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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Hawaii @ Colorado State

A week zero game with conference implications

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Colorado State Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Week zero games usually carry little value. Well, the showdown between Hawaii and Colorado State was different. It was easily the most entertaining game of the weekend, and it was a conference game between two teams with explosive offenses. It was also a look at a program on the rise and a program that might be regressing. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of the week zero showdown between Hawaii and Colorado State.

The Good:

Cole McDonald

It was an eye opening experience watching Cole McDonald and the revamped offense of the Rainbow Warriors. McDonald was efficient, fast, and seemed like the perfect quarterback to control this exciting offense. McDonald had 418 yards passing and 96 yards rushing. He also accounted for five touchdowns.

KJ Carta-Samuels

It was a bit of a slow start for the Washington grad transfer, but the final numbers for KJCS were nothing short of astonishing. Carta-Samuels finished the game with 537 yards passing and five touchdowns. It was also a sign of things to come for the Rams, as teams would later take advantage of the Rams’ one dimensional offense.

Preston Williams/Olabisi Johnson

Hawaii had no answer for the size of Williams and Johnson. The two receivers combined for one of the most impressive tandem performances of the season. They combined 15 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns. That is an average of well over 20 yards per reception.

Cedric Boyd/John Ursua

Boyd and Ursua were not to be outdone by Williams and Johnson. The Hawaii tandem also put on a show in Fort Collins, as they combined to catch 18 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns.

Hawaii’s Run Game

This was the difference in the game. Hawaii could run the ball effectively, and Colorado State couldn’t. (There were also times where it felt like they wouldn’t.) The Rainbow Warriors were able to use their speed to exhaust the Colorado State defense. Hawaii finished the game with 199 yards on 36 attempts. Not exactly mind blowing numbers, but enough to make a difference in the outcome of the game.

The Bad:

Colorado State’s Rushing Attack

To be honest, the rushing attack of the Rams was kind of an afterthought. Colorado State finished the game with 116 yards on 25 carries. Those numbers aren’t awful, but Bobo and the Rams essentially abandoned the run game in the second half after falling behind 23-7. It was a sign of things to come for the rest of the season.

Defensive Line Play

As bad as the secondaries were, defensive line play for both teams also needs to take some responsibility. The best way to combat fast, electric quarterback play is to put those quarterbacks on their backs. Both teams failed miserably in this department, the two teams combined for zero sacks. Zero sacks. That is hard to fathom in a game that nearly approached 100 passing attempts.

The Ugly:

The Secondaries

Yeah...I’m not even sure what to say here. It was an awful performance for both teams. McDonald and Carta-Samuels combined for 955 yards through the air, and in 87 pass attempts, there was only one interception. It was not the finest day for either secondary.

Hawaii left Ft. Collins with a 43-34 victory and used the game to catapult them to an amazing start. Stay tuned for next week’s edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” as we will take a look at the showdown between San Diego State and Fresno State.