What: Wyoming Cowboys vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
When: 1:00 p.m. MT
Where: Jonah Field @ War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, WY
Stream: Team1 Sports app
Line: Wyoming -10 (via William Hill SB)
Series: The Wyoming Cowboys lead the all-time series with Hawaii 15-10. In 2020, the last time the two teams met, the Cowboys beat the Rainbow Warriors by a final score of 31-7.
The Pokes are dominant when facing off against the Rainbow Warriors in Laramie. They have played a total of 25 games against each other in their long history with the last Rainbow Warrior victory over the Pokes, in Laramie, coming in 1991. Laramie’s elevation mixed with its cold weather has often proven to be an unwelcome combination for the visiting Warriors and they will more than likely have to deal with just that this Saturday when playing for the Paniolo Trophy.
Why the Warriors will win:
For Hawaii, this is their bowl game. The Warriors have experienced similar inconsistencies to that of Wyoming this season, but they’re playing this weekend with a chance to become bowl-eligible, win a trophy, and are coming off a big win over Colorado State. Their offense had some big turnaround in that game. The Rainbow Warriors put up a 50-burger in large part due to the offense being able to throw the ball efficiently down the field and open up their attack. QB Chevan Cordeiro racked up over 400 yards through the air and threw for 2 touchdowns in the win. He also used his dual-threat capabilities to add to the rushing total with 34 yards on 14 carries. If the Warriors want to shock the Cowboys and win in Laramie for the first time since 1991, they will need to do much of the same in balancing out their attack against a pretty formidable defensive unit.
Why the Cowboys will win:
For one, the Cowboys will want to win for their Seniors. Saturday’s festivities will honor a team full of Seniors that includes star RB Xazavian Valladay and Butkus finalist Chad Muma. Not only will the team be motivated to win for those guys, but they will be doing so back at home where they have had a significant amount of historical success against the Warriors. The team is also coming off a huge victory over Utah State where they beat the potential Mountain Division champions handily by a score of 44-17. It was easily their best win of the 2021 campaign and it seems that the team may be hitting their stride at just the right time. The challenge is, Hawaii more than likely feels the same way. Luckily for Wyoming, their defense is much better than the CSU defense the Warriors saw last week. The Poke defensive unit ranks 26th in the nation for total defense and 4th in the nation against the pass. There’s no question it will be a challenge for Cordeiro and the Rainbow Warriors to continue their well-balanced attack against a defense that has proven to be so formidable.
Both teams have good reason to feel a strong sense of confidence and motivation this week. The Rainbow Warriors do not historically have success in Laramie and will almost assuredly face more adversity in this game vs. the Cowboys, but their performance last week leads me to believe this game has the potential to be closer than the spread indicates. I’ll take Wyoming in a one-score contest.