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Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee: Aloha Bowl - 12/24/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-4) at Hawaii Warriors (6-7)

College Football: Saturday, December 24, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Aloha Stadium)

The Line: Hawaii Warriors -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will face off at Aloha Stadium in the Hawai’i Bowl on ESPN.

The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors finished the season with a 6-7 overall record and finished in 2nd in the Mountain West – West standings with a 4-4 record. Hawai’i was able to become bowl eligible winning their last two games of the regular season against Fresno State and UMass. On the season, Hawai’i is averaging 26.5 ppg on 382.9 total yards per game (222.3 passing, 160.6 rushing). Offensively, the Rainbow Warriors were led by QB Dru Brown who completed 62.0% of his passes for 15 TD and 7 INT while averaging 184.5 passing yds/g. Leading the way for the Hawai’i backfield has been Diocemy Saint Juste (12.7 Att/g, 76.0 yds/g, 3 TD), Paul Harris (5.9 Att/g, 41.3 yds/g, 2 TD), and Steven Lakalaka (7.7 Att/g, 31.9 yds/g, 12 TD). The leading receivers for the Rainbow Warriors have been Marcus Kemp (5.4 rec/g, 79.7 yds/g, 7 TD), John Ursua (3.6 rec/g, 40.9 yds/g, 3 TD), and Dylan Collie (2.2 rec/g, 23.5 yds/g, 3 TD). Hawai’i really struggled on the defensive side this season as they allowed their opponents to average 37.5 ppg on 455.4 total yards per game (211.2 passing, 243.2 rushing). The Rainbow Warriors had issues with turnovers throughout the season and finished the year with a -11 turnover margin.

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Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee: Aloha Bowl - 12/24/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders finished the season with an 8-4 overall record while finishing 3rd in the C-USA East division with a 5-3 conference record. Middle Tennessee looked as if they were going to be able to contend for a C-USA Championship but suffered a huge blow went their star QB Brent Stockstill was lost for the last 4 games of the regular season in which the Blue Raiders went just 2-2. On the season, Middle Tennessee averaged 40.1 ppg on 515.7 total yards per game (317.0 passing, 198.7 rushing). Offensively, Middle Tennessee was led by QB Brent Stockstill who completed 63.9% of his passes for 27 TD and 5 INT while averaging 311.2 passing yds/g. The Blue Raiders backfield was led by I’Tavius Mathers (18.3 Att/g, 125.3 yds/g, 16 TD) and Richie James (2.7 Att/g, 25.0 yds/g, 4 TD). The Leading receivers for Middle Tennessee were Richie James (8.1 rec/g 121.9 yds/g, 11 TD), Ty Lee (4.4 rec/g, 49.9 yds/g, 7 TD), I’Tavius Mathers (5.2 rec/g, 49.1 yds/g, 3 TD) and Dennis Andrews (2.3 rec/g, 30.8 yds/g, 7 TD). Defensively, Middle Tennessee is allowing their opponents to average 34.4 ppg on 445.3 total yards per game (247.1 passing, 198.2 rushing). The Blue Raiders forced their opponents into committing 19 turnovers on the season and have an overall turnover margin of +1.

The Rainbow Warriors are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games. The Blue Raiders are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a straight up win and 6-0 in their last 6 games following an ATS win.

This game has yet to be lined due to the uncertain status of the Blue Raiders Brent Stockstill who as of a few days ago, mentioned that he is optimistic that he will be able to take the field for this game. Middle Tennessee certainly isn’t as strong of an offense without Stockstill, but the Blue Raiders still can put up points and should be able to find the score board against the Hawaii defense that ranked 115th in scoring defense and 104th in total defense. I’m interested to see how big a line this will be if Stockstill plays, however, even if he doesn’t my initial thoughts are to take the Blue Raiders either way. Please check back when the line is posted.

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