Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl Preview

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Brigham Young Cougars
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 5:00 p.m. PT (ESPN)
Qualcomm Stadium

Last Meeting: 10/09/2010 BYU 24, SDSU 21
BYU leads the all-time series 27-7-1

After earning their first conference title since 1998 and a third consecutive bowl berth, San Diego State (9-3; 7-1 MWC) will close out the 2012 season against long-time rival BYU (7-5). It will be the 36th meeting of a series that dates back to 1947. The Aztecs will be looking for their first win over the Cougars since 2005.

Key Match Up
SDSU's Ground Attack vs. BYU's #2 Run Defense
After two stellar seasons in an Aztecs uniform, All-American running back Ronnie Hillman declared for the 2012 NFL Draft. While many debated on how Hillman's departure would affect the ground game, head coach Rocky Long ensured everyone that the tandem of sophomore Adam Muema and senior Walter Kazee will produce as much or more than Hillman's 2011 campaign.

Muema and Kazee finished the regular season combined for 2,177 yards and 24 touchdowns compared to Hillman’s 1,656 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. As a team, the Aztecs rushed for a school record total of 2750 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Unfortunately Kazee will be sitting out this game with a tore right ACL he suffered during the regular season finale at Wyoming. Filling in will be redshirt freshman Chase Price who put up 41 yards on seven carries against the Cowboys after Kazee left the game.

BYU has a solid defense that's top five in the nation in points allowed, rushing yards allowed, red zone defense, and total defense. Boise State senior D.J. Harper and Notre Dame senior Theo Riddick are the only players to record over 100 yards on the ground against them this season.
Impact Aztecs
Sophomore RB Adam Muema
Rushed for 1355 yards & 16 touchdowns this season
Second Team All-Mountain West
Junior TE Gavin Escobar
 First Team All-Mountain West
John Mackey Award Semifinalist
Senior CB Leon McFadden
Earned first-team all-conference in three consecutive seasons
Tied first in school history in career passes broken up (37)
Sophomore LB Jake Fely
Second Team All-Mountain West
Two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week
Impact Cougars
Junior WR Cody Hoffman
 Caught 90 passes for 1134 yards and 11 touchdowns All-America Honorable Mention
Junior LB Kyle Van Noy
 18.5 tackles for loss & 11.5 sacks (Leads Team)
AP Third Team All-American
Senior DL Ezekiel Ansah
13 tackles for loss & 4.5 sacks
 Phil Steele First Team All-Independent
Publisher's Prediction

San Diego State 27, BYU 20

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