Utah State Hopes Potato Bowl Momentum Snowballs Into 2024 Success

Dec 23, 2023, 7:39 AM | Updated: 7:40 am

BOISE, Idaho – All season long, the 2023 Utah State Aggies have been a team that continues to pick itself up off the mat and stay in the fight. Injuries, turnovers, and just plain bad luck haven’t deterred a group that is a few hours away from its third straight bowl appearance.

Utah State could have easily folded when a stifling Air Force defense forced Blake Anderson’s hand on a QB change in an 18-point week three loss. USU could have played for overtime after a last-second UConn touchdown left the Huskies an extra point shy of OT in week four. Players could have shifted their gaze toward greener pastures after back-to-back losses to Fresno State and San Jose State left the Aggies at 3-5.

“Those that have followed our program know where we were this time a year ago,” third-year head coach Blake Anderson said. “A year later, a ton of guys stepping up and saying we’re staying put and fighting together.

RELATED: How To Watch USU Vs. Georgia State In FIPB

“To be able to rally back, get the team going over the second half of the season for us was a different challenge. We struggled early. We could have very easily given up several times throughout the year. These guys just wouldn’t let it happen. To be honest with you, the locker room never gave up, never gave in. We kept working.”

RELATED: USU’s Potato Bowl Depth Chart

The Aggies kept battling as injuries took their toll, showing toughness as they battled through multiple double-digit first-half deficits. It took an all-hands-on-deck mentality for USU to turn the season around.

“It was just hard work for us,” senior linebacker MJ Tafisi Jr. 24 hours before kickoff. “The biggest thing was putting trust in each other. It means so much for us to be in a bowl. I feel like we worked hard. I felt like we deserved it”

With the regular season now behind them and the Georgia State Panthers in front, Anderson hopes his team can use this opportunity to springboard into 2024.

“The energy it presents. The momentum it creates in recruiting. The guys that are coming back, which is most of our team, a very young team… I think the momentum that would carry over to January would be huge both in recruiting but also in the off-season.”

“These guys are about to move on and do a lot of different things in their life. I want to make sure we get one good, solid opportunity to appreciate each other in that locker room. It will never be the same after Saturday’s game,” Anderson finished.

Follow The Aggies With KSL Sports

USU (6-6, 4-4) faces the Georgia State Panthers (6-6, 3-5) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. (MT) on Saturday, December 23.

Find USU football on KSL Sports Zone with the voices of Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White (1988-89).

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here. 

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, and video and stay updated on all your favorite teams.

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah State Aggies

AP Top 25, BYU Basketball, Trevin Knell...

Mitch Harper

BYU Climbs Back Into AP Top 25 Rankings, Utah State Stays Put

The final AP Top 25 poll of the regular season features two teams from the state of Utah.

4 hours ago

Dee Glen Smith Spectrum...

Brian Preece

No. 22 Utah State Shows Depth In Wire-To-Wire Win Over Air Force

With Osobor surrounded by Falcons defenders all night, USU turned to its stable of depth and experience to pay the rent in a 72-60 win.

3 days ago


Brian Preece

Mountain West Announces 2024 Utah State Aggies Football Schedule

Utah State, in conjunction with the Mountain West, released its 2024 conference schedule on Thursday, February 29.

4 days ago

utah state basketball...

Brian Preece

Bovine Blog: Previewing Air Force Falcons At No. 22 Utah State Aggies

The No. 22 Aggies look to complete the season-series sweep of Air Force on Friday, March 1, at the Spectrum. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. MT.

5 days ago

darius brown II utah state...

Brian Preece

Bovine Blog: ‘Confident’ Darius Brown II Sets Tone For No. 22 Utah State

When its back is against a wall, No. 22 Utah State leans on Darius Brown II to put his team in a position to win games.

5 days ago

utah state darius brown II...

Brian Preece

Darius Brown II Lifts No. 22 Utah State To Ragged Win Over Fresno State

Nothing comes easy on the road in the Mountain West as Utah State needed overtime to survive upset-minded Fresno State.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah State Hopes Potato Bowl Momentum Snowballs Into 2024 Success