San Diego State vs. BYU – Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 20th) Preview and Pick

By College Football

San Diego State vs. BYU


The Poinsettia Bowl features two former conference rivals as San Diego State and BYU become reacquainted on the gridiron.  Up until two years ago, the two schools shared a conference until BYU left to become and Independent.  But as conference foes, BYU dominated the Aztecs winning 9 of the last 10 matchups.  Although the Poinsettia Bowl is not a true home game for SDSU, the game will be played at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium – a short drive from the SDSU campus.

San Diego State comes into this game having won its last seven games afters starting the year 2-3.  The Aztecs success has been due in large part to a dominant ground attack.  Despite ranking 102nd in the nation in pass, SDSU is still putting up over 35 points per game.  Running backs Adam Muema and Walter Kazee form a dynamic duo combining for over 2,400 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns.

Unfortunately for the Aztecs, BYU prides itself on stopping the run.  The Cougars are led by a formidable front seven that has allowed a meager 84 yards per game on the ground.  In general, BYU does a good job of keeping their opponents out of the end zone giving up just over 14 points per game.

BYU QB Riley Nelson is questionable for this game, but whether or not he plays should not be a huge factor in the outcome of the game.  Nelson has been extremely erratic this year and the Cougars success more often than not coincides with their ability to run the ball.  In BYU’s five losses this season they have averaged only 96 yards per game on the ground while rushing for an average of 209 yards in their seven wins.

What Will Happen:  This game features two similar teams who focus on running the ball and stopping the run.  It’s strength versus strength  and the intangibles are in favor of San Diego State which is playing a virtual home game against a BYU team that has not beaten a team with a winning record since early October.  The Aztecs will win the battle of the trenches in a low scoring, ugly affair.  Take the points.

Prediction:  San Diego State 20  BYU 13

The Play:  San Diego State +3.5

Bowl Game Record 0-0

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