As recently as Wednesday, the site of Thursday night's Poinsettia Bowl between Navy and San Diego State, Qualcomm Stadium, was flooded and under about 10 inches of water. But after work crews spent all night pumping out 1.5 million gallons of water, the field is now flood-free and expected to be ready in time for kickoff -- the bowl logo is already being painted on at midfield (eat your heart out, Metrodome).
Poinsettia Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski called it "an amazing accomplishment."
"The field looks beautiful," Binkowski said at about 7:45 a.m. Thursday. "All the water if off. They've actually started to paint the sponsor logo at midfield. That tells you how things are progressing. They're painting the field markings now. All the water is out. It's a miracle."
While the field is no longer flooded, the effects of nearly a foot of water will still be felt Thursday night. Binkowski admitted as much, saying, "The field may be a little damp and slushy during the game because it's so absorbent down there ... You may see some guys slipping and sliding tonight ..."
This all bodes well for the Midshipmen and their triple-option attack, a rushing offense that was fifth in the country this season (averaging 289 yards rushing per game).
"It definitely makes it a sloppier, slower game," said Jay Kornegay, executive director of the Las Vegas Hilton's sports book. "The speed is going to be neutralized on both sides. (SDSU's Ronnie) Hillman is going to have a tougher time making his cuts and making people miss.
"The money has really come in on Navy. ... They'll be able to deal with it a little better."
As it stands now, the Aztecs are three-point favorites (after opening at 5.5-point favorites), with the O/U set at 60 points.