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End of the Rainbow: Boise State at Hawaii game preview

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New Mexico v Hawaii Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Game facts

  • Time: Saturday, November 21, 9PM
  • Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
  • Weather at kickoff: 78°
  • Odds: Boise by 14
  • TV: CBS Sports Network
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Randy “Criss” Cross and John “Pat” Sadak

Other facts

1. Championship rerun?

Boise State throttled Hawaii during the 2019 regular season and then got the distinct honor of playing the festively-hatted Nick Rolovich squad again in the MWC title game. Of course, Boise State won that one as well. Oddsmakers are expecting more of the same in this one as the Broncos travel (hopefully) to Hawaii to take on the now-Todd-Graham-led Warriors. Let’s be honest—they won’t be meeting in the title game, so this is Hawaii’s last shot at redemption this calendar year.

2. Rings and things

Seeing as Hawaii is probably out of the title game picture unless things go really wonky, they won’t be playing for rings on Saturday and beyond...and Todd Graham would really like some replacement rings considering he had a whole bunch of them stolen last month in Arizona. Someone broke into a friend’s car in Scottsdale and made off with a dozen rings belonging to Graham—among them, a Pac-12 South title ring from Graham’s time at Arizona State and a ring from East Central’s 1993 NAIA National Championship. Two of the rings have since been recovered from area pawn shops (including that NAIA natty bling), and I know I usually come hard with the punchlines but I sincerely hope the rest are recovered as well, because that suuuuucks.

3. The elephant in the room

Boise State barely had enough D-lineman last week to form a respectable chorus line and actually ended up throwing O-lineman Ben Dooley into the mix as Scale Igiehon was out and two other nose tackles (Keeghan Freeborn and Herbert Gums) are said to be done for the year. On top of that...FOURTEEN players were out because of Covid protocols (9 positive tests) and Hank Bachmeier barely got back from his Covid quarantine period. The Broncos simply can’t field a competitive team when the DNP roster looks like this week after week.

If plugs must be pulled...pull ‘em. I love football as much as (or more) than some, but things aren’t trending in the right direction.

4. Watch it. Watch all of it.

Streaks

Boise State - Won 1 ;)

Hawaii - Lost 1

Meeseeks

Best name on their roster

Being on the Islands, you know there are plenty of vowels flowing, but personally I’m invested in freshman running back Dae Dae Hunter—a mighty hunter of the endangered Dae Dae

Best picture on their roster

Senior defensive back Quentin Frazier is listed as 6’1” but I think he’s about 5’9” without the hairdo.

Players to watch

Chevan Cordeiro, QB

We saw a little of Cordeiro last year when Rolo would have him enter games at completely random times, but the sophomore is now the full-time starter after Cole McDonald’s graduation and experiencing decidedly mixed results in his first year at the helm. So far, Cordeiro has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards in 4 games and his completion percentage has crept up slightly from last year, but he’s tossed nearly as many picks (4) as he has TDs (5) and more troubling, has already been sacked 17 times.

Calvin Turner, RB

Considering Hawaii’s history with wide receivers, it’s a little surprising that their top receiver this year so far...well...isn’t one. Running back Calvin Turner leads the Warriors in receiving yards this season with 227 (he has 2 receiving TDs as well). The fact that he’s put up that yardage on just 10 receptions speaks to his explosiveness...and also a bit to maybe something troubling among the WR unit. Either way...Turner is a guy it’d be wise to cover...oh, and tackle!

Miles Reed, RB

Reed is another Warrior running back, but he’s doing more what you’d expect from a running back—leading the team in rushing yardage. The 5’8” junior almost got to 1,000 yards last season and he’s off to another decent start as he’s averaging 4.8 yards/carry through 4 games this season. He’s not big, but he has a big heart (I’m assuming...would have to look at some scans to confirm).

Darius Muasau, LB

Muasau is just a sophomore, but he’s putting up upperclassmen numbers this year for the Warriors. Through 4 games, the 6’1” 230 lb. ‘backer has 45 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. That’s over 11 tackles a game if you’re HEAVILY into math like I am. Not bad, kid.

Players NOT to watch

Last season’s rollercoaster ride of a QB Cole McDonald has sadly taken his dreads off to other pastures as has 2019 first-team All-MWC wideout Cedric Byrd. Not insignificant is also the departure of last season’s Mountain West Coach of the Year Nick Rolovich—YOLOvich.

Keys to victory

  • Pressure. As I previously reported, Hawaii’s starting QB is getting sacked at a somewhat alarming pace and I’d think this is at least a little indicative of his protection and decision-making abilities. I know we have a skeleton crew on the D-line, but they should be able to pressure the sophomore into some mistakes.
  • Specialties. Without Boise State’s special teams last week, their 31-point win would’ve been a bit cozier 10-point victory. Keep winning the field position battles with solid special teams and a win on the big island becomes a lot simpler.
  • Takeaways. Boise State hasn’t been a takeaway machine this year but they did come up with a big pick last week when sophomore JL Skinner notched his first career INT. Making Cordeiro throw to OUR guys or making the Warriors put the ball on the ground would be a welcome sight.
  • Don’t lose. If you haven’t seen by now that this is foolproof, I don’t know what else to tell you.

Score prediction

Broncos say “aloha” to their struggles and “aloha” to victory!

Boise State 38, Hawaii 17