fi nal game as head coach of the Hurricanes. And
again, the ‘Canes had to fend off a last-minute
Wolf Pack surge to prevail, 21-20.
In 2007, the bowl returned to its roots with
a new sponsor, Roady’s Truck Stops, and the
Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl saw Fresno State
beat Georgia Tech, 40-28. Nevada was back
in the game in 2008, but Maryland repelled a
Colin Kaepernick-led comeback by the Wolf
Pack and won, 42-35.
The 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl was
one for the ages. Idaho and Bowling Green, the
fi rst Mid-American Conference representative
to play in the game, took turns putting the pedal
to the metal. Through a fl urry of momentum
shifts, the Falcons took a 42-35 lead with 32
seconds remaining in the game. But the Vandals
drove 66 yards in three plays and scored with
four seconds left. Idaho decided to go for two
points, and Nate Enderle converted with a pass
to Preston Davis to win it, 43-42.
A sister company of Roady’s, uDrove, took
title sponsorship in 2010, when Northern
Illinois handed Fresno State a 40-17 setback.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to
the 2011 game. The Idaho Potato Commission
emerged with a commitment as a long-term
sponsor, giving the bowl its new identity, the
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Hear the name, and
you know exactly what it is and where it is. And
what it was in 2011 was a classic. Utah State led
the entire way—until Ohio quarterback Tyler
Tettleton scored with 13 seconds remaining to
give the Bobcats their fi rst bowl victory ever.
The 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl marked
the end of an era—the fi nal game of a 13-year
association with the WAC, capping the fi nal
season of WAC football. And Utah State, the
conference’s fi nal champion, picked up its fi rst
postseason victory in 19 years, exploding past
Toledo 41-15 with four touchdowns in the fi nal
7½ minutes of the game. The Aggies’ Kerwynn
Williams rushed for 235 yards, a whopping 191
of them in the fourth quarter.
The Mountain West Conference made its
debut in the bowl in 2013, with San Diego
State running past Buff alo 49-24 behind 229
rushing yards and three touchdowns from
Adam Muema. It was the Aztecs’ fi rst bowl
victory outside the San Diego city limits since
1969. Air Force made it two straight for the
Mountain West in 2014 with a 38-24 victory
over Western Michigan. The Broncos, seeking
their fi rst bowl win ever, were denied by the
Falcons’ relentless ground attack.
In 2015, the MAC struck back. Veteran
coach Terry Bowden, in his fourth season at
Akron, led the Zips to their fi rst bowl victory
as an FBS school in an exciting 23-21 triumph
over Utah State. Akron fi nished the season 8-5,
its most wins since moving to Division I-A in
1987. The 2016 game will be remembered for
off ense and more off ense. In Idaho’s 61-50 win
over Colorado State, the Vandals and Rams
combined to break or tie 24 Famous Idaho
Potato Bowl records as they combined to roll up
1,206 total yards. The 84 combined second half
points were the most in college football bowl
history. All that after a scoreless fi rst quarter.
Josh Allen played his fi nal collegiate game on
the blue turf in the 2017 game, going 6-for-7
for 104 yards and three touchdowns in the fi rst
quarter of Wyoming’s 37-14 win over Central
Michigan. The Cowboys forced a staggering
eight Chippewa turnovers to fi nish the season
with 38 takeaways, tops in the FBS. Allen would
go on to become the No. 7 overall pick in the
2018 NFL Draft by the Buff alo Bills.
In 2018, BYU made its fi rst appearance in
the game, and Zach Wilson set a Famous Idaho
Potato Bowl record for completion percentage.
Oh really? The true freshman was 18-for-18 for
317 yards and four touchdowns as the Cougars
blew past Western Michigan 49-18. Wilson had
the most completions without a miss in the
history of college bowl games.
Today, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is
the longest-running cold weather bowl game
in college football. It has hosted 26 diff erent
universities and has seen 19 fi rst-round NFL
Draft picks come through. The Famous Idaho
Potato Bowl is a celebration of the spirit of
winter in the beautiful Idaho mountains. That
includes football. And potatoes.
96 JANUARY 3, 2020 / FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL