Monday, December 6, 2010

Bowl Game Breakdown-Part 1 Pre-Christmas

New Mexico Bowl
December 18, 2PM EST

Brigham Young Cougars (6-6)  vs. Texas-El Paso Miners (6-6)
These two teams have not met since 1998, and were former WAC members. BYU had a terrible start to the season, but freshman QB Jake Heaps is coming around, and BYU finished 5-2. JJ Diluigi leads the Cougars in both receiving and rushing, so he is the guy to stop. UTEP on the other hand has bumbled their way to New Mexico, as they have lost 5 of 6 to finish. They have no rushing game, as Donald Buckram never fully recovered from his early season knee injury.
I Pick: BYU

Humanitarian Bowl
December 18, 5:30PM EST

Northern Illinois Huskies (10-3) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (8-4)
This will be one of the better matchups during the bowl season. Fresno State, even as the 4th best team in the WAC, could still be considered as one of the better programs in the country and can play with anyone. Northern Illinois could be rattled as HC Jerry Kill has bailed on them to take the Minnesota job and will not coach them. That being said, the Huskies have been an incredible story in 2010, and will push to make this game the exclamation point on a great run.
I Pick: Fresno State

New Orleans Bowl
December 18, 8PM EST

Ohio Bobcats (8-4) vs. Troy Trojans (7-5)
Not exactly a game that people are jumping around about. Troy stumbled and bumbled all season long in America's worst conference. The Trojans split their final 6 games at 3-3, so they are not heading to the Bayou trailing rocket fire. QB Corey Robinson is the star, as he passed for 3320 yards and 24 scores. He also tossed 15 picks in 12 games, and the Trojans don't have a solid rushing game. The Bobcats of Ohio were also a maddeningly inconsistent team at times. They started horribly, going 1-3 to start the season, but then went on a 7 game tear, only to drop a mind bending game to Kent State 28-6 in the season finale. A win in that game would have had the Bobcats in the MAC title game as they had beaten Miami (Ohio).Don't expect loads of ofeense from the Bobcats, but they can play some D. Boo Jackson tossed 15 TD passes, but also tossed 16 picks, which is part of the issue with Ohio.
I Pick: Ohio

Beef O'Brady Bowl
December 21, 8:30PM EST

Louisville Cardinals (6-6) vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (8-4)
Louisville scrapped their way to a bowl game in Charlie Strong's first season as HC. Louisville is just happy to be going to any bowl game this season after their recent drought. They do have issues coming into this game at QB, where their top two QBs, Adam Froman and Will Stein, both are suffering from injury issues. Bilal Powell has had a monster season at RB with 1330 yards and 10 TDs. The Eagles have been up and down all season, as they enter this game having gone 4-3 in their last 7 games. Austin Davis passed for 2898 yards but only 18 TDs on the season, hardly earth shattering. He did, however, lead the team with 10 rushing scores. This game marks the 9th consecutive bowl appearance for Southern Miss.
I Pick: Southern Mississippi

Las Vegas Bowl
December 22, 8PM EST

Utah Utes (10-2) vs. Boise State Broncos (11-1)
Both of these teams were BCS candidates until they ran into some late season buzz saws. Utah was flying high until consecutive losses to MWC Champ TCU and Notre Dame took them down in consecutive weeks. The Utes finished strong with consecutive wins over San Diego State and BYU, both bowl teams. Utah will be without QB Jordan Wynn for this game, but Terrence Cain played very well in appearances earlier this season, and Eddie Wide rushed for 10 TDs, with Matt Asiata rushing for 8. Boise was a strong championship contender before falling to Nevada two games ago in Reno. The Broncos blew a big lead in that game, and watched all BCS asperations go flying. They are still one of the best teams in the country and you can expect the Blue and Orange army to travel well down to Vegas. Expect a sellout. It'll be hard to beat Boise with the combo of Moore, Pettis, and Young.
I Pick: Boise State

More Previews Tonight...

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