FACTS & STATS: Site: Qualcomm Stadium (71,400) — San Diego, California.
Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Hawaii 2-2, SDSU 2-0. Away Record: Hawaii 0-2,
SDSU 1-3. Neutral Record: Hawaii 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference Record: Hawaii 1-0,
SDSU 1-1. Series Record: San Diego State leads, 17-9-2.
GAME NOTES: Coming off their first win of the season against another member of
the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors try to make it two
in a row when they visit the San Diego State Aztecs in Mountain West
Conference action on Saturday night.
Hawaii, which defeated Northern Iowa earlier in the campaign but still has
just two victories over FBS programs since the start of the 2013 season, fell
behind early versus Wyoming last Saturday night, but managed to fight all the
way back with 21 unanswered points in the second half in order to claim a
38-28 victory at Aloha Stadium.
The Warriors, who have back-to-back conference home dates against Nevada and
Utah State on the horizon, are currently tied with Miami-Ohio for the fourth-
longest road losing streak in the nation at 15 in a row.
As for the Aztecs, they went into their meeting with New Mexico last Friday
having lost three of four, but the squad went on the offensive with a vicious
running attack in order to pull out a 24-14 victory in Albuquerque. SDSU,
which is 2-0 at home this season, is now 1-1 in conference play.
With a 28-21 overtime victory out in Honolulu last season, the Aztecs pushed
their advantage in the all-time series with Hawaii to 17-9-2.
Hawaii scored 28 points in the second half as the Rainbow Warriors completed
the comeback bid and claimed the double-digit win over the Wyoming Cowboys in
conference action last Saturday night.
Quarterbacks Taylor Graham and Ikaika Woolsey combined to hit 17-of-26 passes
for 281 yards and three touchdowns for the Warriors, who kicked off their
league slate by snapping a two-game slide. Quinton Pedroza caught seven passes
for 118 yards and two TDs, while Diocemy Saint Juste carried the ball 17 times
for a game-high 135 yards and a score.
Hawaii finished the night with an impressive 513 yards of total offense, while
the defense held Wyoming to 322 yards and just 3-of-15 success on third down.
While Woolsey has taken the majority of the snaps for the Hawaii offense,
throwing for 164.2 ypg and five touchdowns, against just two interceptions on
182 chances, the signal caller is still not showing the level of accuracy that
the team needs in order to be successful on a regular basis. Woolsey has
completed just 47.8 percent of his throws, which is why the door remains open
for Graham (.545) after fellow quarterback Jeremy Higgins went down with a
season-ending hand injury late last month.
No matter if it is Woolsey or Graham, a favorite target has emerged in Pedroza
who now has a team-best 36 catches for 379 yards and two scores.
Defensively, the Warriors appear to be keeping it together rather well,
allowing a modest 26.0 ppg whole opponents are permitted just 125.8 ypg on the
ground, ranking the group 36th in the nation this week.
Donnel Pumphrey ran for a career-high 246 yards and scored twice as the Aztecs
held on for the double-digit victory over the New Mexico Lobos in MWC action
at University Stadium last Friday night.
Pumphrey carried the ball 20 times for the Aztecs as head coach Rocky Long
defeated his former team and alma mater. Also setting a personal high on the
ground was Chase Price who added 141 yards and a score on 17 attempts, as SDSU
finished with 397 yards on 46 rushing attempts. For his efforts, Pumphrey was
named the MWC’s Offensive Player of the Week.
SDSU shook off 10 penalties, which amounted to a loss of 102 yards, although
the passing attack did little to influence the outcome. Nick Bawden, who
completed only nine of his 24 pass attempts against Fresno State earlier in
the month, finished a mere 4-of-13 for 63 yards.
Defensively, the Aztecs held one of the top rushing attacks in the nation
(308.8 ypg) to just 152 yards on 24 attempts. Now after six games, SDSU ranks
41st in the country with 130.8 ypg allowed on the ground. The squad is
averaging almost seven tackles for loss per outing and the one doing more than
his share of the work is Calvin Munson with 6.5 TFL. Munson is also the team-
leader with two interceptions and has one of the unit’s three forced fumbles.
With 218.5 ypg on the ground these days, the efforts of Pumphrey are certainly
paying off, but the team can only go so far while the passing attack
languishes with a mere 169.7 ypg (111th in the nation). A lack of yardage is
bad enough, but with just three touchdowns through the air, against a
staggering 10 interceptions, it is no wonder the squad has an efficiency
rating of only 98.41 (120th).
The Warriors showed a never-say-die attitude at home against Wyoming, but the
problem is the team will now have to head to the mainland where victories are
hard to come by. As long as Pumphrey and the Aztecs are able to maintain
possession and wear out the Hawaii defense, this is another game that appears
headed for the loss column for the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 31, Hawaii 17