Hawaii Bowl Preview: Coastal Carolina vs. San Jose State
On Saturday, December 23rd, the college football bowl game season squeezes in one more matchup before the holiday with this clash between Coastal Carolina and San Jose State at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.
Odds as of 12/10, 6:40 a.m. PT
San Jose State quarterback Chevan Cordeiro started his six-year college career at Hawaii and will end it in his hometown by leading the Spartans in the Hawaii Bowl. After backing up Tua Tagovailoa, Cordeiro became a star at Saint Louis School in Honolulu and played for the Warriors from 2018 to 2021 before transferring to San Jose.
The first-team all-Mountain West quarterback is a dual threat who has accounted for 22 touchdowns this season. Cordeiro is the main attraction in this game and all of the motivational angles point to San Jose, so it’s not a surprise to see the DraftKings opening line of -7.5 rise to double digits.
The Spartans, who have not lost since Oct. 7 at Boise State, reeled off six straight wins to get to 7-5. Cordeiro beat his former team in late October, passing for 251 yards in the Spartans’ 35-0 win at Hawaii. Another important dimension to San Jose’s offense is running back Kairee Robinson, who emerged to top 100 yards rushing in five of the last six games. Robinson wrapped the regular season with 1,127 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
The Spartans took their lumps early against a tough schedule — losing to USC, Oregon State, Toledo, Air Force and Boise — before Cordeiro and Robinson led an offense that averaged 38.7 points during the six-game winning streak.
Coastal Carolina (7-5) is not chopped liver, but the Chanticleers lost their final two games and have some serious issues. Star quarterback Grayson McCall has entered the portal as a grad transfer. McCall endured an injury-riddled season that limited him to seven games as the team declined under first-year coach Tim Beck.
As the Chanticleers prepare for their fourth consecutive bowl, they do so without McCall and several other key players. Wide receiver Jared Brown is also transferring and is being targeted by Auburn and Louisville. On top of the personnel defections, the Coastal Carolina defense collapsed in November by allowing 365 rushing yards to Army and 481 total yards in a 56-14 loss to James Madison.
Brent Brennan is seeking his first bowl win as San Jose’s coach and is a good bet to get it. The Spartans are determined to help Cordeiro go out with a win. The point spread is no longer a bargain price, but the Chanticleers are slumping and showing up with a skeleton crew.
Pick: San Jose State, 38-17