San Diego State Aztecs vs. Buffalo Bulls Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/21/13 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Buffalo Bulls (8-4) at San Diego State Aztecs (7-5)
College Football: Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 5:30 pm (Bronco Stadium)
The Line: San Diego State Aztecs +1 -- Over/Under: 53 See the Latest Odds
The Buffalo Bulls play the San Diego State Aztecs in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho on Saturday.
The Buffalo Bulls finished 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference this season. Buffalo makes its second bowl appearance in school-history on Saturday. The Bulls have won eight of their last 10 games after a slow start to the season. Buffalo senior RB Branden Oliver had an outstanding season, rushing for 1,421 yards and 15 touchdowns, but he did struggle against elite opponents. Oliver averaged just 2.8 yards per carry or worse against Ohio State, Baylor, and Bowling Green, who won the MAC this year. The Bulls rank tied for 27th nationally in scoring defense at 22.3 points per contest. Senior LB Khalil Mack, the Lambert Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker, is by far the best player and the leader of the Bulls defense. Mack has 94 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, and three interceptions this season, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Mack is a big reason why Buffalo ranks fourth nationally with a plus-15 turnover margin.
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The San Diego State Aztecs finished 7-5 overall and 6-2 in the Mountain West Conference this season. The Aztecs are playing in their school-record fourth consecutive bowl, and have fond memories of playing in Boise after dashing Boise State’s BCS hopes last year with a 21-19 upset. San Diego State started the year off slow, but has won seven of their last nine to finish the regular season. The Aztecs rank 35th nationally in passing as junior QB Quinne Kaehler has averaged 7.8 yards per pass, with 17 touchdowns against 9 interceptions this season. Kaehler’s favorite target is WR Ezell Ruffin, who caught 63 balls for 1,061 yards and three scores and is considering leaving early for the NFL. The Aztecs will be healthy coming into this game, with OT Zach Dilley returning from a knee strain that kept him out of the regular-season finale against UNLV. Also, OT Bryce Quigley and TE Adam Roberts will be back from foot injuries they suffered in the loss to UNLV. San Diego State’s biggest problems are on defense as they rank 96th in points allowed at 32.3 a game. The Aztecs played four overtime games this year, winning three.
I think both teams will be able move the ball as both teams struggle to stop the other team’s strength. San Diego State will be getting some key players back off injuries and they also have the better quarterback behind center. If the Aztecs can slow down the run game and force Buffalo to pass the ball they should win this game. If Buffalo can run the ball affectively and force some turnovers, like they have all year, they have a shot at winning this game. I’m going to lean towards San Diego State in this game and I wouldn’t be surprised if the total went over 60.