>Hawaii vs. Tulsa
If you like offense, this is the bowl for you. Both of these teams feature one of the top offense in the nation, with Hawaii ranking eighth nationally at 497 yards per game, while Tulsa is fifth at 504 yards per game.
Hawaii is back ladies and gentlemen. After a rough two years, the Warriors are back on the national stage and going for their third 11-win season in five years. The resurgence is led by quarterback Bryant Moniz who, like former Warrior qb’s Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan, loves to sling the ball around. Moniz has thrown for 4,629 yards and 36 touchdowns, while completing two-third of his passes. Greg Salas has caught 106 passes for 1,675 yards and 12 touchdowns. Kealoha Pilares has 88 catches for 1,306 yards and a team-high 15 touchdowns. While their main source of offense is through the air, their running game has been somewhat potent as well. Alex Green has run for 1,168 yards and 17 touchdowns.
G.J. Kinne has been masterful running the spread offense and was named the Conference USA offensive player of the year. He threw for 3,307 yards and 28 touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 557 yards and seven scores. Kinne is fourth in the FBS in total offense at 322.0 yards per game, helping Tulsa rank fifth in total offense with 503.5 yards, 15th in rushing (219.3) and 16th in passing (284.2). Tulsa has four players with at least 333 rushing yards. One of them is the multi-threat Damaris Johnson, who may be the team’s most dangerous player aside from Kinne. Johnson, a wide receiver, was the C-USA special teams player of the year and is the all-time FBS leader with 3,308 kickoff return yards. He is averaging 27.4 yards on kickoff returns and 12.5 on punt returns, scoring one touchdown in each fashion. He’s also rushed for 462 yards and 9.2 per carry while adding team highs of 53 receptions and 771 yards. Johnson is averaging 191.8 yards of offense.
Safety Mana Silva tied for the FBS lead with eight interceptions, helping Hawaii to a nation-best 23 INTs, and is the school’s all-time leader with 14. Linebackers Corey Paredes and Aaron Brown combined for seven, with Brown running two of his three INTs back for touchdowns.
Tulsa registered 19 picks, six each by defensive backs Dexter McCoil and Marco Nelson. The Golden Hurricane, though, rank 84th in scoring defense at 29.9 points per game and 107th in total defense with an average of 442.6 yards allowed.