Dec. 17
9 p.m.
ESPN  San Diego State 30 vs Louisiana-Lafayette 32


The Rajin' Cajuns came out with a victory in front of a loud crowd. This recap is a little late, so lets just skip to the MVPs. But a great win for La-Lafayette. SDSU didn't seem ready at the beginning. They waited too long to play and Kicker Brett Baer made them pay.

San Diego State MVP: Ryan Lindley- The senior finished his Aztec career by throwing for 413 yards and 3 touchdowns in a tough loss. The Aztec running game was effectively shut down.

Louisiana-Lafayette MVP: Blaine Gautier- He passed for 470 yards and led a last second drive that led to a Brett Baer game winner. Great job by Blaine.

We picked San Diego State to win. We are currently 2-1.


Offense: San Diego State brings an offense that scored nearly 30 points a game to New Orleans. They are a run first team, led by RB Ronnie Hillman. The sophomore had 19 rushing touchdowns while running for 1656 yards. QB Ryan Lindley has passed for 2740 yards and his top receiver is Collin Lockett. Also look for him to find tight end Gavin Escobar, who has found the endzone 7 times this year for the Aztecs. He will especially come in handy near the red zone, where teams will be focusing on HIllman and play action may lead to big plays for the 6'6'' sophomore. Louisiana-Lafayette has a home field advantage and a pass first offense, which should have some success against the Aztecs. Dual-threat QB Blaine Gautier is the key to this offense as he has passed for 2488 yards and run for nearly 500. It is key that the Rajin' Cajuns get on the board early, because the Aztec defense turns it on in the second half... but more on that later. Javone Lawson leads the team with 899 receiving yards and Harry Peoples has recieved for 647 yards. Alonzo Harris is the main component of a rushing unit that is ranked 86th in the country.

Defense: San Diego State's defense comes in giving up 24.4 points a game. As Agustin Gonzalez points out below, the unit struggles in the first half, but is dominant in the second half. Only 7 touchdowns have been scored against the Aztecs in the second half all season. Senior linebacker Miles Burris is the heart of this defense, as he plays outside linebacker and leads the team in tackles. DT Jerome Long is a monster inside and will be diffucult for the Rajin' Cajuns to stop. As far as the secondary goes, senior DB Larry Parker leads the team with 7 interceptions. Look for him to make an impact against this passing attack of Louisiana-Lafayette. Louisiana-Lafayette struggles defensively, giving up just about 30 points a game. That won't get it done against San Diego State. LB Lance Kelley leads the team in tackles and will need to have a big game to slow down the Aztec offense. They will need to slow down San Diego State and not allow big plays to stay in it and use the home crowd to its advantage.


The Pick: I like San Diego State to win this game. I think Ronnie Hillman  could have a big game. It will be interesting to see if the Rajin' Cajuns are able to score enough and make it a game. I think they can, but in the end, SDSU will be too much. If you agree or disagree let me know why by tweeting me @bowlseason or emailing me at . I'll post them if you send them.




Agustin Gonzalez, a staff writer for (Rivals/ Yahoo! Sports) answered some questions for us

BS: The Aztecs went 8-4, a very good year, considering that 3 of the losses were against Michigan, TCU, and Boise State. Overall, how would you rate Rocky Long's first season overall?
Agustin Gonzalez: I would give SDSU a very uninspiring, but solid “B.” Although it was Rocky Long’s first season as head coach, he spent the last two on Montezuma Mesa as defensive coordinator, and after Brady Hoke left for Michigan he was promoted to provide continuity and basically keep things the same, so it’s no surprise the Aztecs had another great year.
And make no mistake, it WAS a great season for the San Diego State football program. The Aztecs matched last year’s 8-4 record and will go to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in the school’s Division I history. Long said at last Sunday’s press conference that “8-4 this year was harder than last year's team had it” and “in my opinion, this team did better than last year's team." With a tougher schedule than last season, I’d have to agree that expectations were higher this year.
You mention that three of SDSU’s losses were to Michigan, TCU and Boise State – many fans felt the Aztecs were good enough to beat at least one of those teams, by the way – but it was the loss to Wyoming at home that was really disappointing and likely kept SDSU out of a better bowl game. Although the Aztecs put together another solid year, they didn’t take the next step that many thought they would and get a “signature win,” so I can’t give them any higher than a “B.”
BS: Reports are San Diego State is heading to the Big East. How do you see this affecting the football program?
Agustin Gonzalez: Geography jokes aside, this move was all about the benjamins. According to athletic director Jim Sterk, SDSU will likely make somewhere between $6-$9 million a year in the Big East (much better than the $1.5 million in the Mountain West) and will also recruit better in a BCS conference.
When Rocky Long came to SDSU with Brady Hoke prior to the ’09 season, he said that it takes five years to build a national program. It’s currently year three, and by the time SDSU joins the Big East for the 2013 season it will be year five. Rocky will fully expect to win a conference championship, and if the team keeps improving year after year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Aztecs make some noise in the Big East.
BS: The offense was very balanced, averaging about 30 points a game. Who are the key players on that unit that complement Quarterback Ryan Lindley?
Agustin Gonzalez: Although the offensive stats might look fairly balanced on paper, SDSU is a run-first team. The Aztecs’ biggest weapon on offense is running back Ronnie Hillman, who has rushed for 1,656 yards and 19 touchdowns this season, and is third in the nation with 138 yards per game. Hillman has been playing with a high ankle sprain for the last few weeks, but that hasn’t stopped him from having monster games against UNLV (192 yards, 2 scores) and Fresno State (178 yards and a whopping four touchdowns) last week.
As far as the passing game goes, look out for tight end Gavin Escobar. Escobar is a big red zone threat at 6-foot-6 and 245 lbs and has been Lindley’s go-to receiver all season. Although he’s only a sophomore, Escobar ranks third in the country among tight ends in both receiving yards (710) and touchdown receptions (7).
BS: The defense was pretty solid this year. What does it need to do to be successful in the bowl game, and who are the key players?
Agustin Gonzalez: The defense was pretty interesting to watch this year. SDSU’s defense, week after week, would start the game off slow and put the team into an early hole. It happened in all four losses this season, and the Aztecs even fell behind 14-0 to 2-10 UNLV and 21-0 to 4-9 Fresno State before coming back to win both games.
But for as bad as the defense would be in the first half, SDSU would completely turn it around in the second. I’m pretty sure the Aztecs had one of the best second half defenses of any team in the country. Of the 293 points allowed this year by SDSU, only 72 had been scored after halftime, and gave up only seven second half touchdowns all year. SEVEN!
The coaches said they never made any big halftime adjustments. The players couldn’t explain why SDSU suddenly turned into Alabama for the last 30 minutes of the game. If the Aztecs don’t put themselves into too big of a hole for Hillman and the offense to dig themselves out of, then they should beat the Ragin’ Cajuns handily.
BS: If you could choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?
Agustin Gonzalez: If I were a betting man, I’d bet my house that Ronnie Hillman puts up at least 100 yards, couple of touchdowns, and a handful of “oh-my-god-did-you-see-that?!” runs. He has a week off to rest his sprained ankle, which should help him regain a little bit more of the speed and shiftiness that makes him such a special running back. Besides Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, Hillman will be the best player that Louisiana-Lafayette will face this season.


Thanks a lot to Agustin Gonzalez. Check his work out at and follow @Agustin_ASR

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