For the season, the Free Analysis sides are now 288-262-10, and 81-70-5 on games with a difference or 4+ points from the spread. Totals are just 289-298-9 but a profitable 39-28 on differences of 6 points or more (28-11 the final 9 weeks).

 

The record on all Free Analysis sides is now 1916-1699-72 ATS since 2013, which is very good picking nearly every game over 7 years. The Free Analysis sides in which my predicted margin was 4 points or more away from the line are now 650-543-27. Totals on the Free pages are now 1641-1596-26 in the 6 seasons I’ve been tracking them.

 

The spreads posted are the consensus lines at the time I posted each analysis and that is the line is use to grade the Free Analysis.

I hope you have enjoyed my Free analysis this season, which was once again profitable. However, my detailed analysis of every Bowl game will be available to subscribers only.

 

Bowl Best Bets were 6-1 (I post the analysis below after each bowl game starts).

College Bowl Games

Buffalo vs
Charlotte

Fri, Dec 20 11:00 AM PT

Rotation: 201, Odds: Charlotte +6.5, Total: 51.5

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Buffalo (-6.5)  29   Charlotte  22

Friday, December 20 – 11 am Pacific

The key factor in this game could be the weather, as steady winds of 25 mph or more are expected with a chance of rain. Those conditions tend to significantly affect the passing numbers and in this case favor a Buffalo team that prefers to run the ball 70% of the time and should do so with success in this game. Charlotte, meanwhile, will need to depend more on their aerial attack, which should be challenging when the winds are gusting into the 40s.

Buffalo has two thousand-yard rushers, with Jeret Paterson (1626 yards at 5.8 ypr) and Kevin Marks (1008 yards at 4.7 ypr) and the Bulls’ bruising rushing attack is projected to average 6.4 yards per rushing play in this game against a soft Charlotte defensive front that gave up 6.0 yprp to FBS opponents that would combine to average just 4.8 yprp against an average defensive team. Quarterback Kyle Vantrease was 0.8 yards per pass play worse than average but he’s facing a 49ers’ secondary that is 1.6 yppp worse than average (allowing 6.9 yppp to quarterbacks that would combine to average 5.3 yppp against an average defensive team). Vantrease won’t need to throw often but he should have decent success when he does throw. I project 405 total yards at 6.4 yppl for Buffalo even with the heavy wind factored in.

Charlotte made it to their first bowl game ever because of their offense. Quarterback Chris Reynolds blossomed this season with the help of big-play receiver Victor Tucker (17.4 ypc), as he averaged 8.3 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 7.1 yppp to an average QB). The 49ers also have a solid ground attack, which churned out 214 yards per game at 5.5 yards per rushing play (against teams that would allow 5.5 yprp). Buffalo defends the run very well (4.3 yprp allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yprp against an average defense) and the Bulls are decent against the pass (5.9 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would average 5.8 yppp against an average team), which is a lot better than most of the teams that Charlotte has faced this season. My math projects only 314 yards at 5.6 yards per play for the 49ers in this game.

Overall, the math favors Buffalo by 7.5 points with a total of 50.5 total points, so the total has been adjusted properly for the bad weather. I suggest passing on this game as my math doesn’t see enough of an edge and the weather makes things more variable than normal.

Utah St. vs
Kent State

Fri, Dec 20 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 203, Odds: Kent State +6.5, Total: 67.5

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Utah State (-6.5)  39   Kent State  32

Lean – Over (67.5) at 68 or less.

Friday, December 20 – 4:30 pm Pacific

Kent State had to win their final 3 games to get to 6-6 to qualify for a bowl game, so there is no doubt that the Golden Flashes are excited to be playing this game. I’m not so sure about Utah State’s focus given that this is a disappointing bowl game to be in after the high expectations brought on by last season’s 11-2 season. Speaking of high, the Aggies’ star quarterback Jordan Love and a few other players were cited for smoking weed on Saturday night, so their focus on being 100% prepared for this game could be in question. Then again, Love had stated that he will leave school a year early to enter the NFL draft (mistake) and he may suddenly be more inspired to impressive NFL scouts with the marijuana cloud now hanging over him.

