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NCAA Football Bowl Preview December 18-24, 2010

College bowl season has arrived and we will be breaking down the matchups for you each week leading up the the National Championship game on January 9th.  This weeks games:

UTEP vs. BYU, Fresno State vs. Northern Illinois, Troy vs. Ohio, Boise State vs. Utah, San Diego State vs. Navy, Hawaii vs. Tulsa……..

NEW MEXICO BOWL – UTEP Miners vs. BYU Cougars

Dec. 18, 2:00 PM ET ESPN

University Stadium

ALBUQUERQUE, NM

Low: 35°F

High: 53°F

Precipitation: 10%

UTEP Miners (6-6, 3-5 Conference USA)

Passing: Trevor Vittatoe #10 – 206-378, 2511 yds, 19 tds

Rushing: Joseph Banyard #21 – 107 car, 612 yds, 8 tds

Receiving: Kris Adams #2 – 44 rec, 917 yds, 11 tds

BYU Cougars (6-6, 5-3 Mountain West Conference)

Passing: Jake Heaps #9 – 194-349, 2052 yds, 11 tds

Rushing: JJ Di Luigi #10 – 158 car, 819 yds, 7 tds

Receiving: JJ Di Luigi #10 – 42 rec, 422 yds, 1 td

BYU        UTEP

Average Points                   24.0      26.2

Average Points Allowed   21.4      25.4

Home Record                           5-1     5-1

Road Record                            1-5      1-5

The two former WAC rivals are playing for the first time since 1998. BYU is 3-2 in its past five bowl appearances, and this is the first season since 2005 that the Cougars are not going to post a 10-win season. UTEP is making its first bowl appearance since 2005 and playing its fourth bowl game since 2000. The Miners have dropped four straight bowl games.

Trevor Vittatoe holds the UTEP school record for passing yards (12,194) and passing touchdowns (94), but he’s averaging only 155.6 yards and has thrown eight interceptions in his last six games.

VEGAS LINE: BYU – 11.5

Prediction:

uDROVE HUMANITARIAN BOWL – Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

Dec. 18, 5:30 PM ET ESPN

Bronco Stadium

BOISE, ID

Low: 31°F

High: 39°F

Precipitation: 40%

Fresno State Bulldogs (8-4, 5-3 Western Athletic Conference)

Passing: Ryan Colburn #15 – 199-322, 2529 yds, 21 tds

Rushing: Robbie Rouse #8 – 191 car, 1097 yds, 8 tds

Receiving: Jamel Hamler #17 – 47 rec, 725 yds, 5 tds

Northern Illinois Huskies (10-3, 8-0 Mid-American Conference)

Passing: Chandler Harnish #12 – 172-266, 2230 yds, 20 tds

Rushing: Chad Spann #28 – 243 car, 1293 yds, 20 tds

Receiving: Willie Clark #10 – 38 rec, 514 yds, 7 tds

Fresno State Northern Illinois

Average Points 30.0 37.8

Average Points Allowed 29.2 19.1

Home Record 5-2 5-0

Road Record 3-2 5-3

Northern Illinois is making its third consecutive bowl appearance for the first time in school history and is 2-3 all-time in bowl games. Even though the Huskies lost a heartbreaker in the MAC title game, they still have a chance to go for a school-record 11 wins. Fresno State is making its fourth straight bowl game and is in the Humanitarian for the first time since 2007.

Jerry Kill guided NIU to a school-record third consecutive bowl but won’t be around after accepting the head coaching job at Minnesota on Dec. 5. The move came less than 48 hours after the Huskies’ nine-game winning streak was snapped with a 26-21 loss to Miami of Ohio in the Mid-American Conference championship game in Detroit. Chad Spann, the MAC player of the year, leads a running game (264.8 yards per game) ranked seventh in the FBS. The senior gained 1,293 yards for his second straight 1,000-yard season.

VEGAS LINE: Northern Illinois -1.5

Prediction:

R&L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL – Troy Trojans vs. Ohio Bearcats

Dec 18, 9:00PM ET ESPN

Superdome

NEW ORLEANS, LA

Low: 39°F

High: 55°F

Precipitation: 20%

Troy Trojans (7-5, 6-2 Sun Belt Conference)

Passing: Corey Robinson #6 – 289-463, 3339 yds, 24 tds

Rushing: Shawn Southward #20 – 106 car, 548 yds, 7 tds

Receiving: Jerrel Jernigan #3- 77 rec, 774 yds, 5 tds

Ohio Bearcats (8-4, 6-2 Mid-American Conference)

Passing: Boo Jackson #8 – 135-224, 1688 yds, 15 tds

Rushing: Vince Davidson #26 – 132 car, 509 yds, 6 tds

Receiving: Terrence McCrae #11 – 32 rec, 481 yds, 9 tds

Troy Ohio

Average Points 32.9 28.0

Average Points Allowed 31.0 21.8

Home Record 4-1 5-1

Road Record 3-4 3-3

The Trojans have won at least a share of the Sun Belt title for the fifth straight season. They will be playing in New Orleans for the third time in five seasons. This is also their fifth bowl appearance in the past seven years. This is the first bowl meeting between the schools. Ohio is making its second straight bowl appearance, but is 0-4 all-time in bowl games. Troy won at least a share of its conference championship for the fifth straight season, joining BYU, Southern California, Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State as the only programs to accomplish the feat. Troy, first in the Sun Belt with 32.9 points per game, will be facing an Ohio defense that is yielding 21.8. The Trojans also topped the conference with 441.1 yards per contest, but the Bobcats are giving up 332.7. Troy’s Corey Robinson threw for a conference-leading 3,320 yards with 24 touchdowns, but also was intercepted 15 times.

