College Bowl Predictions: SDSU vs. La Lafayette in R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Brandon WhalenCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2011

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 20:  Quarterback Ryan Lindley #14 of the San Diego State Aztecs throws a pass against the Utah Utes at Qualcomm Stadium on November 20, 2010 in San Diego, California.  Utah won 38-34.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When: Dec. 17, 2011 | 9:00 PM ET

Where: New Orleans, LA

Predicted Outcome: SDSU 37, LA Lafayette 20


San Diego State Breakdown

San Diego State finished the regular season in fourth place in the Mountain West Conference at 8-4. They lost to the three teams that finished ahead of them: TCU, Boise State and Wyoming, while their out-of-conference loss was to Michigan.

Their best player and workhorse is sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman. He's rushed for over 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns, but the Aztecs actually have a very balanced offense. Signal-caller Ryan Lindley has accounted for 2,700 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Their defense has been very consistent all season, as they've given up an average of 24.4 points per game and have only been torched for over 30 in one game (52 to Boise State).


LA Lafayette Breakdown

They started the season 6-1, but have lost three of their last five, including two straight to Arkansas State and Arizona. They finished at 8-4, placing them third in the Sun Belt.

The strongest part of the Cajuns team is duel-threat quarterback Blaine Gautier, who has thrown for almost 2,500 yards, 20 touchdowns and is the team's second-leading rusher.

Lafayette's defense has been shaky throughout the season. They've held teams like Troy, North Texas and Kent state to under 20, but almost every other team has dropped at least 30 on them.


Game Breakdown

This will be Louisiana Lafayette's first-ever bowl appearance, and a lucky one at that. This game is being played in New Orleans, a de facto home game for the Cajuns.

The Aztecs have to travel a considerably farther distance and the majority of the crowd will be cheering for the Cajuns, but don't expect this to will ULL  to victory.

When the Ragin' Cajuns played another team with a workhorse running back, Western Kentucky and Bobby Rainey, he ripped them apart for over 200 yards and three touchdowns. Expect Hillman to have a huge game and lead the Aztecs to their second-straight bowl victory.