Hawaii 27-point underdog vs. Boise State
By Fred Guzman
There are home field advantages and there are home field advantages. Then, there’s Boise State’s success on its one-of-a-kind Smurf Turf.
Not surprising, then, that the University of Hawaii – despite being in the midst of a six-game winning streak – has been installed as a 27-point underdog for Saturday’s showdown at Bronco Stadium.
Boise State, ranked second by the Associated Press and fourth by the BCS, come into the contest with records of 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the WAC. Hawaii is 7-2 and leads the conference with a 5-0 mark.
Two other major areas of concern for UH are the weather conditions and special teams.
Forecasters are predicting a cold rain for Boise on Saturday, which could impact Hawaii’s high-powered passing game.
UH QB Bryant Moniz leads the nation in passing yards and TD passes. Greg Salas ranks first nationally in receptions and reception yardage. And Kealoha Pilares, who tweaked a hammy in last week’s win over Idaho, ranks among the top five in reception yardage and TD receptions.
A major area of concern for UH is special teams. In last year’s win over Hawaii, speedster Titus Young had two returns for touchdowns.
PAY PER VIEW: In what can only be described as a win-win situation, most Hawaii football fans will be able to watch the UH-Boise State game.
Oceanic Time Warner Cable has agreed to make the game available to all of its digital customers and UH pay-per-view subscribers.
Oceanic said the game will be shown to a potential audience of 238,000 of its 425,000 subscribers on channels 219 and 1219.
The UH-Boise State game was originally scheduled as part of the 16-event pay-per-view package, but under the terms of its contract, ESPN announced last week it would pick up the contest and show it on ESPNU.
Because ESPNU was not included in all the Oceanic packages and available to about 42 percent of subscribers in Hawaii, the cable provider asked ESPN’s permission to simulcast the game so all the previous purchasers could be accommodated.
Those requests were turned down, ESPN. Affected pay-per-view subscribers are also being informed about rebate options, including donating the roughly $10-$20 return to UH.
UH and its partners could sustain an estimated $250,000 in lost PPV revenue as a result of ESPN picking up the game.
Meanwhile, about 2,000 PPV subscribers who missed out on part or all of the first half of last week’s Idaho game also are due rebates.