FACTS & STATS: Site: Folsom Field (53,613) — Boulder, Colorado.
Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Hawaii 1-2, Colorado 0-1. Away
Record: Hawaii 0-0, Colorado 1-0. Neutral Record: Hawaii 0-0, Colorado 0-1.
Conference Record: Hawaii 0-0, Colorado 0-1. Series Record: Hawaii leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: Having recently picked up their first win of the season, the
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors try to maintain their momentum this coming Saturday as
they challenge the Colorado Buffaloes in non-conference action.
Hawaii, which will be playing outside of Aloha Stadium for the first time this
season, began the campaign with back-to-back defeats versus Pac-12 opponents,
Washington and Oregon State, albeit by a mere nine combined points. But the
team had its toughest test last weekend when it went right down to the wire in
order to claim a 27-24 victory versus Northern Iowa.
The win for the Warriors was the second in the last four outings dating back
to last season, a campaign in which the team lost 11 in a row before closing
with a 49-42 triumph over visiting Army in late November.
Meanwhile Colorado, another Pac-12 member, is also just 1-2 on the young
season. The team began with a 31-17 setback versus Colorado State in the
annual rivalry meeting in Denver, and then slipped by UMass on the road,
41-38. Unfortunately, the Buffs were unable to keep up their strong play as
they bowed to Arizona State, 38-24, in the conference opener last Saturday.
Thanks to a 34-17 victory against the Buffs back in 2011, Hawaii leads the
series between the programs by a slim 2-1 margin.
Quarterback Ikaika Woolsey was a bit shaky for the Warriors in the pocket as
he converted only 14-of-30 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown, while being
sacked twice in the close call against UNI. Jeremy Higgins also made an
appearance under center for Hawaii, connecting on 3-of-6 passes for 37 yards,
while also being sacked once.
Running back Steven Lakalaka managed to generate a hefty 124 yards and a score
on 32 carries for a team that used to abstain from running the ball as much as
anyone in the FBS. Lakalaka assumed the role of Joey Iosefa, who is expected
to miss at least a month with an ankle injury.
Although he finished with just four total tackles, sophomore Kennedy
Tulimasealii made all but one of those stops behind the line of scrimmage for
the Warriors. Through three games, Tulimasealii has managed to register six
TFL on a mere 10 tackles. The lineman has also accounted for one of the unit’s
four sacks as well.
The loss of Iosefa will certainly take a toll on the Hawaii offense, one that
is currently ranked 120th in the country in team passing efficiency with a
rating of only 90.32. Iosefa had provided another dimension for the Warriors
with his 197 yards and four touchdowns through the first two games, which
means Lakalaka will have his work cut out for him moving forward.
With just 46.7 percent of his pass attempts finding the waiting hands of
teammates, Woolsey is also at a point where he has to improve if this team is
going to be a threat once Mountain West Conference action rolls around.
Against an undefeated Arizona State squad, Colorado fell behind by 17 points
early in the second quarter and never fully recovered, even though the Buffs
did draw to within a field goal after Sefo Liufau tossed TDs to Shay Fields
and Nelson Spruce of four and 15 yards, respectively, in the second frame.
Liufau added a 31-yard TD strike to Spruce later in the fourth period as well,
but by then it was too late.
Liufau converted 31-of-46 passes for 278 yards, was picked off twice and
sacked three times by the ASU defense. Spruce and Fields both registered seven
receptions, the former logging a game-high 97 yards, the latter just 36 yards.
Running back Christian Powell responded with a team-best 118 net yards on a
mere 11 carries, thanks in large part to a 55-yard run.
The Buffaloes limited the Sun Devils to barely 25 minutes of possession and
held the visitors to 4-of-13 on third down, but trying to overcome three
turnovers, without the benefit of forcing an ASU miscue, was too much to
Through three games, the Buffs are tied for 95th nationally in turnover margin
(minus-0.67), which is not the best way to go about trying to win games,
especially when the Pac-12 schedule begins in earnest. The squad is also
hurting itself with close to nine penalties per outing, costing them 88.0 ypg
which is 116th in the country this week.
While the Warriors generally have their issues when they travel to the
mainland and are now also dealing with the loss of Iosefa, this is certainly a
game that Colorado could claim, as long as the Buffs don’t shoot themselves in
the foot with too many penalties.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 24, Hawaii 20