New Mexico Bowl

The 2010 Bowl season kicks off with a match up between the Mountain West and Conference USA. The winner will improve to 7-6 and secure a winning season while the loser will be one of the rare teams that played in a bowl game and finished with a losing season. Both offenses are steady but not spectacular and rely on both the run and pass. Both defenses are suspect, especially on third down. This should be a battle of field position with plenty of scoring.

3 Keys From the Scouts
1. UTEP is -4 in turnovers on the year while the Cougars are even despite turning the ball over more times. Mike Price’s bunch don’t generate a lot of turnovers themselves and they can’t afford to turn the ball over against an opportunistic BYU defense.
2. Watch the kicking game. BYU has converted 80% of its field goal opportunities while UTEP has converted on 55%. Amazingly UTEP has performed better on kickoffs over the course of the season, a testament to their coverage teams. The Miners average 25 yard per return, 4 more than the Cougars. In a game against 2 evenly matched, and balanced offenses, a field goal attempt could seal the outcome.

3. Who will make the big plays? UTEP has 4 more 20+ yard plays on the year than BYU and has given up 10 fewer. BYU will have to either limit or answer UTEP’s big plays in order to win this game.

Bold Prediction: These two teams are very similar with the talent edge going to BYU ever so slightly. The Cougars also play a more disciplined brand of football with better kicking and fewer turnovers. That should propel them to victory.  BYU 30 UTEP 24

Pro-Prospects

BYU

Rnd Name Pos Num Yr Comments
2nd Matt Reynolds T 70 4Jr Big, physical tackle that has displayed top footwork and pass protection skills in the past. Expected to enter the draft. Suffering from a labrum injury which will require surgery.
FA Nick Alletto T 72 5Sr Adequate, small area blocker.
FA Andrew Rich S 22 4Sr Hard hitting, straight line safety.

UTEP

Rnd Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
FA Kris Adams WR 2 5Sr Adequately sized receiver coming off a solid season. Possesses soft/reliable hands and projects as a fifth receiver in the NFL.
FA Trevor Vittatoe QB 10 5Sr Patient pocket passer with a big arm. Lacks consistent fundamentals and all over the place with his passes at times.
FA Donald Buckram RB 3 5Sr Patient ball carrier that projects as a third down/situational back at the next level.
FA Rod Huntley G 74 4Sr Small area blocker very strong at the point.
FA Braxton Amy S 14 5Sr One time highly rated prospect that’s suffered terrible injuries two of the past three seasons.

Game Preview: Brent Foshee

Prospect Preview:  Tony Pauline