a really special event and these young men were honored with the opportunity," USU head coach Gary Andersen said.
Following the match-up, the teams were able to have free bowling, throwing several frames, while mingling with each other and some of the fans and media in attendance.
"If the competition on the lanes today was any indication, we're going to see a great game on the field on Saturday," said Kevin McDonald, executive director of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. "We couldn't provide this generous contribution to the community without the support of Simplot, Potandon Produce and Food Services of America who have been tremendous partners to the Bowl."
After some free time back at the team hotel, the team had a pizza party dinner and then selected its bowl gifts, before having some more free time to end the evening and a busy day one in Boise.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, at 3:30 p.m. MST at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The Bowl will feature the Ohio Bobcats (9-4) of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) against the Utah State Aggies (7-5) of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Utah State is the closest WAC school to the potato-growing region of eastern Idaho, and Ohio is the nation's second-largest state consumer of Idaho potatoes according to the Idaho Potato Commission.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is the second game of the entire bowl calendar and the only one in its timeslot. The Bowl will be telecast nationally on ESPN and broadcast on ESPN Radio. Five of the previous seven games have been decided on the last drive, with an average score of 38-25 over the past 14 Bowls.
A few $30 tickets in the curved areas of Bronco Stadium remain, for purchase in person or over the phone. There are also various $50 tickets on the east side are still available, for purchase in person, over the phone or online. Also, there are also roughly 50 student tickets remaining at a cost of $18 with student ID, for purchase in person only.
For more Aggie Football Famous Idaho Potato Bowl ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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