Love really struggled this season after losing talent at the receiver position from last year’s team. He averaged a 6.7 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 6.9 yppp to an average team and he’s thrown 16 interceptions after throwing just 6 picks last season. Love should look good in this game against a horrible Kent State pass defense that’s allowed 7.6 yppp to a collection of quarterbacks that would combine to average only 6.0 yppp against an average defense. Love is projected to average 7.8 yppp in this game while the Aggies’ mediocre rushing attack is projected at 5.7 yprp against a Kent defense that has been 0.6 yprp worse than average.

Kent State’s case for winning this game depends on the Golden Flashes controlling the ball with their rushing attack and quarterback Dustin Crum continuing to avoid interceptions (he threw just 2 picks all season). Crum is also the leading rusher on the team and the Flashes are 0.1 yprp worse than average running and 0.3 yppp worse than average throwing it (with Crum at QB) after adjusting for opposing defenses faced. Kent should have pretty good success running the ball against a Utah State run defense that has been hurt by the absence of leading tackler David Woodward. Woodward has missed the last 5 games and he still leads the team in total tackles. Without Woodward, the Aggies have gone from a good run defense to a unit that has been 0.5 yprp worse than average. The pass defense has mostly been better than average aside from a couple of outliers and the Flashes are projected to run for 258 yards at 5.5 yprp and 207 pass yards at 5.8 yppp.

Overall, the math favors Utah State by 7.4 points with a total of 70.6 points. I suggest staying away from the side but I’d lean over 68 points or less.

Central Mich vs
San Diego St.

Sat, Dec 21 11:00 AM PT

Rotation: 207, Odds: San Diego St. -3.5, Total: 40.5

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Lean – Central Michigan (+3.5)  20   San Diego State  21

Saturday, December 21 – 11 am Pacific

Central Michigan has been an underrated all season (10-3 ATS) and my math model still sees some value in the Chippewas, who enter this game off an upset loss in the MAC Championship game. Central Michigan is 0.1 yards per play better than average offensively on a national scale with a solid rushing attack led by Jonathan Ward (1082 yards at 6.2 ypr) and Kobe Lewis (977 yards at 5.2 ypr) and an accurate and talented quarterback in Quinten Dormady, who completed 66.8% of his passes and has been 0.3 yards per pass play better than average (7.4 yppp against teams that would allow 7.1 yppp to an average quarterback). San Diego State has one of the best run defenses in the nation (3.7 yprp allowed to teams that would average 5.1 yprp) so it will up to Dormady to perform well against a good Aztecs’ secondary that was 0.4 yppp better than average. My math projects 337 total yards at 5.2 yards per play for Central Michigan is ideal scoring conditions (very little wind and clear skies are expected). That projection assumes that 1st-Team All-MAC WR JaCorey Sullivan plays, but he is listed as questionable with an injured foot. Sullivan averaged 10.4 yards per target, which was significantly more than the rest of the Chippewas’ receivers and his absence would equate to 1.3 points to the Central Michigan offense.

San Diego State should struggle to move the ball too, as the Aztecs’ prefer to run the ball but have a horrible offensive line that paved the way for just 4.0 yards per rushing play this season (against teams that would allow 5.5 yprp to an average team). Central Michigan has a really good run defense too (4.1 yprp allowed to teams that would average 5.0 yprp) but quarterback Ryan Agnew should have pretty good success in this game. Agnew is horrible (5.7 yppp against teams that would allow 7.0 yppp) but the Chippewas’ pass defense is just as bad (6.7 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would combine to average just 5.6 yppp against an average defense). I project San Diego State to gain just 315 yards at 4.6 yards per play, assuming that they’ll throw the ball more than they usually do given that they won’t be able to run it.

Overall, the math projects CMU with more yards and a higher yards per play but San Diego State has better special teams and a projected edge in turnovers that gives the Aztecs the slight edge straight up (by 1.4 points). However, if the Aztecs get stubborn and decide to stick to running the ball close to 60% of the time then they’re likely to lose straight up. I’ll lean with Central Michigan at +3 or more and have no opinion on the total, but you might want to wait for an update on JaCorey Sullivan before making the play. If Sullivan is out then the math would favor San Diego State by 2.6 points.

