FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Buffalo (8-4, 6-2 MAC) vs. San Diego State (7-5, 6-2 Mountain West)
Saturday, December 21, 2013 • 5:30 pm ET • Boise, Ida. • Bronco Stadium (32,000)
ESPN • Announcers: Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (analyst), Dawn Davenport (sideline reporter)
• Buffalo is making just its second bowl appearance in school history. The Bulls also played in the 2009 International Bowl.
• A win over San Diego State would be the Bulls’ ninth – tying the school record for wins in a season.
• This will be the second-furthest west the Bulls will have ever traveled for a game. Buffalo played at Nevada in 2003.
• Bronco Stadium will be the sixth different stadium the Bulls will play in over the last six games.
• Branden Oliver is 65 yards shy of becoming just the 13th player in MAC history to rush for 4,000 yards.
• Khalil Mack is currently tied for the NCAA record for career tackles for loss with 75. His next will give him the record to himself.
• Alex Neutz is 53 yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards on the season - becoming just the second player in school history with 1,000 yards receiving in two different seasons (Drew Haddad, 1997&1999).
• Joe Licata is 66 yards shy of the school record for passing yards by sophomore. Zach Maynard threw for 2,694 yards in 2009.
• Branden Oliver is one rushing touchdown shy of the school record for career rushing touchdowns (34 set by James Starks).
• This is the Bulls’ first ever meeting with San Diego State.
Mack Sets Two NCAA Marks: Senior linebacker Khalil Mack had a career-high three forced fumbles in the first half alone of Buffalo’s win over Miami on Nov. 19 to break the all-time NCAA record for career forced fumbles. The senior linebacker now has 16 career forced fumbles, passing five players that held the previous record of 14. He followed up that performance by having 2.5 tackles for loss against Bowling Green in the regular season finale to tie the NCAA record for career tackles for loss. He now has 75 TFLs, tying the NCAA record also held by Western Michigan Jason Babin (2000-03).
More Hardware For Mack: Khalil Mack continues to collect hardware following an outstanding regular season. Mack became the first player in school history to be named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He also earned the Jack Lambert Award - given to the nation’s top linebacker by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
Scoring at Will: The Bulls have scored 370 points - the second most ever for a single season in their FBS era. Buffalo scored 424 points over 14 games in 2008. Buffalo has scored 48 touchdowns on the season, already 16 more than it scored all of last season.
See Bo Go: It has been a record-breaking season for running back Branden Oliver. The senior first-team All-MAC back has broken a pair of school records in 2013. He holds the school record for career rushing yards with 3,935 yards, eclipsing James Starks’ mark of 3,140 yards. The senior running back broke the record on his 694th career carry. Starks had 698 career carries. Oliver broke his own single-season rushing record. He has rushed for 1,421 yards on the season, breaking his own single-season record of 1,395 yards set in 2011. He joins Starks as just the second player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season twice in a career. He rushed for a career-high 249 yards against Ohio on Nov. 5. It was the most rushing yards in a game in Buffalo’s FBS era.
Neutz and Bolts: Alex Neutz hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions against Toledo to bring his career total to 30. He now owns the school record for career touchdown receptions. Neutz has 11 touchdown catches on the season and has recorded a TD grab in nine of 10 games on the year. He is the first player in school history to have 10 or more touchdown catches in two different seasons.
San Diego State Notes:
San Diego State (7-5, 6-2 Mountain West), winners of four of its last five games and seven of its last nine, advances to a school-record fourth consecutive bowl game to take on Buffalo (8-4, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 21 in Boise, Idaho.
The Aztecs became first team since 2010 and just the 19th team in the last 33 seasons (since 1980) to reach a bowl game after opening a season 0-3. By doing so, San Diego State is one of just 29 schools to play in a bowl game every season this decade.
En route from rebounding from an 0-3 start, the resilient Aztecs played in a FBS-record-tying four overtime games (3-1) and had a stretch of seven consecutive contests decided by seven points or less (6-1). San Diego State overcame a fourth quarter deficit to win an FBS-high five times in 2013, and on three occasions this season, the Red and Black overcame deficits of 14 points or greater on the road to claim victory.