Saturday’s game against San Jose St. becomes a pivotal one for Hawai’i to reach one of its season’s goals — to play in a bowl game. Currently, the ‘Bows have a 5-4 record; they need 7 wins to be bowl eligible. The Spartans and the Rainbow Warriors have played 4 common opponents to date. They have both beaten Nevada and New Mexico, and have both lost to Boise State and Air Force.
Both teams are pass heavy, throwing roughly 60% of the time. The games in the recent past have been close. Last year UH won in 5 OT’s! There is also great familiarity between the staffs. Spartans’ head coach Brent Brennan was a grad assistant at UH, and was elevated to an interim position coach in the 1998 season. Brennan is 0-2 against UH, Rolovich is 3-0 vs SJSU.
The Spartans have a dynamic QB in senior Josh Love who has been nominated for several national awards. He has thrown for 2,793 yards with 17 TD’s and 4 INT’s and has completed 59% of his passes. Favorite receivers include Tre Walker with 49 catches for 758 yards and a TD, Bailey Gaither with 35 grabs, 5 scores and 601 yards, and Isaia Hamilton with 28 receptions for 445 yards and 3TD’s. The top RB’s are DeJon Packer with 73 carries at 3.9 per and 7 TD’s, and Nick Nash with 40 rushes at 6.4 per and 3TD’s. Best defenders are LB Ethan Aguayo with 79 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, and a pick.Fellow LB Kyle Harmon has made 75 T, 6 TFL, and 2 sacks, while FS Jay Lenard has 74 T, 2.5 TFL, and an INT.
UH had 555 yards of offense last week in the loss to Fresno State, and it could have been much more without penalties (13-135 yards), drops, and errant passes. The answer for UH is to play a clean game free of silly mistakes, and to take better angles on defense. Coach Rolo is already suggesting he’ll likely play both McDonald and Cordeiro against the Spartans, and they both need to be sharp. UH has slightly more talent than SJSU, but as my dad used to say, “Talent and 2 bucks will get you on the subway”. Now UH has to go execute.
By Bobby Curran | The Voice of Rainbow Warrior Football