Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bowl preview, part 1

Quite a few days late, but we're back on track and ready to start bowl season! Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll all be sitting back and watching a lot of college football...and The BBC will be previewing each and every game.

And as much as we'd like to preview the bigger and better games right away, it's best if we do our capsules of each game in the order they will be played. Thus, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl must come first. And yes, that's the actual name of the bowl.

Utah vs. Navy
Poinsettia Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 20 - 9 p.m.

We may be starting the bowl season off with a VERY good game. The Poinsettia Bowl might have picked a pretty good matchup here.

Navy uses a triple-option rushing attack that is very hard to defend. The Midshipmen lead the nation in rushing yards. You should expect them to score a lot of points......but, you should also expect them to give up a lot of points. Keep in mind, this is the same Navy defense that allowed Notre Dame to score 44 points. Yes, they still beat ND, but so did a LOT of other teams....but nobody else allowed that horrific Irish offense to cross the goal line as much as Navy did.

Here's a quick look at how many points below-average teams have scored against Navy this year;

- Duke scored 43 points
- Pittsburgh scored 45 points
- Wake Forest scored 44 points
- Notre Dame scored 44 points
- Delaware scored 59 points. Delaware's not "below-average", but they ARE "below-Division 1-A"
- North Texas scored 62 points

All that defense, and Navy still went 4-2 in those games. Yeah, we might have a shootout.

Utah's not a team that many would fear, but they do have a lot of talent. They were on a big roll, having won 7 straight games before falling to BYU in their big in-state rivalry, 17-10. They're looking to get the bad taste of losing to Mormons out of their mouths*, and I think they'll be successful.

Finally, I feel that Utah will get the win because of the intangibles - specifically, experience and coaching. Navy will play without their Head Coach, Paul Johnson. Johnson has accepted the job at Georgia Tech and will not be on the sidelines for the SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl. As for experience, no player on the Utah squad has ever lost a bowl game. They are 4-0 since 2003, having reached a bowl game in every season.

Utah 48
Navy 41

Actual score
Utah 35
Navy 32
The BBC - 1-0

* - Yes, I know that BYU doesn't have a monopoly on Mormons in the state of Utah. But how many chances will I ever get to write the phrase "Mormons out of their mouths"?

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