Liberty vs
Georgia Southern

Sat, Dec 21 11:30 AM PT

Rotation: 209, Odds: Georgia Southern -4, Total: 58

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Best Bet – **Under (60.5) – Georgia Southern  26   Liberty  25

Lean – Liberty (+4)

Saturday, December 21 – 11:30 am Pacific

Liberty appears to be a good offensive team, given their 31.1 points per game on 435 yards per game at 6.4 yards per play in their 11 games against FBS opponents. However, the Flames have also faced a schedule of mostly bad defensive teams that would combine to allow 6.5 yppl and 36.0 points per game to an average offensive team. In this game, however, Liberty will be facing a Georgia Southern defense that is 0.2 yppl better than average (5.8 yppl allowed to teams that would average 6.0 yppl against an average defense), which is 0.9 yppl better than what the Flames have faced on average this season. Liberty will also have fewer possessions than normal, as Georgia Southern runs the option offense at a very slow pace and tends to possess the ball for long stretches. In fact, my model projects Georgia Southern to have a 35:00 to 25:00 time of possession advantage in this game. Liberty upped their average tempo in their final 6 games after their bye week, which adds about 4 total plays to this game, but I still project the Flames to run just 63.5 plays for 352 yards (5.55 yppl), which is well below the 435 yards per game they averaged to get their 31 points per game.

Georgia Southern’s option attack should work as well as normal in this game, as Liberty’s run defense (0.3 yprp worse than average) rates the same as the average defense that the Eagles faced this season. Georgia Southern averaged a modest 329 yards per game at 5.3 yards per play, and the 29.5 points per game (27.7 in regulation) that they averaged against FBS opponents is randomly high given their stats. Not only were the Eagles well below average in total yards per game but they were also below average in yards per play, 3rd-down conversion rate (31.5%), total 4th-down conversions (6 all season), and red-zone efficiency. Not turning the ball over (only 9 turnovers in 11 FBS games) helps a bit but doesn’t come close to explaining how Georgia Southern could average 29.5 points per game given their overall stats. In this game, the Eagles are projected to gain 348 yards and score 25.5 points.

The math picks this game even with a total of just 50.9 points with just 700 combined total yards at 5.4 yards per play. I understand why the total is higher, as Liberty games averaged 60.4 total points per game and Georgia Southern’s games averaged 59.0 total points per game. However, Liberty’s opponents combined to average 58.9 total points per game, so the Flames are only 1.5 points higher scoring than average after compensating for opponents. Georgia Southern, meanwhile, faced opponents that combined to average 63.0 points per game, as the Sun Belt was loaded with horrible defensive teams and good offensive teams – and they also faced LSU. The Eagles games averaged only 55.6 total points in regulation, as they had an overtime game with Coast Carolina that added 37 points to what was a 10-10 game in regulation. So, Georgia Southern’s games were much lower scoring compared to the opponents that they faced. A compensated points model projects just 51.1 total points for this game, which is pretty close to what the projected stats would predict. I’ll go Under 59 points or higher in a 2-Star Best Bet and for 1-Star down to 58 points.

SMU @
Florida Atl.

Sat, Dec 21 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 211, Odds: Florida Atl. +8, Total: 64.5

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Strong Opinion – Under (64.5) – Southern Methodist (-8)  34   FLORIDA ATLANTIC  24 

This game is being played in FAU’s home stadium but without FAU’s head coach Lane Kiffin, who left for the job at Ole Miss. DC Glenn Spencer will serve as interim head coach for this game with future coach Willie Taggart watching from a box, and I will make no adjustment for Kiffin being gone. FAU started the season getting crushed by two good teams (Ohio State and UCF) and have won 10 of 11 games since (all wins by double-digits) against all below average teams. However, on Friday afternoon Florida Atlantic released a long list of key players that were not going to play in this game and I think the market didn’t react enough to those key players missing this game.

FAU was just an average team on both sides of the ball during the regular season, as the owls have been 0.1 yards per play worse than average offensively (6.0 yppl against teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average team) and 0.1 yppl worse than average defensively (5.5 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average defense). However, the list of players missing this game include the Owls’ 4 most significant playmakers on offense and two of their best defensive players. The absence of top running back Malcom Davidson, who averaged 7.0 yards per rush, hurts the rushing attack significantly given that the other 3 running backs combined for just 4.5 ypr, and WR Deangelo Antoine has 146 yards on 8 reverses this season and he’s also out. The result is a projected decline of 0.74 yards per rushing play. Antoine is also the top wide receiver and also missing this game will be 1st-Team All-American and Mackey Aware winner TE Harrison Bryant, who lead the Owls in reception and receiving yards (1004), and WR Tavaris Harrison, who was third on the team in receiving yards. Those 3 pass-catchers were not only the top 3 in receiving yards but they were the top 3 on the team yards per target and combined for 2298 yards on 245 targets, which is 9.3 yards per target. The rest of the wide receivers and tight ends combined for 1028 yards on 153 targets (6.7 ypt) and the difference equates to 1.3 yards per pass play, which works out to more than 4 points given the 40 pass plays expected from FAU in this game. Overall, the Owls go from being projected to gain 438 yards at 5.4 yards per play to being projected to tally 357 yards at 4.4 yppl, which is a difference of about 6 points.

