Otto Kitsinger III
The bowl schedule begins to ramp up with four games this weekend.
The No. 19 Boise State Broncos (10-2) headline the college bowl weekend in the Las Vegas Bowl against the Washington Huskies (7-5) on Saturday.
Chris Petersen's squad boasts a top-10 defense in total yards, points allowed, and opponent's pass efficiency. Washington (7-5) finished fourth in the Pac 12's North division with an offense that limped along to a 99th-best 348 yards per game. The Huskies' defense ranks 30th in yards allowed, and the teams will now play twice in a row due to already being scheduled to open the 2013 season in the newly renovated Husky Stadium.
Saturday's undercard to the Las Vegas Bowl is the New Orleans Bowl between the East Carolina Pirates (8-4) and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (8-4). The Pirates' passing game, led by quarterback Shane Carden, ranks 35th nationally. Louisiana-Lafayette averages 444 yards of offense per game with a balanced run-and-pass attack, and the Ragin' Cajuns are making a second-straight appearance in New Orleans.
The weekend begins Thursday when the BYU Cougars (7-5) match up against the San Diego State Aztecs (9-3) in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Aztecs play the Cougars on their home field in a game between former conference foes. BYU has the third-best defense in the country, allowing only 266 yards per game, and holds an all-time series advantage of 27-7-1.
Friday's game pits the Ball State Cardinals (9-3) against the Central Florida Knights (9-4) in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in Saint Petersburg, Fla. The Cardinals have a top 25 offense behind Jahwan Edwards' 1,321 rushing yards, while the Knights' run game moves behind 115 combined yards per game from Latavius Murray and Storm Johnson.
The weekend's time and TV schedule is as follows. All times are Central. Visit the SB Nation picks and schedule page for a full bowl schedule.
Thurs., Dec. 20
Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. San Diego State; 7 p.m., ESPN
Fri., Dec. 21
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Central Florida vs. Ball State; 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Sat., Dec. 22
New Orleans Bowl: East Carolina vs. Louisiana Lafayette; 11 a.m., ESPN
Las Vegas Bowl: Washington vs. Boise State; 2:30 p.m., ESPN