Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Nevada Wolf Pack
Date and Time: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV
Opening College Football Odds: Hawaii -3.5
Hawaii vs. Nevada TV Coverage: CBS Sports Network
Not only are emotions going to be key at this point, but so too is the fact that neither of these teams are particularly good.
Hawaii hasn't won a game since beating Western Carolina and UMass to start the season off. UCLA, Wyoming and Colorado State have thrown all over these Warriors, and coach Nick Rolovich has all but admitted that he doesn't have any answers on this roster.
Time and time again, Rolovich has tried to play around with his secondary, but the bottom line is that he only has seven scholarship players in his entire secondary, and there isn't anywhere near enough experience here to contend with any of the top passing attacks that the MWC has to offer. Not surprisingly, Hawaii is allowing opposing quarterbacks to account for a beefy 173.2 quarterback rating, and a lot of that is thanks to the fact that the secondary is allowing 14.4 yards per completion against it.
The question is whether Nevada can take advantage of this or not. The Wolf Pack are 0-5 and are averaging just 323.0 yards per game this season.
Long gone are the days of the patented Pistol running all over teams in the Mountain West, as this team is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry as a team without any solid quarterback play whatsoever.
If the Wolf Pack are going to turn this year around, though, this is the spot to do it. If not, there's a serious threat of a winless campaigning, knowing that Idaho State and Fresno State have already beaten up Nevada rather inexplicably this season.
Ty Gangi is getting a second chance at a fresh start for this Nevada offense. He really is the only viable option under center on the roster, though the team has experimented with both Kaymen Cureton and David Cornwell, too.
Gangi is a respectable runner, but his throwing skills flat out aren't there. He's completing just 54.1 percent of his passes for 729 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. Gangi is going to have to be a lot better than that as this season wears on, but even if he isn't, the options aren't there to replace him.
We're not sure that the starting quarterback for this team next year is on the roster at this point, and that's telling with three men who aren't seniors having already thrown the ball at least 13 times in five games.
Hawaii vs. Nevada Free Picks
As depressing as everything is for Nevada football right now, this is a winnable game, and we think it's going to take advantage. Seeing one of the worst secondaries in the Mountain West should help Gangi out, and we think that both Wyatt Demps and McLane Mannix are going to be in for strong days at the receiver positions.
Dru Brown and Diocemy Saint Juste are going to take a lot of the headlines for this game, and the fact that their numbers are so gaudy this year are going to attract a lot of bets on this late-night game on the Rainbow Warriors at all of the best internet sportsbooks.
But don't fall into the trap! Nevada is already showing some sharp tendencies early in the week, and we suspect it's going to be incredibly sharp by the time this one kicks off on Saturday night.
College Football ATS Pick: Nevada +3.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Nevada 38, Hawaii 34