UNLV Rebels (2-4, 1-1 MWC) vs Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (3-3, 2-0 MWC)
When: Saturday, October 15th at 6pm HST
Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, O’ahu
TV: Hawaiian Telcom PPV
Radio: KKEA ESPN 1420 (Honolulu), KNUI 550AM (Maui), KHLO 850AM (Hilo), KKON 790AM (Kona), KTOH 99.9FM (Kauai), KNWJ 104.7FM (American Samoa)
Web Audio-Cast: ESPN 1420 AM
Back on the island the Warriors get ready to face UNLV on homecoming, the Rebels won last years matchup 41-21. Hawaii’s season has turn around since coach Rolovich made a change at QB replacing Woolsey with Dru Brown, who has helped lead the ‘Bows to a 2-0 start in conference.
Brown is completing 67.9% of his passes and has thrown for 714 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception, while also adding 162 rushing yards on 24 carries with one touchdown.
The Hawaii rushing attack has been averaging 193 yards per game with the help of a veteran offensive line. The running back core been lead by Diocemy Saint Juste who is the teams leading rusher with 502 yards on 85 carries, also adding two touchdowns.
The Warriors like to keep a rotation in the backfield mixing in Steven Lakalaka and Paul Harris. Lakalaka is the power back and big red zone threat already having six touchdowns to go with his 288 rushing yards.
UNLV brings in a run heavy offense that is lead by sophomore running back Lexington Thomas who has 499 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. His back up, Charles Williams has rushed for over 300 yards with two touchdowns.
The Rebels will start freshman QB Dalton Sneed but we will also see Kurt Palandech get some time behind center. Sneed has rushed for over 200 yards and a touchdown but has struggled in the passing game, only passing for 144 yards with one touchdown and one interception in two games. UNLV is extremely thin and inexperienced at wide receiver which could help Hawaii by letting them load up the box to stop the run and not have to worry much about the Rebels passing attack.
Hawaii’s defense has stepped up since the start of conference play helping the team to start 2-0 in the Mountain West. Tackling has improve along with pass rush, forcing 10 sacks in the two MWC wins.
The Rainbow Warriors should be able to move the ball both in the air and on the ground against a UNLV team that has struggled this season, starting off 2-4 including a lose to Idaho. With a roster containing 21 seniors Hawaii will be ready to play on homecoming.
The Rainbow Warriors, with what should be a decent home crowd behind them, will look to move to 4-3 (3-0 MWC) on the season and keep their impressive start in conference going. I think Hawaii will come out on top in this game, winning 38-10 behind big performances from Brown, Saint Juste, Kemp and the defensive front.