#23 Washington (1-1, 0-1) vs. Hawaii (2-0, 0-0)
Saturday, September 14th @ 4:30 p.m. PST
Husky Stadium (Seattle, Washington)
Line: Washington -21.5
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7
During the game last week, the Huskies were derailed by a rare “extreme weather” delay and lost 20-19 to the California Golden Bears.
This week, the Huskies will face a unique opponent in the Rainbow Warriors,as they bring in a style of offense rarely seen anymore.
So far this season, Hawaii is off to a great start with winning its first two games against Pac-12 foes in Arizona and Oregon State.
“I think we’ve got a really good team coming in here, because it’s completely unique. That’s one thing..you don’t see it. They’re back to the run and shoot, which you don’t see a lot,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said.
The Huskies will look to rebound from their stunning defeat last week and they know the margin for error the rest of the season is slim.
Defensively, the Huskies are still assimilating nine new starters into the mix, and the youth movement has come with some growing pains.
Offensively, the Rainbow Warriors put stress on opposing defenses with their “choice routes” and improvising in the passing game.
Something has to give in this contest between the air assault Rainbow Warriors and the “finding their way” Husky defense.
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
QB – Jacob Eason
The transfer from Georgia had a challenging start last game with going 18 for 31, 162 yards, 1 interception and 0 TD’s. Eason will look to regain his momentum from his debut start during week 1 of the season.
DB – Myles Bryant
Heart and soul leader of the defense, Bryant finished last week’s game with only 3 tackles against the Bears. His presence and leadership will loom large this week against an offense looking to attack the secondary of the Huskies.
OL – Trey Adams
Returning for his 5th season with the Huskies, the star left tackle was named to the second team AP Preseason All-America team. Adams is a stalwart and anchor on the offensive line, looking to open up the running game and protect Eason.
KEY PLAYERS: HAWAII
QB – Cole McDonald
Redshirt junior Cole McDonald is the catalyst to the Rainbow Warriors “run and shoot” offense. Last week, McDonald had a huge game going 30 for 52, 421 yards, 4 TD’s and 1 interception. He had thrown for 4 TD’s for his second consecutive week.
WR – Jojo Ward
Senior Jojo Ward is an explosive athlete and talented wide receiver. He fits into Hawaii’s system with his route running and ability to score. Last week against the Beavers, Ward led the team with 10 receptions for 189 yards and 4 TD’s.
DB – Kalen Hicks
Senior defensive back Kalen Hicks is the leader of the defense on the back end, and is an instinctual player. He tackles well and is currently leading the team with 19 total tackles. Hicks will be responsible for disrupting Eason and the Husky passing game.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
– Washington and Hawai’i have played only five times in the two teams’ histories – in the 1938 Pineapple Bowl (sometimes also referred to as the Poi Bowl), in a regular-season game in Seattle in 1973, in Honolulu in 2007 and 2014; and in 2011 at Husky Stadium. Washington is 4-1 in those games, the lone loss coming in the 2007 season finale at Aloha Stadium.
– Going back to (and including) the 1981 season, the Huskies have posted a 70-13 record against non-Pac-10/Pac-12 foes in Husky Stadium.
– Washington’s roster remains on the young side. Of the 106 current players, more than half – 55 – are freshmen or redshirt freshmen, due in large part to the fact that every freshman on last year’s team preserved their redshirt season. Washington’s roster includes 18 seniors, 20 juniors, 13 sophomores, 25 redshirt freshmen and 30 true freshmen.
– UH opens the season with its third consecutive Pac-12 opponent after defeating Arizona and Oregon State. The only other times UH faced three Pac-12 teams in the same season were 2014 (Washington, Oregon State, at Colorado) and 1999 (USC, Washington State, Oregon State).
– Hawaii is one of only three teams nationally with two wins over Power 5 teams this year, along with Clemson and North Carolina.
– UH ranks fourth nationally in passing (428.5), while quarterback Cole McDonald is No. 3 in total offense (419.5), No. 4 in passing (399.5) and passing TDs (8). Wide receivers Cedric Byrd is No. 2 in receiving yards (142.5) and No. 3 in receptions (10.5). While JoJo Ward is the nation’s leader in receiving TDs (5).
Tysen Allumbaugh [“Dawg Thoughts” Show Host] (0-1)
I’m still not over it. Felt like 2018, all over again (and don’t just mean losing to Cal). The inconsistency & timidness on offense, the mental & physical mistakes on defense and just the overall lack of oomph from a team that should play with way more energy and enthusiasm (or attitude) then they actually do. Anyways, I respect the hell out of Hawaii and their program for a myriad of reasons… One of them is they play loose. Not undisciplined but with a “not for long” memory and willingness to just play ball. This is not to mention the program constraints of location, money, stadium, etc. Huskies should win but it’ll be closer than we want. Go Dawgs!
Washington 31 – Hawaii 21
Jeff Wright (1-1)
With one the wildest and craziest nights in the rearview mirror for the Huskies, there are questions to be answered this week. Losing at home to an inferior opponent is not how this season was supposed to start out. There were whispers of Pac-12 titles, possibly going 12-0 and outside hints at the College Football Playoff. This week, the Huskies are focused on something much different and that is “themselves”! Forget about the hype and expectations, the coaches and players are fighting for their own self pride this week. This is their first taste of adversity so early into the season and many wonder how they will respond this week. As far as those many questions go…will the Huskies finally score touchdowns in the redzone? Will offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan find his rhythm and utilize the strengths of the offense? Will Eason bounce back? Will the receivers catch his passes? Can the young Husky secondary withstand the vaunted “run and shoot attack”? Can the defense stop Hawaii from marching down the field on long sustaining drives? All of these questions and concerns are valid but in the end I think none of that matters. Simply put, it’s gut check time for this team. It’s time for the Huskies to play with some fire and energy and make a statement not only for themselves but to the rest of the league. In the end, I believe the Huskies will get the job done and regain some of their swagger. Although the Huskies are favored by 3 TD’s, I see this game much closer than many Huskies fans want to see. Sanity is restored on Montlake!