Thursday, December 23, 2010

Poinsettia Bowl tonight

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (what a name) kicks off tonight at 5:00pm PST in San Diego, California.

The Navy Midshipmen (9-3) face off against the San Diego State Aztecs (8-4) in one of the best pre-Christmas bowls. In regards to notable teams and an even matchup, its possibly the best game we'll have until Air Force and Georgia Tech face off on December 27 in what should be a quick game with a maximum of a combined 10 passes and 100 rushes.

As for tonight, we should see a game that deserves to trump the viewership of NFL Thursday Night Football (see 2-12 Carolina vs. 10-4 Pittsburgh...yuck).

Who Will Win: San Diego State
This game will be a terrific matchup between a team who seems to live and die by the passing game (SDS) and a team who lives and dies by the rushing game (N). San Diego State averages over 300 yards passing per game, good for 11th in the nation (out of 120 teams). Ryan Lindley is a tremendous quarterback and his two top receivers, DeMarco Sampson and Vincent Brown, are studs. However, the key to an Aztecs win will come if they can stop the Navy triple-option rushing attack. In October, triple-option threat Air Force rushed for over 300 yards against the Aztecs, and the San Diego State offense bailed on the rush defense in a 27-25 win. The Aztecs will need defensive success to hold off the Midshipmen.

How They Could Win: Navy
With nine wins, and a solid triple-option attack led by senior leader Ricky Dobbs, there are a lot of reasons to believe Navy can win this game. The Midshipmen were not dealt a brutal schedule this year, so the Aztec passing attack will be the best one that Navy has faced all season. My biggest concern for Navy is the field conditions. Over 10 inches of rain soaked the field over the past week, leaving a very saturated ground behind. Even though Navy rushes for a hair under 300 yards per game, I worry that the field will be a second enemy tonight. The wet ground will slow down the rushes, affecting everyone's footing. San Diego State can resort to a strong, vertical passing attack to counter the elements. The Midshipmen will have a shot if they can find vertical running success, taking time off the clock and keeping this score under 30. Force two turnovers or more, and the Midshipmen will come away with a win on the San Diego State's backyard.

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