Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#115 Hawaii 62.5 vs.
#116 Boise State -13.5
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#115 University of Hawaii at Manoa
#116 Boise State University
9-4
11-1
7-6
7-5
8-5
6-6
35
37
31
21

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The Mountain West Championship game comes to you live from the blue turf of the Gem State. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors battle the #20 Boise State Broncos with the conference crown at stake Saturday afternoon. Hawaii closed the season with a 52-31 home win over Army in their previous contest last Saturday. Boise State edged Colorado State 31-24 on the road in their previous game last Saturday. The Broncos lead the all-time series between the teams 13-3 and have won the last seven meetings between the schools. That includes a 59-37 win on this same field in the most recent matchup, which came back on October 12.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Seek Upset Triumph

Hawaii won their fourth straight game as they knocked off Army in their last contest to finish the regular season with a 9-4 mark. The Rainbow Warriors hope that they can defeat Boise State for the first time in the last eight meetings and earn the conference title. Hawaii was tied at 10 after the opening quarter and trailed 17-10 early in the second quarter before scoring three unanswered touchdowns to take a 31-17 edge early in the third quarter. The Rainbow Warriors didn’t see the lead drop below seven the rest of the way: they put the game away with two fourth-quarter scores. Hawaii was outgained 538-492 and lost the time of possession by a 35:20 to 24:40 margin in the contest. The Rainbow Warriors did win the first down battle 25-23 and forced two turnovers, including a pick-six, while not committing a turnover in the game.

The Rainbow Warriors are 6th in the nation in passing offense with 332.5 yards per game through the air and stand 85th in rushing offense with 148.3 yards per contest. Hawaii is 19th in the FBS in scoring offense by averaging 35.4 points per game while they stand 98th in scoring defense by allowing 31.8 points per contest. Cole McDonald is 278 of 429 passing for 3,401 yards with 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while rushing for 404 yards plus six scores. Chevan Cordeiro is 69 of 119 for 907 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions plus 210 yards and three scores on the ground. Miles Reed leads the team with 152 carries for 804 yards and seven scores while Fred Holly III contributes 52 carries for 292 yards and two scores this season. Cedric Byrd leads the team with 91 receptions for 1,049 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jared Smart (76 catches, 915 yards, three TD), JoJo Ward (55 catches, 906 yards, 11 TD) and Jason-Matthew Sharsh (73 grabs, 749 yards, four TD) are quality secondary options. Ryan Meskell has hit all 58 extra point attempts but is only eight of 14 on field goal tries with a long of 50.

Boise State Broncos Trying to Lock Down New Year’s Day Bowl Berth

Boise State won their fifth straight game and finished unbeaten in Mountain West play for the first time in school history as they outlasted Colorado State last week. The Broncos are looking to earn the win here and potentially earn a New Year’s Day bowl appearance. Boise State scored 10 points in the final 1:16 of the first half to break a 14-14 tie and didn’t let Colorado State closer than three in the second half. The Broncos were outgained 379-344, held a 36:24 to 23:36 edge in time of possession and forced two turnovers while not committing one in the game. Both teams finished with 20 first downs in the contest. The turnovers proved to be the difference in the game as Boise State scored 10 points off those takeaways.

The Broncos enter this contest 34th in the nation in passing offense with 271.3 yards per game. On the season, they are 47th in rushing offense with 176.7 yards per contest. Boise State is 13th in the FBS in scoring offense with 37.3 points per game and 27th in scoring defense as they allow 21.5 points per contest. Hank Bachmeier has completed 122 of 193 passes for 1,760 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions on the season. Chase Cord is 57 of 95 for 670 yards with nine touchdowns against three interceptions while Jaylon Henderson is 64 of 94 for 820 yards with nine touchdowns and three picks. George Holani leads the ground game with 165 carries for 912 yards plus seven scores on the season. Robert Mahone (84 carries, 413 yards, six TD) and Andrew Van Buren (61 carries, 259 yards, two TD) are next in line. Khalil Shakir leads the team with 53 receptions for 745 yards plus five scores on the year. John Hightower (45 grabs, 859 yards, seven TD), CT Thomas (37 catches, 499 yards, five TD) and Akilian Butler (27 receptions, 313 yards, two TD) are other options in the passing game. Eric Sachse is 56 of 57 on extra points and 13 of 15 on field goals with a long of 41. Joel Velasquez has not attempted an extra point but is one of two on field goals with a long of 52.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Hawaii has their run and shoot style offense that Nick Rolovich played in before taking over at his alma mater. The Rainbow Warriors are a good offensive unit but they have had their struggles defensively this season. We saw Hawaii give up 59 points on this field less than two months ago, which has to be concerning. Boise State continues to juggle quarterbacks as they try to figure out who is healthy enough to take the field. It will be interesting to see which one of their three quarterbacks will be under center in this contest. Still, seeing how the Broncos are capable of putting points on the board regardless of who is on the field. Give Boise State the upper hand in this contest as they earn the victory and take down Hawaii for the second time this season.

Prediction: Boise State Broncos -13.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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We know that Hawaii can put up points: they posted at least 31 points nine times this season and were held below 20 just once all year. That came in a 14-11 road win over San Diego State two weeks ago that helped them win the West Division crown. The Rainbow Warriors put up 37 on the blue turf against the Broncos back in October but they were unable to slow down Boise State. Henderson is atop the depth chart for Boise State at quarterback but Cord and Bachmeier are both expected to be available for this one. Boise State has put up at least 30 points in nine games this season as well. Will the Broncos find a way to come up with the victory in this contest to earn the Mountain West Conference title?

The over is 5-0 in the Rainbow Warriors' last 5 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and 11-1 in their last 12 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. Seeing how these two teams scored 96 points in their meeting two months ago, it's likely that we're going to see some offensive fireworks in this contest. Look for this one to end up over the number in a high-octane offensive attack.

Prediction: Over 64.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.