Hawaii Bowl: Preview, Predictions, TV info

By J. Darin Darst | CBSSports.com Staff

What: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Who: Boise State (8-4, 6-2 Mountain West) vs. Oregon State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12)

When: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 8pm ET (ESPN)

Where: Aloha Stadium (50,000), Honolulu, HI

Opening Line: Oregon State -2 1/2

What matters: It's the Hawaii Bowl! On Christmas Eve! As Tom Fornelli said in his bowl rankings, "I love the Hawaii Bowl because it's always there for me on Christmas Eve when I want to ignore the family for a bit." Boise State isn't used to losing more than two games a season and with the departure of Chris Petersen, it will be looking to give interim coach Bob Gregory a bowl victory. What a strange season for the Beavers. After losing the season opener to Eastern Washington, they won six straight ... and then closed out the season with five consecutive losses. So maybe this should be re-named the disappointment bowl.

Who matters: Oregon State hasn't had trouble scoring points, but it hasn't been able to stop anybody either. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks has had a tremendous season, catching 120 passes for 1,670 yards and 15 TDs. Meanwhile, Boise State has been more effective running the ball with Jay Ajayi. The sophomore has 1,328 yards on the ground with 17 touchdowns. Also keep an eye on Demarcus Lawrence, who is one of the top defensive lineman in the nation for Boise State. He leads the team with 19.5 tackles for loss, including 10.5 sacks.

Matchup question: Boise State's secondary against Oregon State's passing attack will be fun to watch. Sean Mannion has thrown all over teams (4,403 yards, 36 TDs) this season. And while the Broncos are giving up 248.4 passing yards a game, the defense does have 15 INTs. This will decide the game ... if Boise can get Mannion to throw picks.

Prediction: Oregon State is playing awful right now and turning the ball over too much. The Beavers are minus-9 in turnover margin over the last four games. Boise State will find a way to take advantage. Boise State 28, Oregon State 27

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