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The Leading Logic In Sports Handicapping

CFB  Thursday 10/23/2014Line$ LineOU LineGame InfoScore
CONNECTICUT at E CAROLINA   @ 7:00 PMPreview | FoxSheet | Recap |  
+27.5  -110

-27.5  -110

MIAMI at VIRGINIA TECH   @ 8:00 PMPreview | FoxSheet | Recap |  
107:  MIAMI
-3  -110

+3  -110



Boise State's historical success led them to hiring their most recent coach.

Now, the Broncos have a chance to add to their record books.

While Bryan Harsin focuses on next season, Boise State goes for a team-record fifth straight postseason win Tuesday night when it faces struggling Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl.

The Broncos (8-4) have reached a 12th straight bowl, but this one will be different. For the first time in that stretch, Chris Petersen won't be on the sideline after he was hired by Washington.

Harsin was the offensive coordinator under Petersen for the Broncos' undefeated 2006 season, which ended with a BCS bowl win. He starred as their quarterback from 1995-99.

While Harsin was eager to replace Petersen, assistant Bob Gregory will be in charge in Hawaii.

"A millisecond," Harsin said of making the decision after guiding Arkansas State to a 7-5 record in his first season as coach.

"This program personally has changed my life," he said. "It's made me who I am today. It's made my family and our relationships where they are today. So as far as the dream of this; all I wanted to do is get back here and do for this program what it's done for me. I'm proud to be in that position, and come in after guys who have been successful."

Jay Ajayi has been a big reason for this season's success. The sophomore running back finished second in the Mountain West Conference with 1,328 rushing yards while averaging 5.9 per carry with 18 touchdowns - one receiving.

Ajayi was superb in every facet of Boise State's 45-17 season-ending win over New Mexico on Nov. 30, racing for 147 yards and a TD on 22 carries, while grabbing four passes for a career-high 105 with another score.

Another big performance from Ajayi might be necessary since Boise State isn't sure who will be under center.

Joe Southwick got the nod against the Lobos after missing four games with a broken right ankle. However, he only played the opening drive, completing a 64-yard pass to Ajayi before hitting Matt Miller with a 1-yard TD pass after just 58 seconds.

Grant Hedrick replaced him and threw for 175 yards and three TDs - two to Miller - while completing 13 of 21 passes. He was terrific over the previous four games filling in for Southwick, connecting on 65.7 percent of his passes for 1,004 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions, while rushing for two more scores.

Southwick finished the season with a 72.6 completion rate for 1,654 yards and 12 TDs and five picks. He also proved effective on the ground with three touchdowns.

Still, Ajayi and Miller are likely to be key. Miller had career highs of 77 catches, 934 yards and 11 touchdowns, and the junior wide receiver scored nine of those over the last four games.

The passing game may be in for a test since Oregon State (6-6) allows an average of 235.0 yards through the air, while ranking second in the Pac-12 with 19 INTs. Cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Rashaad Reynolds has six each to tie Arizona State's Robert Nelson for the league lead.

The Beavers weren't nearly as impressive against the run, surrendering an average of 193.2 yards, only better than Colorado's conference-high 208.5.

The defense was an issue in the regular-season finale, giving up 568 total yards, including 12 on a touchdown with 29 seconds left in regulation to fall 36-35 to then-No. 12 Oregon on Nov. 29.

Oregon State will likely rely heavily on the passing combination of Sean Mannion to Brandin Cooks, the Biletnikoff Award winner.

Cooks set a Pac-12 record with 120 catches, while his 1,670 yards are just 51 shy of the conference mark set last season by Southern California's Marqise Lee. He also led the conference with 15 receiving touchdowns, while rushing for two more.

The junior set a team record with 14 receptions in a win at San Diego State on Sept. 21.

Mannion, though, hasn't come close to being that prolific, throwing 11 interceptions compared to seven touchdowns over the last five games - a stretch that drew Oregon State's bowl status into question. He tossed 29 touchdowns and three picks through the first seven contests, as the Beavers nearly cracked the Top 25 with 79 votes.

Coach Mike Riley, though, is looking forward to visiting Hawaii.

"I am thrilled that our football team has an opportunity to play another game at an exciting destination against an outstanding opponent in Boise State," Riley said.

Oregon State leads the series 4-3, but the Broncos won the last meeting at home in 2010.