Preview: Three Keys for San Diego State to beat Hawaii
It’s back to the basics if the Aztecs want to win again.
San Diego State leads the series against Hawaii all-time, 17-7-2.
San Diego State has had success against Hawaii going back to the WAC days and since the Warriors joined the MWC Rocky Long hasn’t lost to the Warriors. Right now the line has the Aztecs as 9.5 favorites, but the Aztecs have a lot to lose (again). Rocky Long thinks this team has lost its confidence and it might take this business trip to Hawaii to get their groove back.
San Diego State has gone -2 in the turnover game in their losses against Boise State and Fresno State. Part of it has to be that Boise State made the smart decision to throw high percentage passes and make sure each running back holds on to the ball. Fresno State, like most college upperclassmen, said to Boise State, “Hey, let me copy your homework.”
It makes sense, because when SDSU forces more turnovers than makes they’re golden. When leading the turnover battle they have won 21 straight games.
Stay Hungry on the Defensive Line
This could also mean the offensive line, but let’s focus on the defense a little bit more. The previous two games saw the defensive line get flat out dominated. No penetration, minimal tackles for loss. Hawaii too boasts a 1,000-yard rusher in Dicey Saint Juste. Noble Hall has been quiet since being named MW Defensive Player of the week against Arizona State. The defense has to stay hungry and execute the game plan to keep the game in the Aztecs’ hands, especially in Rashaad Penny’s hands.
Get Rashaad Penny Going
This used to be a given for San Diego State and almost a half-assed statement for the Aztecs. For these keys, it sometimes plays out as filler, but this is true: If the Aztecs want to win at Aloha Stadium, they have to get Penny involved. Part of that responsibility relies on the offensive line to come together and block. As long as they can keep Penny motivated and in the game this should be smooth surfing. Of course, I’m saying all these things because this is the number one reason for the Aztecs to start reversing their fortune.
San Diego State plays tight in the first half. Meanwhile, Penny goes over 100 yards during the game, barely. The defense won’t make turnovers, but they force big three-and-outs in the second half. After the midway point in the second half, the offense comes alive. Christian Chapman hits Mikah Holder for a touchdown, and Quest Truxton hits a punt return touchdown.
San Diego State 34, Hawaii 24.