7-5 (4-5), 5th Pacific-10
10-3 (7-1), 2nd Western Athletic
If you love offensive football make sure you tune into ESPN at 8pm EST tonight because it will be nothing but offensive fireworks. The Sun Devils average 24 ppg and 365 yards of offense while Hawaii averages 43 ppg and 550 yards of offense.
Sky was the limit for Arizona State at the beginning of the season. Many thought that the Sun Devils would challenge USC for the Pac 10 title and at worse finish 3rd behind USC and California. They started out the season with 3 wins but lost their next 3 and finished the season losing 2 of their final 4. Now let's get to the important part, Dirk Koetter will be coaching his final game at Arizona State. He was fired a few weeks ago and former Idaho coach Dennis Erickson will coach the Sun Devils beginning after the bowl.
Rudy Carpenter was named the starting quarterback, amid some controversy which lead Sam Keller to transfer to Nebraska, and has not had the season that Koetter thought he would have. Carpenter has thrown for 2332 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Not bad numbers but in the big games he seems to struggle. Running back Ryan Torain leads the team in rushing with 1069 yards and 6 touchdowns. A person to keep an eye on in this game is Terry Richardson. Richardson averages 33.6 yards per kickoff return and has a 100 yard touchdown on a return on his resume.
Whenever you talk about the Hawaii Warriors the first person you think of is Heisman Trophy Canidate Colt Brennan. Brennan has made a name for himself by slinging the ball all over the field and having eye-popping statistics. In his 13 games so far this season he has completed over 70% of his passes for 4990 yards, 53 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions in 517 attempts. The Warriors' leading receiver is Davone Bess with over 1100 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Hawaii is not bad rushing the ball either, averaging 117.7 ypg and their leading rusher is Nate Ilaoa. IIaoa has almost 900 yards rushing with 13 touchdowns. The Warriors have wins over bowl teams such as Purdue, San Jose State, and Nevada while the only bowl team the Sun Devils beat was Nevada.
This is Hawaii's chance to have the grand center stage. They will be the game prime-time game on Christmas Eve and everyone should be awake to see them. Also it is Brennan's chance to showcase himself for next year's Heisman race. As far as Arizona State goes, it is their chance to send Koetter out with a victory and salvage a season that once was. I think this will be a high scoring game on Hawaii's part as the Sun Devils won't have the guns to keep up. Brennan will throw for at least 5 TDs in a rout. Hawaii 56-20
Brian from CFR
- Arizona State