Two of the top offensive units in the nation will square off on Christmas Eve (8:00pm ET) in the Hawaii Bowl when the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3) of Conference USA faces the number 24-ranked Hawaii Warriors (10-3) of the Western Athletic Conference. Tulsa is on a roll, winners of six straight contests coming into this game including a 56-50 shootout over Southern Mississippi in their last game on November 26. Hawaii has a won three straight contests coming in, including a 59-21 dismantling of UNLV on December 4 in their last regular season game.
Tulsa features one of the most dynamic offenses in the nation, ranking 5th in total yards per game with 506 and 10th in points per game with 39.7. They are very balanced on offense averaging 284.2 YPG through the air and 221.8 YPG rushing. Quarterback G.J. Kinne is the triggerman for the spread offense, and he is a dual-threat throwing for over 3,330 yards and 28 touchdowns through the air while running for 557 yards to lead the team, and scoring 7 touchdowns on the ground. Damaris Johnson is a threat both on offense and special teams with a 27.4 yard average on kickoff returns, a 9.2 YPC average rushing and 53 receptions for 771 yards for a total of 181.8 YPG of offense on his own. The Tulsa defense ranks 119th in passing yards per game allowed with a whopping 305.7, while giving up 29.9 points per contest.
Hawaii has been even more explosive than Tulsa on offense this season, ranking 6th in total YPG with 505..4 and 9th in scoring offense with 39.9 PPG. The Warriors average a whopping 387.8 YPG passing with junior quarterback Bryant Moniz throwing for over 4,600 yards with 36 touchdowns and a sparkling 66.3% completion percentage on the season. Greg Salas, with 106 receptions for 1,675 yards has been Moniz’s top-target this season. Alex Green, with a 8.8 YPC average on the ground, gives balance to an offense that has been one of the most prolific in the nation this season. On defense, the Warriors have allowed 22. 7 PPG and 341.8 YPG, ranking in the top third in the nation.
The Warriors won the most recent meeting between the two teams by a score of 44-16 in 2004, and have won 3 of their five meetings in the past decade. Tulsa is 8-1 ATS in their lat 9 games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games. Hawaii is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The over is 8-2 in the Warriors last 10 non-conference games and the under is 7-3 in Tulsa’s last 10 games as an underdog.
Tulsa vs. Hawaii Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Tulsa Golden Hurricane +10.5
@ Hawaii Warriors -10.5
Over 73 (-110)
Under 73 (-110)
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Hawaii vs. Tulsa Hawaii Bowl Predictions:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The home field advantage for Hawaii will be a factor in the game no question, but Tulsa comes into the game on a serious roll and the Golden Hurricane can put points up with the best of them. Take the 10.5 points here as these teams are pretty evenly matched and the game figures to be a barn-burner. Tulsa should be able to keep pace with the Warriors and stay within one score all game long.
PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Tulsa +10.5
Over/Under Prediction – Take the over here, with two very prolific offense and excellent weather conditions this could be a record-setting day for both offenses. Tulsa’s pass defense has been horrendous his season so look for Hawaii to throw the ball all day long and put up better than their almost 40 point per game average. Tulsa will be going up-an-down the field as well. This is a game where the team with the ball last could very likely be the one that wins. For those who love to see offense on display, make sure to watch this contest before setting out the milk and cookies for Santa.
PREDICTION – Over 73