Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Hawaii vs Louisiana Tech
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 22, 2018
Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii



SOFI HAWAI'I BOWL STORYLINES

1. Bowl matchups are the most fun when teams come in with conflicting styles, and Hawai'i and Louisiana Tech fit the bill. The high-flying Rainbow Warriors will try to find a way to light up the scoreboard when they take on the defensive-minded Bulldogs in the SoFi Hawai'i Bowl in Honolulu on Saturday, Dec. 22. Hawai'i averages 32.2 points while Louisiana Tech limited opponents to an average of 23.8 points.

2. The Rainbow Warriors are making their eighth appearance in the Hawai'i Bowl and second in three years and expect to enjoy a home-field advantage. "The University of Hawai'i is honored to be participating in the 2018 Hawai'i Bowl," athletics director David A.K. Matlin told reporters. "This is a special holiday tradition and an amazing experience for our student-athletes who continue to inspire our state. This game gives us one last chance to thank our fans for all the support they've given us throughout the season and a great send-off for our senior class." The Rainbow Warriors are 4-3 in the Hawai'i Bowl, including a 52-35 win over Middle Tennessee State in 2016.

3. Louisiana Tech is making its fifth consecutive bowl appearance and is looking for its fifth straight win in its fifth different bowl game. The Bulldogs have some history playing in hostile territory after winning the Armed Forces Bowl over Navy in 2016 and taking the Frisco Bowl from SMU last season. "We could not be more excited to represent Louisiana Tech in the Hawai'i Bowl," Bulldogs coach Skip Holtz told reporters. "I want to thank the Hawai'i Bowl committee, the people of Hawaii and everyone involved for giving us this incredible opportunity to play our final game of the 2018 season in the great state of Hawaii. I am very excited for this football team to experience the culture and hospitality of the Hawai'i Bowl while also having the opportunity to face off against a great opponent in such a historic stadium."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Hawai'i -1.

ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH (7-5, 5-3 C-USA): Bulldogs defensive end Jaylon Ferguson led the bowl subdivision with 15 sacks and was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. The senior will spend his final collegiate game terrorizing the Rainbow Warriors offensive line and hoping his offense can get just enough done to win the game. That offense is guided by junior quarterback J'Mar Smith, who threw for five touchdowns and four interceptions over the team's final eight games and is completing 57 percent of his passes on the season.

ABOUT HAWAI'I (8-5, 5-3 Mountain West): Rainbow Warriors quarterback Cole McDonald threw for 3,790 yards and 35 TDs in the regular season and was at his best in the finale at San Diego State on Nov. 24, when he threw for 452 yards, three TDs and no interceptions in a 31-30 overtime victory. McDonald could find himself scrambling away from Ferguson and got some practice by rushing for a score in each of the last two games. McDonald's favorite target is wide receiver John Ursua, who owns 89 catches for 1,343 yards and 16 TDs.



PREDICTION: Hawai'i 31, Louisiana Tech 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Hawaii 8-5 W2 32.1 35.4 5-2 3-3 1-1 0-0 5-3
Louisiana Tech 7-5 L2 24.2 23.8 3-2 4-3 2-2 0-1 5-3
Last Meeting
Hawaii Louisiana Tech
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/1/11 HAW 44 LT 26 495 85 410 368 63 305
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Hawaii B. Moniz 61.8 410 4 0
Louisiana Tech N. Isham 56.9 305 3 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Hawaii J. Iosefa 16 99 6.2 0
Louisiana Tech L. Creer 16 63 3.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Hawaii R. Pollard 10 216 21.6 3
Louisiana Tech Q. Patton 8 126 15.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Hawaii R. Pollard 3
Louisiana Tech L. Creer 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Hawaii C. McDonald 59.3 3790 35 8
Louisiana Tech J. Smith 56.9 2873 14 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Hawaii D. Furuta 90 450 5.0 2
Louisiana Tech J. Dancy 109 610 5.6 9
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Hawaii J. Ursua 89 1343 15.1 16
Louisiana Tech A. Hardy 69 1052 15.2 6
Touchdowns Player TD
Hawaii J. Ursua 17
Louisiana Tech J. Dancy 9
Quickchart Matchup
Hawaii Hawaii Off vs  Louisiana Tech Louisiana Tech Def
Hawaii 435.1 yards
Louisiana Tech 350.9 yards
Hawaii 3.9 yards/rush
Louisiana Tech 4.1 yards/rush
Hawaii 8.2 yards/attempt
Louisiana Tech 6.5 yards/attempt
Louisiana Tech Louisiana Tech Off vs  Hawaii Hawaii Def
Louisiana Tech 373.2 yards
Hawaii 438.7 yards
Louisiana Tech 3.8 yards/rush
Hawaii 5 yards/rush
Louisiana Tech 6.6 yards/attempt
Hawaii 8.3 yards/attempt