comscore Hawaii could face Middle Tennessee State in Hawaii Bowl | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii could face Middle Tennessee State in Hawaii Bowl

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai (31) celebrates a defensive play with defensive lineman Meffy Koloamatangi (97) during the second half of a college football game between the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and the Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday, November 26, 2016 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii held on to win 46-40.

Pass-happy Middle Tennessee State is emerging as a leading candidate to play the University of Hawaii in the Christmas Eve Hawaii Bowl, sources said.

The pairing for the Dec. 24 game at Aloha Stadium could be announced as soon as Saturday night.

In the meantime, officials in the bowl industry said the matchup is subject to change. “A lot of things can happen in the next 48 hours,” said a participant in Friday’s Football Bowl Association conference call.

Hawaii Bowl executive director Daryl Garvin declined comment except to say that a Conference USA opponent was likely.

The Blue Raiders, who won six of their first eight games before record-setting quarterback Brent Stockstill suffered a broken collarbone, finished the regular season with an 8-4 record (5-3 in Conference USA).

Stockstill ranks seventh in the nation in passing yardage per game (311.2 yards) despite missing parts of four games. He is expected back for the bowl game.

He has completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,801 yards, 27 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also rushed for 232 yards on 42 carries.

The head coach is his father Rick, a former Florida State (1979-‘81) quarterback.

Receiver Richie James is third in the FBS in receiving yards at 1,463 and 15th in receiving touchdowns with 11.

While the Blue Raiders are 12th in the nation in passing (317 yards per game) and 16th in scoring offense (40.1 points per game), they rank 101st among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring defense at 34.4 points per game. MTSU’s marquee win was 51-45 over Missouri.

UH and MTSU have met once, a 35-14 Hawaii victory in 1993.

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      • I wonder if the Defense Coach reads these posts. Apparently not because it has been pointed out to not have UH D’Backs play “bump and run” when the receiver is faster than they are and there’s nobody behind them to help cover the receiver. With 3rd and long, there’s no reason to be up in the receiver’s face. UH was burned twice against U Mass. Defense 101. The same tactic helped New Mexico win the game. jj wouldn’t tolerate it.

        • JJ will be great the first year if Cal handles the defense, then it will be downhill if Cal retires.

    • Sorry, but I’d make that (-) 2-1/2 touchdowns. The Warriors have only been able to barely squeeze by some marginal opponents – our defense is full of holes & our offense is inconsistent. I’ m happy the they can go to the Hawaii Bowl, after suffering through “Chow Time”. But unless they tighten-up and play a flawless game, it could get ugly. Go Bows!

  • GREAT … JUST GREAT … if this happens …

    MTSU will watch our game film and pick on #21
    all day long …

    LIVE ALOHA / PLAY WARRIOR / DEFEND THE ROCK … GO ‘BOWS !!!!!

  • I found it a bit ironic that “pass-happy” Middle Tennessee had 262 yards passing and 1 passing TD against their last opponent, Florida Atlantic, when they combined for a whopping 495 yards rushing and 9 rushing TDs. Hawaii is going to have to find a way to contain RB I’Tavius Mathers who is a dual threat on offense, racking up 1504 yards and 16 TDs rushing, to go along with 589 yards and 3 TDs receiving. It should also be noted that Mathers’ game high in rushing yards (215) came against the Missouri Tigers of the SEC. So when their prolific QB Stockstill returns at QB, they will have a very potent balanced attack. Like bleedgreen mentioned, we will need standout performances from both Dru and Saint Juste if UH is to be competitive in what looks to be a high powered offensive shootout by both teams. Go Warriors!

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