Famous Idaho Potato Bowl 2012: Top Players to Watch in Early Bowl Matchup

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28: Bernard Reedy #11 of the Toledo Rockets scores a touchdown after catching a pass in front of Jon Davis #6 and Anthony Wooding Jr. #4 of the Air Force Falcons during the first half of the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium on December 28, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

When Utah State takes on Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, there will be a number of talented players to keep an eye on.

The great thing about the bowl season is that there are 35 different games to watch. Most of these 70 teams spend little time in the national spotlight, so these players are getting their first chance to make an impression on the average fan.

That is the case in this Boise bowl, and some of these men deserve your attention.

Here are the players to watch in Saturday's bowl game.


Chuckie Keeton, QB, Utah State

While there is a big difference between Johnny Manziel and everyone else in the country after his Heisman-winning campaign, Chuckie Keeton is in the same type of mold.

The sophomore quarterback was a very efficient passer this season, completing 67.6 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,144 yards and 27 touchdowns.

His passer rating of 156.7 was 16th-best in the country, above players like Manziel, Collin Klein and Tyler Wilson.

In addition, he has an ability to move the chains with his legs, as he rushed for 527 yards this season. His 121 yards on the ground helped his team defeat Louisiana Tech in overtime to clinch the WAC. 

He still has room to improve, but it is scary to think about how good he can become over the next two years.


Will Davis, CB, Utah State

With only six games in conference, there is not a lot of time for players to make an impact. Well, few players made as much of a difference in their team's league play than Will Davis.

The cornerback had an interception in each of the last five games of the season, all of which were against WAC opponents.

He also deflected five passes in that stretch while he tipped the ball 11 times in the first six games of the year.

If Toledo wants to win this game, it would be a smart game plan to throw to the half of the field that Davis is not on. 


Bernard Reedy, WR, Toledo

As an offensive player, Bernard Reedy is one of the best in the nation. The receiver caught 82 passes for 1,051 yards, both of which rank in the top 25 in FBS.

As a special teams player, Reedy might be the best. He is one of only six players to return both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown this season, and he is the only one of that group to take two kickoffs to the house.

To put it simply, Reedy is a playmaker. He is a constant threat to score, and the coaching staff makes a constant effort to get him the ball as often as possible.

The Utah State defense has to make sure it knows where the receiver is at all times.


Dan Molls, LB, Toledo

This seemed like it was the year for linebackers in the NCAA. Manti Te'o of Notre Dame was a Heisman finalist, while others like Alabama's C.J. Mosley and Rutgers' Khaseem Greene made their own impact.

However, Dan Molls had one of the best seasons of anyone in the nation. He totaled 166 tackles, leading the country with 13.83 tackles per game. 

He has great speed that allows him to travel from sideline to sideline to catch a ball-carrier. In addition, his solid fundamentals prevent players from getting away once he wraps up.

Molls gets himself involved in almost every play on defense, and that will not change in the bowl game against Utah State. The announcer better learn his name, because he will be saying it quite a bit throughout the game.