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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Bowl Week 1 - late Games

Rick Gagliano | December 15-21, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for early games.

Thursday, December 20 8:00 pm
San Diego Co. Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl San Diego, CA ESPN
BYU (-3, 48 1/2) vs. San Diego State
- Over the years, a strong athletic program has been developed at San Diego State and the school is widely regarded as one of the best places on the West coast for solid athletes to spend their collegiate careers.

After a 2-3 start to the season, the Aztecs got their act together and finished up with seven straight wins and a three-way tie for the Mountain West regular season crown with Boise State, who they beat, 21-19, and Fresno State, to whom they lost, 52-40. All three finished with 7-1 records in the conference.

The Aztecs went 9-3 overall, with their other losses at Washington, 21-12, in their season opener, and 38-34 to upstate rival San Jose State. With a balanced offense and quality defense, San Diego state will give the Cougars all they can handle in what's shaping up to be a very competitive contest.

This season was somewhat of a rocky one for BYU, losing some close calls - notably, 7-6, at Boise State and a 17-14 loss at Notre Dame. As expected, the Cougars beat down lesser opposition and was quite competitive against stronger and ranked foes, allowing just 17 touchdowns the entire year.

An independent, Brigham Young did not have to go through the rigors of a conference schedule, though their slate was strong, including teams from Oregon State, Georgia Tech, Utah State and San Jose State, going 2-2 against those teams.

Only one team (Oregon State) scored more than 24 points on the Cougars and the defense held four opponents to seven points or less. The Cougar defense was second to Alabama in rushing defense, allowing 84.3 yards per outing.

However, BYU's offense sputters at times and turnovers may well play a huge part in determining the outcome. San Diego state may have to get the job done through the air and they are capable of stunning the Cougars in a close call.

Prediction: Aztecs 23 Cougars 20


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Friday, December 21 7:30 pm
Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, FL ESPN
Ball State vs. Central Florida (-7, 61 1/2)
- Ball State had one of its best seasons in years, tying for second place in the MAC West with Toledo at 6-2 while compiling a solid 9-3 record for the regular season.

Central Florida flew under the radar most of the season, but reached the conference championship game after going 7-1 in Conference-USA, their only loss at Tulsa, 23-21, to whom they also lost in overtime in the championship game, again, at Tulsa, 33-27, costing them a chance to play in the Liberty Bowl.

That disappointment notwithstanding, UCF's only other losses were out of conference, 31-16, at Ohio State and, 21-16, to Missouri, both in September.

UCF has a better defense than the Cardinals, but Ball State can move the ball and score both on the ground or through the air which will oppress the Knights' defensively. Usually a winner in close, high-scoring contests, the Cardinals are on a six-game win streak and it's surprising they are such heavy underdogs as they went 9-3 ATS.

Ball State's only loss by more than eight points (Northern Illinois beat them 35-23) was to Clemson, 52-27, though the Tigers ram-rodded many quality teams this season and the Cardinals h ave improved defensively since that game, which was back on September 8.

Prediction: Cardinals 34 Knights 28

All times Eastern - Click here for early games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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