Bowl Breakdown: Hawaii
Expect a shootout when two of the nation's top 10 offenses do battle
Tulsa's Damaris Johnson is one of the country's top all-purpose threats
Hawaii's home-field advantage may be too much for Tulsa to overcome
No. 24 Hawaii (10-3) vs. Tulsa (9-3)
Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Reason to watch: Touchdowns. Lots of them. Outside of the Oregon-Auburn national championship game and the TCU-Wisconsin Rose Bowl, no bowl matches two more prolific offenses. Hawaii ranked ninth nationally in scoring with 39.9 points per game, while Tulsa checked in at No. 10 with 39.7. Quarterbacks Bryant Moniz (Hawaii) and G.J. Kinne (Tulsa) both rank in the top four nationally in total offense. Throw in the fact that neither defense is especially overwhelming (particularly Tulsa's) and we've got the recipe for a Christmas Eve shootout while Santa is making his rounds.
Keep an eye on: Tulsa wide receiver Damaris Johnson. The junior can do a little bit of everything and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Johnson has six rushing touchdowns, 16 receiving touchdowns, two punt returns for touchdowns and two kick returns for touchdowns in his career. Johnson led the nation in all-purpose yards this season thanks mostly to his punt and kick return abilities.
Did you know: Moniz, not Heisman winner Cam Newton, led the nation in total offense with 362 yards per game (356 passing, six rushing). In the tradition of Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan before him, Moniz lit up WAC defenses all season, throwing at least three touchdowns in nine games. The Hawaii native is a junior, meaning he will miss out on the Warriors' transition to the Mountain West Conference in 2012, but he may be able to work his way onto some preseason Heisman lists with another big game against Tulsa.
Final analysis: Hawaii moved the ball on pretty much everyone but Boise State and put up a scary 600-plus yards in its final three games of the season. Against a shaky Tulsa defense, there's a good chance that streak will extend to four. Kinne will undoubtedly lead Tulsa to some points, but Moniz and the home-field advantage will be too much for the Golden Hurricane to overcome.
The pick: Hawaii 55, Tulsa 31
SI.com NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline shares his thoughts on the top pro prospects in this matchup:
Hawaii: WR Greg Salas -- Salas is one of the fastest rising receivers in this senior class. Considered barely draftable entering the season, he's now graded as a third-round pick by several teams. He's a sure-handed pass-catcher who shows the ability to beat opponents deep. Salas is slated to play in the Senior Bowl next month. Grade: Third- to fourth-round prospect.
Tulsa: RB Charles Clay -- The ultra-productive Clay is getting consideration at a number of positions by NFL scouts. He's lined up at running back and as a slot receiver for Tulsa, putting up big numbers at both positions. While some teams feel the 230-pound Clay projects to tight end, others think he's better off at fullback in a West Coast offense. Grade: Seventh-round prospect.
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