Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bowl Season Predicitons, Part 1

The Bowls start this Saturday with Nevada (7-5) playing Arizona (7-5) in the New Mexico Bowl out in Albuquerque. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 PM EST and the game will be aired on ESPN.

Nevada has the 7th best rushing attack in the nation averaging 260 yards a game and while their passing attack is not nearly as good (52nd with 248.8 ypg) over all they should be able to pummel an Arizona defense that's 86th in the nation against the run and 115th against the pass (189.8 ypg, and 295.9 ypg respectively for an overall ranking of 119th). Nevada's defense is ranked 88th overall giving up 213.2 ypg on the ground (109th) and 218 ypg through the air (41).

Arizona's offense is ranked 7th in the nation overall with 230.4 ypg on the ground (15th) and 291.4 passing ypg (29th). Arizona is currently favored by 10 points but I think the Wolf Pack will have a field day on offense while stifling the Wildcats on defense. My pick: Nevada.

That game will be followed at 4:30 PM EST by #18 Utah State (10-2) against Toledo (9-3) in the--I kid you not--Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho. This, too, will be aired on ESPN.
Utah State has one of the more balanced attacks in college football they average 192.5 ypg rushing (37th) and 268.0 (ypg passing (also 37th) for an overall rank of 26th in the nation. Their defense is even better, giving up just 111.4 ypg rushing (13th) and 211.3 ypg passing (34th) for an overall rank of 15th in the nation.

Toledo's offense is nothing to be ashamed of. The Rockets average 197.5 ypg on the ground (34th) and 258.6 ypg via the air (44th). They averaged 36.3 points per game in their nine victories and 22.6 ppg in their three losses so scoring is not a problem. The Rockets' problem is in stopping the other team from putting up points. In their victories they gave up 26.6 ppg while in their losses they yielded 29.7 ppg. The Toledo defense is ranked 107th overall in the nation. They give up 296 ypg via the air (116th) and 168.1 ypg on the ground (70th). Perhaps that is why Toledo is a 10-point underdog in this one. The Aggies defense will hold and the offense will pound the Rockets into submission. My pick: Utah State.

After Saturday's short introduction to the Silly Season, the next bowl doesn't occur until Thursday night, December 20th. There's one scheduled for Friday the 21st and two more for Saturday the 22nd. I'll have more on those games at another time.

No comments: