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Hawaii vs UT Martin Preview: Rainbow Warriors return home

Hawaii should get its first win of the year.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors finally get to play their first home game against UT Martin after traveling to Sydney, Australia and Ann Arbor, Michigan for their first two games. The offense struggled against Michigan with Ikaika Woolsey and Dru Brown both throwing a pick six and only putting three points on the board.

They could not get a running game going against the Wolverines, Dru Brown led the team with 49 yards on the ground. Hawaii's defense struggled, allowing over 50 points and 500 total yards in both games. They also continued their theme of poor tackling.

The UT Martin Skyhawks lost their season opener to Cincinnati 28-7, putting up 323 total yards. Players to on the Skyhawks to watch are RB Jaimiee Bowe and WR Cayton Weathers. Bowe rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries, while Weathers caught four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.

If the 'Bows offense plays like they did against Cal in the opener they should be able to handle the Skyhawks. Coach Nick Rolovich confirmed this week that Ikaika Woolsey would remain the teams starting QB after he was replaced in the Michigan game by Dru Brown, and said, "Woolsey is still No. 1. Now we just have a backup QB who has half a game of experience."

Hawaii was at its best this season when the running game was moving the ball against the Cal defense. Cincinnati was able to gain 140 yards on the ground against UTM. Hawaii should be able to do the same with three solid running backs in Saint Juste, Lakalaka and Harris.

Hawaii will get the run going facing an FCS defense to set up the pass for Woolsey. Kemp is a solid receiver on the outside that will create space against the UT Matin secondary as long as Woolsey can get the passes to him.

The Warriors defense will still need to improve on their tackling and stop the Skyhawks run game that gained 177 yards on the ground last week. The ‘Bows should be able to beat UT Martin at home and earn their first win of the season, and Nick Rolovich’s first win as a head coach.