2014 Poinsettia Bowl schedule and coverage: Navy vs. San Diego State
Not much better than spending the holidays in San Diego, California.
The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl might be one of the hidden jewels of bowl season. Qualcomm Stadium is nearing its 50th birthday, but the game is played in one of America’s most beautiful cities.
And what you get is one of the best names in all of bowl season: the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The sponsor is hyperlocal and it makes for a comically long name, so using its full name is preferred whenever possible.
Despite being backed by a financial institution — this is the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, in case you forgot — last year’s $500,000 payout to each team was the third-lowest among all bowl games. Attendance for last year’s 21-14 Utah State win over Northern Illinois was down 12,034 from 2012′s game — a 23-6 win for BYU over San Diego State — but TV ratings were up 51 percent.
Date and time, ET: Tuesday, Dec. 23, 9:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium; 70,561
Last year’s score: Utah State 21, Northern Illinois 14
Last year’s attendance: 23,408
Last year’s TV rating: 2.2
Last year’s payout for each school: $500,000
Team with the most all-time appearances: TCU and Navy, three
Team with the most all-time wins: TCU, three
Navy Midshipmen (6-5)
Navy began the 2014 season by giving Ohio State a serious test for about three quarters. A little more than three months later, it’s been a mostly disappointing season for the Midshipmen, but run-heavy Navy will still be bowling. The Midshipmen still have one game left on the schedule, playing Army on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds tops Navy in both passing and rushing and has led the team to four wins against .500 teams, including a blowout victory over Sun Belt champions Georgia Southern. In addition to the Ohio State loss, the Midshipmen lost close games to Rutgers, Western Kentucky, Air Force and Notre Dame, and were a few bounces away from a very different year.
Last bowl game: 2013 Armed Forces Bowl, 24-6 win vs. Middle Tennessee State
All-time bowl record: 8-10-1
Head coach’s bowl record: Ken Niumatalolo, 2-4
San Diego State Aztecs (7-5, 5-3 MWC)
San Diego State is bowling for the fifth-straight year, accomplishing the feat in all four years of head coach Rocky Long’s tenure. 2014 was the lowest win total for the Aztecs since 2009 — the first year of former head coach Brady Hoke’s brief tenure — but they have a strong running game capable of challenging any defense.
San Diego State’s strongest victory came towards the end of the season, knocking Air Force out of the Mountain Division race with a 30-14 victory. Running back Donnel Pumphrey ran for 131 yards and a touchdown in the game, one of 19 scoring runs this season for him.
Last bowl game: 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 49-24 win vs. Buffalo
All-time bowl record: 2-5
Head coach’s bowl record: Rocky Long, 2-6