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Hawaii Football: Gameday Preview UH vs. CU

The Rainbow Warriors are looking for a fresh start in 2015 and that starts with the Colorado Buffaloes.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

!!!WEATHER ALERT!!!

If you are going to the game please be aware that there is a high chance of rain. A flash flood warning has been issued for Oahu till midnight.

Gameday Info:

Colorado Buffaloes (0-0) @ Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (0-0) 7:04 PM HST, Aloha Stadium

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: KKEA ESPN 1420 (Honolulu), KNUI 550AM (Maui), KHLO 850AM (Hilo), KKON 790AM (Kona), KTOH 99.9FM (Kauai), KNWJ 104.7FM  (American Samoa), KOA 850AM (Colorado), XM Radio 203 and Sirius Radio 93.

Webcast: ESPN 1420 AM

Gameday Odds and Ends:

  • Colorado is 77-43-5 all-time in season openers while Hawaii is 58-35-5.
  • This is just the fifth meeting between the two schools yet the series dates back to New Year’s Day 1925.
  • The series is tied at 2-2 with the home team winning each time.
  • Their last meeting ended in a 34-17 win for Hawaii that starred Bryant Moniz. Moniz was responsible for all four touchdowns (1 passing, 3 rushing).
  • Colorado was just the sixth mainland opponent to ever play against Hawaii.
  • Colorado and Hawaii are the only teams to play 13 consecutive weeks this season.
  • This game concludes a four game contract between the schools.

Injury Report:

Hawaii: N/A

Colorado: OUT: (DE) Timothy Coleman, (FB) John Finch, (DE) Tyler Henington, (LB) Travis Talianko, & (DE) De'Jon Wilson

Returning Team Leaders (2014):

Passing: Ikaika Woolsey (Hawaii): 210-416, 2538 yards, 13 TD, 13 INT; Sefo Liufau (Colorado): 325-498, 3200 yards, 28 TD, 15 INT

Rushing: Steven Lakalaka (Hawaii): 159 carries, 679 yards, 2 TD; Christian Powell (Colorado): 85 carries, 448 yards, 4 TD

Receiving: Marcus Kemp (Hawaii): 56 receptions, 797 yards, 3 TD; Nelson Spruce (Colorado): 106 receptions, 1198 yards, 12 TD

Tackles: Trayvon Henderson (Hawaii): 63 (54 solo) tackles; Kenneth Olugbode (Colorado): 83 (57 solo) tackles

Sacks: Ne'Quan Phillips (Hawaii): 3 sacks; Derek McCartney (Colorado): 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Trayvon Henderson (Hawaii): 2 interceptions; Tedric Thompson (Colorado): 3 interceptions

Names to Know:

Colorado: (QB) Sefo Liufau, (WR) Nelson Spruce, (DE) Jordan Carrell, (CB) Kenneth Crawley, (S) Tedric Thompson

Hawaii: (QB) Max Wittek, (WR) Marcus Kemp, (WR) Quinton Pedroza, (RB) Diocemy Saint Juste, (DE) Kennedy Tulimaseali, (S) Trayvon Henderson

Key Matchups:

Battle of the Coordinators: The main focus for Hawaii fans will be on the highly anticipated debut of the offense Don Bailey has crafted in the offseason. The Bows will have its first dedicated offensive coordinator in the Norm Chow era. While Bailey does not have experience in the FBS his FCS resume is outstanding. In his tenure at Idaho State he improved a floundering offense to record breaking heights. I wanted to try make "The Bailey Effect" a thing but I was told it won't happen so I should stop trying.

Opposing Coach Bailey will be Jim Leavitt, the defensive coordinator for Colorado. He seems to be the change that Colorado has been wanting. He brings an impressive resume to Colorado and fans seem to be excited to have him there. Coach Leavitt rebuilt the USF football program, coached the 49ers linebackers for four years and helped turnaround a Kansas-State team in the early 90's. No doubt Jim Leavitt's debut for the Buffaloes is as anticipated as Don Bailey's debut is for the Bows.

Max Wittek vs. Colorado Secondary: All reports indicate the Bows will come out throwing in 2015. For the past two season they have not had the fortune of establishing their quarterback before the season started. They have had questions at the position ever since Bryant Moniz graduated. No doubt the country has heard the hype Coach Chow has been spinning around Wittek and the new offense. The key for the offense will be winning their matchups and it will start with Max Wittek. He will need to rise to occasion and show the country he isn't just a cast off from a big time program. He must show them why Norm Chow believes in him so much.

Defense vs. Colorado Dynamic Duo: Sefo Liufau and Nelson Spruce have a great connection. The tandem tied or broke 88 school records in 2014. They have two records ongoing involving the most pass completions and most passing touchdowns (quarterback to receiver). Try and convince me that that isn't ridiculous. Sefo Liufau has all the signs of a great quarterback if he can improve his decision making. Spruce has already established himself as a top receiver in the nation garnering top 10 consideration for the Biletnikoff award in 2014. While this relationship relies heavily on Liufau, he is a favorite to breakout this year among media outlets. This scares the crap out of me and it should get the attention of the Hawaii defense.

Bottom Line:

I want to see a good game today. I said it for Ralphie Report and I will say it for you now. As a fan I am far more concerned about the team play good football than getting a 'W'. The wins will come if this team plays a sound game. Ultimately I think that UH will come out on top 31-28.

For more info directly from the source check out our Q&A with Jack Barsch from Ralphie Report.

Follow us on twitter @WarriorBoutIt for in-game observations and shenanigans.

Stats and info courtesy of the University of Hawaii and University of Colorado Media Guides.