Scoring 60-plus points over a span of three quarters would appear highly unlikely, right? Well, don’t tell the Idaho Vandals (9-4).
With 14:35 left in the second quarter of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Paul Petrino’s unit collected a mere 34 yards on offense against Colorado State (7-6), along with a trio of three-and-outs to begin the contest. Then, suddenly, Idaho awoke from its dreadful slumber.
In their 61-50 victory over the Rams in Albertsons Stadium, the Vandals broke the record for most points scored in the Potato Bowl’s history, previously held by Georgia Tech (52). Additionally, the score was never even that close, as they led by as many as 34 points late in the third quarter. Nevertheless, the two schools combined for the third-most points in bowl history, as well as weaving together 1,207 yards overall.
Offensively, quarterback Matt Linehan guided the outburst, completing 21-of-31 passes for 381 yards and five scores, which included one on the ground. While his most impressive hookup of the evening came in the fourth quarter, wideout Jordan Frysinger ended up stealing the praise, hauling in a phenomenal one-handed catch on his way to a 54-yard touchdown.
Moreover, sophomore tailback Isaiah Saunders rushed for a career-high 147 yards and notched three scores, too. Fellow running back Aaron Duckworth also chipped in with 57 yards and a touchdown. Despite placing No. 103 in the nation in rushing yards per game (141.3 ypg) before the matchup, the Idaho accumulated a stout 225 yards in that department.
In a losing effort, Colorado State signal caller Nick Stevens racked up 445 yards, five touchdown passes and two interceptions. But prior his offense hitting its stride at a meaningless time, the Vandals’ defense frustrated the opposition all night long, yielding just seven points deep into the third frame.
In total, Idaho now holds a 3-0 mark in bowl games. Although the Vandals will shift to the FCS in 2018 due to the Sun Belt Conference parting ways with the program, their fans were still able to taste another win in December at the FBS level.