Sources: San Jose State, Coastal Carolina to Play in 2023 Hawaii Bowl
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Coastal Carolina’s Jared Brown.
San Jose State and Coastal Carolina will meet in the Hawaii Bowl, sources told Action Network.
The bowl will be a homecoming for Spartans starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who was a high school standout on the islands and played at Hawaii before transferring to San Jose State.
The Chanticleers will make a nearly 5,000-mile trek to become the first Sun Belt team to play in the Hawaii Bowl.
Coastal will play in Hawaii because the Sun Belt qualified a record 12 bowl teams and bowl organizers are finding non-traditional Sun Belt bowls to place all the league’s bowl teams to avoid two Sun Belt teams playing in a bowl.
Kickoff for the Hawaii Bowl is Thursday, Dec. 23 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The remaining 40 bowl pairings will be announced on Sunday.
Under coach Brent Brennan, the Spartans (7-5) overcame a 1-5 start, which included losses to USC and Oregon State, to win their final six games and finish in a three-way tie atop the Mountain West with UNLV and Boise State. However, SJSU lost a computer ranking tiebreaker, sending UNLV and Boise State to the Mountain West title game.
San Jose State’s six-game winning streak is tied as the nation’s 12th-longest current winning streak.
The Chanticleers (7-5) also started slow under first-year coach Tim Beck. They lost two of their first five games before reeling off five consecutive victories until losing their final two games of the season.
Besides Cordeiro, the bowl game also will be a homecoming for four other Spartans who attended Hawaii high schools, including starting kicker Kyler Halvorsen. Like Cordeiro, Halvorsen also transferred to San Jose State from Hawaii.
Coastal Carolina’s invitation to the Hawaii Bowl ironically came one day after star quarterback Grayson McCall announced he was entering the transfer portal. McCall started 40 career games for the Chants, including the first seven games this season before suffering a concussion against Arkansas State. The injury forced McCall to miss Coastal’s final five games.
Last year, McCall also entered the transfer portal but decided to remain at Coastal.
This is Coastal’s fourth consecutive bowl game, while the Spartans are making their second consecutive bowl trip and third in four years under Brennan.
In the past four seasons, San Jose State has won 26 games, the school’s best four-year stretch since 1989-92.
This will be the first meeting between San Jose State and Coastal Carolina. San Jose State is projected as a 10.5-point favorite, according to power ratings from Action Network’s Collin Wilson.