Trying to Stay Unbeaten

People are starting to notice Hawaii's slow climb up the Bowl Championship Series standings. Warriors coach June Jones, however, is not among them.

Jones and No. 14 Hawaii try to remain unbeaten as they begin a difficult closing stretch Saturday against Fresno State in a Western Athletic Conference matchup.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Hawaii –16.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday's game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 66% of bets for this game have been placed on Hawaii –16.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

The Warriors (8-0, 5-0 WAC) are currently 16th in the BCS standings, and need to climb to 12th by the end of the season to secure a spot in a lucrative BCS game usually reserved for the top six conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Hawaii is trying to follow Boise State's path from last season, when the WAC champion Broncos finished undefeated and ranked No. 5 after an upset victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

But the current rankings appear to be of little interest to Jones, who knows the only reason his team is gathering national attention is due to its status as one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the FBS.

"I don't look at it because it doesn't matter," he said during Hawaii's bye week. "It'll only matter if we keep winning. We've convinced the players of that too. They speak that same way. It is kind of cool, but everyone in this room will be disappointed if we don't end up that way."

Hawaii, though, will have earned its way into a possible BCS game should it remain unbeaten and climb the standings. Its final three conference opponents - starting with Fresno State (6-3, 5-1) - have a combined record of 19-8, and the Rainbow Warriors also must play 19th-ranked Boise State at home before a season-ending contest at Pac-10 school Washington.

Jones is now concerned about a Fresno State team looking to avenge a 68-37 home thrashing last season in which Colt Brennan threw for 409 yards and five touchdowns as the Warriors totaled 570 yards of offense.

"(It doesn't matter if we're 8-0 or 0-8) it's Fresno. They will play their (butts) off when they come here, I assure you of that," the Hawaii coach said. "In 2004, they put 70 on us and then came here the following year and won. I think it has more to do with them being Fresno. Since the 1999 game, I think this game has been more emotional with more hype."

Brennan, still in the running for the Heisman Trophy, has thrown for 2,820 yards and 26 touchdowns, including 970 yards and 10 TDs in the last two games. He has a win and a loss against the Bulldogs in his career, completing 72 percent of his passes for 736 yards and six scores in those contests.

Fresno State is third in the WAC, one-half game behind Hawaii and Boise State. The Bulldogs became bowl eligible last week with their fifth win in six games, a 38-27 victory over Utah State.

Clifton Smith and Ryan Mathews each ran for more than 100 yards as Fresno eclipsed 200 rushing yards for the fifth time this season. Mathews, who leads the nation's freshmen with 12 touchdowns, did all his work in the first half before leaving with a sprained left ankle, and his status is uncertain for this game.

"I am very satisfied with the win. With all the depth problems we have, we are a tired football team right now," Fresno coach Pat Hill said. "I need to do something in practice to make sure this team stays fresh. I thought our effort was good. I liked the way we played in getting the win.

"We are 5-1 heading to Hawaii and we have the opportunity to do something really special against a very good football team."

Mathews has a team-high 784 yards and is averaging 6.3 yards per rush. Smith accumulated a career-high 126 rushing yards in last Saturday's victory to give him 372 on the year.

Hawaii's win last season ended a two-game losing streak to Fresno, which won 27-13 in its last trip to Hawaii in 2005.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NCAA College Football Coverage from

 - NCAA College Football public betting chart
 - NCAA College Football teams
 - NCAA College Football standings
 - NCAA College Football schedule
 - NCAA College Football scoreboard
 - NCAA College Football injuries
 - NCAA College Football matchups
 - NCAA College Football stats
 - NCAA College Football odds
 - NCAA College Football news wire
 - NCAA College Football top stories
 - AccuScore NCAA College Football predictions
 - Expert NCAA College Football picks
 - NCAA College Football trends
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - NCAA College Football Home

Recent NCAAF Discussions

NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Mon, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail 2017 Heisman Trophy Odds There are plenty of candidates for the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Here is a look at the favorites entering the summer.
Thumbnail UCLA vs. Texas A&M Odds Texas A&M and UCLA will have one of the featured meetings during the opening weekend of college football....
Thumbnail Michigan vs. Florida Week 1 Odds One of the featured games in Week 1 of the College Football Season has two historic programs colliding when Michigan faces...

NCAAF Headlines

  • (STATS) - Sacramento State quarterback Nate Ketteringham has been granted a scholarship release from the program and plans to transfer.
    The 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior, from San Diego, made 15 ...
  • (STATS) - One of the more interesting dynamics about New Hampshire's 2016 season was senior quarterback Adam Riese serving as a team captain after failing to win the starting job in preseason camp....
  • (STATS) - Fordham is set to conclude spring practice Friday night with its annual intrasquad game at Jack Coffey Field.
    If the Rams can handle the first two months of their 2017 schedule, they...
  • (STATS) - It's been business as usual during Eastern Washington's spring practice. The offseason hiring of longtime assistant Aaron Best as head coach has brought continuity to a team that is repla...
  • Two people with direct knowledge of the deal tell The Associated Press that Northwestern and football coach Pat Fitzgerald have agreed to a new contract that runs through 2026.
    The people spok...

NCAAF Team Pages