On the defensive side of the ball the Owls will be without top-tackler Akileis Leroy, who also had 7.5 sacks and 8 other tackles for loss, and DE Tim Bonner, who tallied 4 sacks and 7.5 total TFLs. The adjustments for those two players worked out to 0.2 yards per play, which is a bit more than a point.

SMU’s offense scored with great consistency this season with former Texas starter Shane Buechele running Sonny Dykes’ version of the Air Raid offense. The Mustangs averaged 43 points per game and scored 34 points or more in all but one game but they were only 0.5 yards per play better than average (6.2 yppl against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl to an average team). SMU scored more than their yards per play stats would project because they ran a lot of plays due to a combination of fast tempo and extending drives by converting on 4th down 21 times (in 29 attempts).

SMU was not as good in the compensated passing numbers over their final 5 games without big-play receiver Reggie Roberson Jr, who was injured early in the week 9 games against Houston and hasn’t played since. Roberson averaged 12.6 yards per target while the rest of the wide receivers combine to average a modest 8.0 YPT. Top receiver James Proche was double-teamed a lot more often without Roberson on the field and he averaged only 7.6 YPT in the regular season. Roberson makes a significant difference to the Mustangs aerial attack and his status for this game is unknown (he’s listed as questionable). My feeling is that he’s not going to play and if that is the case then my math projects 453 yards at 5.9 yards per play for SMU in this game.

The problem with Sonny Dykes is that he’s never had a good defense, but this year’s Mustangs are solid defensively, allowing 5.6 yppl to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yppl against an average defense. That unit has an advantage of FAU’s offense and the Owls are projected to gain 438 yards at 5.4 yppl.

Overall, the math now favors SMU by 9.9 points and a total of 57.7 points, which assumes Roberson is out, accounts for the strong wind (17 mph with gusts up to 30 mph) and has now been adjusted to take into account how often and how successfully Dykes goes for it on 4th down rather than punting, which adds a few points to SMU’s scoring. If Roberson does play (and is 100%) then the math would favor SMU by 12.9 points with 59.6 total points. I’ll consider the Under a Strong Opinion at 64 points or higher.

FIU vs
Arkansas St.

Sat, Dec 21 2:30 PM PT

Rotation: 213, Odds: Arkansas St. -2.5, Total: 60.5

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Arkansas State (-2.5)  30   Florida International  29

Saturday, December 21 – 2:30 pm Pacific

More was expected of FIU this season, but veteran coach Butch Davis got his team to a bowl at 6-6 thanks to a week 13 win over Miami-Florida as a 20-point dog. Arkansas State reached 7 wins thanks to the arm of backup quarterback Layne Hatcher and SBC Player of the Year WR Omar Bayless. Hatcher took over in week 5 after starting Logan Bonner was injured and the Arkansas State offense improved. Hatcher completed 68% of his passes and averaged 8.4 yards per pass play in his 8 starts (against teams that would allow 7.6 yppp to an average QB) and his compensated numbers were 1.1 yppp better than Bonner’s compensated stats. The Red Wolves’ rush attack is sub-par (4.7 yprp against teams that would allow 5.3 yprp) but overall the attack is 0.3 yards per play better than average with Hatcher at quarterback. Arkansas State is projected to rack up 438 yards at 6.3 yppl against an FIU defense that’s 0.5 yppl worse than average for the season (5.8 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yppl against an average defense).

FIU’s attack is led by veteran quarterback James Morgan, who regressed from a solid 2018 season and averaged only 6.5 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 7.5 yppp to an average quarterback. Morgan makes up for his lack of big-plays by throwing just 3 interceptions all season (and only 10 in two full seasons) but the Panthers are still pretty bad offensively, as they are 0.8 yards per rushing play worse than average and 0.9 yards per play worse than average overall (5.6 yppl against teams that would allow 6.5 yppl to an average offense). Arkansas State’s defense is 0.6 yppl worse than average, which is actually 0.2 yppl better than what FIU has faced on average this season and the math projects only 391 yards at 5.3 yppl for the Panthers in this game.

