NCAA Prediction and Free Pick Bulls vs. Aztecs
Buffalo Bulls (8-4) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (7-5) 12/21- 5:30PM EST
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL- Boise, ID
The San Diego State Aztecs will make their school-record fourth consecutive bow appearance when they meet the Buffalo Bulls in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday evening.
The Aztecs (7-5) overcame a brutal 0-3 to put themselves in a position to continue building its football program under the guidance of third-year coach Rocky Long, who has maintained the programs success following predecessor Brady Hoke.
“I think the team is happy and excited about going to a bowl game,” Long said.
With its fourth straight bowl game, the Aztecs have matched their total bowl appearances over the last 41 years combined and are the first team since 2010 to make it to a bowl game following an 0-3 start.
San Diego State will look to junior running back Adam Muema to carry the load as he has gained over a 1,000 yards for the second straight season, but has struggled in his last two games with only 57 yards on 36 carries.
“(The lack of success) has nothing to do with Adam Muema,” Long insisted. “It has to do with our offensive line not blocking very well for the run in the last two games. But all good running backs that have a good game have to have someone open a hole for them up front.”
Senior safety Nat Berhe, a first-team all-Mountain West selection anchors the San Diego State defense that finished second to Fresno State in the conference. Berhe recorded team-highs of 59 solo tackles and 94 overall and added six passes defended with two fumble recoveries.
Buffalo (8-4) will be making its second straight bowl appearance in school history and like the Aztecs had to overcome a rough start of the season with losses to BCS-bound Ohio State and Baylor by a combined 110-33 margin.
The Bulls then turned it on with a seven-game win streak that ended when they lost their regular-season finale 24-7 to Mid-American champion Bowling Green on November 29th.
“It’s been four years in the making,” coach Jeff Quinn said about his team’s bowl berth.
Expect Buffalo to use a ground attack as well, behind senior star running back Brandon Oliver, a two-time 1,000 yard rusher who has accumulated 1,421 yards with 15 touchdowns this season.
The oddsmakers have the game EVEN with Ohio State having been the common opponent for both teams. The Aztecs lost to the Buckeyes 42-7 at Ohio State, while the Bulls loss to Ohio State was much closer according to Aztec quarterback Quinn Kaehler… “I remember Buffalo played Ohio State pretty tough, a lot tougher then we did, so they have some good players on that team and especially on defense,” said Kaehler.
With a pick-em game, expect the line to maybe move, so be up to date with the latest spread right here at Wonder Punter up until game time.
This will Buffalo’s second bowl appearance since a loss to Connecticut in the 2009 international Bowl.
I too have it as an evenly matched game, but I expect both teams to play hard and with pride, but in the end will predict the Aztecs winning to take home the trophy.
Prediction/Pick- San Diego State
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter