Nov 8, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs quarterback Quinn Kaehler (18) looks on after handing the ball off to running back Donnel Pumphrey (center, foreground) during the first quarter against the Idaho Vandals at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
December 23 College Bowl Picks: Poinsettia Bowl
Navy vs. San Diego State (-2.5) | San Diego, CA | 9:30pm ET (ESPN)
This is a game that works for both teams that are in it. Navy is fine with being here considering that San Diego is a huge Navy town, and obviously San Diego State could not have asked for a better venue that in the same city. Just think how happy Eagles fans were to get the Pinstripe Bowl; what the Aztecs got is the rough equivalent to us playing some West Coast team in a bowl game at Fenway or Gillette.
In another parallel to the Eagles, Navy is tremendous with the run at the expense of the pass. Such is life when you have a triple-option football team like the Midshipmen do. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds has thrown six touchdown passes, but he has rushed for 21. They face the number 42 run defense in the nation in San Diego State, one that allowed 200-plus yards twice (Nevada and Boise State, two pretty good rushing teams). Navy will get their yards on the ground.
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So will SDSU. They run for about 219 yards per game, led by the efforts of Donnel Pumphrey, but overall their offense has been sluggish. It has come on lately, scoring at least 29 points in each of their last four games, but it remains to be seen how they will fare here.
This could come down to which defense is doing a better job, and the answer there is probably the Aztecs, who allow only 20 points per game.
The bowl organizers put together what should be a competitive game here. Navy will accumulate good rushing yardage, but go with the more-or-less home team.
San Diego State -2.5