HAWAII @ UCLA
Location: Pasadena, California (Rose Bowl)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 9th at 11 a.m. (Hawaii Time)
Television: Pac-12 Network
Streaming: Watch Stadium app on iOS (for mainland viewers). Mountain West said the Android app is coming soon.
Radio: ESPN 1420
Head-to-head: UCLA leads the series 2-0, defeating Hawaii in the pair of classic games that we all remember from 1935 and 1939.
Things to look for: Hawaii sat some of their key players in their home opener, like star wide receiver John Ursua for example, against the Western Carolina Catamounts of the Football Championship Subdivision. Turns out rest was a good move, cause UH didn't need much help to beat WCU 41-18 on the back of running back Diocemy Saint Juste's 202 rushing yards.
Hawaii is 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2009. However, there is no time to celebrate with the three game stretch that is ahead. When the schedule came out, it was clear that the @ UCLA, bye week, @ Wyoming, vs. Colorado State stretch would be the hardest of the 2017 schedule. That tough slate starts off this week with a trip to Pasadena.
In case you were doing something else last night, UCLA is coming off of one of the greatest comebacks in college football history, erasing a 34-point deficit capped off by this ridiculous play. Josh Rosen was immaculate in the 2nd half, as well as tight end Caleb Wilson and his 12 catches. Hawaii will catch the Bruins off a short week, and maybe the Bruins will be sporting a hangover after staging a comeback sure to be the topic of sports radio and TV all week. That said, of course this is a tall task for the Rainbow Warriors. The Bruins recruit at a very high level and will have the talent and depth edge at just about every position. Hawaii will need a healthy John Ursua to be highly effective once again, and the number of penalties will need to be much closer to zero than they have been for Hawaii to make a game of this.
Nick Rolovich’s Warriors are playing with house money. UCLA is a Pac-12 team stacked with talent. The media is drunk on Josh Allen and Wyoming hype. There might not have been a trendier pick for conference champion this off-season than Colorado State. Needless to say, not many people expect Hawaii to win any of the next three games. That challenge will be accepted by Rolo’s crew. They’ll roll the dice starting this week. If Hawaii can emerge from this three game phase with a victory in one of those games, this could turn out to be a special season.
Prediction: I was a little off on my predicted score for the Western Carolina game, but I had the right idea overall. Hawaii is a 23-point underdog for this UCLA matchup. Making a prediction here is tough. Which UCLA shows up? The sleepwalking, disorganized, even careless at times group that played in the 1st half of the Texas A&M game? Or the team that let its heart and vast talent shine in the 2nd half? I’m going with somewhere in between. Hawaii gives the Bruins more than they want, but the Bruins pull away late. Hawaii 17, UCLA 38.