Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 23rd ESPN 8 p.m. EST
Odds: San Diego State -3
This is San Diego State's first bowl game since 1998, when it lost to North Carolina in the Las Vegas Bowl. On the other hand Navy is making its eighth straight bowl appearance. The big news out of San Diego was that Qualcomm was extremely flooded last night, and Twitter took to jokes about Navy now having the home-field advantage. Now the stadium is said to be fine and now that the all-important sponsor logo can now be painted on the field.
Here is what the field looked like yesterday:
The game itself will be very interesting since Navy runs a prolific triple option offense that is very hard to stop and has the fifth best rushing attack in the nation at 280 yards per game while San Diego State throws the ball a ton and is 10th in the nation.
Players to watch for in tonight's game from Navy are quarterback Ricky Dobbs, who guides the triple option to near perfection, plus he has an arm so the Aztec secondary must play assignment football or they could get burned. Navy had eight players rush for over 100 yards, so essentially every back is a threat for Navy.
On the San Diego State side they are more balanced, but lean to the passing game with quarterback Ryan Lindley throwing deep balls to Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson. Those two were the top two receivers in the Mountain West and the only two to top 1,000 yards. The third best receiver had only 689 yards, so Navy must watch out for the passing game. Also, freshman Ronnie Hillman was the 12th leading rusher in the nation and the top freshman running back as well.
On to the predictions from the experts.
ESPN national blogger Andrea Adelson predicts a close matchup:
San Diego State 28, Navy 27. I think the Aztecs are going to be able to effectively use the play-action to win, with big games from Hillman, Sampson and Brown.
AccuScore also predicts a close game with San Diego State winning 30.4 to 29.6 and only 51.7 percent of the time. So, hopefully the bowl games can get back to some compelling games past the third quarter.
My prediction is going to be about the same. The Aztecs are going to be pumped to be playing in a bowl game for the first time in 12 years and having the game at home will be an added bonus. The Aztecs will use their running game to set up the deep pass and look for San Diego State to win by about a touchdown.