Different Role For The Broncos

By Adam Caparell - December 23, 2007

Honolulu is not where Boise State wanted to finish its 2007 season, but for the darlings of college football, circa 2006, they'll have to settle for a few days in paradise and a matchup with East Carolina in the Hawaii Bowl.

But in a change from last year, Boise State enters its bowl game as a heavy favorite over ECU in Sunday evening's contest. Thanks to the Broncos second place finish in the WAC, their multiple weeks spent ranked in the Top 25 and some flirtation with potentially making it back to the BCS, Boise State coach Chris Petersen can not play the underdog card in this one.

ECU coach Skip Holtz, on the other hand, certainly can. But he'd rather not.

"I'd rather have the better team than be the underdog," Holtz said.

Petersen would agree. He also knows he has the better team - the much better team - in this one. With Boise possessing more talent and more polish it's going to be a tough task for the Pirates to pull of the upset. Boise is once against led by running back Ian Johnson, new quarterback Taylor Tharp and a few other future NFLers that can put up plenty of points.

Boise averages almost 43 per game and could very well eclipse their average against the 98th ranked defense in the nation. ECU might have its own Johnson (Chris) who can run the ball and return kicks quite effectively, but are they going to be able to stop the Boise attack?

One thing going for the Pirates, it seems, is that there is no lack of motivation. The Pirates have been all business out in Hawaii, focused on performing better this postseason as opposed to last year.

"All of the motivation comes from last year when we went to our bowl game and got beat 24-7," ECU CB Travis Williams said. "We've put in the work that's needed to win the bowl game because last year we were just content with going to one."

The Line: -10.5 Boise State
O/U: 69

If I Were A Betting Man: Boise State and the over. Boise's just got too much talent. Motivation is one thing, but when it comes to talent, and more importantly execution, Boise's got it. ECU doesn't.

Bowl Season: 0-5 ATS | 3-2 O/U. If I were a betting man I wouldn't follow my picks.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 05:44 PM on December 23, 2007
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