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Eastern Michigan Eagles to face San Jose State Spartans in 2022 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Eastern Michigan seeks its first bowl win since 1987. Coincidentally, it’s the same opponent.

LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Eastern Michigan did not go bowling once from 1988 to 2015. But during Chris Creighton’s reign as head coach, bowl eligibility has become the expectation in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Eastern Michigan is back in the postseason once again after posting an 8-4 regular season record to set its highest win total since the 1987. To complement one of the program’s most successful seasons in history, the Eagles also seek their first bowl win since 1987.

The last time Eastern Michigan claimed postseason hardware in the 1987 California Bowl, the opponent was San Jose State. Coincidentally once again, the Eagles are slated to play the Spartans in the postseason, but this time the destination moves to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, as first confirmed by The Action Network breaking news reporter Brett McMurphy.

(It’s safe to say a lot has happened for both these programs since then.)

This will be the fifth bowl game in a seven-year span for Eastern Michigan (8-4, 5-3 MAC), which strives for its first bowl win in 35 years.

San Jose State (7-4, 5-3 Mountain West) has been less familiar with bowl season as of late, only locking up one bowl bid since 2016 — a 2020 Arizona Bowl loss to Ball State. The Spartans search for their first bowl victory since winning the 2015 Cure Bowl.

Although the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl has featured MAC and Mountain West tie-ins since 2013, neither Eastern Michigan nor San Jose State has participated in the game before. This will be the second-ever matchup between the Eagles and Spartans, with the only other meeting being— you guessed it— the 1987 California Bowl, which EMU won by a final score of 30-27.

The result goes down as EMU’s only bowl victory in program history.

The 2022 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will kick off on the signature blue turf at Albertson’s Stadium on Tuesday, Dec. 20. The game is broadcast on ESPN with a start time of 3:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. MT. Tickets will go on sale soon; If you can, try to get the tickets through the school’s ticket office.

The winning head coach will likely be doused in a Gatorade bath of French fries.