10-2 (7-1), 2nd Western Athletic
7-5 (6-2), 2nd Conference USA - East
December 23, 8:00 PM, ESPN
The Hawaii Bowl is a step down for Boise State, who pulled off one of the most dramatic victories last year against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Their 17 straight WAC victory streak was broken by Hawaii and that gave Hawaii its first BCS bid and relegated the Broncos to the Hawaii Bowl. For East Carolina, this will be the second year in a row they will be playing in a bowl game. Last year they lost to South Florida in the Papajohns.com bowl.
Even with QB Jared Zabransky moving on last year, the Broncos are still an offensive power house. Boise State is ranked 10th in total offense and 5th in scoring offense, scoring over 42 points per game. Taylor Tharp has done well taking the reigns from Zabransky, throwing for over 3000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Their running game is strong behind Ian Johnson and his 1030 yards 16 touchdowns. Johnson missed two games due to injury, but still had a good year. On defense, the Broncos give up 21 points per game and rank 21st in scoring and total defense.
Skip Holtz's Pirates use a rushing attack to keep the ball away from their opponents. Running back Chris Johnson is the go to guy running for 1200 yards, 16 touchdowns, and almost 6 yards per carry. He is going up against a Boise State defense that was first in the WAC against the run and 24th overall. East Carolina's passing offense is below average as they only throw for 200 yards per game. Two quarterbacks, Patrick Pinkney and Robert Kass, do most of the passing with Pinkney being the main guy. Defensively the Pirates are 98th in total defense and 80th in scoring defense, giving up over 24 points per game.
I am not sure if there is a bigger bowl mismatch than this one. Boise State is ranked in the top 25, and could maybe be one of the top 15 teams in the nation and East Carolina is far behind the Broncos in talent on both sides of the ball. Boise will be able to do what they want on the offensive side of the ball and I can't see East Carolina scoring more than 14 points. Boise State 41 East Carolina 10
Picking Boise State to Win
ITB Brian Sakowski, MidWest Coast Bias, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, Football Frontier, Rizzo Sports, Corn Nation, MizzouRAH, The LSC Scoop, Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks, The Enlightened Spartan, Pitch Right, ITB Ron Juckett, Kansas It's Business Time, ITB Charlie Swager, Lorena The Dodgerchick, Lou Nemec, Rodney Polston, Greg Gowins, Timmy B, Brian Isaacson, Brant Chruscial, Dan Schoonover, Richard Dixon, Matt Kieta, Jeff Brancolini, Sunny Verma, Jason Stiver, Cyril Tircuit, Pete Boivin
Picking East Carolina to Win
Sportsbone TV, Logan Jaffe, Mrs Corn Nation