Hawaii vs. UMass prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Rainbow Warriors and Minutemen.
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 11:59 p.m. ET
Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Nick Rolovich’s team has definitely had its ups and downs this season. Hawaii (5-7) was riding a three-game losing streak for most of this month. It fell to New Mexico, San Diego State and Boise State. However, the Rainbow Warriors bounced back by taking down Fresno State last weekend on the road, 14-13.
As for UMass (2-9), the season started out with a loss to the Florida Gators in Gainesville, and things never got that much better. The Minutemen’s only two wins came on Sept. 17 over FIU and on Oct. 29 against Wagner. Last weekend, UMass fell to BYU, 51-9.
This will be the first-ever matchup between Hawaii and UMass.
What To Know About Hawaii
In the win over the Bulldogs, Dru Brown drove the ball down the field nicely, he just didn’t find the end zone. Brown connected on 20-of-31 passes for 227 yards and an interception. Makoa Camanse-Stevens led the team with two catches for 67 yards, and Marcus Kemp added 65 yards on eight grabs.
On the ground, the Rainbow Warriors certainly didn’t gash the Fresno State defense. But they did find the end zone, which matters more. Steven Lakalaka had only four carries for 11 yards, but he ran for both of Hawaii’s touchdowns. Paul Harris added 33 yards on eight carries, and Diocemy Saint Juste had 23 yards on six carries.
What to Know About UMass
In an abysmal game for the Minutemen in their loss to BYU, quarterback Andrew Ford was anything but spectacular. He completed 27-of-40 passes for 288 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. His only scoring strike was caught by Bernard Davis, who ended up with two catches for 76 yards. Adam Breneman led the team with eight catches for 79 yards.
In the running game, UMass was led by Marquis Young, who ran for 40 yards on 10 carries. Andy Isabella ran for 32 yards on three carries. But as a team, the Minutemen ran for 40 yards on 20 carries.
Offense: Hawaii – Lakalaka, Harris and Saint Juste are just too much too handle.
Defense: UMass – The Minutemen are allowing about three fewer points per game (34.5) than the Rainbow Warriors are (37.3). Neither is particularly stout, though.
Special Teams: Hawaii – Rigoberto Sanchez has not missed a kick all season. He’s hit all 37 extra points and all 11 of his field goal attempts.
Coaching: Hawaii – Rolovich has shown flashes this season, his first as a head coach.
Matchup To Watch
Hawaii running game vs. UMass defense
The Minutemen absolutely have to find a way to bottle up Hawaii’s three ball carriers. If Harris, Lakalaka and Saint Juste get free, they can run up the score in a hurry. UMass will have to maintain gap control, get some penetration in the backfield and, most importantly, will have to wrap up and bring the Rainbow Warriors down to limit the yardage after first contact.
Spread: Hawaii -8
Hawaii vs. UMass Prediction
This is going to be an ugly one. But Hawaii is going to rely on its three tailbacks to literally carry it to victory. As a unit, Lakalaka, Harris and Saint Juste will combine for more then 250 rushing yards and a few touchdowns. Brown will help out here and there, and UMass won’t be able to answer. The Rainbow Warriors win.
Hawaii vs. UMass Score Prediction: Hawaii 37, UMass 28