Hawaii will be looking to pick up their second conference victory when they travel to CEFCU Stadium to face San Jose State this Saturday. The ‘Bows picked up their second win of the season last week beating Nevada 38-17 at Aloha Stadium.
That win snapped a nine game conference losing streak for Hawaii and gave Nick Rolovich a win over his former team. The Spartans enter this matchup coming off of a shootout lose to New Mexico in a game that finished 48-41 in favor of the Lobos. This will be QB Dru Brown’s first road start but he has seen action in a road games against Michigan and Arizona.
Three keys to a Hawaii victory
Get the run game going. Hawaii was able to rush for 344 yards in their win over Nevada , with Diocemy Saint Juste rushing for 205 yards on 19 carries. Paul Harris added another 85 yards while Dru Brown also showed an ability to pickup some yards on the ground rushing for 31 yards on 7 carries.
The flip side of this is that the SJSU defense allowed 446 rushing yards against New Mexico and have an average of 268 rushing yards per game this season. Getting the ball moving in the ground game should help to open up the passing game for Brown who was 15 of 18 for 222 yards and two touchdowns in his first start.
Pressure Kenny Potter. Hawaii is ranked 96th in nation for team sacks with eight sacks so far this season. Potter is coming back from an injury but he is one of the better QB’s in the MWC and will be facing a Hawaii defense that is weak on the back end. Before the injury Potter was completing 58% of his passes and had threw for 846 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Hawaii’s defensive line and linebackers will need to pressure the quarterback so he does not have time to sit back and pick apart the secondary.
Protect the QB. Hawaii has protected their quarterbacks pretty well this season, only allowing eight sacks in five games. Four of the eight sacks came against No. 4 Michigan who has one of the best defenses in the nation.
Dru Brown will be making his first road start in this game and will need good protection from his offensive line and support from the run game. Another thing that could help the O-line is Brown ability to run. Against Nevada he picked up some yards on the ground and he finished as Hawaii’s leading rusher in their lose to Michigan with 49 yards on five carries.
Picking up a road win over a conference opponent would be great for Nick Rolovich and his staff who trying to rebuild the Hawaii program.
SJSU is not very strong on defense, especially against the run, and Hawaii’s staple of backs should be able to attack that weakness. The Rainbow Warriors should be able to win this game and coach Rolovich should have a good game plan set up to attack the Spartans.