College Football Picks: Hawaii Will Bounce Back & Cover -2.5 Against San Diego State

David Lawrence

Saturday, October 10, 2015 9:34 PM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 9:34 PM GMT

San Diego State and Hawaii are trying to make their way forward in the confused, balanced, and very mediocre Mountain West Conference West Division. It is not easy to judge the way this late Saturday game in Honolulu is going to go. Who should we back with our college football picks?

Momentum
The Aztecs are coming off a win which moved them to 2-3 on the season, but before anyone tries to suggest that a party should be thrown, the team San Diego State beat (at home) was Fresno State, probably the worst team in the conference and one of the 10 worst teams in all of major college football. The Aztecs were able to smother Fresno State’s offense, limiting the Bulldogs to seven points. However, San Diego State managed only 21 points on its own. In a game when your defense completely dominates and you score only 21 points, you probably frittered away quite a lot of good drive starts and favorable situations. San Diego State’s offense is very incomplete as it is. The injury report will reveal an even more alarming problem for the Aztecs.

Hawaii is in something of the opposite position relative to San Diego State. The Rainbow Warriors are coming off a loss, but it wasn’t something which should affect how they’re viewed in relationship to their opponent this weekend. Hawaii lost, and in shutout fashion, but the team Hawaii lost to was Boise State, which is going to crush a lot of teams at home in Idaho. San Diego State won an ugly game at home against a terrible team; Hawaii lost a decisive game on the road against a really good team. Hawaii has been shut out three times this season, but all three defenses are absolutely outstanding: Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Boise State. San Diego State would not have done much better, if at all. It’s weird, but playing an excellent team could actually give Hawaii an edge, despite a 55-point loss.

 

Line Moves
The college football odds started with Hawaii as a one-point favorite, but the line has steadily moved up to three points for the Rainbow Warriors of the islands. The reason for this is as simple as the first item mentioned in the San Diego State injury report below:

 

Notable Injuries
The Aztecs have starting running back Donnel Pumphrey, clearly their best offensive player, listed as being out for this game with an ankle injury. It’s a devastating injury for an offense which has been very inconsistent to begin with and needs the running game to set up the pass. Pumphrey will take away so much of the heart of the Aztecs’ offense. It’s hard to see how this offense can reinvent or restructure itself to be effective without its heartbeat. This is a devastating loss.

Other San Diego State injuries include defensive back Trey Lomax, who is out with a knee injury. Four other players have been suspended for the first six games of the season. This being week six, the following players will all miss this game: defensive back Billy Vaughn, Jr.; offensive lineman Darrell Greene; linebacker Fred Melifonwu; and fullback Parker Wells.

The Rainbow Warriors have long snapper Brian Hittner out for the season with a back injury. Strong safety Trayvon Henderson is out for the season with a knee injury. Starting quarterback Max Wittek is questionable for this game with a knee injury, but he’s probably going to play – the question is how much his mobility and effectiveness will be impaired.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Rainbow Warriors, after playing Wisconsin and Boise State, should find San Diego State’s defense easier to handle. The absence of Pumphrey is a killer for the Aztecs. Take Hawaii here with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Hawaii -2.5 at Bovada

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