Bowl season begins without anything too grandiose, but there’s definitely some star power in Las Vegas as two ranked teams, Fresno State and USC take on each other in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. There should be plenty of interest in seeing Washington State playing against Colorado State, the Cougars’ first bowl game in 10 years.
In other bowl games, New Orleans will host the inner-state clash between Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette, while Buffalo and San Diego State will play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Washington State vs Colorado State
Two teams that haven’t been to a bowl game in a very long time. Washington State last player in the “postseason” back in 2003, while the Rams have been out of the bowl game circuit for four years. It’s not hard to know what to expect in this game: The Cougars are going to put the ball in the air, ranked 4th in the nation with 364.5 passing yards per game, while Colorado State run for over 202 yards. So is is Connor Halliday vs Kapri Bibbs? It’s probably going to take most of the spotlight, but with Washington State having a slightly better defense, it’s probably going to go their way.
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl – #20 Fresno State vs #25 USC
The Trojans, despite all their problems this season, have won six of their last eight, basing their success on a strong defense while Cody Kessler developes into a more reliable quarterback. The Bulldogs, almost making it into a BCS game, lead the nation in passing yards, going with Derek Carr’s arm all through this season. USC are a slightly better team, especially if they get their running game going, but injuries might make it difficult to follow through.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Buffalo vs San Diego State
In the Aztecs’ seven wins this season, they ran for 2 more yards per carry than in their five losses. Buffalo have a good running defense, and it’s probably going to come down to how well the Bulls preform on defense, as their offense with quarterback Joe Licata and running back Branden Oliver isn’t strong on to carry this game on its own. However, San Diego State are quite awful defensively, which will give the Bulls the win in this one.
R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Tulane vs Lousiana-Lafayette
The Ragin’ Cajuns have won this game twice in a row, while for Tulane this is the first bowl game in 11 years. Tulane mostly rely on their defense, but with their quarterback carrying an injury while LA-Lafayette have shown great dominance over them in their most recent encounter, this one is probably going for the Ragin’ Cajuns.