Freshman BYU quarterback Zach Wilson threw a perfect game Dec. 21 against the Western Michigan Broncos on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium during the 22nd annual Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (FIPB). Wilson completed all 18 passes totaling 317 yards and threw four touchdowns, setting a new single-game BYU record for completions.
The BYU Cougars defeated the Western Michigan Broncos from the Mid-American Conference 49-18 in the country’s premier cold-weather college bowl game, with close to 20,000 folks in the stands and two million fans around the country watching it live on ESPN.
“For more than two decades, college football teams have been traveling to Boise to play their hearts out at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which is for many players, one of the biggest events of their lives. The Idaho Potato Commission is extremely proud to host these athletes, their families and friends, cheerleaders and band members to help create an unforgettable experience for everyone,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “In my opinion, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is one of the most exciting of all college bowl football games. Every year, long-standing records are broken and talented young men are recruited to the NFL to become all-star players. It’s unpredictable, it’s exciting, it’s fun and it represents what college athleticism is all about.”
And, this is evident by the NFL players who support the FIPB through their social media pages. This year, five players posted very creative pictures and/or videos on their Instagram and Twitter pages rooting for their alma maters with a shout out to Idaho potatoes.
• Kyle Van Noy, New England Patriots (BYU)
• Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (BYU)
• Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (BYU)
• Greg Jennings, Retired (Western Michigan)
• Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (Western Michigan)
Additionally, Josh Allen–who played for Wyoming in the 2017 FIPB and is now quarterback for the Buffalo Bills–posted a picture on Instagram and Twitter of himself receiving the MVP award last year.
The game also provides an opportunity to promote some of the IPC’s other important programs:
• The iconic Big Idaho Potato Truck was parked amidst all the tailgating activities, providing a backdrop for thousands of selfies.
• Miss Idaho, Nina Forest, greeted fans at the Big Idaho Potato Truck and was on the field for the coin toss along with Muir; Randy Hardy, IPC chairman; Spuddy Buddy; Dave Bieter, mayor of Boise; and Kevin McDonald, executive director of the FIPB.
• The IPC presented its long-time charity partner RODS, a non-profit organization that helps find homes in the U.S. for orphaned children in other countries with Down syndrome, an oversize check for $25,000. Muir and Hardy presented the check on the field during the second quarter to RODS President Rob Wight and his son, Alex.
• Spuddy Buddy, the IPC’s mascot who entertains fans from the sidelines, was named the No. 1 College Football Bowl Mascot by SBNation this year.
Additionally, the IPC makes sure that everyone who watches the game either in Boise or on television knows who the naming sponsor is, and is encouraged to look for the famous “Grown in Idaho” seal.
Established in 1937, the IPC is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho potatoes.