Buffalo Bulls vs San Diego State Aztecs
Saturday – December 21 – 4:30 PM
Bronco Stadium – Boise
On the day that bowl season kicks off, the Buffalo Bulls (8-4) take on the San Diego State Aztecs (7-5). The Aztecs are lucky to be in a bowl game after starting their season with three straight losses. Buffalo only won nine games over the previous three years, but found themselves eligible for a bowl bid.
San Diego State Aztecs
Quarterback Quinn Kaehler will try to lead the Aztec offense to victory through the air. He has a completion ratio of over 60% with sure-handed speed wideouts like Ezell Ruffin. They will look to change their luck in bowl appearances after losing in 2011 to Louisana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl and last year to BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl. Third-year head coach Rocky Long is 1-6 for his coaching career in bowl games.
The Bulls have the player to watch in linebacker Khalil Mack, the Lambert Award winner and Butkus Award finalist. With 94 tackles, 19 for a loss, and 10.5 sacks this season, he is projected to be a first-round pick come draft day. Offensively their running game has been their calling card led by Branden Oliver’s 1,421 yards this season.
Keys To Victory
The Aztecs will have to limit what the Bulls do well, turnovers. Buffalo ranks fourth in the country for turnover average at 1.3 per game. A December day in Boise will favor the team that can run the ball effectively. Advantage Buffalo again. The bowl game experience and atmosphere will be nothing new for San Diego State however. They should be able to get a quicker start since they are accustomed to the bowl schedule.
Prediction: Buffalo 35 San Diego State 10