Hawaii (1-5) at Colorado State (1-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 27, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hughes Stadium (32,500) -- Fort Collins, Colorado.
Television: KTVD, ROOT (RM). Home Record: Hawaii 1-2, CSU 0-3. Away Record:
Hawaii 0-3, CSU 0-3. Neutral Record: Hawaii 0-0, CSU 1-0. Conference Record:
Hawaii 0-3, CSU 0-3. Series Record: Colorado State leads, 11-9.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams still waiting for their first Mountain West
Conference wins of the season get together in Fort Collins on Saturday, as the
Colorado State Rams entertain the Hawaii Warriors at Hughes Stadium.
Both teams are coming off bye weeks so they've had plenty of time to prepare
for the other and hopefully healed some from various bumps and bruises accrued
during the first half of the 2012 campaign.
As it stands, Hawaii and Colorado State, along with Wyoming, are tied for last
place in the conference standings with records of 0-3. Neither one of these
two units has won a true road game thus far and CSU has come up empty in three
home dates. The Rams opened the season with promise as they dumped in-state
rival Colorado in Denver by a score of 22-17, but since then the team has
fallen in six straight, which means it is tied for the second-longest skid
in the nation entering this week.
Back on Oct. 13, the Rams were beaten by San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium
in a 38-14 final.
Meanwhile, the Warriors also have just one victory on the season, but in their
case it came against an opponent outside of the Football Bowl Subdivision in
Lamar (54-2) back on Sept. 15 at home. More recently, Hawaii clashed with New
Mexico at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 13 and was dealt a 35-23 setback, which means
the team has not defeated another school from the FBS since taking down Tulane
(35-23) last November. Hawaii has not topped a conference foe since claiming a
narrow 16-14 decision over Idaho last Oct. 29 when both programs resided in
the Western Athletic Conference.
The last time these two teams clashed, Hawaii barely showed up as it suffered
an ugly 63-0 loss in 1997. As a result of that defeat, the Warriors trail in
the all-time series by a count of 11-9.
Under the direction of new head coach Norm Chow, the Warriors don't look
anything like they have in recent years when they were the powerhouse passing
squad that everyone else was trying to slow down. Instead, this year Hawaii is
going with Sean Schroeder at quarterback and the transition has been a gradual
one for the new signal-caller out on the island. Schroeder has managed to
complete 53.8 percent of his pass attempts for 180.7 ypg and eight touchdowns,
but has also tossed five interceptions.
Keeping the Warriors from being prolific in the passing game again is the fact
that not a single receiver has started all six games for the program and that
has probably kept those skills players from becoming familiar with their
Last year Hawaii ranked 113th in the country in rushing with 95.4 ypg and to
this point in 2012 the numbers aren't all that much better with 106.7 ypg to
rank 108th nationally. Will Gregory has given them a spark with 75.0 ypg on
the ground, but with just two rushing touchdowns he is far from a break-away
Defensively, the Warriors just aren't getting the job done, allowing a
whopping 42.3 ppg to rank 118th in the country. Had the team not held Lamar to
only a safety, they could easily be the weakest scoring defense in all of
college football. One of the more frustrating aspects of the defense is the
fact that they have forced just five turnovers in six games and that
translates into the squad ranking 119th in the country with a turnover margin
of minus-1.67 per game.
Going up against that weak Hawaii defense is a Rams group that has a host of
question marks. Colorado State likes to advertise the fact that it is second
in the conference and tied for 10th in the nation in red zone scoring at 91.7
percent, but it doesn't take much research to find out that those numbers are
based on just 12 trips inside the 20-yard line over the course of seven games.
The more telling stats have the Rams scoring just 15.7 ppg this season which
is last in the conference and 118th in the nation. Then again, you really
can't get all over a team for a stat like that, considering they are down to
their third-string quarterback.
Garrett Grayson is now on the shelf for the rest of the season with a shoulder
injury and M.J. McPeek is questionable for this weekend with a shoulder issue
of his own. If the latter is unable to go, that leaves Conner Smith as the
starting signal-caller. Smith stepped in for McPeek in the second quarter
against San Diego State and proceeded to convert his first 11 pass attempts,
finishing 18-of-22 for 165 yards in the losing effort.
Not only is the passing attack in a state of flux, so is the run game which is
producing just 99.7 ypg and has resulted in a mere three touchdowns on 227
attempts. The offensive line hasn't done the skills players any favors
obviously, and at the moment the group is giving up 3.6 sacks per game with
his the most in the conference and 116th in the country.
The defense for the Rams is slightly better than that of Hawaii, but still
this game could come down to a single play which might sway the outcome.
Expect the Warriors to have some luck on the mainland this weekend if they can
apply enough pressure in the trenches.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 24, Colorado State 17
10/24 10:43:14 ET