Arkansas State is better overall from the line of scrimmage and the math favors the Red Wolves by 3 points even with FIU having an edge in projected turnovers and special teams (Arkansas State has a good kicker but is bad in covering kicks). That math is pretty neutral on this game but FIU does apply to a 58-24-3 ATS bowl situation and Butch Davis is 7-2 ATS in bowl games while Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson is just 1-4 straight up and 1-4 ATS in bowl games. I still recommend passing on this game, as there is not enough of an edge to make the side or the total a profitable wager.

Boise St. vs
Washington

Sat, Dec 21 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 215, Odds: Washington -3, Total: 50

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Washington (-3)  26   Boise State  23

Saturday, December 21 – 2:30 pm Pacific

The story here is that Washington head coach Chris Peterson has decided that this will be the last game he coaches, which fittingly is coming against the school that gave him his first coaching job. Peterson has great for Boise State and he did a great job turning around the Huskies, recording 3 straight double-digit win seasons for the predictable decline this season. Washington is better than their 7-5 record, as their 5 losses were by an average margin of just 5.2 points while all 7 of the Huskies’ victories were by 12 points or more and they are rightfully favored in this game.

Washington’s offense was really inconsistent this season as former Georgia quarterback bust Jacob Eason had 6 games averaging 8.9 yards per pass play or more and 5 games averaging 5.5 yppp or less. Overall, Eason was 0.9 yppp better than average (7.1 yppp against teams that would allow 6.2 yppp to an average quarterback) and the Huskies’ offense was 0.4 yards per play better than average. However, their two best offensive players, TE Hunter Bryant and LT Trey Adams, are sitting this game out to not risk injury before the NFL draft. Adams is a 1st-Team All-Pac 12 player and Bryant (also 1st-Team All-P12) led the Huskies was 10.4 yards per target this season and is worth 1.3 points (I valued Adams at 0.5 points). Washington is really close to average offensively without those two key performers and they should struggle some against a good Boise State defense that is good defending the run (0.4 yprp better than average) and the pass (0.8 yppp better than average). My math projects 345 yards at modest 5.4 yppl for Washington in this game.

Boise’s offense also figures to struggle, as the Broncos have been just 0.1 yards per play better than average offensively this season (6.2 yppl against teams that would allow 6.1 yppl). The Broncos are better with Hank Bachmeier at quarterback (0.9 yppp better than average) but Jaylon Henderson (-0.1 yppp rating) has started the last 4 games and coach Bryan Harsin would only say that Bachmeier is available to play and hinted that all 3 quarterbacks would play (Chase Cord started 2 games and is 0.6 yppp worse than average). I decided to simply use the Broncos’ overall pass rating rather than trying to guess how much each quarterback plays. Washington’s defense was not as dominating as it’s been in recent years but the Huskies are still 1.0 yppl better than average defensively, allowing just 20.4 points per game and 5.3 yppl to a schedule of teams that would combine to average 31.3 points and 6.3 yppl against an average defensive team. This is easily the best defense that Boise has faced this season and the math projects only 347 yards at 5.0 yppl for the Broncos in this game.

Overall, the math projects the total yards about even with Boise running 6 more plays from scrimmage, but the Huskies have really good special teams units and are projected to win by 4.1 points with a total of 48.9 points (good weather conditions factored in). Boise is 26-12 ATS as an underdog in their history, including 7-2 in bowl games (2-0 under Harsin) but Washington players that are playing should be motivated to send their coach out with a win over his former team. I’m staying away from this game.

Appalachian State vs
UAB

Sat, Dec 21 6:00 PM PT

Rotation: 217, Odds: UAB +17, Total: 47.5

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Lean – Under (47.5) – Appalachian State (-17)  29   Alabama-Birmingham  15

I still don’t know which quarterback is starting for UAB, but the coach hinted that both Johnston and Hopkins would play so I decided to assume each would get 50% of the snaps. The math still leans with UAB as a huge underdog here, as the numbers favor Appalachian State by 14.9 points with a total of 44.3 points. A decent 58-23-4 ATS big bowl dog angle favors UAB here, so I’ll for a 14 point margin but I’d prefer the Under if I were t play this game. I will lean Under 47 points or less.

