Boise State Broncos (8-4) vs. Oregon State Beavers (6-6)
Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET, Honolulu (ESPN)
BOISE STATE BRONCOS BREAKDOWN
The Broncos enter the bowl season for the first time in eight years without coach Chris Petersen, who accepted the head coaching job at Washington earlier in the week. It’s also the first time in three years they aren’t in the Las Vegas Bowl. Linebackers coach Bob Gregory will coach Boise State in Hawaii.
It’s been an off year for Boise, which has dropped four games in a season for the first time since 2005. After Joe Southwick broke his ankle against Nevada, Grant Hedrick stepped in as the starter and has been efficient, completing 68.2 percent of his throws with 15 touchdowns to five interceptions.
The Broncos have won their past four bowl appearances -- including the 2009 Fiesta Bowl and all three stops in Vegas. -- Kevin Gemmell
OREGON STATE BEAVERS BREAKDOWN
The Beavers limped to the finish line with five straight losses, but they have a chance to end the season on a good note in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl against Boise State.
Quarterback Sean Mannion ranks No. 2 in the nation with 4,403 yards passing and is paired with receiver Brandin Cooks to become one of the nation’s most dangerous combinations. Cooks caught 15 touchdown passes and leads the nation with 1,670 receiving yards.
After losing the season opener against FCS opponent Eastern Washington, Oregon State rebounded to win six straight, but did not beat a team that finished with a winning record. The Beavers nearly upset Oregon in the Civil War, but the Ducks scored with 29 seconds left to win 36-35.
Without longtime coach Chris Petersen, who left to replace Steve Sarkisian at Washington, the Broncos will be led by interim coach Bob Gregory. The teams met five times from 2003 to 2010, with Boise State winning three, including the last two.
Mannion and Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick have been competing against each other dating back to their high school days in the Bay Area, where they were in the same league. It’s unclear if Southwick or Grant Hedrick will start the bowl game as Southwick continues to come back from a broken ankle.
Oregon State’s last bowl win came in the 2008 Sun Bowl against Pittsburgh. -- Kyle Bonagura