San Jose State (1-3) at Hawaii (0-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 5, 11:59 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aloha Stadium (50,000) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: Oceanic Pay-per-view. Home Record: SJSU 1-1, Hawaii 0-2. Away Record: SJSU 0-2, Hawaii 0-2. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 0-1, Hawaii 0-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 17-17-1 .
GAME NOTES: Former Western Athletic Conference foes rekindle a rivalry in the Mountain West this weekend, as the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors play host to the San Jose State Spartans at Aloha Stadium.
Both teams are in need of a change, with SJSU having dropped three straight decisions, and the Rainbow Warriors still winless on the campaign after four tries. The Spartans started off the season well enough with a 24-0 blanking of Sacramento State, but then the real competition stepped up and the team proceeded to drop the last three contests by at least 19 points each time.
Last weekend, SJSU opened up MWC play against Utah State at home, another school which has made the jump from the WAC, and was crushed by the Aggies in a 40-12 final.
As for the Rainbow Warriors, losers of 12 of their last 14 games dating back to 2012, they fell far behind nationally-ranked Fresno State at home last weekend, but managed to serve up some excitement late in the second half before being held down in the 42-37 final. Not only were the 37 points easily the highest total for Hawaii this season, it was one more than the group had scored in all each of the previous three games combined.
San Jose State managed to pull out a 28-27 win in the most recent meeting with Hawaii two seasons ago, the victory pulling the team even in the all-time series, 17-17-1.
The Spartans saw their Mountain West Conference debut go down in flames last Friday night when the team bowed to visiting Utah State by four touchdowns, as standout signal caller David Fales was held in check by the USU defense, as he completed 25-of-48 passes for 314 yards, but was picked off twice and held out of the end zone. Chandler Jones caught seven balls for 115 yards, but the team hurt itself time and time again, particularly in the first half, as it committed 11 penalties for a loss of 108 yards.
Fales began the game without injured receiver Noel Grigsby and finished without two more receivers, Jabari Carr and Bene Benwikere, as both suffered injuries in the meeting. Kicker Austin Lopez converted his first two field goals of the meeting, extending his run of makes to 23 in a row, tying the NCAA record for consecutive field goals made to begin a career, but he ended up missing a 42-yard effort as the first half ended.
For this weekend, Fales may again not have all of his weapons to stretch the field, what with Carr being listed as doubtful with a shoulder injury and Benwikere questionable. Grigsby's knee injury has him out indefinitely, which means one of the top passers in college football from a year ago might be hurting to find able bodies all night.
Keeping the ball on the ground has hampered SJSU in two ways, with opponents rolling up a hefty 222.3 ypg (109th nationally), and Spartans ball carriers generating just 81.3 ypg which is 117th in the country heading into the week.
With a never-say-die attitude, the Rainbow Warriors stormed back from a 39- point deficit against 25th-ranked Fresno State last Saturday night, drawing to within five points before suffering the home loss. Hawaii trailed 42-3 early in the third quarter before mounting a massive comeback bid.
While quarterback Ikaika Woolsey completed just 7-of-19 passes for 56 yards, was intercepted once and sacked five times, fellow signal caller Sean Schroeder led the second-half charge as he converted 17-of-27 passes for 321 yards and three TDs. Steve Lakalaka was credited with a team-best 66 net yards on 13 rushing attempts and hit the end zone twice, but with the Hawaii defense giving up 530 yards to the Bulldogs, his efforts went for naught.
The UH defense has been more than suspect thus far, permitting 435.5 ypg and 34.0 ppg, the latter ranking the group 101st nationally. The unit has only nine sacks in four games, two coming from Brenden Daley who has shown flashes while starting just two games. Second on the team in total tackles with 25, Daley leads the group with 6.5 tackles for loss.
For a passing attack that has been creating banner headlines in the last decade, the truth this time around is that the Rainbow Warriors are not completely committed to a single quarterback and that can be a problem. Whether it be due to injury or ability, Hawaii's passers simply aren't getting the job done this season, sporting only six passing touchdowns against 11 interceptions.
Fales certainly has the arm to keep San Jose State competitive, but the question is who will be out on the receiving end when he lets fly from the pocket. The Rainbow Warriors won't be blown away this weekend like they were by Fresno State, but a win probably isn't in the cards for the hosts either.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 37, Hawaii 30
10/02 10:33:00 ET