Colorado State (3-4) at Hawaii (0-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 26, 11:59 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aloha Stadium (50,000) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: Oceanic Pay-Per-View. Home Record: CSU 2-1, Hawaii 0-3. Away Record: CSU 1-2, Hawaii 0-3. Neutral Record: CSU 0-1, Hawaii 0-0. Conference Record: CSU 1-1, Hawaii 0-4. Series Record: Colorado State leads, 12-9.
GAME NOTES: One of seven teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision still without a victory, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors try to reverse their fortunes this week as they clash with the Colorado State Rams in Mountain West Conference play at Aloha Stadium.
Hawaii joins six other programs (Georgia State, Western Michigan, Miami-Ohio, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and UConn) in the world of the winless, having dropped six straight to begin the 2013 campaign. The latest setback for the Rainbow Warriors took place on Oct. 12 versus UNLV on the road, 39-37. There have been a couple of close calls for head coach Norm Chow and his charges, but still the team finds itself all alone in last place in the West Division of the MWC at 0-4.
As for the Rams, they've been alternating wins and losses for the last six outings, the most recent outcome being a 52-22 blowout of Wyoming last Saturday in Laramie. With a mark of 1-1 in league action, CSU is fourth in the Mountain Division standings as it shoots for a second road win this weekend.
Colorado State leads the all-time series by a count of 12-9, thanks in part to a 42-27 triumph in last year's encounter at home in late October. The last time the Rams traveled to Honolulu to take on the Rainbow Warriors the visitors captured a 28-16 win back in 1996.
The Border War between the Rams and Wyoming wasn't much of a battle, as Colorado State whipped up on the Cowboys by 30 points. In claiming the Bronze Boot, awarded to the winner of the annual rivalry game, the Rams scored the most points in a single game since delivering a 60-0 win on the road back in 1922.
While putting up their largest margin of victory in the series since 1925, the Rams fed off Kapri Bibbs who ran for 201 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Donnell Alexander accounted for another 77 yards and a TD on 15 attempts, as the team generated 290 rushing yards on 54 total carries. Garrett Grayson missed on just five of his 23 passes, leading to 219 yards and three touchdowns as CSU won for the second time in the last three games.
Bibbs now leads the Rams with 630 yards and nine touchdowns on 94 carries, but it would be foolish for the Rainbow Warriors to forget about Chris Nwoke and Donnell Alexander who both have the potential to put up significant numbers coming out of the backfield as well.
Grayson's 60.2 percent accuracy has led to 238.6 ypg and a total of 13 touchdowns and while his favorite target, in terms of total receptions, may be Rashard Higgins who has 30 catches for 377 yards and three TDs, Kivon Cartwright is not someone who can be overlooked, what with his 16 grabs for 260 yards and a team-best six TDs.
Unfortunately, the CSU pass defense has been rather suspect this season, permitting a hefty 299.3 ypg which is currently 117th in the country. The group has a pass efficiency rating of 156.83, with opponents having tossed 18 TDs and been picked off only five times on 247 attempts. Three of those INTs have come from Trent Matthews.
The most devastating performer on the CSU defense has been Shaquil Barrett, who is fourth in tackles with 43 and is by far the leader in both tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks (6.5), while also having blocked a pair of kicks for the Rams.
While the Rainbow Warriors would prefer to not talk about their defense, the fact is that unit is one of the weakest in the country right now. The group ranks 120th in passing yards allowed (308.7 ypg) and is 106th in points permitted (35.3 ppg), which means the Hawaii offense has to work that much harder just to remain competitive.
The problem is, the Hawaii offense has been a slow starter this season, scoring a combined 17 points in the first quarter. The unit seems to have issues getting into gear coming out of the locker room because they've also recorded just 21 collective points in the third period as well.
Having had several different hands involved at the quarterback position has not helped matters at all. A group of four signal callers has combined to convert 51.1 percent of pass attempts for 13 touchdowns, but also 14 interceptions. The rushing attack hasn't been very supportive either, generating a mere 82.5 ypg (118th) and just four scores.
Many teams have their troubles adapting to the time change and the travel that is needed to tangle with Hawaii on the road, but still Colorado State should have enough left in the tank to come out on top this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado State 31, Hawaii 21
10/23 10:32:54 ET