San Diego State Aztecs vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Date and Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017, 11:15 p.m. ET
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
Opening College Football Odds: San Diego State -9
San Diego State vs. Hawaii TV Coverage: ESPN2
In fairness, all of the best NCAA football sportsbooks saw this collapse for San Diego State coming. The Aztecs were only -4 against Boise State and -6.5 against Fresno State, meaning had either game been played on the road, they would have been underdogs. We're talking about a team that was an underdog at Arizona State and was a sizeable 8.5-point pup at home to Stanford. What about being -1.5 at Air Force or just -9.5 at home against Northern Illinois?
You get the point. This team was never as good as it was cracked up to be.
The good news is that the rest of the coast is relatively clear for the Aztecs. The rest of the Mountain West shouldn't theoretically be all that challenging, even with these next two games coming on the road at Hawaii and San Jose State. Getting out on the road might be the best thing that happens to the Aztecs all season long.
Hawaii hasn't covered a spread since Week 1 of the season when it went on the road and upset UMass 38-35. Since then, the results have been mixed, though it's hard to say any of it was unexpected. The Rainbow Warriors have largely done what they're supposed to do, winning three of their four games as favorites and losing all three of their games as underdogs.
The Rainbow Warriors are hanging in due to the fact that Diocemy Saint Juste is having one of the best seasons a Hawaii tailback has ever had. He carried the ball 39 times last week against San Jose State, a school-record. Saint Juste is already at 1,094 yards this season, and he's going to have to inch near 2,000 if this team is going to reach a bowl game.
With John Ursua out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, the Hawaii passing attack was somewhat suspect last week against San Jose State.
Dru Brown hasn't had a great season, but he went just 12-for-23 for 173 yards and a touchdown. Numbers like that are probably going to be good enough to stay competitive in this game, but in the end, turn that one touchdown into an interception, and the start looks like a disaster.
Outside of a 56-yard pass play to Keelan Ewaliko, the Nick Rolovich's passing attack was rather dull. With Ursua out, there isn't an obvious No. 1 receiver on this team, and that could be a big problem in a game like this one.
San Diego State vs. Hawaii Free Picks
Hawaii has only kicked one field goal this entire season, and that was a 29-yarder. Its offense is largely relegated to just going for it on fourth downs from inside the 30-yard line, and that's creating a lot of problems.
It's not so much the kicking game that bothers us as much as it is the fact that San Diego State is merely preparing for a mirror image of itself in this game. The Aztecs' Rashaad Penny is a one-man band at times for this offense, and when he has the ability to run the ball 30+ times in a game, he generates a victory. Fewer than 20 carries, and San Diego State has no chance.
Just like Saint Juste and the Rainbow Warriors.
We'll lay the lumber and count on Rocky Long getting his team back on track this week on the Big Island.
College Football ATS Pick: San Diego State -9 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: San Diego State 31, Hawaii 21