Can Hawaii pull one off against Colorado State at home?
Contact / Follow @MWCwire
Warriors harboring the Rams
The Warriors host the Colorado State Rams on Saturday night at TC Ching Field. It’s senior night for a group of Warriors who have seen the ups and downs of college football. There are 39 seniors on the list, but due to the COVID year, some of them will have the option to come back for one more season. Either way, there are plenty of impact players who could play in their last home game as the Warriors.
The Rams enter the contest at 3-7 after losing their last game to Air Force. Similar to the Bows, they are an inconsistent team. They lost to FCS South Dakota State by 19 in Game 1 of the season, but also led the Iowa Hawkeyes to fifth at halftime before the Hawkeyes claimed a 24-14 victory. On the other hand, Hawaii beat a top-25-ranked Fresno State, but lost last week to UNLV, placing them in last place in the West Division.
Contain Trey McBride…
ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay ranked Trey McBride as his No.29 ranked prospect and No.1 tight end in the 2022 NFL Draft. That would place him as a projected pick late in the first round, an exciting achievement for a Mountain West player. At 6’4 “260lbs, McBride certainly has an NFL frame and he also has the production to match. He currently leads Mountain West in receptions at 78 and is ranked 3rd in receiving yards at 919.
He has only scored one touchdown this season, but that is due to the fact that he makes a double and even triple team in the red zone. It will take a team effort to slow McBride down as the combination of his size and athleticism makes him a lag. If they decide to play the man cover on him, I expect to see Khoury bethley, Hawaii and perhaps Mountain West’s most versatile defenseman, to end the game. It would be an exciting showdown and one for Bethley to make a name for itself if he decides to forgo the extra year of eligibility and make the 2022 draft.
Week 8: Colorado State Rams (3-7, 2-4 Mountain West) vs. Hawai’i Warriors (4-7, 1-5 Mountain West)
When: Saturday November 20, 2021 – 9 p.m. MT / 8 p.m. PT
OR: Clarence TC Ching Athletic Complex; Honolulu Hawaii
TV: Spectrum à la carte
DIFFUSION: For fans on the mainland, the game can only be streamed using the Team1Sports application, downloadable from Android and Apple over-the-top devices and platforms like Roku and Amazon fire. Please note that the game will not be available on desktops or laptops.
RADIO: The Colorado State broadcast can be found in and around the Fort Collins area on 102.9 FM. The Hawai’i show can be found in and around the Honolulu area on 92.7 FM.
SERIES REGISTRATION: It will be the 26th game of all time between these two schools. CSU leads the series 15-10. The last game between these two schools was a Hawaiian 43-34 victory at Fort Collins.
LAST WEEK: Colorado State lost to Air Force 35-21, while Hawaii lost to UNLV 27-13
ODDS (as of 3/11, via The Vegas Insider): Colorado State -2
SP + PROJECTION: Colorado State by 1.2
FEI SCREENING: Colorado State by 6.6
Protect the QB …
Apparently asking Bo Graham to call a decent game last week wasn’t a reasonable key to victory. It’s up to the offensive players to put the wrong game plan on their shoulders and wear Bo as Hunter Dae Dae did so when he slashed the Nevada defense for two long touchdowns in the first half of this contest. Those two long runs weren’t spectacular play designs and I don’t think Bo even thought they’d go for 80-yard touchdowns, but they did and that’s how the offensive players of the Warriors are scheduled to play this week.
The Rams’ defense enters the game for second in the conference with 33 sacks and the Hawaii offense is tied for last place in the conference, dropping 34 sacks. For Hawaii to move the ball, they can’t afford negative plays. Sacks and penalties cut back the drop and the distance and have been a problem all season. Gone are the days when the 3rd and Long seems like a manageable conversion with the right play call and read by the quarterback and receivers.
Heck, with this offense, the Bows are struggling to convert to 3rd and 3. Junior linebacker Mohamed Kamara leads the Rams with 7 sacks on the season who is tied for 5th in the conference and Camron Carter and Scott Patchan received 6 and 5 bags respectively. Hawaii’s offensive line has struggled to protect the passer this season, but it’s not just their fault. Receivers need to create a split and open up and, more importantly, quarterbacks (either Cordiero or Schager) need to get the ball out on time. Quarterbacks have held onto the ball for too long on several occasions this season and in some cases Cordeiro has sought to escape the pocket too early and thus got himself into trouble.
Establishing the run will also be helpful as the Rams’ defensive front will have to respect that and can’t stick their ears back and chase the quarterback.
This is the last home game of the season and I hope the Warriors play and send this senior class the right way. A Bowl spot is already out of the question, but the Warriors need to end this season strong to build some momentum in recruiting and the offseason. As always, let’s go Bows!