The University of Hawaii Warriors will be staying on the mainland for a second week after having played in Provo, Utah, against the BYU Cougars (see related articles). The Warriors will next play in Qualcomm Stadium on October 6th with the host being the San Diego State Aztecs. This will be a huge game for both teams.
This Mountain West Conference matchup will be Hawaii's fifth game of the year while San Diego State will be playing for the sixth time. Whereas the Warriors are a new entry into the league, the Aztecs, an original Mountain West school will be leaving next season for the Big East Conference - along with Boise State. Don't ask why or how San Diego ends up east.
Anyway, both teams will have six straight conference games after this early October battle so the contest certainly sets the table for the rest of the Mountain West schedule.
San Diego State will be replacing their quarterback and running back from a team that made it to a bowl game last season. But, former Oregon State Beaver starting quarterback Ryan Katz transferred to San Diego and just might be their starting signal-caller (source - NBC Sports). Speaking of transfers, wide receiver Brice Butler from the USC Trojans will also see plenty of playing time this season (source - Union-Tribune). These transfers along with some solid wide-outs already in place make the Aztec throwing game look pretty good.
But the Hawaii defense, led by their secondary, will not be easy to throw against. The Warriors may be putting together the best defensive backfield in the conference, if not the nation, with some star recruits who have transferred. By this time of the season, the Hawaii cover-men may be tough to throw on. So expect San Diego State to try and run against the smaller but fast Warriors.
Hawaii running game
Speaking of running, Hawaii will hopefully have in place a balanced attack by the middle of the season after having been known as strictly a pass-happy team in the past. New head coach Norm Chow wants to run a pro-set formation and have the Warriors ground game help to balance the offense - although the men of Manoa's strength on offense in 2012 will still be their wide receiver corps. The Aztecs have an inexperienced front line that could be susceptible to a good running game.
These second consecutive games on the road are always tough for Hawaii and there's nothing to say San Diego State won't be up for another winning season and a bowl game in 2012. So with that said, the Aztecs should win this gridiron battle. The game will be close, especially early on, but San Diego State will have enough breaks along the way plus some mistakes by road-weary Warriors to likely give the Aztecs the victory.
The game will start at 5:00 PM Pacific time and be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
Sources - University of Hawaii, San Diego State
Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of college football as well as Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!