Today is the first day of my bowl special in which I will break down each bowl. Yes, there are more bowls than there are days in the bowl season, but luckily, you won’t be coming to BS.com for just one game every day!
Saturday will feature the first three bowl games of the season, and they feature teams that you may be unfamiliar with. So sit back, relax and enjoy the bowl season!
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Temple (8-4, 5-3 MAC) vs. Wyoming (8-4, 5-2 WAC), 2 p.m. [ESPN]
After an 8-4 season that saw them left out of the bowl season, the Temple Owls turned around and posted another 8-4 record in 2011, qualifying for a bowl game this time around. They scored 30 points per game while allowing only 13.8, and their 261.6 rushing yards per game ranks No. 7 in the nation.
That is due in large part to running back Bernard Pierce. His 25 rushing touchdowns were a school record for a single season, good enough for fourth-most in the Bowl Subdivision. That’s going to be a tough assignment for a Wyoming defense that scores as many points as they allow — 27.
My prediction: Temple 34, Wyoming 14
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio (9-4, 6-2 MAC) vs. Utah State (7-5, 5-2 WAC), 5:30 p.m. [ESPN]
The Utah State Aggies were made famous (get it? Famous? I’m here all week) when they nearly upset Auburn on the Tigers’ home field in the first week of the season. As it turns out, USU isn’t that bad of a football team. This is their first bowl appearance since 1997, so you can be sure that their fans will be excited to make the trip to Boise.
They played three Division I-A programs in their first four games and lost all three in heartbreaking fashion. But they recovered and won their final five games of the season and have a lot of momentum going into Saturday’s bowl game.
The Ohio Bobcats are the MAC runners-up and won five of their final six games. Their defense must stop the run if they want to win this game, because Utah State running back Robert Turbin averages 118 rushing yards per game. I don’t think they can do it.
My prediction: Utah State 28, Ohio 24
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
San Diego State (8-4, 4-3 MWC) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt), 9 p.m. [ESPN]
Ronnie Hillman. Remember that name. SDSU’s running back is averaging 138 rushing yards per game, and he’ll be tough for the Ragin’ Cajuns to stop. His 1,656 rushing yards this season is now second-best in school history, ahead of some guy named Marshall Faulk.
ULL has home-field advantage for sure with the game being played right down the road. But they are giving up a lot of yards per game and have lost two consecutive games. The Aztecs are only favored by five points in this game, but they should probably be favored by more.
My prediction: SDSU 31, ULL 17