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Hawaii Bowl

Tulsa vs. Hawaii

Betting Line: Hawaii -10.5 o/u 73

12/24/10

It looked like Hawaii was going to mire in mediocrity for another season after the first three games of the year. They lost to USC and Colorado State to start the year 1-2. After that they finished 9-1 for an overall record of 10-3. This is due in large part to owning the top passing offense in all of college football. Junior QB Bryant Moniz has completed 337 of 508 passes for 4,629 yards and 36 TDs. One of his best games of the year came against Army when he completed 25 of 36 passes for 343 yards and 3 TDs. Moniz completed 26 of 36 against Nevada for 287 yards and 3 TDs. His longest pass of the year was an 80 yard bomb against Colorado. WRs Kealoha Pilares and Greg Salas are his top targets. They own a combined 2,981 yards and 27 TDs.

Tulsa finished the year 9-3 with wins over Notre Dame and Southern Miss. They know how to score points in a hurry. They can do it with equal ease running the ball or by passing. QB GJ Kinne has passed for 3,307 yards and 28 TDs in 2010. He opened the season with 5 TD passes against ECU and ended it with 4 against Southern Miss. Kinne can run the ball too. This year he has rushed for 557 yards and 7 TDs. Tulsa is a team that can fly under the radar. It will be important for Hawaii to take them seriously. Notre Dame failed to do that and paid for it with a 27-28 loss to the Golden Hurricane.  

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Motivation could be key here. Some Tulsa players were quoted in the press as being thrilled to be going to Hawaii for a Bowl game and hey, why not, most would. Most of the time, in this Bowl game, you have two teams thrilled to be going to Hawaii for a Bowl game. However, in this instance, this is just another home game for the Hawaii. Will they be disinterested? Or will Tulsa be the team not all that interested in playing football?

Yards per point stats have this game fairly even. Both team explosive on offense with a ypp of 12.5 while Hawaii is better by a half point on defense with a ypp of 15.2 to Tulsa's 14.8. Both teams fantastic in turnover margin with Hawaii a whopping +16, 2nd best of all bowl teams, and Tulsa weighing in with a +13 which puts them in the top 5.

The yards per point numbers are significant here because these two teams played schedules that were even in strength. We have this game being closer than the current line of Hawaii -10.5. This game was close to being a Key Release for us. The motivational issues here kept us off the game. But we like Tulsa here. Anytime you have a dog of +10 or more that can put points on the board the way they can, you have to give them a close look.

Predicted Score - Hawaii 42 Tulsa 35

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