The BYU Cougars and the San Diego State Aztecs are set to kick off the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday 12/20, and I’m set to make my Poinsettia Bowl pick for the affair at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. Kickoff is set for 8:00 ET, and I’ve got the perfect NCAA football pick for the Poinsettia Bowl.
2012 Poinsettia Bowl
BYU Cougars (7-5, 6-6 ATS) -3.5
San Diego State Aztecs (9-3, 8-4 ATS) +3.5
Historically speaking, this is a tough game to handicap. These two teams used to play together in the Mountain West, and I would like to think that that history should play into my handicapping, but I’ve got two contrasting problems. The first problem is that bowl games tend to be higher scoring. The second problem is that these two teams used to play offense a heck of a lot better than they do right now. So to sit here and say that four of the last five reached at least 53 points in this series doesn’t do me a heck of a lot of good.
My next inkling is to compare the two styles of offense against what the other defense is good at. It seems as though the Aztecs are going to struggle on the ground against the Cougars, but I’m not so sure that that is actually the case. San Diego State has not just one, but two very good backs in RB Adam Muema and RB Walter Kazee that are going to run the ball and run it hard for the whole game. The Cougars did rank second in the nation against the run this year, but they also did play a schedule that included teams like Washington State and Hawaii, who rarely put the ball on the ground. Granted, they also took on Georgia Tech and shut the Ramblin’ Wreck down, and that’s a totally run-based triple option attack.
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And in the end, I’m backing to looking what these offenses have done of late. The Aztecs, playing with a backup quarterback in QB Adam Dingwell, did put 42 up on the Wyoming Cowboys in the closing game of the regular season, and they did score at least 34 points in eight out of 12 games on the campaign and at least 21 in every game since the opening week of the year. BYU scored at least 41 in three of its last four. In games in which QB Riley Nelson was active and played the majority of the snaps, the team averaged 30.1 points per game. That’s all good enough to make me think that this one, in spite of the fact that both teams do have very good defenses, will get past this relatively low number posted on the board.
BYU vs. San Diego State Picks & Tips: Over 48