Week 13: Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors(7-4,4-3MW) vs. San Diego State Aztecs(8-2,5-2MW)
When: Saturday, November 23rd 2019 @ 6:00pm HST 8pm PST
Where: Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI
TV: Spectrum PPV
Stream: Facebook(Mainland only)
Radio: ESPN Honolulu
Odds: Hawai’i by -3
Series Record: SDSU leads 21-10-2 overall, Also leads 11-6-2 in Honolulu
With a win Saturday night Hawai’i will make it’s first conference title game ever.
The stars have aligned maybe as the final MW game one the season for both team decide who will represent the West in the championship game on December 7th. It could be during MW media days Coach Nick Rolovich brought a fortune teller to grant his wish to come true and win the MW championship. Putting all that aside UH needs to focus solely on SDSU and come out with a “W.” Let’s look at some keys to Hawai’i coming out on top:
Two headed monster
Whether it’s Chevan Coideiro or Cole McDonald who get the start, SDSU head coach Rocky Long knows it will be hard to prepare for either QB. All season long though Coach Long relies on his top ten nationally defense to stop or limit big plays on the ground or in the air.
It will be interesting to see if UH’s offense is clicking on all cylinders from the start can SDSU stop the 2019 version of the run and shoot offense. It is evident Coideiro plays very well at Aloha Stadium and Cole struggles sometimes from the start. We might see Coideiro start again but if the game is not flowing well like last week at UNLV hopefully McDonald can be beast he is and bust his way through for more rushing and passing TDs.
Magic number is 21
San Diego State averages 20.5 points per game and while Hawai’i defense improved a bit with two interceptions and holding UNLV to only 7 gives them confidence to hold a struggling Aztecs offense to 21 points. If the ‘Bows “D” can limit the big running plays or play action bombs to the tight ends they should keep Hawai’i in this game and not let it be a shootout. SDSU QB Ryan Agnew may be playing hurt with a bruised calf but he will still be serviceable and command his offense in this all important game.
Look for more handoffs or slant passes to RB Chase Jasmin to get the Aztecs to move the ball downfield. This means Hawaii’s linebacking core will need to have a big game to stop Jasmin from getting into the second level.
No Aloha at Aloha Stadium
All year long one constant question most media members bring up is “Where are the fans/students?” There could be several factors to that being there are many things to do on a Saturday night on Oahu.
For students it seems to be a hassle to catch a free 20 minute shuttle ride to and from campus, watch a four hour game and come back late to other campus events or parties. Pay Per View makes the older generations much more reluctant to stay home or take a short drive to their local theater to watch it for $12 a ticket. It could even be previous fans are done with Hawai’i football after the Norm Chow era.
All those things I mentioned above are excuses. Excuses from attending a event where young men are playing hard and in the process getting banged up but they know they are playing not just for themselves, their teammates, coaches, or school. They are playing for an entire state and people in Hawai’i know when the ‘Bows win there are happier folks at work or at the gym or even in the supermarket.
So the hope is for at least this Saturday one of the most meaningful game ever played at Aloha Stadium, fans and students can show up and support a team that gives so much Aloha to the people of Hawai’i. It’s time to give the Aloha back by cheering them on at the game.
I expect both teams to score points but it might seem Hawaii’s offense will put up a few more on the stellar San Diego State defense. This game will truly define if Rolo has his program in “phase 2” to chase championships.