Bowl Preview: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Find out what the big story lines are for the upcoming Thursday night game -- which could be one of the best pre-Christmas bowl games this year.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

BYU vs. San Diego State

The Aztecs of San Diego State are looking to win their second Poinsettia Bowl in three seasons and sport two of the best running backs in the Mountain West Conference with youngster Adam Muema and veteran Walter Kazee.  There is one problem: Kazee is out after tearing an ACL in the Aztecs season finale against Wyoming. 

That injury is an especially large problem against BYU, who ranks second in the nation only behind Alabama in rushing yards allowed per game at just 84.2.  The Cougars are much better than their 7-5 record would indicate. 

In fact, three of BYU’s five losses were by three points or less, including a narrow three-point defeat at top-ranked Notre Dame back in October.  While the Aztecs may be missing half of their potent rushing attack, they have been on a roll lately, winning seven consecutive games after a 2-3 start to the season. 

It will be a battle of wills in the trenches between the stout BYU defenders up front and the offensive line of the Aztecs who will be attempting to spring the young Muema free.  

Players to Watch

San Diego State – Adam Muema, RB

The young sophomore back for the Aztecs ran for 1,355 yards on just 211 carries (6.42 average) while scoring 16 TDs.  He also caught a touchdown pass.

BYU – Kyle Van Noy, LB

This junior linebacker finished at the top of the Cougars roster (and near the top of all college football) with 18.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks on the season.  He also recorded five PBUs and five FF and is a true disruptor if allowed into the backfield.   

Brian Vornberg is the lead college football writer for CraveOnline Sports. Follow Brian on Twitter @briberg14 or subscribe at