College Football Hawaii Bowl Handicapping: Oregon State Beavers vs Boise State Broncos

2013 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Oregon State Beavers vs Boise State Broncos

Aloha Stadium – Honolulu, Hawaii
Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Oregon State -1 1/2
Current Line: Oregon State -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 64 1/2
Current Total: 64
Opening Money Line: Oregon State -150 / Boise State +130
Current Money Line: Oregon State -160 / Boise State +140

Oregon State is a 3 point favorite against Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve.
Oregon State is a 3 point favorite against Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve.

The 8-4 Boise State Broncos and 6-6 Oregon State Beavers meet in the 2013 Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve in Honolulu. Despite being just over 500 miles apart, the two schools have only met 7 times in history. Oregon State leads the series 4-3 against Boise State, but the Broncos have won 2 straight games. Boise State won the last meeting in Boise 37-24 in 2010.

Oregon State went 4-4 in the Pac 12 North division. The Beavers are 10-6 all-time in Bowl games, but have lost their last 2 bowl games. Oregon State lost to Texas 31-27 last year in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. They haven’t played in the Hawaii Bowl since the 1999 when the Beavers lost to Hawaii  23-17.

Boise State went 6-2 in the Mountain West West Division. Before this season, the Broncos had won 11 or more games for 10 straight seasons. Boise State is 9-4 all-time in bowl games. The Broncos have won 4 straight bowl games, the last 3 in the Las Vegas Bowl. Boise State beat Washington 28-26 last year in Vegas. The Broncos lost to East Carolina 41-38 in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl.

Oregon State is coached by Mike Riley. After a season opening home loss to Eastern Washington 49-46, Oregon State won 6 straight games. The Beavers have lost 5 straight games since then including home losses to Stanford 20-12, USC 31-14, and at Washington 69-27, along with road losses at Arizona State 30-17 and Oregon 36-35 to close out the regular season. The Beavers have home wins over Hawaii 33-14 and against Colorado 44-17. OSU also has road wins at Utah 51-48 in overtime, San Diego State 34-30, at Washington State 52-24 and at California 49-17. The Beavers are 6-6 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season. Oregon State was an 24 point underdog against Oregon and the total was 69.5.

Oregon State is outscoring teams 35-32 this season. Oregon State is #30 in scoring nationally and #96 in points allowed out of 125 FBS teams. The Beavers are averaging 468.1 yards per game including 382.1 passing and 86 rushing yards. The Beavers are #3 in passing but are #120 in rushing nationally. OSU is #26 in total offense.  On defense, Oregon State is allowing 428.2 total yards per game including 235 passing and 193.2 rushing yards. OSU is #94 in total defense and #92 against the rush. The Beavers are +2 in turnovers with 27 takeaways. The Beavers average 49 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 56. OSU is 81/193 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 74/181. The Beavers have forced 20 sacks and allowed 25 this season. Oregon State is 50/64 scoring in the red zone with 40 touchdowns and opponents are 41/44 with 28 touchdowns. The Beavers have 3 pick sixes and a kickoff return for a touchdown and have allowed three pick sixes.

OSU quarterback Sean Mannion has completed 66% of his passes for 4,403 yards with 36 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.  Back-up Cody Vaz has thrown for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Running back Terron Ward has 104 carries for 467 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Storm Woods has 111 carries, 370 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 45 catches for 419 yards and a touchdown. Chris Brown and Victor Bolden will get a few carries. Each has a rushing touchdown. Bolden also has a kick return for a touchdown.

Receiver Brandin Cooks has 120 catches, 1,670 yards and 15 touchdowns, along with 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He won the Biletnikoff award for the nation’s best wide receiver. Richard Mullaney has 49 catches, 736 yards and 3  touchdowns. Tight end Connor Hamlett has 36 catches, 329 yards and 5 touchdowns. Caleb Smith has 24 catches for 327 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kevin Cummings and Kellen Clute each have two touchdown catches. Cummings is questionable with a wrist injury as is little used receiver J.C. Grim.


