In addition to this years BCS National Championship game the Hawaii Bowl offers the only other match up between two teams ranked in the top 10 nationally in total offense. Hawaii will stay at home, where they are very difficult to beat, and Tulsa will make the trip out to the big island. Despite being both being great, the similarities between the two offenses are few and far between. Tulsa has a well balanced attack ranking in the top 20 nationally in rushing and passing. Hawaii, on the other hand, is the nation’s top passing team but only 106th in rushing. Given their conference affiliations few people outside of their respective home states know much about these two teams. Those who tune in to watch anyway should prepare themselves to see what will most likely be the highest scoring game in this Bowl season.
3 Keys from the scouts
1. Turnovers. Not only are these teams among the leaders in total offense both are in the Top 10 in turnover margin. Hawaii is 16 and Tulsa is 13. Hawaii turned the ball over 20 times this year and is averaging 1 interception per game. Tulsa is 5th in interceptions on the year. With Hawaii set to throw as much as they always do the Golden Hurricane will have plenty of opportunities to make plays and keep the Warrior offense on the sidelines.
2. Tulsa’s running game. The Golden Hurricane average 219 yards per game. Hawaii only gives up about 131. That 88 yard discrepancy will be important and both teams will want to get the better part of that yardage. Running the ball will help Tulsa control the clock and while Hawaii can score quickly wearing out their underrated defense will allow Tulsa to score late, or kill the clock should they have a lead.
3. The home field advantage. Hawaii usually wins at home. Many would say it’s one of the most difficult places to win. Of course that’s during the regular season mostly due to issues associated with travel. Tulsa will have plenty of time to get past their jet lag in this game and they did win at Notre Dame in late October earlier this year.
Bold Prediction: Hawaii is a tough team and one that probably should be favored. The match up favors Tulsa is they play well however. Look for the Golden Hurricane to generate a few scores off of turnovers early and then play kill the clock in the second half. With a strong running game they should be able to wear the Warriors down. Tulsa 41 Hawaii 38
|4th||Greg Salas||WR||1||5Sr||Fast moving receiver that’s building momentum up draft boards. Invited to the Senior Bowl. Reliable and flashes deep speed.|
|6-7||Rodney Bradley||WR||3||4Sr||Nice sized receiver who shows the ability to stretch the defense vertically.|
|FA||Kealoha Pilares||WR||21||4Sr||Polished receiver with nice size. Game lacks speed and quickness.|
|7-FA||Charles Clay||RB||9||4Sr||Versatile player that excels as a pass catcher or ball carrier.|
|FA||Damaris Johnson||WR||3||3Jr||Highly rated prospect that’s coming off a disappointing campaign.|
|FA||Odrick Ray||DE||90||4Sr||Solid athlete with a nice upside. Holds the point and moves well on his feet. Lacks great sized and handled at the point.|
Game Preview: Brent Foshee
Prospect Preview: Tony Pauline