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College Football
Preview
Buffalo vs San Diego State
When: 5:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 21, 2013
Where: Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL STORYLINES

1. Buffalo makes its second bowl appearance Dec. 21 when it meets San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise. The Aztecs are playing in their school-record fourth consecutive bowl, and have fond memories of playing in Bronco Stadium after dashing Boise State’s BCS hopes last year with a 21-19 upset. Both teams overcame slow starts as Buffalo has won eight of its last 10 games and San Diego State seven of its last nine.

2. Buffalo senior running back Branden Oliver had a phenomenal season, rushing for 1,421 yards and 15 touchdowns, but struggled against elite opponents. He averaged 2.8 yards per carry or worse against Ohio State, Baylor and Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green.

3. San Diego State ranks 35th nationally in passing as junior Quinn Kaehler averaged a healthy 7.8 yards per attempt, with 17 touchdowns against nine interceptions. Top target Ezell Ruffin caught 63 balls for 1,061 yards and three scores and is considering leaving early for the NFL.

TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Buffalo -3.5

ABOUT BUFFALO (8-4, 6-2 Mid-American): The Bulls rank tied for 27th nationally in scoring defense (22.3) thanks in large part to senior Khalil Mack, the Lambert Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker. He has 94 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and three interceptions this season, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and a whopping 16 career forced fumbles. Mack also is a big reason why the Bulls are fourth nationally with a plus-15 turnover margin.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE (7-5, 6-2 Mountain West): The Aztecs will be healthy, with offensive tackle Zach Dilley returning from a knee strain that kept him out of the regular-season finale against UNLV and fellow tackle Bryce Quigley and tight end Adam Roberts coming back from foot injuries they suffered in that loss. San Diego State’s biggest problems are on defense as it ranked 96th in points allowed (32.3). The Aztecs played four overtime games this year, winning three.

PREDICTION: Buffalo 27, San Diego State 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Buffalo 8-4 L1 30.8 22.3 5-1 3-3 0-0 0-1 6-2
San Diego State 7-5 L1 28.2 32.3 3-3 4-2 5-3 0-0 6-2
Last Meeting
Buffalo San Diego State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Buffalo N/A
San Diego State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Buffalo N/A
San Diego State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Buffalo N/A
San Diego State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Buffalo N/A
San Diego State N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Buffalo J. Licata 59.0 2628 21 7
San Diego State Q. Kaehler 60.1 2796 17 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Buffalo B. Oliver 282 1421 5.0 15
San Diego State A. Muema 228 1015 4.5 12
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Buffalo A. Neutz 57 937 16.4 11
San Diego State E. Ruffin 63 1061 16.8 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Buffalo B. Oliver 15
San Diego State A. Muema 12
Quickchart Matchup
Buffalo Off vs  San Diego State Def
401.8 yards
394.3 yards
4.1 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
6.9 yards/attempt
6.8 yards/attempt
San Diego State Off vs  Buffalo Def
422 yards
376.3 yards
4.1 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
7.4 yards/attempt