2013 Hawaii Bowl Preview

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve to everybody!

I hope that you had the chance to hear the Monday Night Football announcers gush and goo over Candlestick Park during pregame, halftime and four quarters of play last night. I know I couldn’t have gone to bed before I had heard every last player, coach, personality and janitorial staff member that had ever done anything in the Bay Area’s wonderful dual-purpose stadium tell me what it meant to them.

Tonight we’ll get an even better treat…college football on the night before Christmas. The Hawaii Bowl has long been one of my favorite bowls of the season. Unfortunately, I usually suffer greatly in the Bowl Mania game due to putting far too many points on a team that ends up getting pasted by a June Jones coached squad.

Luckily, Jones isn’t coaching in the game and I’ve had the opportunity to cover one of the teams playing all season. So I’m hopeful that my luck will change in 2013.

At 2-3 in Bowl Mania currently, I’d love to get back to .500 before the one day break in action that is Christmas Day. I’m in fourth place in the group right now, so a win tonight should give the illusion that I’m doing very well so far. A shout out goes to Neil Seguin (you may remember him as Week 10’s guest prognosticator), who is the current leader of the group.

Without further rambling, here is the preview for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (Tuesday, 8 PM ET – ESPN)

Boise State vs. Oregon State

Mele Kalikimaka from Hawaii! The warm weather and gorgeous backdrop of the island of Oahu is the site of tonight’s bowl game between the Boise State Broncos and Oregon State Beavers. Both teams come in with the ability to score a lot of points, but a lot of interesting things have transpired in past editions of this game. In the Hawaii Bowl, motivation and focus are extremely important, and often times one team does not have it when the game kicks off. Still, what’s better than college football that will more than likely creep into the early hours of Christmas Day on the East coast?

I’ve had the pleasure of covering Boise State football as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report this season, so I feel like I have a pretty strong grasp of what the team is capable of without throwing a bunch of statistics at you. The Broncos have had arguably their most trying season under the tutelage of former head coach Chris Petersen, who will not be with the team after accepting the Washington job a couple of weeks ago. Boise State can keep up offensively with the Beavers, but the bigger issue will be stopping Oregon State through the air. The Broncos are young in the defensive secondary and have had issues stopping just about every team with a decent passing attack this season. Since Sean Mannion is second in the nation in yards passing per game, this could be a huge problem for the Broncos. Perhaps playing loose under interim head coach Bob Gregory could serve as an advantage to this team.

At first glance, it looks like Oregon State will be able to take full advantage of Boise State’s weaknesses in this game. In addition to Mannion at quarterback, the Beavers also have 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner Brandin Cooks lining up in the slot. Cooks could have a monster day against Boise State’s weak secondary, because he is far and away a better athlete than anyone that will be lining up to cover him. However, despite all of the offensive weapons, Oregon State probably won’t completely run away with this game. The defense for the Beavers is pretty bad, especially against the run, which is how the Broncos will try to move the ball. Oregon State is also on a five game losing streak, and if there is a reason for them to be unmotivated to play in this game, that would be it.

If you’d like to learn more about some of the key matchups in this game, take a look at an article I wrote about them last week. Although I’ll be cheering for the Broncos in this one, I just don’t think they have the defensive strength to contain the Beavers enough. There should be a lot of scoring in this game, which will make it fun to watch for the casual observer, but Oregon State will pull through in the end. I’m going slightly more conservative than I usually do in this bowl game and taking the Beavers for 22 points in Bowl Mania.

My Pick: 44-31 Oregon State

If you’d like to share your opinion on Around The Corn for any of the upcoming bowls, shoot me an email with your thoughts and prediction to kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. Or you can like Around The Corn’s Facebook page or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. As long as you send your thoughts at least two games before the game is to be played, I can assure you that your thoughts will show up in an article.

– K. Becks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *