Hawaii vs. San Diego State: Keys To A Warriors Win, Odds, Live Stream, More
Warriors hoping for its first FBS win
Hawaii gets into another conference game
The Warriors open conference play this Saturday as they hit the road to play the San Diego State Aztecs in the brand new Snapdragon Stadium. The Aztecs enter the contest 2-3 after losing their conference opener to Boise State 35-13. In the loss, starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister was knocked out of the game with a concussion and his backup Kyle Crum also suffered a broken collarbone. Sounds like Burmeister has been practicing and is on track to play but his status as well as the depth at the position should be monitored. It’s not that Burmeister has been especially spectacular, but he does have experience at the position and they are thin enough there where they moved Jaylen Mayden, a former quarterback turned safety, back to quarterback. That takes us to our first and most important key of the game.
WHEN: Saturday, October 8th — 7:30 p.m. PST / 4:30 p.m. HST
WHERE: Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego, CA (35,000)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy, 67 degrees, light winds with chance of rain.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Live Stream: fuboTV (Watch for free)
|San Diego State
RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / iHeart Radio App / SiriusXM ch. 383
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 36th matchup between the Aztecs and the Rainbow Warriors. SDSU maintains a 22-11-2 series lead.
LAST MEETING: SDSU defeated the Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu, Hawaii, 17-10 on November 6, 2021.
WEBSITES: GoAztecs.com, the official San Diego State athletics website
ODDS: Aztecs -21.5
Stop the run
The 1-4 Warriors enter the game coming off of a much needed bye week. In their last contest, the Warriors defense surrendered 357 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground to the New Mexico State Aggies. In my opinion it was the defense’s worst performance of the season and a little disappointing especially after essentially winning the game with their stout play against Duquesne the week before. The Aztecs have played some tough competition and have not been able to get their offense going, only averaging 19 points per game.
I think they are going to rely on their run game as usual and try to take advantage of what they see as a weakness. Jordan Byrd is their lead back, but three others (Cam Davis, Kenan Christon and Burmeister) have gotten over twenty carries on the season. If the Warriors allow the Aztecs to pound the rock, it’s going to be a long night, but if they can stop the run on early downs and force the Aztecs into 3rd and long situations, I think the Warriors can start to string together stops and build some momentum.
Return of the…
He didn’t say it, but Coach Chang hinted that the Warriors would be working on running more four wide sets. I believe Coach Chang said something to the effect that the offense is going to look a little more familiar to what we are used to seeing out of Hawaii football. I think the transition started before the New Mexico State, but I think this bye week was used as a crash course into a new offense. The offense definitely needs a spark so I think the coaching staff first of all being self aware enough to realize that and then actually doing something about it is a step in the right direction. Am I worried that it sounds a little crazy to change an offense in one week? Of course I am, but from what we’ve seen in the first five games, change is needed. I also don’t think they added a ton of brand new plays, but as we’ve seen in the past, the run and shoot is most effective when the quarterbacks and receivers are on the same page and making the same reads on the fly. Something that has been lacking this season.
Hopefully the bye week was a good opportunity to get solid reps in the new scheme. Another bonus to the passing game is the return of receiver Zion Bowens as well as slotback Koali Nishigaya. Bowens is returning from an injury suffered early in the opener against Vanderbilt and was seen as the number one receiver entering the season. Let’s hope his return can help to open up the passing attack. Nishigaya is a guy who many fans have been waiting for to break out. He suffered a leg injury during bowl practice last season and has been recently cleared to play. Can he be the playmaker in the slot that the Warriors have been looking for?
In all honesty, the entire Mountain West Conference is sputtering. San Diego State is usually pretty dominant, but last week they got beat badly by a Boise State team that has had their own struggles. At this point, who knows what can happen? Have the Warriors made enough strides during the bye week to make this a ballgame? Do we see a new and explosive offensive attack?
I think the defense will bounce back and play better this week and I’m excited to see if the “new” offense will create some big scoring plays. I think we have to temper our expectations regarding the offense. One week is not a lot of time to make drastic changes. I am glad that the coaching staff self scouted and are attempting to do something about the offensive woes. In a game like this, it’s important for the offense to move the chains and stay on the field. If they can generate big scoring plays, even better, but if they have numerous three-and-out possessions, the defense will get worn down no matter how tough they are playing.
I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve missed watching the Bows play over this bye week and I’m excited to see them get after it in their first conference matchup. As I said earlier, the conference is in shambles so can the Warriors steal a couple wins? Tune in Saturday 4:30 Hawaii time on CBS Sports Network. As always, let’s go Bows!