The Rainbow Warriors are 1-8 all time in Reno.
Week 5: Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (3-1) vs Nevada Wolfpack (3-1)
Where: Mackay Stadium(27,000)
When: 7:30pm PT 4:30pm HT
Radio: ESPN Honolulu
Series record: Nevada leads 14-9
Line: Nevada by -2.5
ESPN FPI: Hawai’i win probability 60.1%
- Hawai’i matching last years record going 3-1 in the first quarter of the 2019 season.
- It will be the first time this year the ‘Bows will be showcased on ESPN national television.
- Cole McDonald made huge strides against Central Arkansas last Saturday completing 78% of his passes and throwing four touchdowns to only one interception.
- Hawai’i defense came up with their first score this season from Kai Kaneshiro’s pick six in the first quarter.
Keys to Hawaii’s victory
Big plays on the big stage
The Rainbow Warriors will have to once again on offense start fast and score early and build up a huge lead like they did last week. This is crucial for all games but more so because Nevada has the confidence in their “Air Pistol” offense can do the same thing by piling up the touchdowns in bunches.
Hawai’i will let the Nevada defense dictate whether or not they can throw the deep ball but the ‘Bows are fine methodically moving the ball downfield with 7-10 yard strikes. It will just be more exciting for future Hawai’i fans watching on national TV if Cole McDonald can connect to Cedric Byrd or JoJo Ward for 40-yard dimes.
No turnovers please
Hawai’i head coach Nick Rolovich said in his post game conference last Saturday that he will not be nice anymore about the turnovers that his team keeps giving to the opponent. Soon UH’s luck will run out on winning football games while losing the turnover battle each week. If the ‘Bows offense and special teams can play close to perfect they will not strain a Hawaii defense who is already thin and banged up in the linebacking core and is allowing 439 yard total per game.
Remote Controlling the run game on defense
It’s been an up and downtime for Hawaii’s run defense but they will need to remotely keep their eyes on running back Toa Taua and also quarterback Carson Strong or Christian Solano. Strong should start this week.
He will stay in the pocket more often than not but is able with his feet to get huge chunks of yards. Solano will take off more and can pose a dual threat to Hawaii’s front seven. Taua will bring the boom every time and can wear down the front line but if Hawai’i can somehow limit him on the big plays that’s a major victory on their part.
This is a toss-up game since we aren’t sure how Carson Strong will do after missing last week’s game and the fact that Hawai’i always struggles on the road. But I’ll refer back to 2007’s late night national TV game in Reno and give the same score for this Saturday’s contest.