UCF vs
Marshall

Mon, Dec 23 11:30 AM PT

Rotation: 219, Odds: Marshall +15.5, Total: 60.5

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Lean – Under (60.5) – Central Florida (-15.5)  37   Marshall  21

Monday, December 23 – 11:30 am Pacific

My math favors UCF by 19.7 points (with a total of 59.5 points after adjusting for the wind and rain expected) and I could waste time discussing matchups and going over the stats, but this game comes down to how much UCF really cares. The Golden Knights were in major bowl games against highly ranked SEC teams that last two seasons and had the same goal this season only to find themselves as a huge favorite against a worse than average Marshall team that’s not as good as their 8-4 record suggests. Pre-New Year’s favorite of more than 7 (excluding major bowl games played in December) are just 50-92-3 ATS over the years and UCF applies to a 7-56-2 ATS subset of that trend. It’s possible that UCF could come out motivated and they’d likely win by 20 points or more if that’s the case. But, history suggests that the Knights will be less than enthusiastic and Marshall coach Doc Holiday is 6-0 straight up and 6-0 ATS in bowl games (although never been a dog anywhere close to this much). I’d stay away from the side, as the line is much lower than it should be and seems to be incorporating a less than max effort from UCF, but I’ll lean under based on a 40-12-1 bowl game under situation.

Hawaii vs
BYU

Tue, Dec 24 5:00 PM PT

Rotation: 221, Odds: BYU -2, Total: 65.5

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Lean – HAWAII (+2)  32   Brigham Young  29

Lean – Under (65.5)

Tuesday, December 24 – 5 pm Pacific

BYU has a campus on the Island and should have plenty of support for this game, so I treated it as a home/neutral game for Hawaii rather than a full home game in the math model. Even with that being the case the math favors Hawaii as a small dog because BYU’s offense is overrated. The Cougars appear to have a good offense, as they averaged 6.4 yards per play against teams that would allow 5.9 yppl to an average attack. However, starting quarterback Zach Wilson was not nearly as good as the team’s pass rating of 0.7 yards per pass play better than average, as Wilson averaged 6.65 yppp against teams that would allow 6.59 yppp to an average quarterback while the backup quarterbacks, Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney, combined for 8.0 yppp on 140 pass plays. BYU’s rushing attack also isn’t as good as their season numbers (5.4 yards per rushing play against teams that would allow 5.3 yprp to an average team). Ty’Son Williams, who began the season as the starter, was injured in the 4th game after averaging a healthy 5.4 ypr against good competition (Utah, Tennessee, USC and Washington). Sione Finau emerged as an even better runner, averaging 6.1 ypr and leading the team in rushing in basically just 5 games of action, but Finau was injured in week 12 and is out also. BYU is also missing out on the running of backup QB Jaren Hall, who averaged 8.2 yards on his 21 runs. The main backs in this game are likely to be #2 rusher Lopini Katoa, who averaged just 4.1 ypr, and Emmanuel Esukpa, who averaged only 4.2 ypr. Freshman Jackson McChesney could see some action too and he ran for 274 yards on 25 runs – although 228 of those yards on 15 runs came against the worst defense in the nation (UMass). BYU’s offense, both running and passing, is not as good as their season numbers suggest, although my math still projects 409 yards at 6.4 yards per play for the Cougars in this game against a porous Hawaii defense that has yielded 6.4 yppl to a schedule of teams that would average only 5.5 yppl against an average defensive team.

Hawaii makes up for the bad defense with a run-and-shoot attack that averaged 468 yards per game at 6.8 yppl (against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl to an average team). Cole McDonald is the quarterback and he settled into a good rhythm after throwing 8 interceptions in the first 3 games (just 6 picks on 337 passes the last 11 games). BYU only allowed 24.4 points per game this season but the Cougars are only 0.2 yards per rushing play better than average defending the run and they’re 0.1 yppp worse than average against the pass (6.3 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would average 6.2 yppp against an average stop unit). Hawaii is projected rack up 454 yards at 6.5 yppl in this game.

Overall, Hawaii is projected to have an edge of 45 total yards, although BYU has a projected 0.5 advantage in turnovers. With special teams added in (0.6 points edge for Hawaii) it all adds up to Hawaii by 2.5 points with a total of 60.7 points. I’ll lean with Hawaii as an underdog in this game and to the Under at 65 points or higher.