Boise State (7-2) at Hawaii (1-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aloha Stadium (50,000) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: BSU 4-1, Hawaii 1-2. Away Record: BSU 3-1, Hawaii 0-5. Neutral Record: BSU 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Conference Record: BSU 5-1, Hawaii 0-5. Series Record: Boise State leads, 9-3.
GAME NOTES: Former foes from the Western Athletic Conference get together as current members of the Mountain West this weekend, as the Hawaii Warriors extend their welcome to the Boise State Broncos at Aloha Stadium.
The Broncos, who until last week enjoyed the longest run in the BCS rankings, saw their dreams and aspirations come to a crashing halt on Saturday night as they suffered a 21-19 loss to San Diego State, at home on the blue turf no less. The defeat snapped a seven-game win streak and all but assured the Broncos that they'll be playing in yet another postseason game that doesn't take place on New Year's Day.
One of the most successful programs since the start of 2000, Boise State is no longer a member of the AP Poll either, even though when the team does lose it is only by a few points. In fact, of their last six defeats, the Broncos have been outscored by just a combined 14 points. Head coach Chris Petersen, now in his seventh season, still owns a staggering 80-8 record.
As for the Warriors, their transition to the MWC has been absolutely dismal, even with the addition of Norm Chow as the new head coach. Coach Chow has watched Hawaii get off to a 1-7 start, the first time that has happened to the program since 2000 when they finished 3-9 overall.
Last weekend, the Warriors was crushed by Fresno State in conference play, 45-10, on the mainland, marking the team's sixth straight loss overall. Hawaii has not beaten another Football Bowl Subdivision program since dropping Tulane (35-23) on Nov. 26 of last season, while the most recent conference win came over Idaho (16-14) in Moscow on Oct. 29, 2011.
Boise State torched the Warriors in a 42-7 decision two seasons ago, which means BSU now owns a 9-3 edge in the all-time series.
The Broncos dug themselves a hole with their opening kickoff to San Diego State last week, allowing the Aztecs to return the ball the length of the field in order to go up 7-0. Boise State also hurt itself by failing to simply convert its first PAT and from there the team had to play catch-up and never made it all the way back.
D.J. Harper managed to score a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half and Joe Southwick tossed a one-yard TD to Dan Paul late in the fourth quarter, but a potential game-tying two-point conversion was intercepted and after that the writing was on the wall for the Broncos.
Southwick, who has at times struggled in an effort to direct Petersen's offense, has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for just over 200 ypg, but unlike his predecessor who rarely made mistakes, the signal-caller has tossed just 10 TDs and seven interceptions.
Harper has tried to balance the scales with his 794 yards and 12 touchdowns on 166 carries, but still BSU ranks 64th in the country with just 159.8 ypg on the ground.
The defense is what has kept the Broncos competitive in 2012, the team ranking eighth in the country with only 14.4 ppg allowed and sixth in pass defense with 159.1 ypg permitted. If not for the miscues by Southwick, the squad's turnover margin (plus-1.22 per game) would be even more favorable and have the team ranked higher than seventh nationally.
Trying to find positives on the Hawaii side is quite the challenge, given how much the offense has dropped off even since last season. The team has seemingly always struggled to produce on the ground and 2012 is no different with just 114.0 ypg, but now the passing attack is ailing as well with just 188.1 ypg which is just a fraction of what the squad was putting up during the June Jones era.
Against Fresno State, quarterback Sean Schroeder completed 16-of-30 passes for just 162 yards, was picked off once and sacked five times, while the defense surrendered more than 400 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. Schroeder now has the same number of interceptions as he does TDs (nine) this season and that is no way to try and compete against MWC squads that like to score in bunches.
Not only does Hawaii rank second-to-last in the nation in scoring defense (42.6 ppg), the squad makes it even harder on itself by placing dead last in turnover margin (minus-1.50 per game).
In the four game following their only loss in 2011, the Broncos scored an average of more than 47 ppg which is something the Warriors might want to prepare for this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 42, Hawaii 17
11/07 10:38:26 ET