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San Diego State University Aztecs Heading To Idaho Potato Bowl

— The San Diego State University football team wraps up its season on Saturday. The squad is in Boise, Idaho to play Buffalo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It is a rewarding finish for a team that endured a nightmarish start.

Aired 12/20/13 on KPBS News.

The San Diego State University football team is headed to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday.

The Aztec football team had a September to forget. The team opened the season with losses to Eastern Illinios, Ohio State and Oregon State. But they fought back and won seven of their last nine games. That earned them a bowl game invitation. Head Coach Rocky Long said San Diego State is in rare company.

"We're one of 29 teams in the country that have been to four straight bowl games. There's only 29 and we're one of them. There's only five non-BCS schools that have done that and we're one of them," Long said.

Long is adamant that the school's football program is on an upward trajectory. He called the bowl game a fitting reward for a team that wouldn't give up.

"Because guess what, It's a big deal. And we're going. It's a damn big deal," Long said. "It shows that the program is solid. The program's got kids in the program that play hard. They play you to the end."

"We won three out of four overtime games. That should be celebrated. The kids should be thanked, they should be patted on the back," said Long.

Senior Defensive Lineman Jordan Thomas is ending his four-year playing career.

"I'm part of a class that's gone to a bowl game every year since I've been here. I feel like that's expected around here," said Thomas. "We talk about [it] during camp, oh, like, 'so for the bowl game…' We talk about anticipating the bowl game before the season's even started. I feel like that's something that's automatic around here. We expect to play in the post season. Coaches talk about it all the time."

It is important for the team to win their bowl game, according to Thomas. The last three years they have one once and lost twice in bowl games.

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