This isn’t where either team wanted to be, which is unusual since we are talking about Las Vegas, but the game next Thursday night will be an interesting one as Kellen Moore concludes his terrific College Football career and the Dennis Erickson era comes to an end at Arizona State.
Bowl Breakdown: Boise State was a short kick from the BCS title game, but like last year, they narrowly missed out on much greater glory. Kellen Moore has brought plenty to this little Idaho school with the funny-colored field and will leave as the winningest QB in College Football history. Moore’s last game could get ugly as Arizona State’s defense ranked 89th in FBS allowing 419.5 yards per game and gave up 36 points per game in November going 0-4 in 4 shootouts. Those 4 losses ultimately cost Dennis Erickson his job, and forced the whole Todd Graham debacle as he left Pittsburgh. Erickson is a solid coach, but I don’t see this as a “win one for the Gipper” kind of situation. Erickson will get another job if he wants one, but his Sun Devils are going to get wiped out in this one. This one could get ugly as Moore goes out with a bang against a AZ St. team that gave up 47 to Cal in their last game, and Boise State’s offense is way better than Cal’s. There’s plenty of reasons to watch this one even though it won’t be a close game. It’ll be explosive wit big plays and an offensive clinic put on by the Broncs. Plus, many of these guys will end up as prospects for the NFL Draft. Here’s some guys to keep an eye on in our…
Pro Prospects: Kellen Moore-BSU-QB: The obvious pro pick here is Moore. He’s thrown an astounding 41 of his 140 career TD passes this year. He’s an interesting option since some scouts are so low on him; he’ll be around in later rounds and more of a developmental project.He knows how to win though, and though small in stature can make all the throws … Brock Osweiler-ASU-QB: actually is ranked ahead of Moore on most pro boards due to his size and upside at the next level. He’ll probably return to school for his Sr year and be one of the leading QB’s in next year’s draft class. Get an early look at him as he tries to keep up with Boise State…Vontaze Burfict-ASU-MLB: Burfict is by far the best player on the Devils defense, but may not play much in this one. He was benched in the last game and reportedly wouldn’t go back in the game. Erickson said he’ll travel to Vegas and hopefully he plays since he’s a fun talent to watch. He’s probably a first round pick depending on the combine and interviews, and could end up in the top 15. He compares to a Patrick Willis-type LB…Doug Martin-BSU-RB: A quick and elusive back that excels catching the ball as well, Martin looks to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick and would do well teamed with a bruiser in a timeshare, but could end up a great addition mid-draft…Nate Potter-BSU-OL: Potter’s a team captain and 4 year starter. Right now he looks like a 2nd rounder…Shea McClellin-BSU-OLB/DE: When Boise’s on defense watch #92 off the edge. He can make the plays and is a hard-hitter. He’ll end up going in the 2nd round to a team needing defensive depth at multiple LB positions…Billy Winn-BSU-DE/OLB: The other playmaker on Boise’s line (#90) could also end up in the 2nd round or even late first… With those 2 guys up front, the Boise defense has been great this year and both of them look to be weekly players at the next level. Check ‘em out early in their bowl game as they try to bring down the big 6-8 ASU QB.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our ongoing series for our Bowl Mania. You can find the same type of analysis for the Poinsettia, Beef ‘O’Brady’s, New Orleans, New Mexico, and Idaho Potato Bowls