Hawaii and Louisiana Tech play very different styles of football, and those styles will clash in the Hawaii Bowl.
With this game being named for the place where one of the teams plays its home games, one would think that there was a clear advantage in this game. But if the spread is any indication, it could come down to the final seconds.
This game is a pick ‘em at BetOnline, with Hawaii and Louisiana Tech expected to play a tight game in the Aloha State.
Hawaii’s offense averages 435 total yards per game, which is good for 39th in the country. They score 32.1 points per game, putting them in 41st place for the season. And like the teams of previous years that relied on the passing attack of Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang, this Hawaii team loves to put the ball in the air as often as they can.
The Rainbow Warriors don’t have much interest in running the ball, as they average 113.5 yards per game on the ground. That number is good for the 121st ranking in the nation. Through the air, though, Hawaii averages a ninth-ranked 321.2 yards per game. Cole McDonald is their quarterback, and he is seventh in the country in passing yardage, moving the ball for 3,790 yards passing this season.
Hawaii has the 101st ranked total defense in college football, giving up 439 yards per game. They rank 111th in scoring defense, giving up 35.4 points per game to their opponents on the season. When you have a top-10 passer in college football and still aren’t in a marquee bowl game, that generally means that your defense is as far from being good as Hawaii is from New York.
Against the run, Hawaii is ranked 106th in the country, giving up 207.5 yards per game to opposing rushers. Hawaii also gives up 231.2 yards per game through the air, which ranks 62nd in college football. They play in a conference that isn’t filled with prolific passers, so their pass defense being their biggest strength isn’t a total surprise. And against a defensively oriented Louisiana Tech squad, their defense may be able to hold up.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Analysis
Louisiana Tech averages 373 yards per game on offense through the regular season, which ranks 94th in the country. They average 24.2 points per game, which puts them in a tie with South Alabama and Ball State for 100th place in college football. Just like the nickname Bulldogs, their offense is far from revolutionary.
The Bulldogs SXSW 2019 run the ball for 126.4 yards per game, which is good for 113th in the nation. And in Conference USA, you would expect better given that they had the chance to play against teams like Rice, UTEP, and UTSA this season, all three of whom were among the worst in college football all season.
Averaging 246.8 yards per game through the air, Louisiana Tech boasts the nation’s 54th ranked passing attack. They will need to be able to put it in the air against Hawaii here, to match anything that Cole McDonald can do throughout the game.
On defense, the Bulldogs give up 351 yards per game, making them the 33rd ranked total defense in college football. In terms of scoring, Louisiana Tech gives up 23.8 points per game, putting them in a tie with Stanford for 41st in the country. There are some high-powered offenses in CUSA, and the Bulldogs were able to shut down some of them, which makes them dangerous here.
Against the run, Louisiana Tech allowed 157.3 yards per game on the season, which is good for 55th in the country. Unfortunately, having a decent run defense against Hawaii is like having a good basketball team when playing the New York Knicks. Sure, it’s nice, but you don’t need it to win.
And Louisiana Tech allows 193.6 yards per game through the air to their opponents, which makes them the 29th ranked pass defense in college football. A huge reason for their success against the pass this season is their ability to get pressure on the quarterback, with Jaylon Ferguson being the anchor of their pass rush. His 15.0 sacks on the season put him in a tie for first place in the country in sacks this year, a number he’ll look to improve on to slow down Hawaii’s run and shoot offense.
Hawaii vs Louisiana Tech Trends
Hawaii is 8-5 on the season straight austin tx event planning up and 5-7-1 against the spread. The Rainbow Warriors, which is the best nickname in all of sports, are just 9-23 against the spread in their last 32 games against teams with winning records. They are also 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against Conference USA opponents and 0-3-1 against the spread against their last four non-conference foes.
Louisiana Tech is 7-5 straight up this season and 6-6 against the spread. The Bulldogs come in red hot in bowl games, having gone 5-1 against the spread in their last six bowl appearances. They are also 5-2 against the spread in their last seven non-conference games, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games in the month of December. As far as trends are concerned, Louisiana Tech has a clear advantage.
One of the keys to betting on football is knowing where there is value in the line. Home games generally give a team that would otherwise be a light underdog the role of being a favorite, which extends to this game and why it is a pick ‘em. This line is more or less stating that Louisiana Tech would be a favorite if not for the fact that Hawaii was playing at home.
But home field advantage is generally muted during a bowl game anyway, especially one that is less significant than the games that will come next week. Louisiana Tech’s defense and pass rush should be able to keep Cole McDonald off balance, as the Bulldogs win an ugly game that is more defensive than most would have expected going in.
Louisiana Tech PK (+105)
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