Week 5 - Hawaii at BYU

Posted Sep 28, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Predictions & Game Preview - Hawaii at BYU

Hawaii (1-2) at BYU (2-2) Sept. 28, 8:00, ESPN

Here's The Deal: There are plenty of storylines and tie-ins with Hawaii head coach Norm Chow going against a program he spent more than a quarter of a century working with as a legendary assistant. More than that, though, both Chow's Warriors and BYU are looking for a win to kickstart the season. The Warriors are coming off a thumping from Stefphon Jefferson and Nevada, giving up seven touchdowns to the Wolf Pack running back in a 69-24 loss. With some tough Mountain West games ahead, and this part of a run of four road games in the next five, a six win season and a bowl bid are hardly sure things. BYU is simply trying to find its offense after getting shut down cold by Utah until a last gasp drive and doing nothing in a 7-6 loss to Boise State. It has been a disappointing start, and the fate is already sealed with a bowl tie-in to the San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, but there's still time to make lots and lots of noise with big games against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech coming up, and with nice dates against Utah State and Oregon State coming up.

Why Hawaii Might Win: The big plays aren't coming from a defense that hasn't taken the ball away in either of the last two games. Four takeaways in the first two games, two wins. None in the last two games, to losses. The offense was a mess against Boise State with five turnovers after giving it away twice against both Weber State and Utah. BYU's offense isn't working well enough to make a slew of big mistakes, and Hawaii might need to be way ahead in the turnover margin to have an honest chance. While the Cougars are really, really close to being 4-0, they're not playing well.

Why BYU Might Win: The Cougars already saw a spread it out passing game playing Washington State to kick things off, and the defense came up big in a 30-6 win. The Hawaii offense hasn't starting to click yet averaging just 337 yards per game and not being able to keep up the pace with Nevada or USC. There's no shame in that – those two teams could win their respective conferences – but the supposedly high-octane passing attack isn't clicking because the offensive line isn't blocking anyone. Making matters worse, field positioning has been a problem with the punting game averaging a nation-low 27.33 yards per try. BYU is 20th in the nation averaging 40.65 yards per punt.

What To Watch Out For: Taysom Hill will almost certainly get the call for BYU with starting quarterback Riley Nelson struggling through a back injury. Nelson was awful against Boise State completing just 4-of-9 passes for 19 yards with three picks, but Hill wasn't appreciably better completing 4-of-10 passes for 42 yards. However, Hill led the way to the late scoring drive running for 72 yards and a score.

What Will Happen: BYU won't exactly get its groove back, but the offense should look night-and-day better with Hill and the ground game ripping though the Warriors without a problem. The Hawaii offense will continue to sputter and cough.

CFN Prediction: BYU 44 … Hawaii 10
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) BYU -28.5 O/U: 51
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2