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#115 Hawaii at #116 Boise State
Where and when: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho, Saturday, Dec. 7, 4 p.m.
Most teams would have a major problem replacing a starting quarterback at midseason. Boise State freshman starter Hank Bachmeier started the season, but was injured.
But the Broncos haven’t missed a beat to win the Mountain Division title. Hawaii has alternated between first starter Cole McDonald and Chevan Cordeiro in recent weeks, but still managed to beat San Diego State two weeks ago to claim the West Division.
The two teams met earlier this season, with Boise State winning a 59-37 shootout in Boise.
Rainbow Warriors end regular season on a roll
Hawaii was sitting at 5-4 midway through the season and not looking like a championship team when they went on a 4-0 run to end the season. The Rainbow Warriors won three straight conference games, against San Jose State, UNLV and San Diego State, to claim the West Division title over the Aztecs.
In their season finale, Hawaii knocked off Army with a 52-31 win. The game was close through three quarters, but the Rainbow Warriors scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away.
As they have for most of the past few games, Cole McDonald and Chevan Cordeiro split time at quarterback and both played well. McDonald finished with 250 passing yards and three touchdowns while Cordeiro had 109 yards and two TDs.
Cordeiro, however, suffered a leg injury against Army and is questionable for the title game.
Retweet, like, comment.... this is history. Roe Farris II notched the first-ever 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by #HawaiiFB. What a way to leave a mark on Senior Night! pic.twitter.com/dgx3Vhjcy5— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) December 1, 2019
Even though he hasn’t played full-time recently, McDonald has passed for 3,401 on the season. Reed has 804 rushing yards and Byrd has 1,049 receiving yards.
Hawaii has the 11th ranked offense in the nation with 481.2 yards per game and are 6th in passing yards at 332.5 yards. They score 35.4 points per game, good for 19th nationally.
The Rainbow Warriors aren’t very good defensively, giving up 431.2 yard per game (95th). That includes 205.5 yards on the ground (111th). Hawaii gives up 3.8 points per game (98th).
Broncos have won four straight
Boise State is 11-1 on the season, with only a 28-25 stumble against BYU in Provo on Oct. 19. The Broncos were playing their first game without Hank Bachmeier and struggled early. Chase Cord threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to make the game close.
In their matchup with the Rainbow Warriors on Oct. 12, the Broncos took care of business with a 59-37 win. Boise State led at the half, 31-14, and then outscored the Rainbow Warriors 21-7 in the third quarter. Cord threw for 175 yards, including 141 to John Hightower. Robert Mahone rushed for 74 yards. Hightower had two TD catches and Mahone rushed for one as well.
Since the loss to BYU, the Broncos have rolled to big wins, with the exception of a 20-17 win over Wyoming.
Cord has since been replaced by Jaylon Henderson at quarterback. Henderson threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in the Broncos’ most recent game, 31-24 win at Colorado State.
Henderson has been named the starter for the championship game even though Bachmeier and Cord are both available.
Even with the quarterback shuffle, the Broncos finished the regular season 29th in total offense at 448 yards per game. They are also 13th in points scored with 37.3 points per game. The normally stout Boise State defense has ranked 36th nationally at 349.8 yards per game allowed and is 27th in points allowed at 21.5.
• Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games
• Broncos are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game
• Broncos are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 home games against a team with a winning road record
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
• Rainbow Warriors are 14-37-2 ATS in their last 53 games on field turf
• Rainbow Warriors are 7-18 ATS against a team with a winning record
• Rainbow Warriors are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boise State has covered four times at home this season against two times they haven’t covered the line. This includes a cover of 13 points the last time these two teams met, on Oct. 12. The Broncos breezed to a 59-37 win, even without quarterback Brachmeier, who was injured.
Boise State has covered two of past three games, although in their most recent game they failed to cover a 13.5 point spread in beating Colorado State by 11 points on the road.
The quarterback change hasn’t seemed to hold back the Broncos as they have scored 31, 56 and 42 points in their past three games.
Hawaii has been switching out quarterbacks regularly when they need a spark, but freshman Cordeiro may be unavailable to provide it as he injured his leg last week.
Take Boise State -13.5
Prediction: Boise State -13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both Hawaii and Boise State have Top 30 offenses and have proven to score a lot of points. In fact, these two teams met earlier this season and combined for 96 points. That game was played on Oct. 12 in Boise, and the weather may come into play. It is expected to be 46 degrees with a 50 percent chance of precipitation.
Boise State has six game go over this season and six go under. The under probably have more to do with the Broncos strong defense. On the other hand, seven Hawaii games have gone over, against three under. That probably has at least as much to do with the Rainbow Warriors bad defense.
Hawaii games have gone over six times in their last eight games.
Take Over 64
Prediction: Over 64