Hawaii Bowl win would give Hawaii best record since 2010
Middle Tennessee (8-4, Conference USA) vs. Hawaii (6-7, Mountain West), 8 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Line: Middle Tennessee by 6.
Series Record: Second meeting. Hawaii leads, 1-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
A Middle Tennessee win would give it nine wins for just the second time as an FBS program, but would mark the 13th time in program history it has done so. The Blue Raiders are trying for the most wins in a season since 2009, when they went 10-3, finished second in the Sun Belt Conference and defeated Southern Miss 42-32 in the New Orleans Bowl.
Hawaii is seeking to finish with its best record since a 10-4 season in 2010, which culminated in a 62-35 loss to Tulsa in the Hawaii Bowl. The Rainbow Warriors are 5-5 in 10 previous bowl appearances, including a 3-3 mark in the Hawaii Bowl.
Middle Tennessee's offense against Hawaii's defense. The Blue Raiders average 515.7 yards of total offense per game, which ranks them ninth nationally. Their 40.1 points per game are good for 16th in the country. The Rainbow Warriors allow an average of 455.4 yards and 37.5 points per game, which puts them at 105th and 115th in the NCAA, respectively.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Middle Tennessee: RB I'Tavius Mathers. The redshirt senior has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in eight of his last 10 games and has already set the single-season school record for rushing yards, all-purpose yards and receptions by a running back.
Hawaii: WR Markus Kemp. The senior leads the team in receptions (70), receiving yards (1,036) and receiving touchdowns (7). It is just the 19th time in program history a player has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Middle Tennessee has now won at least eight games in a season three times in the last five years. . Ty Lee's 53 receptions are the fifth-most nationally by a freshman this season. . Rick Stockstill is third on Middle Tennessee's all-time wins list with 72 victories. . The Blue Raiders set a school record with 757 yards of total offense in their 77-56 win over FAU to end the regular season. . Middle Tennessee has lost its last three bowl appearances. . Hawaii appeared in the Hawaii Bowl in six of the game's first nine years in existence. . It is the fourth time Hawaii is playing a team from C-USA in the Hawaii Bowl. It is 2-2 in those games. . Hawaii's last bowl win was over Arizona State, 41-24, in the 2006 Hawaii Bowl. . The Rainbow Warriors' six regular-season wins are the most since they went 6-7 in 2011.
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