TV Schedule: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
Line: Boise State (-9.5)
Let’s just start the festivities off by saying this: Upsets happen (quite often actually) in college football. Bowl season does not get a pass on that one. That said, the Boise State Broncos are the favorites against the Northern Illinois Huskies entering the Poinsettia Bowl.
The Broncos are rocking an 8-4 record while Northern Illinois brings an 8-5 record with it. Boise State is riding some momentum into this one as it holds a one-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Huskies have lost their last two games.
Both squads clearly have a good amount of losses, but here is one notable fall for each team: The Broncos went down to the BYU Cougars by the score of 35-24, and the Huskies only lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes, who were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time, by the score of 20-13.
A look at the numbers: Boise State is averaging 37.8 points per game and giving up 21.3 in the process. Northern Illinois is putting up 33 PPG and allowing 25.5 PPG.
Some key players to keep an eye on: Boise State’s Brett Rypien and Jeremy McNichols, and Northern Illinois’ Joel Bouagnon.
While the Broncos have been one of the more successful mid-majors (if you will) over the years, Northern Illinois has not been too shabby either. There are plenty of reasons to believe in Boise State, but upsets, once again, happen all the time. Plus, it’s not like this is the best Boise State team we have ever seen. If nothing else, call this prediction a hunch, and enjoy the festivities that it brings.
PREDICTION: Boise State 17, Northern Illinois 34