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Duquesne vs. Hawaii: Three things to look for, Prediction

Rainbow Warriors return home after 5,000 mile trip to face FCS foe

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

DUQUESNE VS. HAWAII

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii (Aloha Stadium)

Date/Time: Saturday, September 22nd at 6:00 p.m. (Hawaii Time)

Television: Spectrum Sports (via PPV only available in the islands)

Streaming: For mainlanders, the only viewing option is the Stadium app. This app is only available via smartphone or tablet.

Radio: ESPN 1420

Head-to-Head: I searched, but couldn’t find any record of Hawaii and Duquesne playing each other. This might be their first ever meeting.

Three things to look for:

1. Getting back on track

Hawaii’s unexpected 3-0 start had fans, and maybe even the team, with their heads in the clouds. They were brought back to Earth this past Saturday when Army won 28-21, winning the time of possession battle by a huge margin in the clash of contrasting styles. For Hawaii, it’s just business. Part of the UH football experience, but from the outside perspective it’s madness that Hawaii had to travel to the East Coast and back within a week. It’s easy to look at the Army game and pick apart what Hawaii did wrong, but really this week needs to be about the Warriors getting back into a good place physically. Playing a triple option team alone can leave a football team with aching legs, but that travel would leave any individual needing some time to recalibrate. Getting back into the pre-Army rhythm will be important for Hawaii not just this Saturday, but in the lead up to the game. All that said...

2. Don’t overlook your opponent

Wins vs. Colorado State, Navy, and Rice, and a slim loss to Army that could have easily been a win, one could forgive fans for not finding the Duquesne Dukes impressive. The Dukes are 3-1, they lost their opener on the road against UMass in brutal fashion, losing 15-63. Quarterback Daniel Parr threw three interceptions. They bounced back by trouncing Division II side Lock Haven, and won close contests at home vs. both Valparaiso and Dayton. None of the mentioned teams are even receiving votes in the FCS Top 25, so it would be very easy to not think much of the Dukes. Hawaii, however, needs to learn how to play like a winner and not stoop to the level of their opponent. The Warriors have started strong and owe it to themselves to put in a complete performance vs. the Dukes. They’ll need to respect their opponent to do that. Play with the same intensity that Colorado State and Navy brought out of the Warriors.

3. Take a step forward on defense

Yes, yes. Hawaii should score a ton of points vs. Duquesne. It would be very surprising if they didn’t. What hasn’t been a given for Hawaii, regardless of the opponent, is a dominant defensive showing. Hawaii ranks 119th in total defense through four games, something they obviously would like to improve on. The Dukes are a run-heavy football team, not too dissimilar in style from what Rice attempted to do in Honolulu. The Warrior defense needs to dominate this opponent, if for nothing but for urgency’s sake. If Hawaii can’t keep the Dukes offense in check, they’re unlikely to keep any offense they see this season in check. Look for that unit to make a statement this weekend.

Prediction:

A clock is right at least two times a day. I’m not always close, but I was nearly close with my prediction of a 27-24 Army win (the actual score was 28-21 Army) last week. Hawaii has a bunch of contests ahead of them that could go either way. This is not one of those contests. It would be rather surprising if the Warriors don’t hammer this Duquesne team, and that’s exactly what I expect them to do. I’m thinking Hawaii 52, Duquesne 10. Backups see playing time in the second half.