Hawaii Bowl: Memphis (6-6) vs. Hawaii (6-7), Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. Eastern (ESPN).
Line: Memphis by 8, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Memphis is looking to win bowl games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. It beat Florida Atlantic 25-10 in last year’s Montgomery Bowl for its first bowl victory since it beat BYU 55-48 in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl. With a win Friday, Hawaii would close out its season with its first three-game win streak of the year. The Tigers and Rainbow Warriors each faced seven bowl-bound teams during the regular season; both teams are 2-5 in those contests. They do not share a common opponent this season, and this will be the first meeting between the schools.
Memphis QB Seth Henigan vs. Hawaii pass defense. Henigan has thrown for 3,322 yards and 25 touchdowns against eight interceptions this season. The freshman ranks 10th in the FBS with an average of 302 yards passing per game. The Tigers are 16th in passing offense, averaging 294.4 yards per game, while the Rainbow Warriors are 127th with 289.7 yards passing allowed per game. Hawaii also is tied for fifth nationally with 27 takeaways, including 14 interceptions on the year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Memphis: WR Calvin Austin III. The redshirt senior from Memphis was a unanimous selection among American Athletic Conference coaches as a repeat first-team all-conference pick after he caught 74 passes for 1,149 yards. Austin was one of six Tigers to earn All-AAC honors, including four named to the first team.
Hawaii: WR/RB/KR/PR Calvin Turner, Jr. The senior from Savannah, Georgia, needs 3 more return yards to reach 1,000 in his career. He would be the first Division I player in the last 20 years to eclipse 1,000 yards passing, rushing, receiving and return yards in his career. Turner was named second-team All-Mountain West.
FACTS & FIGURES
Memphis is 6-8 all-time in bowl games and 1-1 under Ryan Silverfield, who is in his second full season but coaching his third bowl game with the Tigers. … The Tigers have played in a bowl game in eight consecutive seasons, which is the longest streak among all non-Power 5 programs and 12th-best in the nation. … Hawaii is 8-6 all-time in bowl games. It will be playing in a program-record fourth straight bowl game and fifth in the last six years. … The Rainbow Warriors will be making their 10th appearance in the Hawaii Bowl. They hold a 5-4 record in those games, most recently coming away with a 38-34 win over BYU in the 2019 edition. … Silverfield was an offensive analyst on now-Hawaii coach Todd Graham’s staff at Arizona State during the 2015 season. … Hawaii will be without several key players no longer with the team since its 38-14 win at Wyoming on Nov. 27 to end the regular season, including QB Chevan Cordeiro (transferred to San Jose State), RB Dae Dae Hunter (transferred to Liberty), DB Cameron Lockridge (transferred to South Alabama) and DB Kai Kaneshiro (medical retirement). … Freshman Brayden Schager is expected to make his fourth career start at QB for the Rainbow Warriors. Schager and Henigan are among 13 true freshmen who have started at QB in the FBS this season. The Texas natives met in the Class 5A Division I Region II final in January, with Henigan leading Denton Ryan High School to a 17-7 win over Schager and Highland Park High School en route to a state title.
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