Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico Bowl free picks’

New Mexico Bowl Picks: BYU Cougars vs. UTEP Miners Analysis

December 15th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on New Mexico Bowl Picks: BYU Cougars vs. UTEP Miners Analysis

This Exclusive Sportsbook Bonus Offer Is Available From Bankroll Sports Only
Click Here For An Exclusive 100% Signup Bonus (Up to $500) @ BetUS!
Credit Card Deposits Are Also Accepted @
BetUS Sportsbook & Casino!

bet us sports

The New Mexico Bowl will kick off the 2010 bowl season on Saturday afternoon, and here at Bankroll Sports, we have the ins and outs covered for a great game for you to make your NCAA football picks for. The BYU Cougars and UTEP Miners really played opposite seasons of each other, as the Miners started off strong and limped to the finish line, while BYU won five straight games to become bowl eligible before losing the Holy War to the Utah Utes by a narrow margin. Which team will end up beating the 11.5 point spread in favor of the Cougs? Check out these three New Mexico Bowl keys to the game.

Key #1: Protecting Trevor Vittatoe
The BYU defense has done a great job this year against opposing passing games, especially in the second half of the campaign. The team only allowed 187.8 yards per game this year through the air, one of the top marks in the MWC and good enough to rank No. 21 in the country. No one threw for over 300 yards on this ‘D’ all season long. For UTEP, QB Trevor Vittatoe is dealing with an ankle injury, and though he is going to be playing in the game, he is probably going to be hobbled just a bit as well. Over the course of the last three seasons, the signal call was sacked 21, 25, and 22 times respectively, but the OL did a lot nicer job this year, allowing him to get dropped behind the line just 14 times. Of late, those numbers are getting worse, and more and more pressure is getting into his face. Vittatoe has only completed 37 passes over his last three games, and he hasn’t made it to the 200 yard mark in any of those efforts, averaging under 150 yards per game. He hasn’t thrown a TD pass in almost nine quarters of game time and has been picked off twice in that stretch as well. It’s fairly clear that, when given a chance, Vittatoe is lethal. He threw for 340 yards and three TDs against the Houston Cougars and 246 yards and five scores against the New Mexico State Aggies. However, this is probably the best pass defense he has seen all season long, and if the Cougs get to him in the backfield consistently, the Miners are in some big time trouble.

New Mexico Bowl Odds at BetUS Sportsbook
Northern Illinois Huskies -1
Fresno State Bulldogs +1
Over/Under 58.5
Click Here to Bet on Your New Mexico Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Jake Heaps needs to play like the signal caller he was in the final four games of the year and not the one from the first two months
True freshmen sometimes get a bad rap for the way that they play. Sometimes it’s justified and they just never grow into themselves. Other times, they just need some more time to shine. That’s exactly what happened with QB Jake Heaps this year for the Cougs. He started off the season splitting reps with QB Riley Nelson, a far more experienced and significantly more mobile option. However, HC Bronco Mendenhall turned the keys to the car, per se, over to Heaps going into the game against the Nevada Wolf Pack. He struggled mightily in his first four games as the lone starter, throwing six picks and no scores. However, since the start of November, Heaps has been fantastic. He has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for an average of just under 250 yards per game with nine TDs and just one INT. All but two of his TD passes this year came in the month of November. Remember last year when Utah Utes QB Jordan Wynn really shined brightly down the stretch and in his bowl game? That’s exactly what Heaps has to do here in the New Mexico Bowl to beat the Miners.

Key #3: Someone aside from JJ Luigi needs to help Heaps out
RB JJ Di Luigi did just about everything for the Cougars this year. He had the most carries on the team (158), the most receptions (42), the most rushing yards (819), the most receiving yards (422) and the most total TDs (8). We know that, whether as a rusher or a receiver, Di Luigi is going to get his numbers, and there is nothing that the UTEP defense can do about it. What the Miners have to do though, is shut down everyone else around him. RBs Bryan Kariya and Joshua Quezada have combined for over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage this year, but there isn’t a receiver out there that has more than 34 catches or even 400 yards for BYU aside from Di Luigi. We know that both WR Cody Hoffman and WR Luke Ashworth are threats, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to be able to really bust out. UTEP has to contain these men on the outside and keep from letting the big play happen. There was only one pass play all season long that went for more than 50 yards for the Cougars, and the Miners need to make sure that it stays that way.