Bowl Prediction Contest Game 2- The Nawlins’ Bowl Open Thread

BYU (10-2) v. Oregon (7-5)

Date/Time: Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ET
Site: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Network: ESPN

Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Low of 35 Degrees

Past Results (14):

Dec. 22, 2005 California 35, BYU 28
Dec. 23, 2004 Wyoming 24, UCLA 21
Dec. 24, 2003 Oregon State 55, New Mexico 14
Dec. 25, 2002 UCLA 27, New Mexico 13
Dec. 25, 2001 Utah 10, Southern California 6
Dec. 21, 2000 UNLV 31, Arkansas 14
Dec. 18, 1999 Utah 17, Fresno State 16
Dec. 19, 1998 North Carolina 20, San Diego State 13
Dec. 20, 1997 Oregon 41, Air Force 13
Dec. 19, 1996 Nevada 18, Ball St. 15
Dec. 14, 1995 Toledo 40, Nevada 37 (OT)
Dec. 15, 1994 UNLV 52, Central Michigan 24
Dec. 17, 1993 Utah St. 42, Ball St. 33
Dec. 18, 1992 Bowling Green 35, Nevada 34

Player(s) to Watch: Oregon’s Soph Running Back #28- Jonathan Stewart
Has tailed off near the end of the season, but finished with 94 yards and 3TDs vs. Oregon State. Also posted 144 Yards and a TD vs. Oklahoma earlier in the year.

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BYU’s Quarterback- John Beck & Tight End- Johnny Harline
Beck is one of the top passers in Div-1 this year. He’s ranked 6th in Passing Yards and Tied for 5th (with Troy Smith) for Passing TDs. Johnny Harline is his main target, and leads all Div-1 TEs with 11 TDs on the season.

Deciding Factor(s): This is by far one of the toughest games to call. Both QB’s are very accurate and pick up a ton of yards. Both defenses are very average. Oregon’s Run Defense is actually pretty bad, but their pass defense makes up for the deficiency. BYU’s defense hasn’t had a real test outside of Utah. They crush teams early in games, and offenses have to break out of their gameplans early. I think the difference maker is going to be Stewart in this one. If he puts up Oklahoma numbers and gets this into a shootout Oregon might be able to pull it out. If Jonathan puts up Cal numbers (18 rushes-25 yards) this will be over quick.

Crazy Stat: The Cougars have outscored their opponents 138-15 in the first quarter this season.

Spread: BYU-3, O/U 62

AA’s Pick and Analysis: I have a strong feeling that this one is going to be a shootout, and will possibly head into overtime. I am basing this pick solely on guess work as these teams are too damn close to decide between. BYU is probably scared to death that they are in hedonous Las Vegas for the week. The University has most likely imposed curfew after curfew on these kids. The only attractions they’ve probably seen is some Cirque D’Soelielielie Crap and the Pirate Show outside of Treasure Island. That and they haven’t played in 4 weeks.

The Ducks on the other hand are stumbling into the Bowl Season after losing their last three games (USC, AZ, OSU).

So with that said, I’m heading to the Special Teams since I think this one will be decided by a FG, or in the return games. Oregon’s kickers are flat out Awful. Their punter shanks left and right and averages 39 yards per attempt. And their Kicker is 16-25 on the year and has a range of about 40 yards. BYU’s Kicking game has been much better as of late. McCaughlin has hit 8 of 9 since a poor showing against BC with the one miss being a 53 yarder.

Prediction BYU 36-30. You can’t vote for a team that will be wearing these helmets……

Ducks Get Head Start On Bowl Season (Oregonian)

Good luck to all. Thanks for playing the game and stop by for analysis of the game and announcing.
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