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2015 Hawaii Bowl, Cincinnati vs. San Diego State: Date, time, location and more

SDSU gets rewarded with a solid opponent after an undefeated Mountain West season.

SB Nation 2015 Bowl Calendar

The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl is the only bowl game featuring leis, Hawaii shirts and sunshine during prime time and will have its 14th edition at Aloha Stadium.

A few other bowl games were previously played in Hawaii, including the Poi Bowl, Pineapple Bowl, Aloha Bowl and Oahu Bowl, although none are affiliated with the current Hawaii Bowl. Called the ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl for its inaugural event in 2002, Sheraton became the title sponsor in 2003 and has remained as such for 13 games.

The Hawaii Warriors have an automatic bid to the game, but haven't played in it since 2010, the last time the team was bowl eligible. Instead, the Mountain West Conference has had to face an at-large team.

Here is everything you need to know to get ready for this year's Hawaii Bowl:

Date and time: Thurs., Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET

TV channel: ESPN

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Stadium: Aloha Stadium, 50,000

Last year's score: Rice 30, Fresno State 6

Last year's attendance: 25,365

Last year's TV rating: 1.3

Last year's payout for each school: $650,000

Team with the most all-time appearances: Hawaii, 6

Cincinnati Bearcats (7-5, 4-4 in AAC)

Quarterback Gunner Kiel leads a Bearcat offense that can sling the ball with the best teams the NCAA has to offer, but a dysfunctional defense has a high-powered Cincinnati team stuck at seven wins. UC is scoring 36 points per game, but a look at their loss column tells you everything you need to know about how to beat them. They gave up 38 points in a loss to BYU. 53 in a loss to Memphis. 65 (!) in defeat against South Florida.

Toss in a 2-4 road record, and you've got the basic gist of the 2015 Bearcats. Cincinnati has plenty of offensive talent around Kiel, to the point where even his backup is prolific. Hayden Moore passed for 557 yards and four touchdowns in his first start for the team earlier this year. Hosey Williams and Mike Boone give UC two grinding tailbacks that can sustain drives and tear up opposing defenses. Shaq Washington and Chris Moore could feasibly each end the season as 1,000-yard receivers.

Still, that may not be enough to deliver a postseason win unless the team's defense finds some answers. Silverberry Mouhon is a defensive end who somehow plays better than his name, but he's fallen off in his senior season. He'll need to finish his college career with a flurry if he wants to walk off the gridiron holding a bowl trophy this December.

Last bowl game: 2014 Military Bowl (33-17 loss to Virginia Tech)

All-time bowl record: 6-7

Head coach's bowl record: Tommy Tuberville has a 7-5 bowl game record, including an 0-2 mark at Cincinnati.

San Diego State Aztecs (10-3, 8-0 in Mountain West)

San Diego State finished strong in 2015 by winning their final eight regular season games, and then defeating the Mountain West Conference Championship over the Air Force Falcons. It was a great turnaround for the Aztecs, who opened the season with a 1-3 record after losses to Cal, South Alabama and Penn State. After the Penn State loss, they won every remaining game by 14 points or more.

San Diego State was able to turn things around thanks to an extremely stingy defense, and an offense that was consistently able to take advantage of good field position, and finish off drives. The unquestioned leader of the offense is running back Donnel Pumphrey (1,464 yards, 5.5 yards-per-carry, 18 total TD), and the offense goes as he goes. Starting quarterback Maxwell Smith attempted just 200 passes on the season, which Pumphrey alone rushed the ball 268 times.

The formula for beating the Aztecs is simple, but is easier said, than done. To beat San Diego State, you need to sell out to stop the run, and force them to beat you through the air. The Aztecs are one of the best run-stopping teams in the nation, and also rank in the top-5 in interceptions. It will be very interesting to see how San Diego State fares against what will likely be the best team they've played since September.

Last bowl game: 2014 Poinsettia Bowl (17-16 loss to Navy)

All-time bowl record: 6-7

Head coach's bowl record: Rocky Long is 2-7 in bowl games (1-4 with New Mexico, 1-3 with SDSU)