The City of Lights will be the ideal setting for a matchup between a team that garnered the national spotlight this year and a program striving to shine.
After defeating then-No. 3 Oklahoma and then-No. 3 Louisville, the Houston Cougars were sitting at No. 5 in the Coaches poll at one point this season. With head coach Tom Herman on his way to Texas (Major Applewhite will make his head coaching debut), the Cougars will try to take down the Aztecs. It won’t be easy, however, considering SDSU has played postseason games for six straight seasons since Rocky Long took over in Southern California.
This could be a high-scoring shootout in the desert.
Houston vs. San Diego State, Las Vegas Bowl game time, details
Time: 3:30 p.m ET
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Weather: Sunny, high of 49
The line: Houston (-3.5)
What channel is Houston-San Diego State on?
ABC is televising the game.
How can I watch Houston-San Diego State online?
You can stream the game at WatchESPN.
How can I listen to Houston-San Diego State on the radio in the Las Vegas Bowl?
You can listen live on the Houston Cougars athletic website at uhcougars.com/collegesportslive.
Who is calling the Las Vegas Bowl for ABC?
Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer and sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung will handle the broadcast duties for ABC.
Las Vegas Bowl: Houston vs. San Diego State keys to the game
Stopping an air attack
Houston rolled behind senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr., who will be looking to leave his program with a bang. Ward led the American Athletic Conference with 3,328 yards despite missing one early-season game. Still, San Diego State has a shot to stop the dual-threat star. The Aztecs ranked 19th in the country in scoring defense and only allowed opponents 21.0 points per game (12th in the country in total defense).
Limiting a bulldozer
The Aztecs will be concerned with Ward Jr., but the Cougars should be equally worried about SDSU running back Donnel Pumphrey. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because the rusher surpassed the 2,000-yard mark this season and was one of four players to lead his team in yards per average carry and catches. Pumphrey usually doesn’t need the fourth quarter to fill the stat sheet. He sat out the final quarter in four of his past seven games.