Idaho Potato Bowl – Buffalo Bulls vs San Diego State Aztecs
Date and Time: Saturday 12/21/13 at 530pm on ESPN
Game Line: San Diego State pk (from JustBet)
Saturday’s Idaho Potato Bowl NCAA Football Analysis: San Diego State and Buffalo are both rebuilding programs who will take a big step forward with a bowl game win this season. The Aztecs set a school record with their fourth bowl appearance in four years when they beat Fresno State and finished second in the Mountain West. They overcame a 0-3 start with a 40-19 loss to an FBS school in Eastern Illinois to finish 7-5. The Aztecs are the first FBS team to make a bowl appearance following a 0-3 start since 2010. Coach Rocky Long has sustained the success of predecessor Brady Hoke, guiding the team to bowl games in all three seasons since taking over. Running back Adam Muema will be a big key to San Diego State if they’re going to win, the junior topped 1,000 yards for the second straight season but finished with just 57 yards in his last two games after having 650 in the four games before that. He keeps San Diego State in third and manageable situations when he is running the ball well and is a key to the success of their team. Buffalo is making its second bowl appearance in school history after setting a program record by winning 8 games this season. Like San Diego State, the Bulls overcame a rocky start with losses to Baylor and Ohio State before having more success in conference play. Their offense has been either outstanding or awful for much of the season, scoring over 40 points 4 times but being held to less than 21 three times. Buffalo also has a standout running back of their own, senior Branden Oliver, who is a two time 1,000 yard rusher with 1,421 this season and is a big difference maker for the Buffalo offense. Whichever team can slow down the opposing team’s running game will have the upper hand in this game, and Buffalo has had the superior defense all season long.
Buffalo vs San Diego State NCAA Football Picks: Buffalo pk and over 53
Buffalo vs San Diego State Game Prediction: 31-27 Buffalo
What to expect in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl: These two offenses couldn’t be more similiar, both use the run on early downs to set up third and managable situations where their mediocre passing attacks can have success. The difference in this game will be the defenses, and Buffalo is averaging almost a touchdown less per game allowed. They force more turnovers and have played tougher competition in conference and that will make the difference in this one. They will have an easier time slowing down San Diego State as the game goes on and they get a feel for what the Aztecs are trying to do offensively, pulling away in the fourth quarter.