Mountain West Championship: Hawaii vs. Boise State fearless prediction and game preview.
Mountain West Championship: Hawaii vs. Boise State Broadcast
Date: Saturday, December 7
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Hawaii (9-4) vs. Boise State (11-1) Game Preview
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Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Mountain West Championship
– The timing of this will be interesting. Memphis and Cincinnati square off in the American Athletic Conference championship a half an hour before Boise State and Hawaii get their thing going.
No coach or player will ever say that any eyes are on the scoreboard, but Boise State can be forgiven if there’s at least a little bit of attention paid to what’s happening in Tennessee.
It’s not a lock that Boise State will go to the Cotton Bowl and its second New Year’s Six game in the College Football Playoff era if Cincinnati beats Memphis, but that’s probably the deal. If CFP No. 20 UC rocks No. 17 UM the dynamic might change. If the Tigers win in a blowout, that makes things tough for Boise State.
At worst, the Broncos will end up in the Las Vegas Bowl, but if they can obliterate Hawaii, there’s a shot they could end up in AT&T Stadium no matter what happens in the AAC title game.
– In the seventh season of the Mountain West Championship game, Boise State can push ahead of Fresno State and San Diego State to be the first three-time winner. Going back to its days in the WAC, Boise State is shooting for its 11th conference title since 2002. This is Hawaii’s first trip to the Mountain West Championship, and now it’s going for its first league title since finishing in a three-way tie for the WAC title in 2010. The last outright conference champion was in 2007.
– Okay, so most of the world will be watching the SEC Championship, but this might be a bit more fun. Boise State won the first go-round in October with a 59-37 firefight. Hawaii rolled for well over 400 yards, but it couldn’t keep up early and couldn’t slow down anything the Bronco offense tried to do.
CFN Podcast: Mountain West Championship Discussion
Why Hawaii Will Win
– There’s absolutely no pressure on Hawaii. Of course it wants to win the Mountain West title, and of course it wants to do something special, but this has already been a special season that’s going to end with something fun. The Rainbow Warriors will either go to the Las Vegas Bowl with a Mountain West title, or they’ll go there with a loss if Boise State goes to the Cotton Bowl, or they’ll likely go back to Hawaii to face BYU. It’s all good.
– So what did Hawaii do well on the first time around? Let’s go with what didn’t work and probably won’t happen again – the turnovers.
After having a nightmare of a time with giveaways earlier in the year, the Rainbow Warriors cleaned things up in a big way. They gave it up 21 times in the first seven games, and only turned it over more than one time once in the last six games. Don’t expect them to be -3 again.
– The Boise State secondary has been getting hit a bit lately. Back to the turnovers, it came up with four over the last two games, but it also allowed close to 600 passing yards in the last two games.
As always, the Hawaii passing attack is great – and it should be able to push for 300 yards without a problem – but the team is proving it can win in a variety of ways. It beat San Diego State in a 14-11 slugfest, it hung up 52 the following week against Army, and it’s been able to win in firefights.
Why Boise State Will Win
– At kickoff, it’s going to be 82 degrees in Honolulu. On Saturday in Boise at the same time, it’s going to be in the mid-40s with rain in the forecast in the second half. Hawaii has been able to go on the road and win, but that was in Albuquerque over New Mexico, and over UNLV in Las Vegas. It’s going to be chilly.
– Boise State has options at quarterback. Hank Bachmeier is able to go, and so is Chase Cord, but senior Jaylon Henderson has helped make the offense rock since taking over three weeks ago.
Throwing for almost 300 yards against New Mexico was nice, but he threw three touchdown passes to Utah State on the road and hit Colorado State for two scores. He’s pushing the ball down the field with nine touchdowns and just one pick in his time logged in, It’s his Mountain West game to lose.
– Hawaii doesn’t generate enough of a pass rush to matter, and it has problems against the run. Boise State came up with over 200 yards on the ground the first time around, and it’s going to pound away and take the head off of Henderson from the start. Get ready for the Boise State offensive front to take over.
What’s Going To Happen
Hawaii has the offense to keep up and make Boise State keep pushing, but that won’t be a problem.
The Broncos had the Mountain West title in their grasp last year, but clunked in the major disappointment against Fresno State – they’re not going to let that happen again.
Hawaii will have its moments of fun, but the Boise State offensive line will be fantastic, Henderson will be fine, and the pass rush will take over when it has to.
Mountain West Championship: Hawaii vs. Boise State Prediction, Line
Boise State 41, Hawaii 24
Bet on this with BetMGM, or for latest line
Boise State -13.5, o/u: 64.5
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
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Must See Rating: 3.5
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Mountain West Championship History
2018 Boise State 19, Hawaii 16
2017 Boise State 17, Fresno State 14
2016 San Diego State 27, Wyoming 24
2015 San Diego State 27, Air Force 24
2014 Boise State 28, Fresno State 14
2013 Fresno State 24, Utah State 17