HAWAII @ MICHIGAN
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan (Michigan Stadium, aka “The Big House”)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m. (Hawaii Time)
Television: Big Ten Network
Streaming: This will require a cable subscription, but directions for streaming are located here.
Radio: ESPN Honolulu
Head-to-Head: Hawaii has faced the Michigan Wolverines three times. Twice at Aloha Stadium, in 1986 and 1998. I was at the 1998 game. Michigan’s quarterback was some dude named Tom Brady. Unsure what he did with the rest of his life, hope all is well. Hawaii visited Ann Arbor in 2016 and lost 63-3. Not fun. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if this week’s edition features a similar score.
Three things to look for:
1. Rainbow Warriors take on a college football power
There is no point in hiding the obvious: there will not be much to glean from this particular football game. Not for Timmy Chang and his Warriors, and not for Michigan either if we’re being honest. Even Hawaii’s best teams would be facing a mountain to climb with the type of talent the Wolverines have in the trenches. Michigan has four returning starters on an offensive line that would run over even the best Mountain West defenses, let alone Hawaii’s struggling unit.
The Wolverine defense returns only four starters from last season, but you know the drill. Jim Harbaugh and company recruit the best of the best. They will be huge, they will be fast. Keep an eye on freshman defensive tackle Mason Graham, he’s forced his way into the starting lineup at a very young age. He’s a future star.
Running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards averaged a little under 6 yards per carry against Colorado State. Not bad, but not quite as explosive as expected. 15, yes 15, different players caught a pass against the Rams. Needless to say, Harbaugh’s offense will spread it around.
Erick All and Luke Schoonmaker are elite tight ends who will play at the next level. Even with those two in the fold, freshman tight end Colston Loveland shined against the Rams.
Lol, I think that’s enough. You get the point. Michigan is really, really good and would probably smack even the best Hawaii teams.
2. An unusual approach to quarterback battles
Quarterback Cade McNamara was the starting quarterback for the Wolverines against Colorado State, but that doesn’t mean the Wolverines’ quarterback battle is over. Not even close. It was announced in August that the battle between McNamara and JJ McCarthy would extend into the season. McNamara would start against Colorado State, and McCarthy would get the nod against Hawaii this week.
The competition reads like a tale as old as the sport itself. McNamara, the veteran with experience is trying to hold off the younger, bigger, faster, stronger talent in McCarthy. Champagne problems.
Expect McCarthy to play with a purpose on Saturday. He has a job to win.
3. Make it out alive
Look, things are bleak for Hawaii football at the moment. In the blowouts losses to Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky, the Warriors appeared to have just enough juice tactically and from a talent standpoint to push their opposition, but eventually the dam broke in both games.
It’s just the truth, folks. As I stated in the WKU recap, football is not played on paper, but sometimes the tea lives are right. Hawaii was a 6-7 team in 2021 and then proceeded to lose its best players to the transfer portal. Do the math. 6-7 team loses 7+ of its best players. What do you think happens from there? Hawaii is currently experiencing a new phenomenon in college football firsthand.
Timmy Chang and his staff are facing a rebuilding project. Hawaii just doesn’t have the usual Jimmy’s and Joe’s. That’s not Chang’s fault. This is one of those seasons where we find out who the real fans are.
Look for improvement week-to-week, look for whether the team continues to fight. It’s quite the hike back to the top of the mountain from here. This week, Hawaii has ranged anywhere from a 46-point to 51-point underdog. Unheard of, and the Wolverines might even cover. The goal for Hawaii is to find small victories along the way and more than anything: stay healthy. No consequential injuries.
I did not give Hawaii the benefit of the doubt against Western Kentucky and still proved to be too optimistic. Back-to-back beatdowns at Clarence T.C. Ching Complex, it doesn’t take an expert to guess what will happen this week.
Both Brayden Schager and Cammon Cooper will be unavailable, meaning Joey Yellen gets the nod against the Wolverines.
This one will get historically ugly. The #BRADDAHOOD is being tested. Stay strong, Hawaii fans. Give me Warriors 0, Wolverines 56.