The BYU Cougars look to extend their 6-1 run against Hawaii when they host the Warriors Friday in college football action.
Coming off a tough loss at Boise State, BYU returns home to host former assistant coach Norm Chow's Warriors Friday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). It has been a one-sided series since 1995 with the Cougars losing just once in seven tries.
As of Wednesday afternoon, most betting outlets tracked by OddsShark.com were listing the Cougars at -27.5, with a total of 50.
In his interview this week, Jack Randall, football analyst at OddsShark.com, said:
That total looks low to a lot of bettors and one stat that has convinced many people to bet OVER the total is the fact Hawaii is lousy running the ball on the road and BYU is terrific at stopping the run at home. That stat from the matchup supergrid would seem to invite passing and scoring.
This is also a Hawaii team that gave up 69 points to Nevada last weekend.
BYU, with seven starters back on both sides of the ball from a team that went 10-3 last year, opened this season with a 30-6 win over Washington State, then dispatched of Weber State 45-13. But the Cougars then lost a rivalry game to Utah 24-21.
Then last Thursday BYU didn't allow a touchdown on defense, but could only garner 200 yards of offense itself and lost a real tough one at Boise State 7-6. The Cougars gave up a touchdown on an interception return in the third quarter, then finally scored themselves with four minutes to go to pull within one point.
But Coach Mendenhall chose to go for two instead of the tie, and the attempt failed.
BYU quarterback Riley Nelson was pulled in the third quarter in Boise because of a bad back, replaced by freshman Taysom Hill, who then led the team on its only scoring drive.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it wasn't known who will play quarterback for BYU Friday. (Check OddsShark.com's Twitter account for updates).
Over its last two games, the Cougars defense has allowed a total of just 75 yards rushing.
On the other side of this matchup, the Warriors returned just 10 starters (just four on defense) from a team that went 6-7 last year. They opened their season with a 49-10 loss at USC and then defeated Lamar (FCS) 54-2.
But last Saturday, in its Mountain West Conference debut, Hawaii got blown out at home by Nevada 69-24, giving up 575 yards of total offense, 355 yards of that on the ground.
These teams last met last year, in Honolulu, with BYU coming away with a 41-20 victory. The Cougars trailed at the half 13-10 but scored the first 31 points of the second half, on their way to covering the spread as eight-point favorites.
Free Pick: BYU's defense alone should win this game, but the Cougars' QB situation is unsettled, and 27.5 points is a lot. We'll take Hawaii plus the points. (Courtesy of PickShark.com)