Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

December, 8, 2013
12/08/13
8:55
PM ET

Buffalo Bulls (8-4) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (7-5)

Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m. ET, Boise, Idaho (ESPN)


BUFFALO BULLS BREAKDOWN
[+] EnlargeBranden Oliver
Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY SportsTailback Branden Oliver led the Bulls in rushing this season.
Buffalo started the season slowly, as it lost big to Ohio State and Baylor before squeezing past FCS Stony Brook in quintuple OT. But the Bulls bounced back in a big way. They went on a seven-game win streak, winning those last six games by an average margin of four touchdowns.

Senior tailback Branden Oliver, who rushed for 1,421 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, has been critical to Buffalo's success. The defense has come up big, as well, as it ranks No. 10 nationally in red zone defense and boasts an above-average secondary.

Buffalo's lone MAC losses came against conference champion Bowling Green and a 7-5 Toledo team. -- Josh Moyer

vs.

SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS BREAKDOWN
In 2010, Brady Hoke got the Aztecs to a bowl game for the first time since 1998. Then he left for Michigan. Since then, Rocky Long has guided San Diego State to three bowl games in three seasons as head coach.

[+] EnlargeEzell Ruffin
Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SportsEzell Ruffin is a major threat in the San Diego State passing game.
After an 0-3 start, that included losses to FCS Eastern Illinois, Ohio State and Oregon State, the Aztecs rallied to win seven of their last nine.

Running back Adam Muema has been solid, though his 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns are a step backward from 2012, where he rushed for 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns. Wide receiver Ezell Ruffin (63 catches, 1,061 yards, 3 TDs) is the primary deep threat.

The Aztecs have played in four overtime games this season and are 3-1 with wins over Nevada, Hawaii and Boise State. Their lone overtime loss was to Fresno State. -- Kevin Gemmell

Josh Moyer | email

Penn State/Big Ten reporter

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