Boise State goes to Hawaii Bowl in transition

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013

HONOLULU (AP) — Boise State and Oregon State each head into the Hawaii Bowl with seasons less fruitful than each team wanted. But both teams are getting a chance to bounce back with a game that could mean more than just a single win.

Here are five things to watch out for as Oregon State plays Boise State on Tuesday:

— DISTRACTIONS: Boise State's head coach Chris Petersen left the Broncos earlier this month to take the job at Washington, leaving linebackers coach Bob Gregory in charge on an interim basis. Brian Harsin has been hired for next year. Gregory has had several stops in his coaching career, including three different pairings with Petersen, but Gregory has not served as a head coach.

Gregory's first test came in dismissing quarterback Joe Southwick from the game. Southwick was accused last week of urinating off of a hotel balcony in Honolulu, with three players coming forward to identify him. Southwick says he didn't do it and was unfairly dismissed. His ouster leaves Grant Hedrick as the leader of Boise State's offense.

— HEDRICK STEPPING IN: Hedrick has played well in previous games missed by Southwick because of an Oct. 19 injury against Nevada. In his past six games, Hedrick has 1,329 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions.

After Southwick returned to start the Broncos' final game against New Mexico, Hedrick came in on the game's second series and finished with 175 yards and three touchdowns.

— COOKS SHOWCASE: Biletnikoff Award winner Brandin Cooks goes into the Hawaii Bowl with a big decision looming — whether to leave college early and declare himself eligible for the NFL draft.

But Oregon State coach Mike Riley says Cooks has not been distracted at all as he practices and prepares for the game on Tuesday.

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