The 8-4 Wyoming Cowboys and the 8-4 Temple Owls open up the bowl season in the New Mexico Bowl on December 17th.
These are two very different teams. Temple loves to run a great deal and the Owls play tough, hard-nosed defense. Wyoming has an electric quarterback that plays creatively to open up the field.
This bowl game offers many intriguing matchups and it could be a very entertaining game.
The Temple Owls boast the number 15 ranked defense in the country and the Cowboys are the 46th ranked offense.
Temple's defense held 10 of their 12 opponents to under 17 points this season. The Cowboys will have a great deal of work to do in order to beat the Owls.
Bernard Pierce is a NFL style running back. He has great size (6'0'', 218 pounds) and vision and rushed for 1381 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2011.
Wyoming's defense has been terrible against the run. If they do not stiffen up by the 17th, then Pierce might have a field day against the Cowboys.
I know that I have already mentioned the Owls defense versus the Wyoming offense, but I have to make specific mention of the Cowboys' electric quarterback.
This year Smith ran for 10 touchdowns, threw for 18 more and caught one touchdown pass.
The Owls have to have a scheme in place in order to make sure Smith does not get hot. If he does, the Cowboys have a chance.
Evan Rodriguez is a big boy. At 6'3" and 250 pounds, he shouldn't be the team's leading receiver.
But he is. He has surprising speed and great size. If the Cowboys don't keep an eye on him, he could make a few critical catches.
Wyoming's offensive line has struggled throughout the course of the season. Without a solid push, the Cowboys will not be able to hang with Temple.
The Cowboys must hold onto the ball. If not, the Owls will have a massive time of possession lead by the end of the game.
Wyoming just doesn't have the firepower to beat Temple.
Temple is the better team, has played a tougher schedule and is more prepared to play in this bowl game. They will run the ball well and their defense will cause Wyoming to struggle on offense.
Temple wins this one in a rout, 31-14.