FACTS & STATS: Site: Aloha Stadium (50,000) — Honolulu, Hawaii.
Television: Oceanic Pay-Per-View. Home Record: Wyoming 3-0, Hawaii 1-2. Away
Record: Wyoming 0-2, Hawaii 0-2. Neutral Record: Wyoming 0-0, Hawaii 0-0.
Conference Record: Wyoming 1-0, Hawaii 0-0. Series Record: Wyoming leads,
GAME NOTES: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors begin their Mountain West Conference
schedule on Saturday as they host the Wyoming Cowboys at Aloha Stadium in
Once again the Warriors have gotten off to a rough start, that after winning
just a single game all of last season. This time around the team has just one
victory after five games and that came against an opponent outside of the
Football Bowl Subdivision (Northern Iowa, 27-24). Last weekend, Hawaii was
back on the mainland and in Texas, facing off against the Rice Owls in the
final non-conference bout of 2014. The team was held to just two touchdowns in
a 28-14 setback, the second in a row since taking out the Panthers.
With the loss to the Owls, Hawaii’s road losing streak reached 15 in a row,
the fourth-longest drought in the FBS entering play this week.
Meanwhile, the Pokes have had added time to decompress following their 56-14
blowout loss to nationally-ranked Michigan State in East Lansing on Sept. 27.
That defeat was the second in the last three outings for Wyoming, but at least
the team has gotten off to a 1-0 start in league play thanks to a 17-13
triumph over Air Force early last month.
Wyoming won a wild shootout versus Hawaii last season at home by a score of
59-56 in overtime. With the victory, the Pokes moved to 13-8 in the all-time
The Cowboys have a winning record, but they’ve been held to 20 points or less
in every one of their five outings, which is why they are ranked 118th in the
nation in scoring with an average of 16.4 ppg. Quarterback Colby Kirkegaard
has an efficiency rating of 126.15, thanks to his 58.7 percent accuracy, but
he has still struggled with just five aerial TDs, against four INTs.
Oddly enough, the top receiver for the Cowboys, Dominic Rufran, paces the
group with 21 catches for 326 yards, but has yet to make his way into the end
zone. Instead, the top scoring receiver for the Cowboys is J.D. Krill who has
two TDs, but just six total receptions.
Kirkegaard has had the luxury of handing off to running backs Shaun Wick and
D.J. May, who have combined for more than 700 rushing yards and all five of
the team’s TDs on the ground, but beyond those two the squad is having trouble
making any progress with running the ball.
Defensively, the Cowboys have shown some cracks in the armor. The squad has
yet to register an interception and has just three sacks to show for their
efforts. The group has produced 18 tackles for loss, but that pales in
comparison to the 39 TFL tallied by the competition. There’s also an issue
with the team stopping opponents on third down, something they’ve done only
50.6 percent of the time, ranking them 120th in the country in that
Last Saturday night, the Warriors scored the first points of the contest with
Rice and led 14-7 in the third quarter, but from there Hawaii surrendered
three touchdowns and was never heard from again in the 14-point loss. The
once-mighty offense was limited to a mere 261 yards on 72 plays, as
quarterback Ikaika Woolsey converted just 12-of-27 passes for 117 yards and a
couple of scores, but was picked off once and had to pick himself off the
ground following seven sacks.
Scott Harding caught four passes from Woolsey for 67 yards and both scores,
but other than that there was not much offense to speak of.
Defensively, Benetton Fonua registered one of his team’s four sacks and added
both a forced fumble and an interception in the losing cause. Gaetano Demattei
contributed with three tackles for loss and Marcus Malepeai two more TFL as
the team registered a season-high eight TFL.
The unit has not been all that bad thus far, giving up 25.6 ppg, especially
when you consider the team faced off against the likes of Washington and
Oregon State in the first weeks of the 2014 campaign. However, the Warriors
have been almost invisible when it comes to stopping opponents inside the red
zone, allowing foes to score on every single one of their chances close to the
Perhaps most perplexing about this program is the passing attack and how it
has fallen backwards. At one time Hawaii was one of the most electrifying
passing teams in the country, but now the squad is 124th in the country with a
pass efficiency rating of just 84.66.
Being back out on the island should provide the Warriors with some level of
comfort, but having had plenty of time to rest and prepare, Wyoming should
still have the inside track at victory this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wyoming 21, Hawaii 17