Middle Tennessee won eight games in the regular season and was rewarded with a trip to Honolulu.
Hawaii won its final two games of the season to get to 6-7 and will stay on its home turf.
Here’s what you need to know about today’s matchup.
Middle Tennessee vs. Hawaii, Hawai’i Bowl game time, details
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Dec. 24
Location: Hawaiian Tel FCU Field at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, O’ahu
Weather: Partly cloudy, high 80
The line: Middle Tennessee by 7
What channel is Middle Tennessee-Hawaii in the Hawai’i Bowl on?
ESPN is televising the game.
How can I watch Middle Tennessee-Hawaii online in the Hawai’i Bowl?
You can stream the game at WatchESPN.
How can I listen to Middle Tennessee-Hawaii on the radio in the Hawai’i Bowl?
You can follow the game on ESPN radio.
Who is calling the Hawai’i Bowl for ESPN?
Chris Cotter is handling play-by-play with Mark May as analyst and Maria Taylor as sideline reporter.
Hawai’i Bowl: Middle Tennessee-Hawaii keys to the game
Middle Tennessee is ranked 16th in the country with 40.1 points per game. That number topped the 40-point mark with 115 points in the Blue Raiders’ final two games of the season, including a 77-point outing against Lane Kiffin’s new team, Florida Atlantic. In three of their four losses, the Blue Raiders failed to top 25 points. If Middle Tennessee is scoring like it’s prone to do, it could be a long day for the Rainbow Warriors.
Keep an ‘I’ on Mathers
Middle Tennessee will lean on I’Tavius Mathers. He ran for 1,504 yards and 16 touchdowns this season and also had 589 receiving yards and three more scores. He saved his biggest and best performance for the Blue Raiders’ 51-45 upset win against Missouri. In that game, Mathers ran for 215 yards with a 71-yard TD and a 4-yard TD reception.
What’s in it for Hawaii?
That’s a good question. Six of Hawaii’s seven bowl appearances since 2000 have been in the Hawai’i Bowl and the Rainbow Warriors are 3-3 in those games. It didn’t look like they would reach the postseason until they finished strong with wins against Fresno State and UMass to close out the season. After leading by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter against the Minutemen, Hawaii got a Dru Brown to Keelan Ewaliko 56-yard TD pass with less than four minutes to play to win and essentially give them the needed victory to become bowl eligible.