Hawaii vs. San Diego State Preview: Keys For A Warriors Victory
Warriors travel to the mainland.
Two new head coaches
San Diego State and Hawaii are in a very critical game this weekend. If either wants to make a run at a Mountain West title game appearance this is a must-win. Each school has one loss in league play while Boise State, Nevada, and San Jose State have zero.
With the Warriors and Aztecs with one loss, the loser is all but assured to be knocked out. In such a shortened season, more than ever every game counts for this matchup.
Looking back at last week’s games for these to programs; Hawaii’s offense, specifically the passing game, is showing signs of 2018 and 2019 under Todd Graham as starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro had his first touchdown passes of the year and threw for 410 yards and four touchdowns.
The Aztecs rushing game took a hit last week against San Jose State, well sort of. Greg Bell was the lead back with 109 yards and a touchdown but there was no one else on the roster who could get a push on the ground. It also will not help as running back Chase Jasmin has opted out.
WEEK 11: San Diego State Aztecs (2-1) vs. Hawaii Warriors (2-1)
WHEN: Saturday, November 14 — 4:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT
WHERE: Drignity Health Sports Park; Carson, California
TV: Spectrum PPV (Hawaii), Channel 4 in San Diego County on Cox and Spectrum
STREAMING: Team1Sports app (Mainland, and outside of San Diego County)
HAWAII KEYS FOR VICTORY
1. Get the passing game going
The passing game has struggled this year under Graham’s new offense. This is not the run-n-shoot under Nick Rolovich but last week’s win over New Mexico showed a few things. The Warriors offense, specifically the passing game, woke up and it does help that they played the Lobos which does not have an amazing defense under Danny Gonzales.
This week vs. SDSU will be a much harder challenge as the Aztecs are allowing just 4.5 yards per pass attempt, has allowed just 400 yards in three games through the air and three interceptions.
This will be a tough matchup for the Hawaii offense but the one good thing they did vs. the Lobos was to throw the ball to a lot of receivers and there was no real focus on just one guy.
2. Stop the San Diego State ground game
The Aztecs rushing attack has bounced back from 2019 and in 2020 is looking a lot more like years past and the Warriors are giving up 5.07 yards per carry and that is something Hawaii will need to limit if they are going to win.
The pass defense is not an issue as much and the Hawaii defense should sell out to stop the run and if they would rather get beat by Carson Baker then the ground game going for over six yards a carry and over 250 on the ground.
Limiting the Aztecs to no backbreaking long runs and holding them to about 225 or less on the ground is keys to a win.
3. Force SDSU to pass.
This builds upon key two but it is very important for a Hawaii win. If Hawaii can force San Diego State into third-and-long situations — over six yards — by making the Aztecs throw will be a way for the Warriors to get the win,
Baker is doing just fine at quarterback but he is not going to win the game for San Diego State, or at the very least, highly unlikely. He is completing 63% of his passes but has just three touchdowns on the year. The more Baker throws likely would lead to a better chance of Hawaii winning.
This all goes back to the Warriors slowing down San Diego State’s ground game.