Hawaii vs. Fresno State: Warriors Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
Warriors looking to top old rival
Can Hawaii pull the upset?
WEEK 10: Hawaii Warriors vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
WHEN: Saturday, November 5th — 8:30 PM MT/7:30 PM PT
WHERE: Bulldog Stadium; Fresno, California
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes FS2
ODDS: Fresno State -27
Maybe this season isn’t going the way you expected. Maybe you expected a first year head coach in Timmy Chang and his young staff to lead this team made up of the survivors of a dictator’s regime and transfers that, to put it rather harshly, didn’t have too many other options, on a magical conference championship run. If that’s what you expected, then reality must be hitting you pretty hard right now. However, if you had realistic expectations, you would understand that this is a process and the Bows are building from the ground up.
After watching this team play against Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky, Michigan and New Mexico State, would you believe me if I told you that the Warriors are about fifteen plays away from being 4-0 in conference play? Fifteen plays might be a stretch, but it’s also not much more than that as the Bows have lost by a combined 13 points in their three conference losses and held leads in all three of those games. Sure it’s easy to point out that the offense goes three and out too often and stalls in the red zone, and the defense has struggled to stop the run at times and close out games, but can we also appreciate the plays that are being made?
Some pessimistic fans see a program in the dumps, but I see progress. I see senior linebacker Logan Taylor not just filling in for an injured Isaiah Tufaga, but thriving in his new starting role. Taylor has tallied 29 tackles (17 solo) in two starts. That is a guy who was ready for his opportunity and has made the most of it so far. I see major contributions made by two phenomenal freshmen in safety Peter Manuma and running back Tylan Hines.
Freshmen receivers Chuuky Hines and Nicholas Cenacle are also starting to carve out roles and look to be the future of the program. Basically, what I’m trying to say is instead of being so negative and ready to riot with your pitchforks, look towards the future and what could be. If we’re competitive with this roster, imagine what could be if the coaches are able to recruit the players that fit the system they want to run. Whew, okay, onto this week.
The Warriors hit the road this week to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs struggled through the four and a half games without preseason Mountain West player of the year Jake Haener due to an ankle injury, but they were able to do enough to maintain the lead in the West division and last week Haener returned to lead them to a big victory over San Diego State. In the win, Haener threw for 394 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Haener is surrounded by explosive playmakers. Zane Pope and Cal transfer Niko Remigio both had 10 receptions for over 125 yards last week with Remigio finding the endzone twice. Look for Haener to reconnect with his favorite target and the most talented of the Bulldog receivers, Jalen Moreno-Cropper this week.
Not only do the Bulldogs have the best receiving core in the conference, they also have one of the best running backs in Jordan Mims as well. Mims is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has 8 touchdowns on the ground. He is also a threat out of the backfield as a receiver.
The Warriors defense has their hands full this week. After surrendering 365 yards on the ground to Wyoming, it is the secondary that will most likely be put to the test this week by Haener and company. Haener has struggled against the Bows in his Bulldog career with a 4-to-7 touchdown to interception ratio and losses in both previous contests. In those victories, the Warriors defense was able to get pressure on Haener and force him into bad throws. If there is a weakness on this year’s Bulldog offense it is the offensive line so the Warriors best chance at disrupting the Fresno attack is to get after Haener. Haener threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in last year’s contest so he’ll certainly be looking to finish his career against the Warriors on a high note.
The 2021 victory over the Bulldog’s was the first career start for Quarterback Brayden Schager. Filling in for an injured Chevan Cordeiro, Schager went 11/27 for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns leading the Bows to the upset victory. The Warriors will likely need more production and consistency out of him in this year’s contest to get the victory.
Hawaii’s offense has certainly seen its share of growing pains this season. One thing that would certainly help is if the receivers were more consistent catching the ball. Spectacular catches and big runs after the catch are an awesome bonus, but the receivers need to make the routine catches. Schager threw a couple of nice balls that weren’t caught last week and making those plays will go a long way in helping to move the chains more consistently.
We are seeing a nice thunder and lightning ground game developing with Dedrick Parson providing the power and Tylan Hines providing the flash. Not only does this approach keep Parson fresh, but Hines has big play potential every time he touches the ball and he is starting to see more opportunities. Getting the ground game going is one way to control the clock and keep the explosive Fresno offense off the field.
I believe the Warriors still have not played their best game of the season yet. They have shown flashes but they haven’t put it all together. They will need to do so in order to steal a road upset this week. Kick-off is scheduled for 4:30 Hawaii time and it will be televised live on Fox Sports Network. Let’s go Bows!