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Mid Major Bowl Breakdown: Poinsettia Bowl

Poinsettia Bowl:

Cal vs. Utah

This one will actually be a good matchup. Here's why:

Both of these teams are relatively similar. They are similar in total offense and points scored per game, and they are similar in the fact that both teams have to be disappointed with how their seasons turned out. Both squads entered the season with BCS bowl dreams dancing in their heads. However inconsistent play soon followed and those hopes were squashed quickly. Utah will try to extend the nation's longest postseason winning streak to 9 against the Golden Bears. Under Coach Jeff Tedford, Cal has reached a bowl game for a school-record 7 consecutive seasons, while winning the past four. Cal will have some trouble in this one without the help of star tailback Jahvid Best who is sidelined after a nasty fall and concussion last month. RB Shane Veeren filled in for Best, tallying 444 yards and should get most of the touches against a Utah team that allows 141.3 rushing yards per game. Look for Cal to keep it on the ground, as QB Kevin Riley should have some trouble against a Utes team that led the Mountain West with 15 interceptions and held opponents to 172.8 passing yards. Freshman QB Jordan Wynn will start for the Utes, but expect them to utilize the ground game as well. Utah RB Eddie Wide led the Mountain West in rushing with 1,032 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. The Golden Bears rush defense has given up 365 yards on the ground in the past two games. Running games aside, I'm gonna have to give the edge to Utah. They lost three games this year, two of them to BCS teams (Oregon and TCU) and the third to BYU in overtime. Cal got blown out by sub-.500 Washington at the end of the season, and when the Bears are bad ... they're really bad. If Cal shows up for this one, it'll be a close one. Utah takes it ... 29-27.