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The Oregon State Beavers and Utah State Aggies are set to meet on Saturday in the LA Bowl. It's the inaugural edition of the bowl game and is located in the home of the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, SoFi Stadium.

Oregon State enters the game with a 7-5 record, having finished third in the Pac-12 North with a conference record of 5-4. Oregon State boasts one of the more potent offenses in the Pac-12, as it finished third in total yards per game (430.4) and points per game (32.8). The Beavers got there relying largely on their rushing attack, as they ran the ball on 59.2% of their offensive snaps, ranking 16th nationally. And when you have a running back like B.J. Baylor, why wouldn't you run the ball? Baylor led the Pac-12 with 1,258 yards rushing, and his 13 rushing touchdowns tied for fourth. Baylor was the only back in the Pac-12 to average over 100 yards rushing per game (104.8).

Utah State's offense isn't too bad itself. The Aggies scored 33.2 points per game during the regular season, helping lead to a 10-3 record and Mountain West title. Utah State's story is one of the better ones in college football. Blake Anderson is in his first year with the Aggies, coming from Arkansas State in hopes of finding a fresh start after losing both his wife and father in a short period of time. The move seems to have rejuvenated both Anderson and the Utah State program, as the conference title is the school's first since joining the Mountain West and first anywhere since winning the WAC in 2012.

Oregon State vs. Utah State: Need to know

The two schools have a shared connection: Shall we call it the Gary Andersen Bowl? Andersen was the coach of Utah State the last time it won a conference title in 2012. It was Andersen's best season at Utah State and appeared to be his last, as he left to take over Wisconsin shortly thereafter. After being with the Badgers for two seasons, Andersen surprised many people when he went back west and took the Oregon State job. He wouldn't finish his third season in Corvallis, going 7-23 and 3-18 in the Pac-12 before being fired during the 2017 season. He'd resurface at Utah State in 2019, but the two sides weren't able to rekindle the success they had the first time. Andersen lasted only 16 games, going 7-9.

This is Oregon State's first bowl appearance since 2013: The best 15-year stretch in Oregon State history was from 1999 to 2014 when Dennis Erickson and Mike Riley led the program to 11 bowl appearances between them. Riley would leave Corvallis after going 5-7 in 2014, and the Beavers haven't been to a bowl game since. Still, the momentum has been building under coach Jonathan Smith and it resulted in the Beavers' first postseason berth since the 2013 Hawaii Bowl, a 38-23 win over Boise State. While the Beavers might not get to bowl games as often as other programs lately, they've been successful when going bowling, going 9-6 in the postseason. 

Utah State QB Logan Bonner followed Anderson from Arkansas State: When Anderson traveled west from Arkansas State, he did not come alone. After 24 games playing for Anderson in Jonesboro, QB Logan Bonner followed him to Logan. Bonner took advantage of the extra year of eligibility afforded athletes due to COVID and balled out for the Aggies. Bonner put up career highs in passing yards (3,554), completion percentage (61.2%), yards per attempt (8.5) and touchdowns (36) with Utah State this season and was a significant contributor to the team's conference title.

How to watch LA Bowl live

Game: LA Bowl
Date
: Saturday, December 18 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium -- Inglewood, CA
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

LA Bowl prediction, picks

Featured Game | Oregon State Beavers vs. Utah State Aggies

This is one of those cases where the Power Five team seems to be getting a little too much credit against the Group of Five team. While Oregon State deserves to be favored, it's hard to trust its defense to cover a spread like this. The Beavers rank 98th nationally in points allowed per possession and 88th in defensive success rate. There's an excellent chance that this game turns into a shootout with neither side able to pull away from the other, so give me the points. Prediction: Utah State (+7)

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