First, WE MADE IT IT'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL THURSDAY RUN THROUGH A WALL KISS THAT GIRL YOU HAVE A CRUSH ON AND TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL NOT SPECIFICALLY IN THAT ORDER.
Second, forget the Colorado-Hawaii game from 2014 ever happened. I guarantee you this game will be better from the outset. Norm has got himself a shiny, new quarterback from Southern Cal that's primed to pass all over the Mountain West this year. He's picked on several all-conference teams, even a first team nod from Phil Steele.
On the other side, you have a Buffs team ripe with returning talent, struggling to make that next step toward a bowl game after a two-win campaign. What a story! Unfortunately for both teams, the audience that will be watching it will be limited. Hawaii kickoff times back y'all.
Week 1: Colorado Buffaloes vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
When: Friday, September 4, 12:00 AM CT
Where: Aloha Stadium (50,000), Honolulu, HI
Conferences: Mountain Best Conference - Pac-12 Conference
Coaches: Norm Chow (8-29), Mike MacIntyre (6-18)
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM, CUBuffs.com
All-time Series: 2-2
Web Sites: Hawaii Athletics, CUBuffs.com
What to expect when Hawaii has the ball: Expect Norm to air it out a lot more this year. He has a confident quarterback, and a healthy receiving corp that's seems ready for a big year. Led by Marcus Kemp, Quinton Pedroza, and the new face in Dylan Collie, this WR group could push Max Wittek to that breakout year he's been looking for. Joey Iosefa is gone, but there are two Running Backs ready to fill the void out of the backfield. Steven Lakalaka is built like Iosefa, and runs like Iosefa, so you can expect a lot of linebackers to get run over this year. Meanwhile, the surprise starter, Diocemy Saint-Juste, is a speed back that can take a toss upfield and past everyone in a flash, along with kickoff and punt return duties this year. Up front, UH is lead by a very well-rounded offensive line. Ben Clarke anchors the left side, entering his third year starting on the offensive line. He was named All-MW third team for the second consecutive year in 2014, and is a member of Phil Steele's All-MW first team for 2015. You also have Dejon Allen, who didn't allow a sack in 2014 on the right side, with some green talent Brenden Urban and RJ Hollis making up the middle. Overall, Hawaii has a total of 57 starts on the line this year.
What to expect when Colorado has the ball: Colorado's passing attack should be well off this year. Sefo Liufau is getting better as a passer and in running the offense, and the return of Nelson Spruce gives him a consistent number one target deep. The question for the game vs. the Warriors is how the experienced linebackers and secondary will test Liufau in the opening contest of the year. The lack of a true RB1 poses a big question on the state of the rushing attack. Will Phillip Lindsay step up and take the starting job, or and Christian Powell or Micheal Adkins II make a final push for the first string position? The offensive line is relatively young, though, and the lack of a true starting running back also merits some concern. Overall, the Colorado offense will be among the middle of the pack in production in the Pac-12.
Prediction: Pewpewpewpewpewpew Offensive Explosion pew. This game will be 100x better than the 2014 contest. Expect a lot of offense for some #Pac12AfterDark drunkness. Hawaii 38, Colorado 34