Hawaii vs. UCLA: How To Watch
Rainbow Warriors will try to cool off Bruins after historic comeback.
The Rainbow Warriors look to make their first trip to the Rose Bowl a good one.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (2-0) vs UCLA Bruins (1-0) 11:00 AM HST
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
TV: Pac-12 Network
Radio: KKEA ESPN 1420 (Honolulu), KNUI 550AM (Maui), KHLO 850AM (Hilo), KKON 790AM (Kona), KTOH 99.9FM (Kauai), KNWJ 104.7FM (American Samoa), XM Radio 203 and Sirius Radio 93.
Web Video-Streaming: Pac-12 App
Spread: Hawaii +23.5
- Hawaii is 0-2 against UCLA with their last contest happening 78 year ago, all the way back in 1939. The Bruins have outscored the Rainbow Warriors 51-13 in the series.
- The two schools each have had a home game so far. However, this will be the first time UH will visit the Rose Bowl.
- The team has fared well on the road under Nick Rolovich sporting a 4-3 record. In fact they snapped a 13-game non-conference road losing streak when they beat UMASS in week 0.
- However, Hawaii is just 2-10 against PAC-12 teams with their last win coming against Washington State in Seattle during the 2009 season.
- A win against the Bruins would improve the Rainbow Warriors’ record to 3-0 and will be the first time they have achieved that since the magical 2007 season.
Hawaii: QUESTIONABLE: John Ursua (WR).
UCLA: QUESTIONABLE: Sunny Odogwu (OL); OUT FOR SEASON: Kenny Lacy (OL).
2017 Team Leaders:
Passing: Dru Brown (Hawaii): 36-59, 545 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT; Josh Rosen (UCLA): 35-59, 491 yards, 4 TD
Rushing: Diocemy Saint Juste (Hawaii): 48 carries, 280 yards, 1 TD; Soso Jamabo (UCLA): 7 carries, 46 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: John Ursua (Hawaii): 12 receptions, 272 yards, 1 TD; Caleb Wilson (UCLA): 15 receptions, 208 yards
Tackles: Jahlani Tavai (Hawaii): 23 (14 solo) tackles; Adariu Pickett (UCLA): 11 (9 solo) tackles
Sacks: Jahlani Tavai (Hawaii): 2.0 sacks; Jaela Phillips (UCLA): 1.5 sacks
Interceptions: Daniel Lewis Jr. (Hawaii): 1 interception; (UCLA): N/A
Keys to the Game:
Keep it Clean: After last week’s game, head coach Nick Rolovich was peeved about the manner in which some on the team behaved on the field. I have to agree with him. The team has been in two on-field physical altercations happened post whistle. While I do not expect them to let their opponents walk all over them, there is a way to take care of that kind of stuff, and it is on the scoreboard. Throughout the press conference, it seemed as though Rolo had a laundry list of situations where the team hurts itself.
Even though the team is 2-0, they cannot continue to hurt themselves with bad penalties, mental mistakes and not executing on simple things like blocking for a PAT. UCLA is a quality opponent and will be one of the best team’s they play all season. They cannot afford to give away free yards and points. And I’m sure that the coaching staff hammered that point home this week during practice. Now let’s see if any of what was said takes.
Pressure Rosen: In the game, UCLA played against Texas A&M, whenever the Aggies pressured Josh Rosen he had a hard time making plays. For the first half, the A&M defense was all over Allen and then decided that 38-10 lead was good enough to stop blitzing. Credit to UCLA though, as they changed their offensive strategy to limit the time their quarterback was exposed to hits. From removing a non-existent run game to basing their play calls around quick hitting routes, they made all the right decisions to put themselves in the right position to make a comeback. Not to mention the discovery of Caleb Wilson who eclipsed his entire 2016 stat line in a single game.
With the Rainbow Warriors struggles in the season thus far in pass coverage, their best chance to stop Rosen will be to minimize the opportunities his receivers have to make plays. Keep the ball from getting into his two tight-ends’ hands and force him to go through his reads by providing him with multiple looks on D. The Bruin’s offensive line play was poor last week and that should play into the hands of the dominant front seven play that UH has displayed thus far. If the defense can keep Josh Rosen on the turf, I like their chances to win. I mean they can’t make drastic comebacks every week right?
Stick with your Strengths: Among crazy things that went down in the second half of the UCLA game was Texas A&M’s decision to stop running the ball. With a 28 point lead and little to no resistance in the first half from UCLA, you’d expect them to continue with their bread and butter. Unfortunately for them, their starting quarterback got hurt on the second drive in the second half. The Aggies in the second half passed 20 times and ran 21 times. For some perspective here, they only threw 10 times and ran the ball an impressive 36 times in their dominant first half.
If the Hawaii coaching staff was watching, I hope they learned from the mistakes that A&M made that allowed the Bruins to make a historic comeback. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” UCLA’s weakness on defense is against the run. When you also consider that Diocemy Saint Juste is probably the best player you have on offense, you need to roll with that. Ryan Tuiasoa tore it up after DSJ took a seat in the second half. And we also can’t forget about the team’s running back of the future, Freddie Holly who showed some nice moves against the Catamounts too. Don’t get cute and play to your strengths.
Look, I’m not an idiot. I know that the ‘Bows have yet to play a clean game for four quarters. I know that UCLA is better than what they showed in the first half against the Aggies. I know that UCLA recruits superior talent and I know that everyone has Hawaii losing.
But, I’m here to tell there is room for optimism. I agree with Dylan Collie that come kickoff time; the team will put on a show. The Rainbow Warriors’ offensive strength matches up with UCLA’s defensive weakness, the run game. The ground attack will continue to excel, and if Dru Brown can get back to his regular playmaking ways, we should see the team continue to put up a lot of points.
On the other side of the ball, the defense and more particularly the front seven will find success against the line for the Bruins. I love coach Legi Suianoa’s aggressive tendencies to send blitzes, and it appears one of their perceived weak points coming into the season has turned into a strength. The team already is amongst the best in the FBS in tackles for loss (10.5 per game) and sacks per game (5 per game), ranking 13th and 8th respectively.
While the dangerous pass attack that Josh Rosen unveiled to the world in the second half against Texas A&M is scary, the Rainbow Warrior secondary is better than it has shown so far. Plus, one of the biggest questions for the UCLA offense was finding playmakers in the pass attack. It might have seemed like they’ve found them in their first game but keep in mind, it’s a small sample.
In the end, I still think the team will lose. I know that my prediction is playing it safe, but I don’t want to lie to you. The score will be 38-28 with UCLA surging in the second half yet again. Josh Rosen will shine but will not put up the video game like numbers he did in last week’s comeback. Diocemy Saint Juste will once again lead UH in yardage with 187 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. I see Jahlani Tavai being the team’s player of the game, totaling two sacks and one interception.
Even though I believe the team will lose, this will be concrete step forward as they enter conference play in two weeks in Wyoming.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @warriorboutit to get some play by play commentary and some random thoughts.