Hawaii vs. Wyoming: Warriors Keys To A Victory

Hawaii vs. Wyoming: Warriors Keys To A Victory

Can Warriors defend home turf.

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One of the best trophies

WHO: Wyoming Cowboys (5-3, 3-1 MW) vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (2-6, 1-2 MW)

WHEN: Saturday, October 29th — 10 p.m. MT / 6 p.m. HT

WHERE: Ching Athletic Complex, Honolulu, HI

TV: Spectrum Sports (Hawai’i Only)

STREAMING: Team1 Sports App

RADIO: Hawaii: ESPN 1420 | Wyoming: KFBC 1240 AM

WEBSITES: Hawaii Athleticsthe official Hawai’i athletics website | GoWyo.com, the official Wyoming athletics website

GAME NOTES (PDF): Hawai’i | Wyoming

ODDS: Wyoming -10.5

FEI PROJECTION: Wyoming 15.3

The Hawaii Warriors offensive attack struggled through the second half of last week’s loss to Colorado State. This week, they will need to put some drives together to help keep their defense fresh against a tough Wyoming run game. The Cowboys will be looking to take back the Paniolo trophy after losing to the Warriors in the 2020 season finale.

If we look at last week’s loss with a glass half full approach, we can appreciate the effort that the defense played with for the third straight game. Although they gave up 209 yards on the ground, the most important stat is points allowed and they only allowed 17. In my opinion, that should be good enough to pick up a victory. The offensive woes led to the Warrior defense being on the field for the majority of the second half. Still they held tough until giving up the game winning 13 play 80 yard touchdown drive late in the 4th quarter. The Warriors lost the time of possession battle by more than 10 minutes. If they don’t improve on that against the Cowboys, it will be a long night.

It’s no secret. Wyoming likes to run the football. On the season, the Cowboys have 304 rushing attempts to just 199 pass attempts. A statline you don’t see too often outside the military academies. Titus Swen is the work horse with 143 carries for 665 yards and 7 touchdowns. When the Cowboys put the ball in the air, quarterback Andrew Peasley has been serviceable with a 53% completion percentage and a 3-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. Peasley is a good athlete and comes into the game second on the team in rushing yards.

What to Watch for:

Shot Plays

If Hawaii can generate four plays of 20 or more yards through the air, I think it will help tremendously to get the offense going. Against Nevada, Brayden Schager and Zion Bowens were able to hook up on a long touchdown completion. Not only did it give the Warriors a huge momentum boost and a quick score, it opened up the run game for Dedrick Parson and Tylan Hines. So far this season the Warriors have lacked the big shot play down the field, but hopefully we see more attempts as Schager and the receivers get more comfortable with each other and the new offense. In other words, launch some bombs Bows!

Redzone efficiency 

On both of the field goal scoring drives last week, the Warriors successfully marched the ball down the field only to stall once inside the red zone and settle for a field goal. It’s a whole different ball game and I’m writing a completely different article if we get seven instead of three in those instances. Red zone efficiency is a collective group effort. Play calling needs to be creative because there is less space for the defense to cover and the players need to execute the plays that are called because there is less room for error. If the Bows are only putting together a small amount of scoring drives per game, it’s important that they capitalize on those drives. 

Win on 1st and 2nd down

The defense has been a bright spot for the last three weeks and the Bows need that trend to continue while the offense figures things out. This week it will be important for the defense to have success on first and second downs. The Cowboys are going to try to control the clock and pound the rock so in order to prevent that, the Bows need to stop the run on early downs and force Peasley to throw in third and long situations. Logan Taylor has really stepped up to replace an injured Isaiah Tufaga in the starting lineup. Against Colorado State, Taylor led the Warriors and finished with 16 tackles including 9 solo and 1.5 tackles for loss. He will play a crucial role in slowing down the Cowboys run game.

The attendance was pretty solid for the Nevada game, and I have to admit after the loss to Colorado State, I thought the fan base would dwindle, but it is a reported sell out on Saturday night. Good for you Warrior fans! Show up and show the legislature how much this team means to us and make them build us a damn stadium! Most importantly, make some noise for the Warriors and help them steal another conference victory. The game kicks-off at 6:00 Hawaii time and unfortunately you need that Spectrum PPV. I remember back in the day when the game would sell out, K5 would televise it live for the fans at home for free *cough*. I won’t hold my breath on that one but no matter what, let’s go Bows!


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Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire