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2018 Hawaii Bowl

College Football

2018 Hawaii Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick

Say aloha to the next bowl game up.

Beautiful land and beautiful people surround the 2018 Hawaii Bowl.

The hometown hero Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and visiting Louisiana Tech Bulldogs said aloha to this bowl game, but only one will get to say aloha to the trophy. It’s one of the tighter bowl games to predict among all 40 of them, and Las Vegas agrees. In fact, they cannot even settle on a favorite. Regardless of what they do, by the end of this summary, you will know our prediction.

These two teams have a history that goes back to the Western Athletic Conference days, may it rest in peace. None of the players here were around to see it, so it’s a rivalry refreshed for the modern day.

Previous Bowls Picked: Cure | New Mexico | Las Vegas | Camellia | New Orleans | Boca Raton | Frisco | Gasparilla | Bahamas | Idaho Potato | Birmingham | Armed Forces | Dollar General

2018 Hawaii Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info

Saturday, December 22, 2018, 10:30pm ET (7:30pm PT)
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Broadcast on ESPN
$1,000,000 payout (Link: College Football Poll)
This game is a pick’em

2018 Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

8-5 (5-3 Mountain West); T-2nd in MWC’s West Division
Best Win: San Diego State
Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 41st, Total Offense 39th, Rushing Offense 121st, 3rd Downs 111th, Time of Possession 83rd, Turnover Margin 118th, Sacks Allowed T-116th, Red Zone 53rd
Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 111th, Total Defense 101th, Rushing Defense 106th, Opponent 3rd Downs 98th, Sacks Per Game T-73th, TFL Per Game 111th, Interceptions T-126th, Opponent Red Zone 82nd
Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-19th, Punts 84th

2018 Hawaii Bowl: Lousiana Tech Bulldogs

7-5 (5-3 Conference USA); T-2nd in Conference USA West
Best Win: North Texas
Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense T-100th, Total Offense 94th, Rushing Offense 113th, 3rd Downs 63rd, Time of Possession 55th, Turnover Margin T-47th, Sacks Allowed T-85th, Red Zone T-60th
Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense T-40th, Total Defense 33rd, Rushing Defense 55th, Opponent 3rd Downs 46th, Sacks Per Game T-11th, TFL Per Game T-16th, Interceptions T-65th, Opponent Red Zone 128th
Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-93rd, Punts 75th

2018 Hawaii Bowl: Head-to-Head

Hawaii and Louisiana Tech have met ten times in the past, and this will be their 11th meeting. Both teams were members of the WAC together for over a decade, so they faced off on a regular basis.

The all-time series is led by Hawaii, 8-2. They most recently played one another in 2011, a road game in which Hawaii prevailed by a 44-26 score. This series between the two schools began in 2000. The Bulldogs and Rainbow Warriors have not met since the WAC folded as a football conference. (Link: Winsipedia)

2018 Hawaii Bowl: Pick

This game is hard to read. Hawaii’s offense is decent but their defense is terrible. Louisiana Tech’s defense is not bad but their offense is, well, offensive. The Rainbow Warriors got into a bunch of high-scoring games this season. The bad news for them is that in several of them, the other team was throwing a slugfest and Hawaii did not show.

Cole McDonald, the quarterback for Hawaii, is crucial to the Rainbow Warriors’ chances. He is only a sophomore but with a good game in the bowl, he can eclipse 4,000 yards passing for the season. This is in spite of the fact that he’s been sacked 31 times this year; he should be lucky he remembers his name at this point.

When the Hawaii offense is on the field, it will get challenged by the Louisiana Tech defense and they will probably let McDonald kiss the turf a few times. As for the LT offense vs. Hawaii defense, it’s anyone’s guess. This is a race to the bottom, and it’s not like J’Mar Smith, Bulldogs quarterback, hasn’t been sacked 29 times himself.

What we have on paper is a draw. In this case, we go with the home team to get the victory, though the official statistics will call this a neutral site game.

Pick: Hawaii

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