VEGAS LINE: TROY -2

Prediction:

MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS – (10) Boise State Broncos vs. (19) Utah Utes

Dec. 22, 8:00PM ET ESPN

Las Vegas, NV

Boise State Broncos (11-1, 7-1 Western Athletic Conference)

Passing: Kellen Moore #11 – 245-345, 3506 yds, 33 tds

Rushing: Doug Martin #22 – 184 car, 1113 yds, 11 tds

Receiving: Titus Young #1 – 65 rec, 1151 yds, 9 tds

Utah Utes (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West Conference)

Passing: Jordan Wynn #3 – 186-299, 2334 yds, 17 tds

Rushing: Eddie Wide #36 – 143 car, 683 yds, 11 tds

Receiving: DeVonte Christopher #10 – 39 rec, 660 yds, 6 tds

Boise State Utah

Average Points 46.7 35.6

Average Points Allowed 13.6 19.8

Home Record 6-0 5-1

Road Record 5-1 5-1

Both schools already have won two BCS bowl games. On the downside for Utah, starting quarterback Jordan Wynn won’t be able to play due to shoulder surgery, meaning backup Terrance Cain will get the call. That’s not too bad, considering he’s 9-1 as Utah’s starter. It will be interesting to see how the Broncos react after dropping from a BCS bowl game to Las Vegas. After going undefeated last season and beating TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, Boise State (11-1) had its sights set on becoming the first team from a non-BCS conference to play for the national championship. The Broncos knew they had to go unbeaten again to have any chance, and were on track to do so until they played at then-No. 19 Nevada on Nov. 26. Ranked third at the time, Boise State blew a 24-7 halftime lead and fell 34-31 to end its bid for a berth in Glendale and giving ammunition to those who believe that teams from non-BCS conferences simply aren’t good enough to be considered for the title game.

VEGAS LINE: Boise State -17

Prediction:

SAN DIEGO CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL – San Diego State Aztecs vs. Navy Midshipmen

Dec. 23, 8:00PM ET ESPN

San Diego, CA

San Diego Aztecs (8-4, 5-3 Mountain West Conference)

Passing: Ryan Lindley #14 – 225-398, 3554 yds, 26 tds

Rushing: Ronnie Hillman #13 – 234 car, 1304 yds, 14 tds

Receiving: Vincent Brown #80 – 61 rec, 1187 yds, 9 tds

Navy Midshipmen (9-3, Independent)

Passing: Ricky Dobbs #4 – 74-135, 1380 yds, 12 tds

Rushing: Ricky Dobbs #4 – 242 car, 860 yds, 13 tds

Receiving: Greg Jones #84 – 30 rec, 577 yds, 4 tds

San Diego State Navy

Average Points 35.0 31.0

Average Points Allowed 22.8 22.3

Home Record 5-1 5-1

Road Record 3-3 4-2

You have the local team in San Diego State against a team that has the largest naval base on the west coast in San Diego. San Diego State is making its first bowl appearance since 1998, while Navy is in a bowl game for the seventh straight season. The Midshipmen are 1-1 in bowl games under head coach Ken Niumatalolo. Niumatalolo appears more than willing to put up with Ricky Dobbs’ occasional flubs, (5 INTs, 7 Fumbles) as the senior accounted for 2,240 yards and 25 touchdowns this year, rushing for 860 yards and 13 scores. Dobbs, though, is far from a one-year wonder when it comes to running the ball. In just three seasons, he’s second among active FBS quarterbacks with 663 carries, 48 rushing touchdowns and 13 100-yard games, and third with 2,558 yards.

VEGAS LINE: San Diego State -5

Prediction:

SHERATON HAWAII BOWL – (24) Hawaii Warriors vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Dec. 24, 8:00PM ET ESPN

Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Warriors (10-3, 7-1 Western Athletic Conference)

Passing: Bryant Moniz #17 – 337-508, 4629 yds, 36 tds

Rushing: Alex Green #25 – 133 car, 1168 yds, 17 tds

Receiving: Greg Salas #1 – 106 rec, 1675 yds, 12 tds

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3, 6-2 Conference USA)

Passing: G.J Kinne #4 – 258-429, 3307 yds, 28 tds

Rushing: G.J Kinne #4 – 145 car, 557 yds, 7 tds

Receiving: Damaris Johnson #3 – 53 rec, 771 yds, 3 tds

Hawaii Tulsa

Average Points 39.9 39.7

Average Points Allowed 22.7 29.9

Home Record 6-1 6-0

Road Record 4-2 3-3

Two of the most prolific offenses in the country face off on Christmas Eve: Tulsa ranks No. 5 in the country in total offense, while Hawaii ranks No. 8. Two great quarterbacks to watch, as well: G.J. Kinne for the Golden Hurricane and Bryant Moniz for the Warriors. Hawaii is 3-2 in its past five bowl appearances, as is Tulsa. It has been three years since June Jones left Hawaii for SMU after a 2007 unbeaten regular season led to a BCS appearance and Sugar Bowl loss. After two mediocre seasons, Jones’ successor, Greg McMackin, has again gotten the 24th-ranked Warriors nationally relevant. Hawaii claimed a share of the Western Athletic Conference title with Boise State and Nevada, and posted its sixth 10-win season in school history. The Warriors have a chance for their third 11-win season since 2006 as they build a foundation for their eventual move to the Mountain West in 2012.

VEGAS LINE: Hawaii -8

Prediction:

Tags : Boise StateBYUCollege Bowl GamesFresno StateHawaiiNavyNCAA FootballNorthern IllinoisOhioSan Diego StateTroyTulsaUtahUTEP