Hawaii (1-3) at San Diego State (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 6, 8:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Qualcomm Stadium (54.000) -- San Diego, California. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Hawaii 1-2, SDSU 2-1. Away Record: Hawaii 0-2, SDSU 0-2. Neutral Record: Hawaii 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference Record: Hawaii 0-1, SDSU 0-1. Series Record: San Diego State leads, 15-9-2.
GAME NOTES: Back on the mainland for the second straight week, the Hawaii Warriors try to regroup after an awful showing last time around as they take on the San Diego State Aztecs in Mountain West Conference action on Saturday.
For a team that is used to putting up sizeable numbers on the scoreboard, the Warriors were shocked by BYU in more ways than one last Friday night as the host Cougars blanked their guests in a 47-0 final in Provo. Hawaii, which had not been shut out since a 28-0 setback versus SMU at home in 1998, had scored in 182 consecutive contests prior to the BYU debacle.
After four games the Warriors, now members of the MWC after moving over from the Western Athletic Conference, are a mere 1-3 and like the Aztecs have started off league play with a loss under new head coach Norm Chow.
Meanwhile, SDSU was in action last week as well and managed to score 40 points against Fresno State on the road, the fourth straight game for the Aztecs with at least 34 points, but in this case the final tally wasn't enough for the visitors as they bowed to the Bulldogs by a dozen.
The Aztecs have now scored a touchdown in 69 consecutive games, but the defense last weekend didn't help matters by surrendering a massive 655 yards of total offense to the hosts at Bulldog Stadium.
San Diego State dropped the last meeting between the teams in 2005 (49-38), but still the Aztecs are ahead in the all-time series by a count of 15-9-2.
Coach Chow has his hands full in paradise these days, dealing with an offense that is starting a new quarterback and is still one of the weakest running squads in the nation (115.0 ypg). Last week the team reached new lows as it generated a feeble 149 yards of total offense and was picked apart on defense by an efficiency BYU crew.
Sean Schroeder looked lost at times as he converted just 12-of-27 passes for 108 yards, was intercepted once and sacked three times. Seven different players caught a pass for the Warriors, all but two being held to less than 10 yards total. Will Gregory accounted for a team-best 68 rushing yards, the team putting up just 41 net yards after taking into account the losses from sacks.
On the defensive side, the Warriors were helpless to stop the BYU run game as the hosts logged 396 yards and five touchdowns, a good portion of the damage being done by BYU signal-caller and true freshman Taysom Hill. The Warriors were able to deliver four sacks and an interception, but they mattered little in the final outcome.
Had it not been for the 54-2 romp over Lamar in their only win this season, the Warriors would be staring at a much more disappointing number with their scoring defense. Then again, now much worse could it possible get with the team giving up 41.8 ppg (116th in the country this week)?
Unfortunately for Schroeder (six TDs, five INTs) he is still learning the system and getting comfortable with his receivers, only three of whom have registered at least 100 yards in total over the first four games.
Unlike the Warriors who couldn't even find the red zone against BYU, the Aztecs actually led Fresno State 21-7 after the first quarter, but even that was not enough to get SDSU back into the win column. Adam Muema scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, giving him at least one TD in six straight games going back to last season, while quarterback Ryan Katz actually led the squad with 89 rushing yards. Unfortunately for Katz, his efforts in the pocket were not nearly as sound as he converted 13-of-23 for 160 yards and two TDs, but at the same time was sacked on five occasions and had three passes picked off.
The SDSU defense certainly made things interesting as they returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns, but even then the Aztecs couldn't keep up as they allowed 536 yards through the air and 655 yards overall to Fresno State.
San Diego State head coach Rocky Long, who prides himself on defense, has a group that now ranks 109th in the nation with 306.4 ypg allowed through the air and is 91st in points permitted, 31.8 ppg. Considering the group allowed Army to generate close to 300 yards on the ground in a single game, they have to be somewhat pleased with the fact that, on the average, they are giving up only 127.8 ypg on the ground which is tops in the Mountain West this week.
Katz has had his moments as a passer, throwing for nine touchdowns and completing better than 60 percent of his attempts, but really it is Muema and Walter Kazee who continue to stir the offense for the Aztecs with a combined 882 yards and 11 touchdowns over five games.
As long as the Aztecs are able to control the pace of the game with Muema and Kazee on the ground, the Warriors are again in for a very long night on the mainland.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 38, Hawaii 20
10/03 10:38:51 ET