Boise State coach Chris Petersen left to become the head coach at Washington. Linebackers coach Bob Gregory will serve as the interim coach for the bowl game. Boise State hired Arkansas State head coach Bryan Harsin to replace Petersen next season. Harsin was on the Bronco coaching staff from 2001-2010 and was the offensive coordinator from 2006 on when he became the offensive coordinator at Texas.

The Broncos have road losses at Washington 38-6, Fresno State 41-40, BYU 37-20, and San Diego State 34-31 in overtime. All four of those teams are playing in Bowl games this season. Boise State has home wins over Tennessee-Martin 63-14, Air Force 42-20, Southern Miss 60-7, Nevada 34-17, Wyoming 48-7, and New Mexico 45-17 to close out the regular season. The Broncos have road wins over Utah State 34-23 and Colorado State 42-30. Boise state is 6-6 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season. The Broncos were 38 point favorites against New Mexico and the total was 69.5.

Boise State is outscoring teams 39-24 this season. The Broncos are #17 in scoring and #36 in points allowed nationally. Boise State is averaging 470.8 yards per game including 269 passing and 202 rushing yards. The Broncos are #32 or better in all three categories. On defense, Boise State is allowing 410 yards per game including 248.4 passing and 161.6 rushing yards. BSU is #75 in total defense and #93 in pass defense. The Broncos are +4 in turnovers with 26 takeaways. BSU averages 36 penalty yards per game and opponents average 46 per game. Boise State is 98/205 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 96/222. The Broncos have forced 30 sacks and have allowed 21 this season. Boise is 58/64 scoring in the red zone with 45 touchdowns and opponents are 39/48 with 28 touchdowns. The Broncos have one pick six and a kick return for a touchdown this season and have allowed a pick six and a punt return for a touchdown.

Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick broke his ankle in the first quarter of the Nevada game in mid-October. He returned and threw two passes against New Mexico. Southwick was supposed to play in the bowl game but was sent home after violating a team rule and will not play. He had completed 72.6% of his passes for 1,654 yards with 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 42 carries, for 111 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.  Grant Hedrick took over as the starter. Hedrick has completed 68.2% of his passes for 1,443 yards with 15 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 57 carries, 257 yards and 6 touchdowns. Another quarterback Ryan Finley is questionable with a shoulder injury. He hasn’t taken a snap this season.

Running back Jay Ajayi has 226 carries for 1,328 yards and 17 touchdowns, along with 16 catches, 189 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Baltazar had 50 carries for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Jack Fields has 46 carries, 139 yards and a touchdown, along with 2 catches. Charles Bertoli and Devan Demas  each have a rushing touchdown.

Receiver Matt Miller has 77 catches, 934 yards and 11 touchdowns. Shane Williams-Rhodes has 77 catches, 702 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus a rushing touchdown. He is questionable with a leg injury. Geraldo Boldewijn has 37 catches 510 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aaron Burks has 16 catches, 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kirby Moore has 29 catches, 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Receiver Taylor Pope (collarbone) and Kyle Sosnowski (knee are both out for the season.  Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out Tuesday for the Broncos.

Oregon State is 5-1 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 2-7 after a cover, 1-4 against Mountain West teams, and 0-4 in non-conference games.

Boise State is 6-1 ATS in neutral site games, 5-1 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 4-1 in bowl games, 19-7 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 5-2 on fieldturf, 2-5 in December, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 3-8 after a straight up win, and 1-6 after allowing 20 points or less. The Broncos are 3-1-1 in the last 5 games against the Beavers.

Both of these teams have explosive offenses. Boise has a much better defense, but I don’t know if they can slow down Mannion and Cooks. The Broncos are banged up at the wide receiver position, so I think they will lean more on Ajayi. I like Boise State to pull off the mild upset against a team that has lost 5 straight games and can’t stop anyone.

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