By Bobby Curran.
The CSU Rams hold a 15-10 series advantage and have won 10 of the last 12. However, the series is tied at seven for games played in Honolulu. For Hawaii, there is only pride left to play for. Bowl eligibility left on the last flight from Las Vegas in the wake of UH’s 27-13 loss in the desert.
The Rainbow Warriors scored on the first play from scrimmage, a 79-yard post to Nick Mardner. That was the last good thing that happened in the game. Hawaii turned UNLV over three times in their own territory and managed only three points from those gifts. UH had fewer first downs, 21 to 10; fewer rushing yards, 293-57; and ran fewer plays, 74-51. They weren’t just beaten, they were dominated.
WR Nick Mardner had 139 yards and a TD, and nobody else had numbers worth mentioning. Defensively, Charles Williams had 266 yards rushing against Hawaii’s front seven, and that unit had been good lately but not last Saturday. Darius Muasau had 12 T, and Khoury Bethley and Cortez Davis had seven apiece.
This week UH may as well turn it loose. The first play last week was beautiful, and it shouldn’t have devolved into a situation where you are trailing late and run four consecutive times up the middle before turning it over on downs.
CSU has a record of 3-7, including four straight conference losses in a row. The Rams are in the same boat as UH; not much to play for other than pride and love of the game. The Rams have gone heavy in the transfer portal, with a number of the new Rams coming from head coach Steve Addazio’s previous stops, particularly Boston College and Temple. The Rams have run it 427 times and thrown it 318 times. They average 22.9 pts per game and give up 23.7 pts per.
Their most outstanding players are TE Trey McBride, 78 receptions for an 11.8 ypc, and punter Bill Stonehouse who averages better than 50 yards per punt. David Bailey is their best RB, 3.8 ypc. The best defenders are LB Cam’Ron Carter with 84 T, 7.5 TFL, 6 sacks, and an INT, and fellow LB Dequan Jackson, 75 T, 7.5 TFL and a sack. Both men are 6’2, 230. S Tywan Francis runs well, has 70 T, a sack and a couple of PBU’s.
This CSU team is solid, but unspectacular. This game will come down to which team can find motivation, or as coaches have said since time immemorial, “Who wants it more?” Go Bows!