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Hawaii Football Preview: MWC Game 2 against the San Jose State Spartans

Can Dru Brown end the 10 game road rut for the Rainbow Warriors?

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Info:

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (2-3, 1-0 MWC) vs San Jose State Spartans (1-4, 0-1 MWC)

October 8, 2016 at 10:30 AM HST, CEFCU Stadium, San Jose, California

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), XM Radio 203 and Sirius Radio 93.

Web Audio-Cast: ESPN 1420 AM

Spread: +3 Hawaii

Over/Under: 64

UPDATE: Game time has been corrected to 10:30 AM HST.

Gameday Tidbits:

  • This 39th meeting between the two programs, in which San Jose State leads the University of Hawaii with a record of 19-18-1. However, the Rainbow Warriors hold a 7-6-1 record in San Jose.
  • The last meeting between the two happened in Honolulu and led to a 23-42 loss. Kenny Potter led the Spartans to victory with 312 yards through the air and accounted for 5 total touchdowns (3 passing and 2 rushing). Paul Harris was Hawaii’s star and totaled 197 yards and 1 touchdown.
  • The road has not been kind to the ‘Bows so far in 2016 as they are 0-3 while being outscored 161-62. All games were ones that were played against Power 5 conferences.
  • The Rainbow Warriors have a 10 game losing streak while playing on the road. The last game they won on the road was against San Jose State (13-0). Tyler Hadden led the team with 7 points scored.
  • UH is 2-0 against non-Power 5 teams in 2016 and have outscored them 79-53 (both games at home).

Roster Report:

Hawaii: Questionable: Devan Stubblefield (WR); Out for Season: Melvin Davis (RB).

Note: Daniel Lewis Jr. (DB) is noted to possibly miss tomorrow’s game for disciplinary reasons.

San Jose State: PROBABLE: Kenny Potter (QB); Questionable: Brandon Monroe (RB), Cameron Smith (CB); OUT: Nate Velichko (T), Thomas Tucker (RB); Out for Season: Tyler Winston (WR).

2016 Team Leaders:

Passing: Ikaika Woolsey (Hawaii): 44-90, 644 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT; Kenny Potters (San Jose State): 56-95, 846 yards, 8 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: Diocemy Saint Juste (Hawaii): 69 carries, 464 yards, 2 TD; Zamore Zigler (San Jose State): 50 carries, 311 yards, 3 TD

Receiving: Marcus Kemp (Hawaii): 24 receptions, 644 yards, 6 TD; Tre Hartley (San Jose State): 16 receptions, 305 yards, 2 TD

Tackles: Trayvon Henderson (Hawaii): 37 (28 solo) tackles; Frank Ginda (San Jose State): 38 (18 solo) tackles

Sacks: Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea (Hawaii): 2.0 sacks; Frank Ginda (San Jose State): 3.0 sacks

Pass Breakup: Jalen Rogers (Hawaii): 2 PBU; Andre Chachere (San Jose State): 7 PBU

Interceptions: Jalen Rogers (Hawaii): 1 INT; Andre Chachere (San Jose State): 2 INT

Names to Know:

Hawaii: (QB) Dru Brown, (RB) Diocemy Saint Juste, (WR) Marcus Kemp, (DE) Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea, (LB) Jahlani Tavai, (DB) Jalen Rogers

San Jose State: (QB) Kenny Potters, (RB) Zamore Zigler, (WR) Tre Hartley, (LB) Frank Ginda, (LB) Christian Tago, (CB) Andrew Chachere

For the Hawaii depth chart click here and go to page 9.

For the San Jose State depth chart click here and go to page 11.

Keys to the Game:

  • Dylan did a nice job of breaking down the keys to victory for tomorrow’s game, check it out here.
  • If you want to know what the enemy is up to check out the keys to victory that Spartarises did here.

Bottom Line:

You’d think that after last week’s victory projection systems would show UH some respect. ESPN’s FPI favors San Joses State to win by tipping the odds in their favor with a 75.1% chance to win. Even worse would be NumberFire’s prediction of 30.3-21.9, in favor of the Spartans.

There are projectionists that like Hawaii tomorrow. The Vegas odds makers have UH at +3 and Bill Connelly & company at Football Outsiders have come to the same conclusion. They gave Hawaii a 49% chance to win tomorrow.

Personally, I side with the Vegas Odds Makers and Bill Connelly. According to Football Studyhall data released by Bill, Hawaii graded in the 94th percentile for their offensive performance last week. This nearly triples their second-best effort against an FBS team. Their defense also performed six times better than their previous best grade.

Putting aside the nerdy stuff, Hawaii took down Nevada by a similar margin that Notre Dame did just a few weeks prior. Not only did they do that but they looked good doing it.

Yes, pass coverage needs to be cleaned up but we saw progress from them later in the game. The defensive line, who I thought was the biggest weakness of the team, stepped up and created havoc in the Nevada backfield (7 TFL with 4 sacks). There is a little give take there but it looks like this defense will be ok against San Jose. So far the Kenny Potter offense is not what most would have thought it would be in 2016. That is something that the Rainbow Warrior defense should look to continue not correct.

The offense, with Dru Brown leading them, was dominant and totaled their first 500-yard game since November 2014. Not only did they dominate in yardage but also limited the turnovers (1 fumble). The newly efficient pass game will add a whole new aspect to the Rainbow Warrior offense. That and the awesome rush game should give fits to the 114th ranked Spartan defense.

The bottom line is that I think it is safe for you Hawaii fans out there to believe what went down last week. I think it is safe for us to think that the ‘Bows go out tomorrow and win. I think tomorrow’s score will be 31-24 with Hawaii coming out on top.

Stats and info courtesy of the University of Hawaii and the San Jose State University football programs.