Tuesday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET
Intangible forces abound in the Christmas Eve tradition that is the Hawaii Bowl. It's momentum—or lack thereof in the case of Oregon State—vs. continuity and the lack thereof for Boise State.
Oregon State stumbled to a five-game losing skid to conclude the 2013 regular season, while Boise State said goodbye to its head coach of the last eight seasons, Chris Petersen.
Boise State fans should take comfort from Adam Kramer's eye-opening examination into the impact of interim coaches, which says—SPOILER—impact is negligible.
Broncos interim head coach Bob Gregory told The Idaho Press-Tribune he's tried to keep the regimen consistent, and one constant for Boise State is defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. His ability to get to Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is crucial for the Broncos slowing the Beavers' passing attack.
Mannion struggled with interceptions down the stretch, not coincidentally as the Beavers faced some of the nation's top sacking defenses in USC, Washington and Stanford.
Even as Oregon State's overall numbers dipped, wide receiver Brandin Cooks remained highly productive. The Biletnikoff Award winner's lowest total in the losing streak was 80 yards, and he caught three touchdowns in that span. If Boise State cornerbacks cannot contain him off the line, Mannion's ability to get quick passes to Cooks will spell trouble for the Broncos.
This tidbit falls into the meaningless intangible category, but it is worth noting that the favorite is 2-5 in the Hawaii Bowl since 2006, including Boise State's loss to East Carolina in 2007.
Prediction: Oregon State 35, Boise State 28