Hawaii vs. Boise State: Game Preview, Kick Time, Livestream, Odds, Prediction
A big time Mountain West game this week.
Two Former WAC Rivals Face Off in a Potential Mountain West Conference Championship Preview
The Hawaii Warriors are headed to the Blue Turf to battle with the Boise State Broncos. These two teams have some history when they faced off in the old Western Athletic Conference and now find themselves atop of their respective divisions in the Mountain West Conference.
The Warriors and Broncos played every year from 2001 to 2010 when they were in the WAC but now face each other only twice every four years as cross-division opponents. Boise State will head to the Islands in 2020. For now, the 4-1 Hawaii Warriors will like to prove that they are one of the elites in the conference this season while Boise State wants to reassert themselves as the ultimate top dog in the Mountain West.
Date: October 12, 2019
Where: Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID
When: 8:15 PM Mountain Time, 5:15 PM Hawaii Standard Time
Spread: Boise State -12.5
ESPN FPI Win Predictor: Boise State is given a 79% win probability
Weather: 62˚ high/37˚ low, partly cloudy with no chance of rain. Sunset is 7:06 PM local time
How to Watch: ESPN2
Head to Head Wins: Boise 12 wins, Hawaii 3 wins
Previous Meeting: #24 Boise State 52, Hawaii 16 on November 11, 2016 in Honolulu, HI
WAC Conference Title: Hawaii 4, Boise State 8
MWC Conference Titles: Hawaii 0, Boise State 3
Hawaii Season Rewind
Brandon: Although the Rainbow Warriors came up with two victories against PAC 12 opponents, the highlight of the season so far was their previous game against Nevada with a 54-3 drubbing of the Wolfpack. The ‘Bows offense finally showed what they are capable of doing and it seems with Cole McDonald’s confidence and him being in sync with his receivers will be hard for opposing defenses to find a way to contain this high octane run and shoot squad. The only way the offense can sputter is by turnovers as shown in their lone loss at Washington.
The first half of that game proved UH’s offense can be their own worst enemy by throwing errant interceptions and fumbling in their own territory. But after halftime Hawaii finally got on the same page and scored twice against Washington’s first-team defense which gave some confidence to the team in an already decided game. With several stellar defensive teams in Boise State and San Diego State coming up, Hawaii hopes their offense keeps trending upward as it is fun to watch even if you’re not a Hawaii fan.
Raja: So, my thoughts before the year was that Hawaii was not going to be bowl eligible, that they had too tough of a season and the defense the Warriors had was trash. I was wrong. The Warriors have shown moxie and toughness under Coach Rolovich and the offense can put up points… but I still don’t know if the Warriors are good?
‘Superstar’ Hawaii QB Cole McDonald seems to be benched for being reckless just as often as he goes supernova and tosses for several hundreds of yards. Also, me acknowledging that Hawaii’s defense is not trash does not mean the Warrior defense is necessarily very good. Folks they look like a good team, but I am still not sure if the Warriors are an elite team at the level of Boise State or not.
Boise State Season Rewind
Raja: The Broncos are undefeated; the conversation starts there and should end there. Yes, the Broncos have not been perfect and have shown signs of weakness, but the team looks very solid from top to bottom. One of the biggest question marks entering this year was how the team would deal with the loss of a four-time All-Conference quarterback but Hurricane Hank Bachmeier has put that worry to bed with 1489 yards on 166 passes with a 64% completion rate and eight touchdowns against three interceptions. Another question mark was how Curtis Weaver and a younger defense would step up.
That also has been resoundingly answered with solid play at all 3 levels. Florida State, Marshall, Portland State, Air Force, and UNLV are all defeated, and we have seen the Broncos put together magical years in the past and this season is starting to have that special kind of feel… but Hawaii is that above-average conference opponent trap game that has caught us in the past. The Broncos cannot look past this one.
Brandon: While Hawaii and the other MW opponents should admire and respect what the Broncos has built in dominance over the past two decades, I can see this year as a time when Hawaii has the best chance to beat an undefeated but vulnerable Boise State team on the road. It seems their offensive line is still struggling and while Hank Bachmeier seems polished at times he has his share of “what the…” moments. The Broncos defense is definitely the backbone of their success this year but the Broncos have not seen a passing attack like Hawaii yet. This game might show some weaknesses in the secondary for UH to exploit for future Bronco foes like San Jose State and Utah State.
Greatest Moment in Rivalry
There was a time back in the early 2000s when these two schools were big rivals. Between 2002 and 2010 every single WAC Football Conference Championship was won (directly or split with Nevada) between these two squads. Here is the greatest moment in the rivalry from the Warrior and Bronco perspective:
Brandon: It hasn’t been much of a rivalry but the greatest Hawaii moment to me was in 2007 when Boise State’s Jeremy Avery got blown up by Hawaii’s Blaze Soares in the 3rd quarter to show Hawaii’s defense was no cupcake and stopped Boise from winning a six straight WAC title.
Raja: I’ll take it back to 2003 when Boise State got their first win on the Islands with a 28-17 victory. This was the last game of the season and head coach Dan Hawkins wrapped up the regular season with a 12-1 record including an 8-0 conference record and another WAC title. While the Broncos had a few good seasons already under their belt at this point, the Bronco Machine we know now was getting stronger and stronger. Boise State finished the year 13-1 after a bowl victory against TCU and finished the year ranked 16th in the AP Poll.
Biggest Villain in Rival
In all rivalries, they are always villains. Here is a look into the individual from Boise State and Hawaii that was most loathed from the opposing sideline:
Brandon: It was more of being bullies than villains but the 69-3 beat down in 2004 was the worst game Hawaii played on the road possibly ever. One of Boise State’s great quarterbacks Jared Zabransky used his legs to score four touchdowns and on the other end Hawaii’s great QB Timmy Chang threw four interceptions and was 14 yards short of breaking then BYU Ty Detmer’s career passing yardage record while Boise’s faithful chanted “Timmy! Timmy!” as he threw his last incomplete pass on fourth and one.
Raja: Colt Brennan, he was good… The Broncos were able to beat Brennan in both 2004 and 2005 but it is hard to fault the Hawaii gunslinger who threw for 814 yards with 9 touchdowns against 3 interceptions in those two games. Brennan somehow took it to another level to get a win his senior year in 2006 when he went off for 495 yards on a 76% completion rate with 5 touchdowns against 2 interceptions to snap a 6 game Bronco winning streak. It is nice having the 2 to 1 victory advantage on him, but Colt Brennan was a true terror on the field.