12/20/14 by Matthew S. Vandriak
It's time for College Football "Bowl Season"! 38 games will played between now and January 4th, and this weekend kicks it all off.
New Orleans Bowl
Nevada vs Louisiana Lafayette Dec. 20th @11am
At 8 and 4, Lousiana Lafayette finished second in the Sun Belt Conference, but technically were the conference champions since Georgia Southern is in a transition year and not eligible for the post season this year. Nevada comes in at 7 and 5, and finished third in the West Division of the Mountain West Conference. Of Nevada's five losses, four of them came by 7 points or less. The Rajin' Cajuns went 7 and 1 against the Sun Belt, but were 1 and 3 against non-conference foes, and their only win was over FCS Southern. Both of these teams strong rushing teams, as ULL averages 228 yards per game, while Nevada averages 215 yards per contest. When it comes to points, these teams are pretty even as well. The Rajin' Cajuns average 30.6 points per game and give up an average of 27.9 points against. The Wolf Pack average 31.3 points per game and give up an average of 28.2 points against. Nevada is led by quarterback Cody Fajardo, who was responsible for 3,371 total yards in offense and 31 touchdowns this season. Fajardo led the Wolf Pack with 997 yards rushing as well. ULL is led by their QB, Terrance Broadway, who put up 2,719 yards in total offense. The Rajin' Cajuns are looking to win their fourth consecutive New Orleans Bowl. If they win, ULL would be the first school ever to win the same bowl game four years in a row. Nevada has lost 6 of their past 7 bowl games, and are back in the post season for the first time since 2012. These schools have played only one other time, a 38 to 14 Nevada win back in 1995.
New Mexico Bowl
Utah State vs UTEP Dec 20th @2:20pm
At 9 and 4, Utah State finished third in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference. UTEP comes in at 7 and 5, which was good for third in Conference USA's West Division. The Aggies average 27.4 points per game and give up an average of 20.8 points against. The Miners average 28.3 points per game and give up an average of 28.7 points against. UTEP Is looking for their first bowl victory since 1967. The Miners average 213 yards rushing per game, led by Aaron Jones, who has rushed for 1,233 yards and scored 11 TD's. Utah State has won their past 2 bowl games, UTEP has lost their past 5 since that winning the Sun Bowl 47 years ago. This is the first meeting between these schools since 1961.
Las Vegas Bowl
Utah vs Colorado State Dec 20th @3:30pm
Two former WAC and MWC rivals will reunite in this game. Colorado State comes in at 10 and 2, while Utah comes in at 8 and 4 and are ranked 22nd in the country. The Rams finished second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, the Utes finished 5th in the PAC 12's West Division. Both of these teams can put points on the board, as Colorado State averages 35.9 points per game, while Utah averages 30.4 points per contest. Offensive Coordinator Dave Baldwin will be the interim coach for the Rams in this one, as head coach Jim McElwain is headed to Florida to coach the Gators. Utah is 13 and 4 in bowl games all time, giving them the best winning percentage in bowl games of all teams to play at least 15 bowl games. Colorado State averages 498 yards per game on offense, which is 12th best in Division One. The Rams are led by quarterback Garrett Grayson, who was the MWC offensive player of the year. Grayson passed for 3,779 yards and threw 32 TD's against just 6 interceptions. Utah won the past 5 meetings between these schools when they were still conference foes.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Western Michigan vs Air Force Dec 20th @5:45pm
Two teams with high scoring offenses in what's been a turn around season for both will clash in this contest. 9 and 3 Air Force finished 4th in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference. At 8 and 4, Western Michigan finished 3rd in the West Division of the MAC. The Falcons average 30.9 points per game, the Broncos 34.6 points per game. These teams combined for 17 wins this season, after combining for just 3 victories in 2013. The Broncos are led by QB Zach Terrell, who passed for 3,146 yards and 23 touchdowns. Western Michigan gets it done on the ground too, as Jarvion Franklin rushed for 1,525 yards and scored 24 TD's. This game will mark the first ever meeting between these schools in football.
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