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Hawaii vs. Air Force football game preview: Warriors looking to win the Kuter Trophy

Air Force will travel to the 50th State and take on Hawaii during Armed Forces Week. Who will leave Aloha Stadium with the Kuter Trophy? We take a look.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Gameday Info:

Air Force Falcons (4-3) @ Hawaii Warriors (2-6); 4:30 PM HST/10:30 PM EST, Aloha Stadium

TV: CBS Sports Network (Check your local listings for channel)

Radio Home: KKEA ESPN 1420 (Honolulu), KNUI 550AM (Maui), KHLO 850AM (Hilo), KKON 790AM (Kona), KTOH 99.9FM (Kauai), KNWJ 104.7FM  (A. Samoa), XM Radio 203 and Sirius Radio 93.

Radio Away: KVOR 740AM (Colorado Springs), The Fan 104.3FM (Denver), KTMM 1340AM (Grand Junction), XM Radio 203 and Sirius Radio 93.

Webcast: ESPN 1420 AM

Spread: +7 Hawaii

Game Tidbits:

- Saturday will mark the 20th meeting between the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and the Air Force Falcons. AF leads the series with a 12-6-1 record and also sport a 6-5-1 record while visiting the islands.

- The winner between AF and UH will win a trophy for the year. The award is called the Kuter Trophy and it's origins date back to 1980. It is named after General Laurence S. Kuter, the first Pacific Air Forces commander, and represents the friendship between the military branch and the 50th state.

- These teams met in 2012 last and the Falcons claimed the Kuter Trophy with 21-7 win in Colorado Springs. They doubled the Rainbow Warrior offensive output with ALL of their yards coming on the ground.

Injury Report:

Hawaii: QUESTIONABLE: Steven Lakalaka (RB); OUT: Diocemy Saint Juste (RB), Brian Hittner (LS), Trayvon Henderson (S).

Air Force: QUESTIONABLE: DJ Johnson (FB), Shayne Davern (FB); OUT: David Harris (DL), Kalon Baker (CB), Dexter Walker (LB), Patrick Healy (LB), Connor Healy (LB), Nate Romine. (QB).

Injury report information from

Team Leaders:

Passing: Max Wittek (Hawaii): 106-216, 1266 yards, 7 TD, 11 INT; Karson Roberts (Air Force): 29-55, 458 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT.

Rushing: Paul Harris (Hawaii): 93 carries, 467 yards, 3 TD; Jacobi Owens (Air Force): 84 carries, 462 yards, 2 TD.

Receiving: Marcus Kemp (Hawaii): 22 receptions, 361 yards, 2 TD; Garrett Brown (Air Force): 18 receptions, 332 yards, 1 TD.

Tackles: Jerrol Garcia-Williams (Hawaii): 64 (38 solo) tackles; West Steelhammer (Air Force): 47 (27 solo) tackles.

Sacks: Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii): 2.5 sacks; Claude Alexander (Air Force): 4 sacks.

Interceptions: Julian Gener (Hawaii): 1 interception; Roland Ladipo (Air Force): 2 interceptions.

Names to Know:

Hawaii: (QB) Max Wittek, (RB) Paul Harris, (DE) Kennedy Tulimasealii, (LB) Jerrol Garcia-Williams, (DB) Nick Nelson.

Air Force: (QB) Robert Karsons, (RB) Jacobi Owens, (WR) Garrett Brown, (DE) Alex Hansen, (CB) Roland Ladipo.

For the Hawaii depth chart click here and go to page 16.

For the Air Force depth chart click here and go to page 13.

Key To Victory:

Neither team is good at passing the ball. Air Force is schematically driven and Hawaii is just crappy at it. Both teams can ill-afford to get behind in a game and become one dimensional. It then comes at no surprise that each team's main key to victory stems from stopping the other team's run game.

Disciplined UH Defense: Hawaii must remain disciplined in their defensive effort against the rush attack of Air Force. They have a very successful option based rush offense that ranks 3rd in the nation with 333 yards per game. It is very important that the porous defensive front for the 'Bows stay with their assignments. The option is based on deception and intelligent decision making. If this defense goes rogue from the game plan it will only help Air Force execute their offense.

Falcon Defense v Rainbow Warrior Ground Attack: The Falcons should dare Max Wittek to beat you. The Hawaii offense runs best when they can get Paul Harris and company going. If they can run the ball with some success they are able to keep things short. Wittek is not exactly the most accurate passer and his line is bad. I think the 11 interceptions to 7 touchdown ratio is damning evidence of his ability as a passer in this offense. If you take a look at Hawaii games, the best deep pass came from a player that isn't a quarterback; that is not a good thing.

Bottom Line:

The score will be 28-14 Air Force and even that I think might be generous. Hawaii's inability to force passing downs against one dimensional run teams will be their undoing. The score might only be a two possession difference but if you watch the game, you'd know Hawaii really had no chance.

Follow myself (@warriorboutit) or Duane Grasmick (@dagrasmick) for more info throughout the game!

Stats and info courtesy of the University of Hawaii and Air Force Media Guides.


Military Ticket Specials: According to the UH website active, reservists and retired members of the military will receive 50% off select adult tickets (up to 8 tickets total). DOD civilians will also receive this benefit. They require a valid military ID at the time of purchase.