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2023 Hawaii Bowl Preview: Coastal Carolina vs San José State

James Madison v Coastal Carolina Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

Date: December 23

Time: 10:30 PM ET

TV: ESPN

Location: Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex - Honolulu, Hawaii

Betting Line: San José State -5.5


Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

2023 Record: 7-5

Form: Winners of thee of their last five, but lost their final two of the regular season

Key Players: WR Sam Pinckney, DB Keonte Lusk, QB Ethan Vasko

The Story So Far: Tim Beck’s first season as the head coach of Coastal Carolina got off to a slow start, but the Chaticleers did rattle off a five-game win streak starting in Week Six. They did get a bit hampered by injuries in the last two weeks of the regular season.

Arguably the biggest question mark for Coastal Carolina for this game is at quarterback. Longtime starter Grayson McCall has transferred to NC State and backup Jarret Guest is also in the transfer portal. Redshirt freshman and Kansas transfer Ethan Vasko will get the start. Vasko did appear in seven other games this season and threw for 580 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.

Coastal Carolina’s pass defense is exceptional allowing opponents to complete a Sun Belt low 57.3 percent of their passes in 2023. CCU has allowed just 2,538 yards through the air this season. They’ve picked off 14 passes with nine different players grabbing at least one.

San José State Spartans

2023 Record: 7-5

Form: Ended the regular season with six consecutive wins

Key Players: QB Chevan Cordeiro, DB Jayvion Cole, RB Kairee Robinson

The Story So Far: San José State’s schedule was front-loaded, including road games at USC and Toledo. That’s part of the reason they started the season 1-5. However, they were able to secure a spot in a bowl game after that start for the first time in program history.

QB Chevan Cordeiro, preseason Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, will return to his hometown and the location of his last college team in Honolulu. Cordeiro has thrown for at least 2,000 yards each of the last four seasons. In 2023, he’s been responsible for 22 touchdowns with four interceptions.

San Jose State enters the game with a +13 turnover margin, which ranks third nationally and first in the Mountain West. They were the second-best total defense in the Mountain West, allowing 354.7 yards per game, along with 25.8 points per game.