Hawaii (9-4) heads to the mainland to take on Boise State (11-1) in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. This is a rematch from earlier this year when Boise State took care of business with a 59-37 win over the Rainbow Warriors. Also, Weather could have an impact in this game. The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-40s with 13 mph wind speeds, and scattered showers. As of writing this, 74 percent of people are taking the Broncos as 13.5-point favorites, and 79 percent of bettors are taking over 64 points.
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM ET
Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
The Rainbow Warriors offense has been excellent to watch this season. If anyone is willing to stay up through the early hours of Sunday morning, they would see how great quarterback Cole McDonald has played. Hawaii’s quarterback has thrown for over 340 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. Also, Hawaii has had a great rushing attack averaging 5.3 yards per carry, which is good for 12th in the country, and sixth in rushing success. However, they don’t have the most explosive offense in college football. This shouldn’t matter as much as Hawaii does have an edge overall against Boise, but something to take note of. Also, Hawaii and Boise State have similar numbers on the line. Ultimately, whoever controls the line of scrimmage may dictate how the Hawaii offense does on Saturday.
Hawaii’s defense isn’t exactly the reason why they are playing in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. They rank 100th in points per game allowed, and 105th in success rate. A lot of their issues come along their front seven. They have one of the worst defensive lines in college football as they rank 111th in havoc created, and 114th in rushing success. Boise State should have no problem controlling the line of scrimmage and dictating how they run their offense. However, Hawaii’s pass defense has been ok this season. They rank seventh in defending explosive passes. With the winds that are expected in Boise on Saturday, this could factor in to how well the Broncos are able to move the ball down field. Hawaii is outmatched in the run, so their first priority should be trying to stop that.
Boise State Analysis
Boise State has been the most consistent football team out of the Mountain West this year. They don’t do anything particularly flashy, but they go into games and take care of opponents each week. This year, they have ranked 13th in points per game, and 42nd in offensive success rate. They have recorded wins with three different quarterbacks this season who all have at least nine touchdowns. Saturday, viewers will see Jaylon Henderson at quarterback for the Broncos. Henderson has started the last three games, and will be getting the nod in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game this Saturday. Henderson gets the nod after Hank Bachmeier was injured earlier in the season. However, head coach Bryan Harsin isn’t afraid to change quarterbacks mid-game if he needs too.
On defense, the Broncos have been middle of the road this season. Right now, Boise ranks 56th in success rate, but has only allowed 22.5 points per game, which is 27th in the country. This matchup will come down to who can control the line of scrimmage. Boise’s defensive line matches up evenly with Hawaii’s offensive line. In a windy game, running the ball will be key, and that happens successfully whether or not the line of scrimmage is controlled. However, the Broncos do struggle to defend the run. They rank 74th in success rate compared to Hawaii’s sixth. Boise State does hold teams to 3.6 yards per carry. Hawaii should struggle with throwing the ball around in the expected winds that are going to hit Boise on Saturday. Running the ball affectively will decide the outcome of this game.
Betting Pick: Under 64
Both teams struggle to defend the run. Given the weather, this will make it sort of difficult to move the ball through the air. This sets up perfectly for both teams to keep it on the ground. If this happens, then the clock should burn for most of the game making points harder to come by. Also, I would lean Hawaii +13.5 because of the same reason. Not a lot of points means the score should be closer than expected.