Saturday Last Call: Gold at the End of the Rainbow for Hawaii Backers

Thursday, October 4, 2018 12:34 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 12:34 PM UTC

In the final matchup of this week's NCAAF action our expert college football handicapper, Mark Lathrop, sees a line that is ready to be hammered to finish off a profitable day the right way.

2018 NCAAF Record: 16-11, +8.42u

*Note: Record includes official Twitter selections (@mlathrop3)

Wyoming Cowboys (2-3 SU) @ Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (5-1 SU)Saturday, October 6th, 11:59PM ESTFree NCAAF Pick: Hawaii -3Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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In this week’s edition of “what a good quarterback will do for you”, we have a matchup of the struggling 2-3 Wyoming Cowboys against the surprising 5-1 Hawaii Rainbow Warrior. The loss of Josh Allen for Wyoming looms large in this potential shootout, while the emergence of Cole McDonald for Hawaii as a stud in the run-and-shoot system is the juxtaposition. McDonald is carrying a 169.8 QB Rating into this game, has 2,100 passing yards over his first six games, 8.8 yards per attempt, and a fantastic 24/2 TD/INT ratio.

He’ll face a Wyoming passing defense trying to find their way after losing senior cornerbacks Rico Gafford and Robert Priester. It hasn’t gone well, especially while facing pass heavy attacks. The Washington State game sticks out as particularly prescient, with Gardner Minshew completing 38 of 57 attempts for 319 yards and 3 TD on Wyoming’s home turf. The next week Drew Lock of Missouri completed 73.3% of his passes for 398 yards, 4 TD’s, and a 177.0 QB Rating. It appears that Cole McDonald could have a favorable matchup for this game at home.

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WHAT. A. GAME. Who else is excited to be 5-1and 2-0 in the @MountainWest?!?!?!?!?!
🌈 🏈 😎 #HawaiiFB #LiveAlohaPlayWarrior pic.twitter.com/GBntZ8wtXB

— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) 30 de setembro de 2018
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Now Wyoming is definitely a run first team, but sophomore Tyler Vander Waal hasn’t done them any favors at quarterback. His offensive line hasn’t been good either, with 13 sacks given up over the first five games. Vander Waal only averages 160.4 yards per game and has a paltry 3/2 TD/INT ratio on 54.4% passing. He’s basically a non-factor for the Cowboys, who are leaning heavily on running back, Nico Evans, for their offensive production.

A run first team heading into Hawaii to play against a defense that has proven themselves against the run looks to be a recipe for disaster. Navy doesn’t even know how to throw the ball and Hawaii was able to win that game – well, at least build enough of a lead in the first half. Navy was a good test against a solid returning linebacker corp and a slew of JUCO transfers on the defensive line for Hawaii. Looks like those JUCO transfers are paying off early.

Looking at the schedules for these teams, it is immediately apparent that Wyoming has faced stiffer competition overall. However, that Wofford game in Laramie sticks out like a sore thumb. Winning 17-14 as a 13.5-point favorite at home over an FSC team does not inspire confidence (Full disclosure: I lost that pick on Wyoming). With Hawaii just a 3-point favorite and having a strength against weakness matchup on both sides of the ball, I will gladly take the Rainbow Warriors to finish off a winning week of NCAAF action.

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