Week 14: Army Black Knights (5-6) vs. Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (8-4, 5-3 Mountain West)
When: Saturday, November 30, 2019 — 7:30pm HST/10:30pm MT
Where: Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI
Streaming: FuboTV – Watch for free with a seven-day free trial.
Radio: ESPN Honolulu
Odds: Hawai’i by -3
ESPN FPI: Projects Hawai’i at 63.6% to win
Can UH win their ninth game on senior night?
No one celebrates senior night quite like Hawai’i as they honor 23 seniors this Saturday. The copious amount of flower and candy leis drowns the faces of the players as they take their last walk onto the field. If they can somehow beat Boise State the following week it will be the last time ever most of the seniors will take the field at Aloha Stadium.
But the seniors and the rest of the Rainbow Warrior football team will first solely concentrate on beating a tough Army team. This will be the fifth overall meeting between the two teams with UH leading the series 3-1 and 2-0 in Honolulu. The last meeting in 2018 Army squeaked by Hawai’i in West Point 28-21.
Hawai’i head coach Nick Rolovich said it best that this team only has three games left to play for each other, for the university and for the state. Meaning they will not rest starters in getting ready for the MW championship game unless they are still recovering from an injury. Let’s see how the ‘Bows can manage a victory over the Black Knights:
We probably won’t know who the starter is for this game until game day but whoever starts needs to be effective either with their arm or legs and score points early. Hawai’i redshirt freshmen QB Chevan Coideiro led the ‘Bows down the field with his legs after Cole McDonald was pulled from the game in the third quarter of last week’s nail bitter win against San Diego State.
It will be tough for Army to prepare for both QBs and limit the big plays from WRs JoJo Ward, Cedric Byrd and yards after catch from Jared Smart and Jason- Matthew Sharsh.
If one element of the run and shoot clicks the other elements will be effective and I still believe running the ball with Miles Reed will open up the QB run or pull the LBs forward giving more open space for Hawaii’s receivers.
Doing their 1/11th
The proven way to stop a triple-option team is each defensive player is responsible for their guy. You need to be focused every down otherwise it just takes one missed assignment and the ball carrier will score from sixty yards out. The Army offense can be plain and simple but effective averaging 302 yards on the ground. It’s pounding you with the RB/FB in Connor Slomka(572 rush yds) or QB keep with the leading rusher Kelvin Hopkins Jr(619 rush yds.)
It’s been impressive to see the defense has stepped up in the last three games and keeping the last two opponents to just 7 and 11 points per game. Yes the last two opponents had subpar offenses but it seems they are playing better through communication and tackling. I don’t see as much blown coverages or missed tackles as much as the first half of the season and so it looks promising for the team overall that when in close games the defense can step up seal the victory.
I’m looking for senior LB Solomon Matautia and senior CB Ikem Okeke to have big games this Saturday.
Rumble on the rock
There were only 21,000+ at last week’s game but it sounded like 35,000. The team really fed from the crowd’s energy especially on 3rd down defense. With this last game guaranteed to be played at Aloha Stadium it might be the last chance the fans can should show up in numbers to support a team that is giving their all and not giving up. When the ceiling in the locker rooms rumble from the crowd stomping the team feels it. I’m not sure if a 7:30pm kickoff will affect the attendance but UH hopes for a big turn out to celebrate the seniors and the ‘Bows ninth victory.
It may be closer to most Hawai’i fan’s liking but I predict UH offense will put up more points than the past two games and the defense will make a final stop to Army’s last drive.