College of San Mateo returns to the postseason and will be hosting Diablo Valley College in the seventh annual Botham Bulldog Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
“This year was not a great year, but by no means a bad year,” CSM coach Brett Pollack said. “We’re proud of our execution and how we did.”
The state’s 13th-ranked team, San Mateo (7-3), has an annual goal of playing for the Northern California championship, and even though they came up short this season, the Bulldogs get to play one final home game.
“It’s something we look forward to,” Pollack said. “The sophomores get one last opportunity to play in front of their families and home crowd.”
The Bulldogs have not faced No. 14 Diablo Valley (8-2) since 2009, the year CSM won the NorCal championship.
Pollack said even though the players have changed, the scheme Diablo Valley uses has not.
“We’re going to have to do a good job protecting [against the pass rush],” he said. “They do a good job at changing their looks and it will be a challenge.”
Diablo Valley lost its two games by a combined 18 points, with the last coming on Oct. 23 against De Anza.
“They have an aggressive style, like to spread you out, stay balanced,” Pollack said.
The biggest challenge will be slowing down quarterback Joey Bradley, who has thrown for 3,346 yards and 31 touchdowns.
San Mateo won last week against Laney 41-13 to end the regular season after two straight losses, including a nail-biting 17-14 loss to City College of San Francisco, the top-ranked team in the state, on Oct. 29.
“We did a good job leading up to San Francisco. We were prepared,” Pollack said. “We didn’t prepare [like] we should against Butte.”
San Mateo committed four turnovers and picked up only 11 first downs in its 47-13 loss to Butte on Nov. 5.
“We got the result we deserved,” Pollack said. “You can’t play that way against a good team.”
The Bulldogs finished third in the NorCal Conference, behind CCSF and Butte College.
CSM averages 314 yards on the ground and has been led by Jarrell Brown, who has 512 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Bulldogs have five players with 300 or more yards rushing, but who gets the bulk of the carries will be determined by the Diablo Valley defense.
“It’s all about reading the defense,” Pollack said. “It all depends on how they decide to play us.”
CSM (7-3) vs. Diablo Valley (8-2)
WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.
WHERE: College of San Mateo
RANKINGS: CSM ranked No. 13 in the state; Diablo Valley ranked No. 14 in the state