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ALOHA BOWL LINEUP OFFERS INTRIGUING CONTRASTS

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Hawaii Coach Bob Wagner thinks the Christmas Day Aloha Bowl contest between his 19th-ranked Rainbows and Michigan State presents an intriguing matchup.

"There are just so many contrasts in this game. They are from one of the oldest, if not the oldest, conferences, we're from one of the youngest; they have much more history then we do. They are a power football team, while we are more of a finesse team. I think the contrasts make this a really intriguing game," said Wagner.Hawaii, 9-2-1, has been invited to a bowl game for the first time while Michigan State, 7-4, is making its fifth postseason appearance in the last six years. Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. EST.

"I think there is a real contrast in styles. That's one of the things that makes intersectional games so exciting," said Wagner.

Hawaii spreads out its offense in a run-and-shoot formation that leaves only one back behind the quarterback and gambles a lot on defense. Michigan State runs a more conventional two-back offense and sticks to its basic 4-3 defense most of the time.

There are also contrasts in schedules. Michigan State lost four games to teams in the top 11 in the country by a total of 21 points. Hawaii's only meeting with a top-20 team resulted in the Rainbows' 56-14 blowout of Brigham Young, now ranked 16th.

In size, the Spartans' offensive line members range from 265 to 295 pounds, while the Rainbows' defensive front includes two players in the 230-pound range.

"I think that we have more size, but when Hawaii has leverage like they have, I don't think that's a big deal," Michigan State Coach George Perles said. "We've won before with people who are smaller than their opponents."