4* Hawaii Bowl SMASH
Nevada vs. Southern Miss,
12/24/2011 20:00 EDT,
Score: 17 - 24
Point Spread: +8½/-105 Nevada
4* Hawaii Bowl SMASH (ESPN) on Nevada +8.5
The underdog hasn't only won in this bowl the last two years, it's won big. There is potential for another outright underdog winner in this year's Hawaii Bowl.
I'm confident Nevada won't get So. Miss' best. There's just no way the Golden Eagles can bring as much energy and passion to this game as they did against Houston. Since that game, the team has had to deal with Larry Fedora's decision to leave the program. That's a huge buzz kill for all the players who came to So. Miss to play for Fedora.
The Wolf Pack should get a boost from WAC freshman of the year Cody Fajardo, who is expected back under center after spraining his ankle against Utah State.
Fajardo had the nation's eighth-best completion percentage at 71.4 and also ran for 11 scores. His dual-threat ability makes him a tough egg to crack for the So. Miss defense, which won't be able to bring as much pressure as it did against pocket passer Case Keenum.
The Wolf Pack are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog. The Golden Eagles are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. the WAC. Take the points as Nevada proves to be the hungrier team.