HAWAII @ NEVADA
Location: Reno, Nevada (Mackay Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 7th at 4:30 p.m. (Hawaii Time)
Television: CBS Sports Network
Streaming: CBS Sports app with subscription
Radio: ESPN 1420
Head-to-head: Nevada leads the series 12-9, but Hawaii won last year's contest 38-17 in Honolulu.
Summary: Hawaii's contest at Aloha Stadium this past Saturday evening was not one they or the fans will want to remember. Plenty of key players were out with injury (Dejon Allen and Fred Ulu-Perry being the huge ones), but that won't be much of a consolation after losing by 30 points at home. Thankfully, Nevada is exactly what the doctor ordered to remedy this loss.
Nevada. Oh goodness, Nevada. The Wolf Pack will enter this week 0-5 for the first time in 53 years, including a stunning September 16th loss to Idaho State. There is plenty of blame to go around. Presumed starter and Alabama transfer quarterback David Cornwell recently left the program. True freshman Kaymen Cureton has struggled early on. Ty Gangi has wrestled the starting spot back, and played adequately vs. Fresno State, but wasn’t a roaring success by any means. The offensive line played well in its first two games, but has been poor since. The wide receiving corps is very young (four true freshman in the rotation) and short on numbers. Needless to say, these aren’t the Chris Ault Wolf Pack.
Hawaii was not good against Colorado State (stunning analysis, I know). Surely getting waxed at home to the tune of 21-51 will hurt the ego, but Hawaii has played well at times this season. They have two wins. They should have beaten Wyoming in Laramie. Some success is better than what Nevada has fielded to this point: no success of any kind.
It’s true: Hawaii only has one win in Reno throughout its entire history. Warriors are 1/8 in that category. The Vegas spread opened at Hawaii -3, a mild surprise considering Nevada’s struggles. The spread has since grown to -4 Warriors. Hawaii will hope to get some of their key players back for this road trip, but the Warriors should be looking for a win in the forecast. I expect Dru Brown and his slot backs to have success vs. the Wolf Pack defense, and the defense should bounce back and play the way it did vs. Wyoming.
Prediction: I feared Colorado State’s talent advantage would be too much for Hawaii, but I didn’t see 51-21 coming. The status of key players like Fred Ulu-Perry and Dejon Allen will obviously play a big role in Hawaii’s chances this week, but I would be blown away if Hawaii drops this game. I’ll be there in person for this game, and expect Hawaii to win comfortably. Rainbow Warriors 34, Wolf Pack 20.