Last nights contest between BYU and Oregon State was pretty one-sided... let's hope to see a more balanced contest tonight. On that note, this evenings game will feature another Pac-10 team versus another MWC team. The Utah Utes finished 3rd in the Mountain West Conference (6-2) but had an overall record of (9-3) and are ranked # 23 in the Nation, while the California Golden Bears finished 6th in the Pac-10 (5-4) with an overall record of (8-4) and are unranked but were at one point in the year ranked # 6 in the Nation. Utah has been to eight straight Bowl Games and this will mark California's 6th straight appearance to a bowl game. Being that alot of folks on NinersNation are Cal fans, I am sure that there will be a bunch of folks watching tonight so we hope to have more participation. Below the jump, we will take a look in to some of the key players, prospects, stats, and other information regarding the game...
SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL PREVIEW
Key players to watch for the Utes:
[# 36] Eddie Wide RB 5'10" 195 (Junior):
Wide broke the 1000 yard mark for the first time in his collegiate career. There will need to be plenty of balance between run and pass for the Utes to come out of this game with the W. Look for Wide to get a Wide variety of touches tonight. His 2009 stats are: 182 Carries, 1032 yards, 5.7 yds/att, 12 TD's, and 1 TD receiving.
[# 68] Zane Beadles G 6'4" 305 (Senior):
Very versatile offensive lineman. Beadles knows how to play just about every position on the line. He has played both Tackle and Guard and has played them both very well. Being that the Niners may need a Guard in the upcoming draft, we all should be watching how well he plays against the Bears defensive line this eve before Christmas Eve.
[# 16] David Reed WR 6'0" 190 (Senior):
Reed is probably the most valuable player on this team. I suspect that true freshman QB Jordan Wynn will be zeroing in on Reed a bunch tonight. Reed will most likely be matched up against one of the top rated CB's in the nation tonight in Syd'Quan Thompson. This will be the most intriguing matchup of the evening. Reed's 2009 stats are: 75 receptions, 1085 yards, 14.5 a rec, 5 TD's.
[# 85] Jereme Brooks WR 5'7" 170 (Junior):
Brooks gives Wynn a great second read option. Brooks is a small, shifty, hard to cover small guy. If the Bears aren't careful, they will get burnt by Brooks. His 2009 stats are: 49 rec, 620 yards, 12.7 a rec, 6 TD's.
Led by Coach Kyle Whittingham (5th year, 46-17)
Key players to watch for the Bears:
[# 13] Kevin Riley QB 6'2" 221 (Junior):
I believe that Riley will have to be a factor in this game to give Cal any hopes of walking away from this bowl game with a win. I think he will more than likely return for his senior year to try and make a name for himself in the 2011 Draft. His 2009 stats are: 54.6% comp rate, 2636 yards, 7.6 per pass completed, 17 TD's, 6 INT's.
[# 34] Shane Vereen RB 5'10" 198 (Sophomore):
Vereen will be one to watch for the future. The Golden Bears have produced some pretty decent running backs within the last few years. With Jahvid Best still out in the this one with the severe concussion and back injury, Vereen will be the feature back. He actually will have finished the season with just 30 yards less than Best, although Best has played in 3 less games due to injury. Here are Vereen's 2009 stats: 163 attempts, 830 yards, 5.1 an attempt, 10 TD's.
[# 1] Marvin Jones WR 6'2" 190 (Sophomore):
Another guy that won't be coming out this year but has the potential to be a draft pick in 2011 or 2012 should he stay his Senior season. Jones has been the number one target as far as receivers are concerned this year; things should stay the same for this game as well. Here are his 2009 stats: 38 receptions, 607 yards, 16.0 a reception, 6 TD's.
Syd'Quan Thompson CB 5'9" 187 (Senior):
Thompson will probably be a 2nd round to 3rd round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft this year. He more than likely will shadow WR David Reed this evening. Thompson will need to be very effective against both the pass and run tonight. He has a very good opportunity to shine tonight and make himself a solid 2nd round pick candidate. Thompson will also be doing some returns tonight too...he is very exciting and electric when he has the ball. He has 250 career tackles which is a lot, 1 fumble forced, and 7 INT's (the majority of those coming in 2008).
Led by Coach Jeff Tedford (8th year, 67-34)
WHEN: 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PST
WHERE: QUALCOMM STADIUM, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
TV: ESPN & ESPN-HD, ESPN 360
SATELLITE: SIRIUS, XM