Hawaii Vs Nevada: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
Nevada heads to the Hawaiian Islands to face the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday night.
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Nevada Looks To Snap Four Game Losing Streak At Hawaii on Saturday
WEEK 5: Nevada Wolf Pack (2-4, 0-2 MW) vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-5, 0-1MW)
WHEN: Saturday, October 15th –8:59 PM PT/9:59 PM MT
TV: Nevada Sports Net (Only airing locally in Northern Nevada)
STREAMING: Team1 Sports (Only can be viewed via phone or tablet. Here is how to watch the game via the app)
RADIO: Nevada is on ESPN 94.5 in Reno and Hawaii is on ESPN 92.7 in Honolulu
SERIES RECORD: Nevada leads the series 15-11. Last meeting was in 2021 in Reno where Nevada won 34-17.
WEBSITES: NevadaWolfPack.com, the official Nevada athletics website | HawaiiAthletics, the official Hawaii Athletics website.
ODDS: Nevada (-6.5)
SP+PROJECTION: Nevada by 6.6
FEI PROJECTION: Nevada by 15.3
The Nevada Wolf Pack head out to the islands to take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu on Saturday night.
The Wolf Pack are 2-4 and coming off a tough loss to Colorado State in the “Green Infection” game last Friday night. The Wolf Pack defense was at its best holding the Rams to zero offensive points. However the Wolf Pack offense was once again abysmal and gave up two costly turnovers that resulted in 14 points for Colorado State. The Wolf Pack were in the game late but gave up a last second field goal to lose to the Rams 17-14.
Nevada is taking on a Hawaii team that has struggled this season. The Warriors, like the Wolf Pack have a new coach in former Wolf Pack assistant and Hawaii QB legend Timmy Chang. Also like the Wolf Pack, the Warriors are breaking in a new offensive system and like the Wolf Pack it has been tough sledding .
Hawaii did play well enough in their last contest against San Diego State last weekend. But the Warriors fell to the Aztecs 16-14. Hawaii is looking to record their first FBS win this season as they host the Wolf Pack in Honolulu.
Can Nevada get their offense on track and also can Nevada snap a four game losing streak on the road?
Here are my three keys and a score prediction for Nevada vs Hawaii
The Nevada offense must get a whole lot better
The Wolf Pack offense has been a term I am not going to use because this is a family site. Just know that Nevada’s offense after six games statistically has been bad. The Wolf Pack are averaging only 3.38 rushing yards per attempt which is 12th in the Mountain West and 109th Nationally. When it comes to passing the ball, Nevada is averaging 5.6 yards per attempt which is tied for 9th in the Mountain West and 122nd nationally.
That is bad but when you look at the advanced stats from Football Outsiders, the numbers are worse. Nevada is 114th nationally in Opportunity Rate and Standard Down Line Yards, Nevada is 111th nationally. All these stats both regular and advanced show Nevada’s offense is abysmal.
It is up to Ken Wilson and offensive coordinator Derek Sage to scheme up a way to get better play from the offense. The problem is that Nevada’s offensive line is not good (and has not been good for close to a decade) but Wilson and Sage must overcome that deficiency and create new plays to get the offense going.
Whether that is more designed runs for QB Nate Cox, Wildcat plays for running backs Toa Taua and Devonte Lee or screen passes to the wide receivers. Something must be done by the Wolf Pack coaches to get the offense going on Saturday night.
Contain Hawaii’s skilled position players
Despite their 1-5 record, Hawaii does have some players on the offensive side of the ball that could pose a threat to the Wolf Pack. The Rainbow Warriors have a good running back in Dedrick Parson who has rushed for 336 yards and has scored seven touchdowns so far this season. Parson’s seven rushing touchdowns are tied for second in the Mountain West so far this season.
Along with Parson, Hawaii has seven players on offense that have recorded at least 10 receptions so far this season. Parson has recorded 12 receptions for Hawaii so far this season but the two players for Hawaii who are tied for the team lead in receptions are WRs James Phillips and Dior Scott. Both Phillips and Scott have recorded 17 catches for Hawaii and are the top receivers for the Rainbow Warriors.
Despite Hawaii having balance with their pass catchers, it has not provided many receiving touchdowns. As a team, the Rainbow Warriors only have two receiving touchdowns after six games this season. And that can be attributed to below average quarterback play from Brayden Schager and Joey Yellen. Both Yellen and Schager have combined to throw six interceptions this season.
However, Schager has played well in the last two games as he has thrown for 261 yards against New Mexico State and threw for 196 against San Diego State. And in both of those games. Schager threw for a touchdown and did not throw an interception.
Schager has some options to throw the ball to and has a talented running back in Dedrick Parson. This will be one of the tasks for the Nevada defense on Saturday night: contain Hawaii’s skill position players. If Nevada does that they have a chance to win and snap their four game losing streak.
Don’t Let Colorado State Beat You Twice
What do I mean by “Don’t Let Colorado State Beat You Twice”?
I mean that last week’s game against Colorado State with Jay Norvell returning and all the drama and controversy surrounding the game was a lot to handle. The game was intense, emotional and everything else. It was a game that the Wolf Pack will look back on it and say that was a game that they should have won.
And they would be correct. The Wolf Pack defense held Colorado State’s offense to 78 yards passing and forced three turnovers. But the defense was let down by a Nevada offense that could not produce. And in the end, Colorado State won on a last second field goal to win 17-14.
The Colorado State game is over and Nevada needs to learn from those mistakes and focus on beating Hawaii and keeping their fading bowl hopes alive. It is key for Nevada to not let the madness and the errors of the Colorado State game seep into this contest against an improving Hawaii team. If that happens, then Nevada’s flight back to Reno from Hawaii will be long and painful over another loss.
Prediction and Score
This is a game that Nevada needs to win in the worst way because if they lose, kiss bowl eligibility goodbye. The Wolf Pack’s loss to Colorado State was brutal on many levels but especially brutal as it took away two winnable games Nevada needed to be bowl eligible in 2022.
Now they travel to Hawaii to face a Rainbow Warriors team that is 1-5 but coming off a tough loss to SDSU 16-14. It was a game that Hawaii had a good chance to win but fell short in the end. Despite the poor record, it seems that Hawaii under first year coach Timmy Chang are getting it together.
Nevada’s defense played well enough to defeat Colorado State last week but the Wolf Pack offense was abysmal against the Rams. For Nevada to win, they must muster up enough offense and continue to play good on defense. And the Wolf Pack defense will be challenged by Hawaii’s talented skill players led by Dedrick Parson.
I like Nevada to snap their four game winning streak on Saturday because the defense for Nevada will continue to play well. And also despite the struggles and the tough loss to the Rams last week, Nevada still looks unified and not cracking under the weight of a four game winning streak
Nevada has won three of the last five against the Rainbow Warriors in Hawaii. But the Wolf Pack lost in the last contest against the Rainbow Warriors in Hawaii back in 2020 by a score of 24-21. It will be a close contest between two struggling teams but I like Nevada to win a close contest on Saturday.
Final Score Prediction: Nevada 19 Hawaii 17