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Bobby’s Preview: MWC Championship

Photo: David Croxford

December 2, 2019

It’s a rarity in life that you get a 2nd whack at the piñata, but that’s exactly what UH is getting Saturday in Boise. After losing to the Broncos 59-37 on Oct. 12, the Rainbow Warriors have earned the rematch by winning the West Division. In the first game, UH fumbled 3 times in the first half alone leading to 21 points and a 31-14 deficit at intermission. The Broncos then reeled off 21 points in the 3rd quarter and the game was effectively over.

Boise played one of its best games, and Hawai’i one of its worst. The good news is that UH didn’t struggle moving the ball against the Broncos, but they did have trouble slowing the Broncos down, giving up 203 yards on the ground and 315 through the air.

Let’s look at how this one could be different.

Hawaii has been much better at TO margin of late, and fumbling has ceased to be a problem. The Rainbow Warriors did not have much trouble protecting either McDonald or Cordeiro, and the o-line play continues to be excellent. In fact, it may be stronger with the return of RB Dayton Furuta, as he is like an additional lineman in the backfield. While Melquise Stovall is no longer on the team, and he did have 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 TD’s, Jason Matthew Sharsh has emerged as a big play threat, and all the receivers look to be in good health this week. Also Miles Reed has developed into a complete runner, and has provided balance that was not as evident early in the year.

Perhaps the biggest change has been on defense, where UH has increasingly been able to make big plays and force turnovers. Hawai’i gave up only 18 points combined against UNLV and San Diego State, and managed 2 INT’s against Army, one of them a pick 6. And they will see a different QB than the 2 they saw in Boise the last time. Hank Bachmeier and Chase Cord are both injured, and Jaylon Henderson is now the signal caller. He has been good for the Broncos, and has proven to be able to find John Hightower and Khalil Shakir in a timely fashion. And George Holani has stepped up at RB.

This is not a team UH will shut down, but a few timely stops are very possible. It is expected to be about 44 degrees at kickoff, quite reasonable for this time of the year in Boise. And UH seems to believe it owes Boise State its best self. If Hawai’i can deliver that, they can live with whatever happens. I have a good feeling.

Go Bows!

By Bobby Curran | The Voice of Rainbow Warrior Football