Hawaii vs. Michigan: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The Hawaii Warriors face long odds as they prepare to battle the Michigan Wolverines. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
A big test at the Big House.
WEEK 2: Hawaii Warriors (0-2) vs. Michigan Wolverines (1-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 10 — 2:00 PM HT/5:00 PM PT/6:00 PM MT
WHERE: Michigan Stadium; Ann Arbor, MI
WEATHER: Chance of rain, high of 84 degrees and low of 62 degrees
TV: Big Ten Network
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes BTN, by following this link.
RADIO: You can stream the Hawaii radio broadcast on ESPNHonolulu.com & Sideline Hawaii app (Google | Apple). You can find the Michigan broadcast on the affiliates of the Michigan Radio Network, including flagship 950 AM (WWJ) in Detroit.
SERIES RECORD: Michigan leads the all-time series, 3-0. In the last meeting on September 3, 2016, the Wolverines defeated the Warriors, 63-3, in Ann Arbor.
LAST WEEK: Hawaii lost at home to Western Kentucky, 49-17, while Michigan defeated Colorado State at home, 51-7.
ODDS: Michigan -52.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Michigan by 54.6
FEI PROJECTION: Michigan by 41.8
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Michigan 100% win probability (51.98-3.00)
Rainbow Warriors head to Michigan for the first road trip of 2022. #BRADDAHHOOD
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) September 6, 2022
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a great football program.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, another quarterback who has taken the reigns at his alma mater, took years and rode a hot seat nearly the entire time to get the historic Wolverines back into the top echelon of college football. It is important to remember the state of the Hawaii football program as it was back in December before criticizing the job that head coach Timmy Chang and his staff has done so far. At that time, starters and even team captains wanted nothing to do with the program and took their talents elsewhere. Today, there is a newfound pride within a team that is doing their best to represent the state.
Although it hasn’t shown on the scoreboard yet, the players have bought into the culture that Chang is creating and that is the first step to rebuilding the program. Yes, this season will test the strength and resolve of the ‘Braddahhood’ culture, but we need to look at this season as realistic stepping stones. The first step is to stick together.
This will be put to the test on Saturday as the Warriors travel to Ann Arbor to take on #4 Michigan. The Wolverines enter the game as 51.5 point favorites, the largest point spread in program history. Obviously, the home team has the edge in talent, the more experienced coaching staff, the five-star facilities, the home stadium that has a capacity of 107,601 and pretty much any other angle within this matchup. It will be a test to see how the Warriors react to the adversity. Let’s look at this game with the proverbial glass half full.
A positive outcome to take away from this game is that the coaches will get a chance to see which guys are going to fight for four quarters regardless of the score. When the going gets tough, who are the guys that’ll lay it on the line and leave it all out on the field? Sometimes games like this can lead to a turning point. The scoreboard will probably not work in the Warriors’ favor, but if they can take something meaningful and positive away from this game, maybe it can spark something going forward into conference play. It could be something like one of the quarterbacks winning the locker room by showing courage and a no-quit attitude that their teammates see in them, or maybe even just guys finding out which teammates they want to be in the fox hole with. Adversity can bring a team together if handled properly, and we’ll see if the Warriors can handle this tough task and come out the other end stronger.
Another positive is that we should see non-starters get some solid and valuable playing time. Yes, you want your players to stay in the fight, but you also want to leave the game healthy so, at some point, there should be an opportunity to see what the backups can do. What better way is there to earn more playing time than balling out against the fourth-best team in the nation? On the most recent depth chart, there are still many positions listed with an “or” and hopefully after this game the coaches can get a better idea of what unit rotations looks like.
One player I’d like to see get more opportunities is wide receiver Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala. Both James Phillips and Dior Scott, who have taken the majority of reps in the slot, had costly drops leading to interceptions last week against Western Kentucky and haven’t seemed to be able to create consistent separation or make plays after the catch. Slotback has historically been an important position in a Hawaii offense and they need to get more production out of that spot. I think Mokiao-Atimalala can be a playmaker and he should get some looks on Saturday.
Last week, Michigan opened their season with a dominant victory over Colorado State. What stuck out to me the most was how the Wolverines defense suffocated the Rams offensive attack. It seemed like Colorado State quarterback Clay Millen had no chance on third and fourth downs as he was repeatedly put under pressure or sacked. If you thought Michigan’s pass rush would be lacking without stud ends Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, think again. A team like Michigan just reloads with talent such as defensive end Eyabi Anoma, who started his career at Alabama and was a consensus five-star recruit coming out of high school.
On offense, the Wolverines have a similar problem to Hawaii as they also have an ongoing quarterback competition. The difference is while the reason Hawaii doesn’t have a solidified starter is because they all have struggled, both Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy has shown they can play at a high level. McNamara is seen as more of a field general-type leader while McCarthy is the exciting prospect that came into the program with high expectations. Last season, McNamara was the starter, but McCarthy had multiple packages within the offense that utilized his athleticism. McNamara started the opener against Colorado State and it is expected that McCarthy will get the start against the Warriors. Whoever it is that gets the start will have a plethora of receiving options, including local product and Saint Louis graduate Roman Wilson, who led the Wolverines with 65 yards and a touchdown in the opener.
Saturday could very well feel like the longest game of the season, but this is going to be by far the best team the Warriors will face and the schedule should feel downhill from here. There will be opportunities to learn and grow from this game. This is also a special opportunity for the players to play in such an amazing college football atmosphere against a program rich in history and I hope they’re able to soak it in. As always, let’s go Bows!
Final score prediction, from Matthew Kenerly: Michigan 63, Hawaii 0