If it wasn’t for a rinky-dink result between 2 conference also-rans last weekend, this contest would be between 2 college football teams falling off the edge of the Earth.
Yes, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors beat San Jose State 37-26 on October 21st. But other than that, it’s been an October to forget for UH and their upcoming opponent San Diego State.
The 6-2 Aztecs must be the more disappointed team. A 6-0 start that included wins over programs like Stanford, Air Force, Arizona State and Northern Illinois has fallen to pieces before their very eyes, thanks to a loss to Boise State and a dreadful 27-3 embarrassment at home against Fresno State last Saturday.
The Warriors are not faring much better, having suffered a 4-game losing streak in which they only came close to beating Wyoming. Both schools are now essentially out of contention in the West division of the MWC.
But if SDSU can stop the bleeding in the Land of Leis, they still have a shot at a momentous season. Hawaii, meanwhile, is holding at 3-4 and desperate to pull to .500 and work toward bowl-eligibility.
Who: San Diego State Aztecs at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
When: Saturday, October 28th, 11:15 PM EST
Where: Aloha Stadium, Halawa, HI
Lines: SDSU (-9) at Hawaii (+9) / O/U Total: (56)
What happened to the Aztecs? Certainly, defense hasn’t been a massive problem. SDSU has given up a healthy amount of rushing yards in the 2 losses, but that’s due to the John Madden principle – give up a big lead and of course your opponent will rush for a lot of yards, since all they do is hand-off in the 2nd half. San Diego State has severely limited opposing QBs, holding Boise State’s Brett Rypien to less than 100 yards.
But 2 calamities have struck what was once a prolific offense just north of the Mexican border. First, QB Christian Chapman has been inaccurate, going 50% against BSU and under 50% against Fresno. The junior is not a terrific runner, meaning that if he can’t throw short completions, the team is punting.
Second, star RB Rashaad Penny has been limited, beaten and bruised by defenses which are now keying on him. Until Chapman can get it going again through the air, teams might as well stack the box.
Hawaii’s defense, however, has been extremely weak against the run. Nevada, for instance, has struggled to move the football on many occasions in 2017. But Wolf Pack RB Kelton Moore gained – gulp – 11+ ypc on 19 attempts in the 35-21 win over the Warriors on 10/14.
We’re liking the Aztec running game to get well against the porous Warriors, which will allow Chapman some limited success on play-action. Look for an easy SDSU win with a lot of Penny rushing yards, but no fireworks.
That also opens up a winning bet on the under, as we expect this one to have a 24-14 or 31-10 final score.