#24 SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (7-1, 3-1) vs HAWAI’I RAINBOW WARRIORS (4-5, 1-3)
WHEN: Saturday, November 6th. Kick off at 8:00pm PT
WHERE: Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, Honolulu, Hawai’i
HOW TO WATCH: FS1
HEAD TO HEAD: The Aztecs and Rainbow Warriors have faced 34 times dating back to 1939. The Aztecs have won 21 of those meetings and are 7-3 in their last 10. Their last matchup was in the shortened season of 2020 when SDSU beat Hawai’i, 34-10.
With a 7-game win streak being snapped by the Fresno State Bulldogs last week, SDSU is looking to rebound against Hawai’i.
Still sitting the AP College Football Poll and Playoff Poll at No. 24, the Aztecs are looking to improve to an 8-1 record overall. If achieved, it will be the second time in 40 seasons SDSU starts the season 8-1.
The Rainbow Warriors are coming off a conference loss to Utah State, in a game the defense gave up 51 points; the most points given up this season. Despite a solid win over now #18 Fresno State, Hawai’i is 1-3 in conference play and will look to turn that around at home against San Diego State.
KEYS TO VICTORY OF SDSU
According to ESPN’s Footbal Power Index, the Aztecs have a 69.5% percent chance of winning.
In order to do so, SDSU will have to do what it normally does; run the ball for 200 yards, (201.8 avg) and hold the opposition to under 20 points (17.5 points allowed per game). Sticking with the same game plan will be a key to victory for SDSU.
The Aztecs have a top 5 defense in the nation when it comes to rushing yards allowed. Allowing just 92.3 rushing yards per game, the Aztecs will force Hawai’i to pass the ball.
Hawai’i QB Chevan Cordeiro is used to passing the ball, throwing for 240+ passing yards in his last three games. He has thrown 10 touchdowns on the year, but has also thrown 7 interceptions.
With the Aztecs leading the Mountain West in interceptions (13) and second in sacks (32) they will look to capaitalize on mistakes made by the Hawai’i offense. Strong defense and strong running game will lead the Aztecs to victory at Hawai’i
KEYS TO VICTORY FOR HAWAI’I
The Rainbow Warriors average 415 yards per game on offense, which is ranked 4th in the Mountain West.
They have proven they can score, utilizing top running back Dae Dae Hunter and wide receiver Calvin Turner Jr, who has caught a touchdown in 3 of the last 5 games. If the offense can get going early and score often, they will keep up with the Aztecs.
The biggest question for Hawai’i is if their defense will show up or not. They showed up in a conference win against nationally ranked Fresno State, which is what they’ll need to do against another AP ranked team in the Aztecs.
The Rainbow Warriors allow 461 yards of offense per game which is an ugly number considering their offense is in the Top 5 in the conference.
Overall, the Hawai’i defense is ranked dead last allowing 35 total touchdowns on the year, compared to SDSU defense allowing just 17 total touchdowns.
Hawai’i will need to summon their defense from Week 6 that stopped Fresno State just enough for a win. Without a doubt, the Rainbow Warriors will need to be at their best, offensively and defensively in order to give the Aztecs their second loss of the season.
San Diego State has a bad taste in their mouth after losing their perfect season, snapping a 7 game win streak. If jet lag doesn’t get to them, they will explode on offense and hold their own on defense, which they’ve done all year.
Hawai’i has been solid on offense, scoring 30+ points in 3 of their last 5 games. Their game plan could very well change as the Aztec defense will be their toughest matchup yet. Expect mistakes, but there is a chance the Rainbow Warriors pull off an upset considering their win over ranked Fresno State in week 6.
SDSU 35, Hawai’i 20