10-2 (7-2), 1st Pacific-10
9-3 (5-3), 2nd Big 12 - South Division
December 27, 8:00 pm, ESPN
Finally a bowl game with two ranked teams playing against each other. The Holiday Bowl is always one of my most favorite bowls to watch. Arizona State comes into the game losing two of their last four games while Texas has won 5 of their last 6, but dropped their last game against their rival Texas A&M. It was no surprise to any of us that Texas had the kind of year it did, but Arizona State was a bit of a surprise. They got a new coach in Dennis Erickson and was contending for the Pac Ten's BCS bid, until USC derailed them Thanksgiving week.
Arizona State is led on offense by their quarterback Rudy Carpenter who threw for over 3000 yards and 23 touchdowns. Carpenter was in the middle of a controversy in the 2006 season when he took over at QB, but this year it has been his team and he has excelled. The Sun Devils has been using Keegan Herring to fill in for the injured Ryan Torain in the backfield, but if you have watched them, their strength is passing the ball. On defense they have a tough rushing defense only giving up 100 yards per game on the ground and they will find a stiff test going against Jamaal Charles.
The Longhorns had an up and down season, starting the year good then losing two in a row to Kansas State and Oklahoma, but they can point to some of their downfalls because of key injuries. Their top WR Limas Sweed was lost for most of the season and that has hurt Colt McCoy's production. his passing numbers are nice as he has thrown for 3100 yards and 21 touchdowns. But his 18 interceptions shows the he is still not making good decisions with the football. Jamaal Charles is the stud in the backfield running for 1458 and 16 touchdowns. The Longhorns are one of the tops in the country in all offensive categories. On defense they have the 10th best rushing defense, but are 109th against the pass.
This one is a tough one for me to call. On one hand I think that the Sun Devils will be able to take advantage of the Longhorns' weak pass defense, but offensively I think the Longhorns are balanced enough to keep the Sun Devils guessing on D. Also, this will be the best back that Arizona State has faced all season long in Charles, and I believe he will get over 100 yards. Carpenter has thrown only 1 interception in his last 5 games and McCoy has not been making good decisions, and he must going against a secondary that has picked off 17 passes. Turnovers will be the key and I see Texas making one more mistake than allowed. Arizona State 38 Texas 35
Picking Arizona State to Win
ITB Brian Sakowski, Sportsbone TV, The LSC Scoop, Football Frontier, Corn Nation, The Enlightened Spartan, Pitch Right, Rizzo Sports, Mrs Corn Nation, Lou Nemec, Logan Jaffe, Dan Schoonover, Richard Dixon, Jeff Brancolini, Lorena The Dodgerchick, Cyril Tircuit
Picking Texas to Win
MizzouRAH, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, MidWest Coast Bias, ITB Ron Juckett, Kansas It's Business Time, ITB Charlie Swager, Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks, Pete Boivin, Rodney Polston, Greg Gowins, Matt Kieta, Timmy B, Brian Isaacson, Brant Chruscial, Sunny Verma, Jason Stiver