Sunday, December 24, 2006

Back to the bowls, Hawaiian style

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Hawaii (10-3) vs. Arizona St. (7-5)
LINE: Hawaii -8 1/2
O/U: 71 1/2

Need to Know: As usual coach June Jones & the Rainbows have one of the most explosive offenses in the country. It averages 560 yards (1st in NCAA) and 47 points (also 1st) per game, thanks to record-setting quarterback Colt Brennan.

The Sun Devils are being coached by lame duck Dirk Koetter, who was fired with 2 games left in the season and will be replaced by carpetbagging Dennis I hate Idaho Erickson. Some teams will try to battle extra hard for a coach on the way out. Some will roll over and say "reapply the sunblock please and wake me when the game's over."

Players to watch:
Brennan is the Big Kahuna when it comes to passing. He has compiled a staggering 53 TDs this season and with one more he will tie the NCAA single season record held by Houston's David Klingler in 1990. Also with 10 more passing yards he will become just the third quarterback in history to have over 5000 yards & 50 TDs in a season.

He's freakin' awesome.

And he's a junior.

Brennan's favorite targets are Davone Bess, a scintillating soph who had 1155 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns, and Jason Rivers, who chipped in with 870 yards and 8 TDs. The running game (yes they have one) is anchored by Nate Ilaloa (893 yards & 13 TDs) and oh yeah, Brennan has also rushed for 351 yards & 5 TDs.

Arizona State is led by the tandem of QB Rudy Carpenter (2332 yards, 21 TDs, 14 INTs) and RB Ryan Torain (1069 yards, 6 TDs.) But the Sun Devil offense is ranked only 43rd in points scored (27) and scored nearly 300 points less than the 'Bows. Yikes.

TRIVIA: Brennan was kicked out of Colorado for a sexual assault charge that was later lessened to a breaking & entering. Jones gave him a second chance, making him walk on and telling him he could mold him into an NFL QB. So far, so good.

MY PICK: I think a monkey could pick this one, so if I get this wrong I won't feel too bad, although 1-6 would be pretty painful. In the New Mexico bowl I said going with the home team was a mistake. Here it would not be. Brennan has a record to set and he & the rest of the team want to atone for its lackluster regular season finale, a disappointing 35-32 home loss to Oregon State. Brennan failed to set the record that night- no problem with that tonight.
Rainbow Warriors 51, Sun Devils 28

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