Hawai'i vs. San Diego State Preview

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Warriors of Hawai'i go back on the road again this time to the west coast to face a renewed rivalry foe the San Diego State Aztecs. Both teams will search for their first Mountain West Conference win in 2012. This will be the 27th meeting between the two school with the Aztecs leading the series 15-9-2.

GAME: Hawai'i Warriors vs. San Diego State Aztecs

WHERE: San Diego, CA: Qualcomm Stadium (Capacity 70.561)

DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 6 at 5:00pm PT

TV/RADIO: CBS Sports Network (OC Digital 247 or 1247 in HD, ESPN Radio Honolulu AM 1420

CONFERENCE: Mountain West

WEB SITE: Hawaiiathletics.com

2012 SEASON: Hawai'i enters this matchup with a 1 - 3 record (0 - 1 in conference play), losers of two straight (Nevada and BYU). San Diego State has a record of 2 - 3 (0 - 1 in conference play) also losing two straight to San Jose State and Fresno State. Hawaii's lone win came against FCS Lamar 54-2 three weeks ago at Aloha Stadium. San Diego State's two wins came against Army(42-7) and FCS North Dakota(49-41) both at Qualcomm Stadium.

COACHES: Hawaii's Norm Chow is 1-3 so far in his first season as a head coach. His team is still struggling to execute the pro-style offense that was so effective in his offensive coordinator days at BYU and USC. San Diego State's is in his fourth season as head coach for the Aztecs. He is a defensive mind coach first and praises his defense for creating turnovers to give the ball back to the offense.

KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: Hawaii's offense has been struggling as of late but there are a few bright spots there. Running back Will Gregory is the work horse averaging 67.5 yards a game. Two Wide receiver Trevor Davis and Billy Ray Stutzmann are the X factors for the Warriors catching the deep ball. They both average 16.3 yards a catch.

For San Diego State they have more weapons. Running back Adam Muema leads all backs with 520 rushing yards. QB Ryan Katz has a great passing efficiency of 154.7 and had nine touchdowns to four interceptions. There are a couple of good wide receivers with Gavin Escobar and Colin Lockett both averaging 15.9 yards a catch and both have two scores.

KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: Hawaii's defense is not in great shape right now losing two of their starting DL's to injuries. Leading the defense is cornerback Mike Edwards. He is definitely a general out there and leads the team with 18 tackles. Team captain and defensive linebacker Paipai Falemalu has 14 tackles and two sacks.

For the Aztecs, defensive back Nat Berhe leads the team in tackles with 37. In the middle, linebacker Jake Fely leads the team in sacks with three and has 20 tackles. Junior Eric Pinkins and senior Leon McFadden combine for a total of five interceptions on the season with three of them going to the house.

Overall outcome:If the Warriors can score early and have some rhythm in their offense then the game can be a close one. They have only scored 10 points in the first quarter in four games so far this season. Even though Hawaii's defense is banged up and lost two starters on the line, the front four need to step it up and contain the run and not give up big rushing plays from the running back and the quarterback. I just want to see improvement in the offense. If the Warriors can score early I think they will keep it close like a 41-35 loss. But if they don't score early it will be another blow out and possibly another shut out 42-0.

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