Greetings Faithful! First, I want to take this opportunity to wish the whole Faithful a very happy holiday season and new year! As always, thank you ALL so much for your support and reading my content. I hope you have enjoyed the college football and NFL draft coverage for 2019, and look forward to 2020 and beyond!
We move along to our next bowl game, which takes us to the beautiful islands of Hawaii, and the SoFi Hawai’i Bowl. If you are going to play in a lower-tier bowl, your mind as well try and win on the location, and does it get much better than Hawaii? This year’s Hawaii Bowl features the University of Hawaii Warriors against the BYU Cougars. The Cougars are favored in Vegas. However, this is pretty much a home game for the Warriors. There should be plenty of scoring in this one, and I am predicting an upset, with the “Home” team earning the silverware with their run-and-shoot 469 yards of electric offense per game.
SoFi Hawai’i Bowl
Hawaii (9-5) vs. BYU (7-5)
Location: Honolulu | When: Dec. 24 (5 p.m. PST) | TV: ESPN | Line: BYU -2
Matt Bushman, TE, No. 89 – BYU
Weight: 6’5” – Weight: 245 lbs.
2019 Stats: 41 receptions, 597 yards, 4 touchdowns, 14.6 AVG.
One of the biggest questions I have for the San Francisco 49ers this offseason is if they will pursue further tight end depth. They have perhaps the best tight end in the league at the moment in George Kittle. However, we learn time after time that there is no such thing as too much depth. Matt Bushman has had a productive career at BYU. The junior has great straight-line speed for his size and is a capable receiver up the seam and inside the numbers. His size offers a favorable target window for the passer, and he offers a physical presence, fighting for additional yards after the reception. Bushman is still not a complete blocker, and this is something he must grow into more as he transitions to the next level.
Cedric Byrd II, WR, No. 6 - Hawaii
Height: 5’9” – Weight: 175 lbs.
2019 Stats: 95 receptions, 1,068 yards, 10 touchdowns, 11.2 AVG.
Talk about volume! Cedric Byrd II had 95 receptions this year and was clearly a focal point in the Warriors run-and-shoot, pass-friendly offense. The junior college transfer has reliable hands and constantly contributed to keeping the Warriors offense on the field and extending drives. Has break-away, straight-line speed, and will challenge defensive backs at all three levels on the field. Obviously, there are concerns about his size and frame, and the offense that he played in at Hawaii. Byrd will need to add to his frame and continue to develop his route tree. He was often tasked with running designed routes, and pre-determined plays. Still, Byrd was one fun player to watch this season, and he certainly has the potential to have a successful pro career. The athleticism, production, and volume are all there. He earned All-Mountain West honors for his play this season and is a home-run threat in the electric Hawaii offense. I’ll be curious to see how scouts and evaluators grade Byrd. An invite to the NFL Combine and Senior Bowl can only help his stock.
Who are YOU excited to see in this year’s SoFi Hawai’i Bowl? Please share in the comments below!