San Diego State Aztecs (8-4, 5-3 MWC) vs. Navy Midshipmen (8-3, Independent)
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
December 23 - 8:00 pm - ESPN
San Diego, CA
$750,000 payout per team
For San Diego State, this season has been all about agonizing losses. The Aztecs have lost four games by a total of 15 points. A few plays here and there and San Diego State could have ended up with ten wins ... or more. Close defeats to ranked teams TCU (five points), Missouri (three points), and Utah (four points) proved the team can hang with very good teams. The Aztecs have a potent offense and the fewest points the team has scored all season was 21. 1,300 yard rusher Ronnie Hillman and 1,100 yard receivers Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson lead the way. And if they needed anything else in their favor, the game is in San Diego.
Navy's situation is eerily similar. The Midshipmen have only three losses by a combined 14 points, but to less impressive teams in Maryland, Duke, and Air Force. Navy doesn't have nearly the offensive weapons that San Diego State does, but dual threat QB Ricky Dobbs is one of the most exciting players in college football. With more than 1,300 yards passing and 800 yards rushing, the Aztecs will need to keep an eye on Dobbs and Navy's option.
- SBN Pittsburgh analysis by Anson Whaley
SBN PITTSBURGH BOLD PREDICTION: San Diego State 31, Navy 20
Aaron - Navy
Anson - San Diego State
Jeff - Navy
You have the local team in San Diego State against a team that has a huge Naval base in the city. Lots of demand already for tickets. San Diego State is making its first bowl appearance since 1998, while Navy is in a bowl game for the seventh straight season. The Midshipmen are 1-1 in bowl games under coach Ken Niumatalolo. -- Andrea Adelson
Navy always brings its A-game for the bowls, but San Diego State will be jacked up to be here in Brady Hoke's second year at the helm. The Aztecs have one of the nation's most explosive passing games and a strong run defense that finished third in the Mountain West. Can it handle the Navy option? Expect an entertaining game.