Hawaii vs. San Jose State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Rainbow Warriors and Spartans.
When: Saturday, Oct. 8 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Where: CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans, San Jose, California
The first four weeks of the 2016 campaign were a bit of a bumpy ride for Hawaii, who started off 1-3 under first-year head coach Nick Rolovich. But last weekend, the Rainbow Warriors tacked on another mark in the win column. Hawaii took down Nevada at home, 38-17. The Rainbow Warriors went into halftime with a 17-3 lead, and they scored 21 points in the third quarter to cruise to the win.
The Spartans haven’t exactly had more luck than Hawaii. They bounced back from their season-opening loss to Tulsa by beating Portland State, 66-35, in Week 2. Since then, San Jose State has lost three in a row. The most recent defeat was on the road at New Mexico, 48-41. The Spartans trailed, 31-20, at halftime and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to come back.
Hawaii and San Jose State have traded punches the past few years, but it’s the Spartans who lead the all-time series, 19-18. San Jose State took last season’s meeting, 42-23.
What To Know About Hawaii
Everything was clicking for Rolovich’s team against Nevada last week. Quarterback Dru Brown completed 15-of-18 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. He hooked up with Marcus Kemp six times for 88 yards. However, it was tight end Metuisela ‘Unga, whose only two catches were the two scoring throws from Brown.
Hawaii had the running game working well. Diocemy Saint Juste was given 19 carries, and he rushed for 205 yards in spite of not finding the end zone. Steven Lakalaka, John Ursua and Kaiwi Chung all rushed for a touchdown apiece on seven total carries.
What to Know About San Jose State
Quarterback Kenny Potter was not afraid to drop back and spin the football. He hit on 15-of-29 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Potter found seven different Spartans for receptions, and each of his three scoring throws went to a different player: Deontae Cooper, Tim Crawley and Trey Hartley.
The workload in the running game was well distributed, but there were three who stood out. Zamore Zigler toted the rock nine times for 91 rushing yards and a touchdown. Both Cooper and Crawley also rushed for scores.
Offense: Hawaii – The Rainbow Warriors get the edge because Saint Juste is a monster with the rock.
Defense: San Jose State – Both teams have been awful defensively this season, but the Spartans get the nod because they’ve forced twice as many turnovers as Hawaii.
Special Teams: Hawaii – Rigoberto Sanchez hasn’t taken a ton of field goals, but he hasn’t missed either. The real advantage for the Rainbow Warriors comes with Paul Harris, who’s averaging 19.3 yards per kick return.
Coaching: Hawaii – Rolovich may be in his first year as a head coach, but he’s a great offensive mind. Ron Caragher has yet to lead San Jose State to a winning season. The edge goes to Hawaii.
Matchup To Watch
Diocemy Saint Juste vs. San Jose State front seven
Saint Juste can rack up the rushing yards in a hurry if he’s given daylight. He’s averaging 6.7 yards per carry this season, and even though he’s only scored two touchdowns, the Spartans have to be careful about letting him get to the second level. San Jose State needs to get some interior pressure and fill its gaps. If they do that, the Spartans can slow down Saint Juste. It’s easier said than done, though.
Spread: San Jose State -3
Hawaii vs. San Jose State Prediction
Potter can light up the scoreboard with the best of them, and he’ll do so against the Rainbow Warriors, throwing for 250-plus yards and a couple of touchdowns to give the Spartans the lead heading into halftime. Hawaii will keep chipping away and controlling the clock with Saint Juste, who will scoot his way into the end zone and reach the 100-yard mark on the ground yet again. The Rainbow Warriors fight all the way back and win a close one.
Hawaii vs. San Jose State Score Prediction: Hawaii 34, San Jose State 31