Late-night college football action on Saturday and we will see a pair of teams from the Moutain West Conference square off as the Boise State Broncos grapple with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Boise State comes in off a 52-21 home win over Colorado State to move to 3-1 on the year while the Rainbow Warriors dropped to 2-2 after a 34-10 road loss to San Diego State. These teams met last year and Boise State won that game at home by a score of 34-10. They were favored by 14 points in the game.
Broncos Crush The Rams At HomeA few weeks ago, the Boise State Broncos had one of their worst home losses ever as they fell to BYU by a score of 51-17. In their last game, they were able to bounce back with a 52-21 home win over Colorado State to move to 3-1 on the year. The Broncos do not have two bad home games in a row, and they proved that with the rout of the Rams. Boise State has some strange offensive numbers as they rank 78th in total yards, 46th in passing, and 101st in rushing, but 19th in scoring, putting up 40.0 ppg. They are tops in the nation in yards per point at 9.4, so they know what to do with the ball when they have it. Despite hanging up 52 points on the Rams, Boise had just 291 yards of total offense, and they lost the turnover battle 2-1. How did they hang up 52 points then? Special teams and defense. The Broncos had two blocked punt returns for TDs and a blocked FG for a TD. They also recovered a fumble in the endzone. That is how you score 52 points on just 291 yards of offense.
Hank Bachmeier missed the previous two games, but he returned for this one and threw for 202 yards with a TD and no INTs. Bachmeier has thrown for 470 yards with four TDs and no INTs on the year, and he will be facing the 5th ranked pass defense in the nation. Boise has struggled to run the ball, but that could change here as the Rainbow Warriors have one of the country's worst run defenses. Andrew Van Buren will look to put a dent in the Hawaii run defense as he leads the team in rushing with 164 yards and five TDs. The defense for the Broncos had a hiccup against the BYU offense, allowing 574 yards in that game, including 360 yards through the air, but they bounced back last week, allowing the Rams just 315 total yards, including 176 through the air. The pass defense has been tough overall, ranking 8th in the nation in that department.
Rainbow Warriors Can't Handle The AztecsThe Hawaii Rainbow Warriors have had a mediocre season so far as they stand at 2-2 overall, including 1-0 here. Their home win came a few weeks ago, and they beat New Mexico by just six points in that contest. Hawaii then went back out on the road to face the San Diego State Aztecs, and they lost by a score of 34-10. After winning their first road game against Fresno State, Hawaii has now lost their last two games on the road and have been outscored 65-17 in those games. They are hoping that a return home will help them, especially on offense. The Rainbow Warriors have not been good on offense this year, ranking 71st in total yards and 102nd in scoring, putting up just 22.5 ppg thus far. They were held to only 275 yards in the loss to the Aztecs.
Chevan Cordeiro hit just 17 of his 35 pass attempts for 209 yards with a TD and an INT in the game. He has now thrown for 958 yards with five TDs and four INTs on the year. Cordeiro will need to be far better in this one. He could use some help from a ground game that is ranked 78th in the land. Miles Reed had just one yard on seven carries last week against the Aztecs, but he still leads the team in rushing with 191 yards. Cordeiro is 2nd with 176 yards and three scores. The defense has been stout against the pass (5th in the nation), but teams have run all over them, to the tune of 251.5 ypg, which is 121st in the nation. Last week, they allowed the Aztecs to rumble for 326 yards and will need to do a better job here. That may not be hard as the Broncos are 101st in rushing so far.
Stats & Trends
Boise State is:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite
- The favorite is 7-0 ATS the last seven games in this series
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Hawaii is:
- 15-36-1 ATS in their last 52 conference games
- 8-20 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games in November
The Broncos' only loss this year was to BYU, and there is no shame in that as the Cougars have been one of the best teams in the nation so far. Hawaii is no BYU, and I expect Boise State to have a very good showing in this crucial road matchup. Hawaii started the season with a surprising win at Fresno State, but they have not played well since then. In their last three games, Hawaii has two losses in which they were outscored 65-17, while their win over that six was by just six points at home against a bad New Mexico team. Hawaii has struggled to score this year, and Boise State has an offense that they will not be able to keep up with. Boise State also has a defense that can shut the Hawaii offense down. The Broncos can be run on, but the Rainbow Warriors can run the ball. They will have to throw with an average passing game, which will not work well here against a Boise defense that is 9th in the nation against the pass. Lastly, the Broncos are 7-0 ATS the last seven games in this series.