The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are on the road again this week following a 39-33 win over New Mexico at Aloha Stadium. It’s the second win of the year for Hawaii, as they advance to 2-1 on the season. Their earlier win was a 34-19 win against Fresno State to open the shortened 2020 campaign.
They’re only loss this season was a lifeless performance against the Cowboys of Wyoming. Hawaii failed to bring any energy and played like they didn’t want to be in Wyoming. The Cowboys deserved the 31-7 win after running all over the Rainbow Warriors’ defense. Hawaii were hoping to have Cole McDonald back this season, but he opted for an attempt at the NFL.
McDonald had an opportunity to make the Tennessee Titans after being drafted in the seventh round. However, he didn’t make the cut and is currently a free agent after failing to reach the practice squad. I’d normally say he made a mistake in going to the NFL too soon, but not so sure what would have changed with his arm strength from then to next year.
Chevan Cordeiro filled in at times for Hawaii the past two years behind McDonald. He even got some starts when McDonald was running bad. Cordeiro isn’t completely new to the Hawaii offense, but this is his first season as the full-time starter of the Rainbow Warriors. It’s noticeable that Cordeiro is a drop off from McDonald, who had a much better grasp of this offensive scheme.
San Diego State are coming off a poor performance at home against the San Jose State Spartans. The Aztecs decided to take the game off and paid for it with a 28-17 loss. It’s the first show of adversity in the second stint for Brady Hoke at San Diego State. Sleep again this Saturday, and they will be staring down another upset. Carson Baker must be better for San Diego State this week. Head below for our free Hawaii vs. San Diego State pick for November 14, 2020.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. San Diego State Aztecs NCAAF Betting Odds:
Hawaii vs. San Diego State Prediction:
Hawaii needs to get a big performance out of Chevan Cordeiro on Saturday. The key in this game is for him to follow the blueprint that San Jose State followed. Nick Nash wasn’t perfect, but he was serviceable enough for 169 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Nash also gained 53 yards on the ground and a score I think Cordeiro will have to be better than that on Saturday. Cordeiro has passed for 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 64% completions. He has some step in his stride as well. Cordeiro is capable of running for yardage. In 2020, Cordeiro has notched 156 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground.
The problem here for Hawaii is that I believe Cordeiro is a step down from Nash. Also, Hawaii likely isn’t going to put out the same defense that San Jose State did last week. The Rainbow Warriors’ defense hasn’t been able to stop a nosebleed on the ground. They’re getting gashed against the run at a clip of 226.7 yards per game. Hawaii has been stronger defending the pass, but San Diego State isn’t going to take to the air much.
They’re going to hand the ball off to Greg Bell, who is a workhorse on the ground for the Aztecs. Bell has gained 377 yards and 3 touchdowns on 5.7 yards per carry. San Diego State has a history of producing outstanding college runners, and Bell appears to be the next in line to put up standout numbers. He should be able to slice through this Hawaii defense with ease at home. While Hawaii has shown to be able to stop the pass, San Diego State will stick with their strength and that’s the power run game.
On the other side, San Diego State is one of the best teams in the FBS at stopping the run. They’ve conceded 99.7 yards per game on the ground to put them in the top-20 in that regard. Their ability to defend the pass has been even more impressive, with an average of 133.3 yards allowed per game. I would say that last week was an outlier for San Diego State. Allowing 28 points to a team like San Jose State isn’t at par for them. I suspect they get back on track versus Hawaii. Look for San Diego State to slowly run away with a comfortable win on Saturday.