The second college football bowl weekend begins Thursday when the San Diego State Aztecs (9-3) play host to the BYU Cougars (7-5) in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Aztecs play the Cougars on their home field in a game between former conference foes. BYU holds an all-time series advantage of 27-7-1 and has the third-best defense in the country, allowing only 266 yards per game.
The No. 19 Boise State Broncos (10-2) headline the weekend in the Las Vegas Bowl against the Washington Huskies (7-5) on Saturday. The teams will now play twice in a row, as the two schools are slated to open the 2013 season in the newly-renovated Husky Stadium.
Chris Petersen's squad boasts a top-ten defense in total yards, points allowed, and opponent's pass efficiency. Washington (7-5) finished fourth in the Pac 12's North division with an offense that limped along to a 99th-best 348 yards per game. The Huskies' defense ranks 30th in yards allowed.
Saturday's undercard to Boise State is the New Orleans Bowl between the East Carolina Pirates (8-4) and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (8-4). Louisiana-Lafayette averages 444 yards of offense per game with a balanced run-and-pass attack, and the Ragin' Cajuns are making a second-straight appearance in New Orleans. The Pirates' passing game, led by quarterback Shane Carden, ranks 35th nationally.
Friday's game pits the Central Florida Knights (9-4) against the Ball State Cardinals (9-3) in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in Saint Petersburg, Fla. Ball State has a top-25 offense behind 1,321 rushing yards from Jahwan Edwards, while the Knights' run game moves behind 115 combined yards per game from Latavius Murray and Storm Johnson.
The weekend's time and TV schedule is as follows. All times are Central. Visit the SB Nation picks and schedule page for a full bowl schedule.
Thurs., Dec. 20
Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. San Diego State; 7 p.m., ESPN
Fri., Dec. 21
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Central Florida vs. Ball State; 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Sat., Dec. 22
New Orleans Bowl: East Carolina vs. Louisiana Lafayette; 11 a.m., ESPN
Las Vegas Bowl: Washington vs. Boise State; 2:30 p.m., ESPN