New Mexico Bowl – Colorado State Buffalos vs Washington State Cougars
Date and Time: Saturday 12/21/13 at 2:00pm on ESPN
Game Line: Washington State -4.5 (from JustBet)
Saturday’s New Mexico Bowl NCAA Football Analysis: The 2013 New Mexico Bowl features two teams who are very happy to be back on the bowl scene after extended absences. The Washington State Cougars are making their first bowl appearance in almost a decade while the Colorado State Rams are in their first bowl game since 2008. Both are in the midst of turning around long struggling programs and this bowl game is a sign that things are changing for these two schools. Colorado State coach Jim McElwain, an offensive coordinator for Alabama during the Crimson Tide’s BCS national championships in 2009 and 2011, said the bowl appearance was an important stepping stone at rebuilding the program because it will help with recruiting. His team features running back Kapri Bibbs who leads the country with 28 rushing touchdowns and over 1,500 yards and quarterback Garret Grayson who is in the top 20 in passing yards. They are the only team with a 3,000 yard passer and a 1,500 yard rusher in the whole country. There were 4 games this season in which Colorado State scored 50 points and they’re a tough offense to contain. Meanwhile, coach Mike Leach’s Washington State squad runs his signature spread offense led by junior quarterback Connor Halliday who is fourth in passing yards. Their spread attack nearly upset Auburn in their first game of the season, a heart breaking 31-24 loss against a team now playing for a National Championship. Washington State played the most difficult schedule in the country this year and finished with six wins but four of their opponents finished in the top 16 in the BCS standings. This game will be an offensive showcase, but the duel threat attack of Colorado State will be much harder to prepare for and Colorado State should have an easier time scoring points. With three weeks of time to prepare, the Rams defense will be more equipped to stop the Washington State spread offense and they will have a much harder time scoring points. Colorado State will control the clock and tempo and force Washington State’s offense to stay off the field in their first bowl win in more than ten years.
Colorado State vs Washington State NCAA Football Picks: Colorado State +4.5 and under 65
Colorado State vs Washington State Game Prediction: 31-28 Colorado State
What to expect in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs will be the difference maker in this game. Teams who can run the ball effectively have an easier time covering spreads in bowl games because of the long preparation times and Colorado State has a definite advantage there. The Washington State spread offense will be effective in the first half but as the game goes on Colorado State will have an easier time controlling and containting the Cougar offense.