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Keys to Victory for Hawaii

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The Rainbow Warriors will open conference play in Boise State. The Broncos pose a huge threat to the Bows maintaining a record .500 record or above.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Hawaii will need to play a near perfect game in order for them to come out of Idaho with a win. Boise leads the series 10-3 and have a 4 game streak on the Rainbow Warriors. The Broncos have owned each game in Idaho going undefeated in the series as the home team. The last game at Albertsons Stadium included a 49-7 beating. In order for the Bows to win today they will need to play a near perfect game. The Broncos may not be a ranked team but they sure could be one. Here are a few things that I think Hawaii will need to do in order to win:

1. Play Mistake Free Football: Last week this team totaled a gaudy 11 penalties for 100 yards!!! The yards they so generously wrapped up for Wisconsin was nearly half of the total yards of offense they produced. Norm Chow was very disappointed with the team’s inability to stay disciplined. The team can’t control how the refs call the game but can do their best to stay off the score sheet for penalties. The team totaled three personal foul calls and that is completely unacceptable.

In addition to playing disciplined this team cannot turn the ball over. Turnovers have been a problem for this team early in the season. Although the team has gotten exponentially better as the season went along. As a result Max Wittek has looked sharp against Wisconsin for the most part. He fit the ball into tight windows and for the first time this season did not throw an interception. This trend must continue if this team wants to have success against the Broncos today.

2. Don’t Be a One Trick Pony: If you take away the trick play that resulted in a 51 yard gain for Paul Harris, Quinton Pedroza would have accounted for 65.7% of the offense that day. If you have been following me since I started writing for MWCConnection, I love me some Quinton Pedroza. Make no mistake about it; even though I think he has a bright, Pedroza can’t be the only player to help move the chains. Facing quality teams like Boise State, Wisconsin and Ohio State require more than one playmaker. Pedroza will most likely be schemed for and most times will be unable to get yardage. Credit must go to him and Max Wittek for getting yards with tight windows and no space.

The Bows will have a clear hole to fill with Paul Harris, Marcus Kemp, Keelan Ewaliko all questionable for today’s game. I remain confident that another pass catcher will arise as the receiving corps was the deepest position they had beginning the season. I will look for Ammon Barker and Devon Stubblefield to step up and take some weight off of Quinton Pedroza’s shoulders.

3. Stop the Run: Contrary to what it might have seemed like, the defense didn’t play very good last week. The score might have been 14-0 for nearly three whole quarters but that was a misnomer. Look beyond that you see that the Rainbow Warrior defense got dominated at the point of attack to the tune of 326 yards on the ground! A lot of times the secondary were the first ones to hit the ball carrier. Thankfully we have a sound tackling set of defensive backs or the score could have been much much worse.

The Badgers averaged an absurd 6.0 yards per carry and controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the game. Even when the Bows were ready for the run, all members of the front seven were blocked in a flash. Wisconsin pounded the Hawaii defense much like Boise State is expected to do. The Broncos might have some problems this season running the ball averaging 3.9 yards per carry but the clear path to moving the ball against Hawaii is on the ground. The Bows must make some adjustment because if they don’t they may be in for another long day. I am not sure what else can be done besides moving Luke Shawley out of the starting lineup and use him as a pass rushing specialist. The line needs some beef and they really don’t have a lot of options down there.