Rice vs. Hawaii: Game Preview, Kick Time, Livestream, TV And Radio Schedule
Can the Hawaii Warriors keep things rolling against the Rice Owls? Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
Hawaii wants to stay hot against a beatable foe.
WEEK 2: Rice Owls (1-1) vs. Hawaii Warriors (2-0, 1-0 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, September 8 — 6:00 PM HT/9:00 PM PT
WHERE: Aloha Stadium; Honolulu, Hawaii (50,000)
TV: Spectrum Sports PPV
RADIO: The Hawaii broadcast can can be found in and around Honolulu on the local ESPN affiliate, 1420 AM, and on KNUI (Maui), KPUA (the Big Island), KTOH (Kaua’i) and KNWJ (American Samoa). The Rice broadcast can be found in and around Houston on Sportsmap 94.1 FM.
SERIES RECORD: Rice leads the overall series 5-2. In their last meeting on October 4, 2014, the Owls defeated Hawaii 28-14 in Houston.
Are the Warriors for real? After back-to-back wins as double-digit underdogs, America’s late night football darlings have certainly looked more exciting with the high-flying run-and-shoot firing on all cylinders. And at a glance, the rest of September seems to set up nicely for a long winning streak.
Rice, though, has proven to be a tougher out so far this fall than last year. In the first two games under new head coach Mike Bloomgren, the Owls held off Prairie View A&M and pushed Houston for the better part of three quarters. The Warriors can get off to another fast start, but they’ll need to keep their foot on the gas to keep Rice down for good.
Here’s what the Warriors can do to maintain their winning ways against the Owls.
Three Keys to a Hawaii Win
Don’t get fooled by play action.
If you go back and watch the first half of Rice’s game with Houston, one thing that stands out is that the Cougars got caught napping more than once when the Owls used play action. The setup accounted for Rice’s first two touchdowns, one on 3rd-and-11 and one on first-and-goal, so while they often run the offense from the shotgun, the Warriors will need to be wary when quarterback Shawn Stankavage moves under center.
Push Rice’s defensive front around.
Perhaps it hasn’t mattered much yet because Cole McDonald has been so good thus far, but the Warriors running game has had a tendency to drop off as things progress. They average 5.3 yards per carry in the first half, but just 3.4 YPC after halftime.
Both Prairie View A&M and Houston were very productive on the ground, so it may behoove Nick Rolovich to re-establish a more balanced attack. Rice had just two tackles for loss while the Cougars averaged over seven yards per carry. McDonald and running back Freddie Holly could create a few big plays with the zone-read, as they did against Colorado State.
Make stops if Rice crosses the 40-yard line.
For all of the things that the Warriors have done right in the first two weeks, the biggest red flag might be that Hawaii has allowed eight touchdowns in opponents’ eight trips to the red zone. Remember, however, that Colorado State did get stopped three times between the 40 and the 20.
If Hawaii can do the same thing against Rice, they can put pressure on the Owls’ special teams to come through. Against Houston last Saturday, they often didn’t: Kickers Jack Fox and Haden Tobola combined to go 2-of-5 on field goal attempts, with misses from 47, 48 and 50 yards. This would seem to make those twenty yards the most valuable on the field come Saturday.