The Hawaii Bowl has always been a staple on Christmas Eve. It seems like the NCAA said, okay, teams that have to play on Christmas Eve will get nice destinations to go play at. Note that the game earlier today was in the Bahamas. Either way, if I were a player on either team I’d love a free trip to Hawaii or the Bahamas. Would I be up to play in the game? I don’t think so to be honest. I would probably just treat it as a vacation. Handicapping in these spots the goal is to find the team that is more motivated. That goes for any bowl game, but especially in a game like the Hawaii Bowl. In the 2015 Hawaii Bowl, San Diego State has a date with the Cincinnati Bearcats. The last time I saw the Bearcats they were getting run off the field by South Florida. Cincinnati came back the following week for a 19-16 victory against ECU. The weather looks like it’s going to be gorgeous for the Hawaii Bowl today.
At the end of the day though, Cincinnati was hoping for a much better bowl game than the Hawaii Bowl. For going 7-5, I have to say, it isn’t a bad consolation to get a trip. Would you rather go there or to Detroit for the Quick Lane bowl on Boxing Day? In any case, the Bearcats were hoping for better than 7-5 with Gunner Kiel under center. Problem being for Cincinnati in this game is that Kiel won’t be playing. As a result of undisclosed personal issues, Kiel will be staying home. He was fantastic in his freshman season, but regressed this year with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions from 31 touchdowns and 13 picks the previous year.
Instead Hayden Moore will get the nod at quarterback for the Hawaii Bowl. Moore is a freshman who has had some game experience this season. However, like a lot of freshmen, Moore has struggled to find consistency. He has looked good at times, but he doesn’t make up for the loss for Kiel by any means. San Diego State will look to cap off a pretty nice 10-3 campaign with another win tonight. Off we go to Hawaii for my pick.
San Diego State Aztecs vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Hawaii Bowl Betting Odds:
San Diego State -3(-110)
vs. Cincinnati Bearcats +3(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
San Diego State vs. Cincinnati Pick:
For Cincinnati to win this game they are going to need to come up with some big plays from Hayden Moore. As I said, he has been really inconsistent, it’s tough to gauge what player we will get from him today. In a lot of ways, though, Cincinnati has been marred by that same problem. Which Cincinnati shows up today? Believe it or not, the Bearcats are running into one of the hottest teams in college football. Their last nine weeks have been everything you could ask for, winning nine in a row to finish 10-3. Two of their losses came against superior competition in Penn State and California, their other came against South Alabama in week 3. Since the 37-21 loss to Penn State, San Diego State has ran off nine in a row.
Since the week 3 loss San Diego State has averaged 35 points per game. The defense has held up very well, allowing only 12.6 points during that stretch. The most points they gave up was in the final week against Air Force, a 27-24 win. The win granted San Diego State the Mountain West Championship. Cincinnati has had problems on defense with 30 points per game allowed. This isn’t a good matchup for the Bearcats. San Diego State runs for 235.5 yards a game. Meanwhile Cincinnati is giving up 190 yards per game. Just total opposites on the field. I handicap this as San Diego State -5. Therefore, the Aztecs at -3 looks good, even better if you got the early line.