The 2012 college football regular season will come to an end for both these teams in the islands with this December 2nd game in Aloha Stadium on Saturday at 6:00 PM.
The South Alabama Jaguars will be finishing up their first season in Division 1 (FBS) and only their fourth season ever as a football team. They will officially be a Sun Belt Conference school in 2013. South Alabama has never had a losing record but then again, they've never had a schedule full of FBS teams.
The South Alabama Jaguars will be coming into this game having just played a week prior on the road at Louisiana Lafayette while the Hawaii Warriors will have just completed their first season in the Mountain West Conference with a home game against UNLV (see related articles).
Can Jag offenses and defenses stack up?
The Jaguars offense won't likely have much of an air attack so they'll probably rely on the run. The offense line is thin at best and after a long season of playing bigger and faster teams, South Alabama won't have much left in the tank when they play the University of Hawaii Warriors.
South Alabama's defense returns most of their starters and it appears to be a decent group. The linebacking and secondary look like they will be able to hold their own but against FBS opponents, the D-line may be the weakest unit on the defensive side of the ball. The Hawaii defense will shut down any passing attack from the Jaguars so it will be up to the Warrior front seven to keep the South Alabama running backs in check.
Will Warriors win?
This game will be at the end of the year where smaller teams like these two will be battling injuries and therefore depth issues. In the end though, the long travel - 4,400 miles one way from Mobile, Alabama, - and the Jaguars long first season in FBS will wear them down so Hawaii should pull away for at least a three touchdown win.
As South Alabama ends their 13-game season, they will struggle not to end up with double digit losses. The Warriors regular season ends too and they could very well be playing for a .500 record and a Hawaii Bowl bid if they can beat the Jaguars.
Aloha Stadium will be the location for the Hawaii Bowl regardless of whether the Warriors make it or not and will pit a team from the Conference USA against a Mountain West school.
And thus ends Hawaii head coach Norm Chow's first season. Aloha.
Sources - University of South Alabama, University of Hawaii
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!