HONOLULU — After two road games with mixed results, The University of Hawai‘i football team will head into the season’s home-opening football game Saturday against New Mexico.
The Rainbow Warriors (1-1, 1-1), beat Fresno State in Fresno, only to lose to University of Wyoming in Laramie.
But this home opener will be like none before, because of the COVID-19 surge on the mainland, the Rainbow Warriors will play the Lobos in an empty Aloha Stadium.
There is no place like home
Balancing logistics, the rigors of everyday travel, time zone differences and new COVID-19 regulations, road games are more challenging for the Rainbow Warriors.
Rainbow Warriors’ coach Todd Graham has stated, in a press conference, that isn’t any excuse to lose, but it still presents a unique challenge Hawai‘i faces that other teams don’t while on the road.
Hawai‘i will enter the game with the Lobos winning four of its last five home openers dating back to 2015, which is the longest win streak since the Rainbow Warriors began playing at Aloha Stadium.
The last time the Rainbow Warriors had a four-game home win streak dates back to last season, and Hawai‘i’s last home loss was to Fresno State on Nov. 2, 2019.
The Lobos, in sharp contrast to the Rainbow Warriors’ recent success, continue to struggle on the road and have lost 10 consecutive road games.
Their last win came on the road against UNLV in Oct. of 2018.
Cordeiro hopes to avenge loss
Hawai‘i QB Chevan Cordeiro lost his first start of his Rainbow Warriors’ career last week in the 35-10 loss to Wyoming.
Cordeiro, who spent the past two seasons as a redshirt freshman, now has the starting job since the Rainbow Warriors lost former quarterback Cole McDonald to graduation.
Cordeiro has become just as much of a threat running the football as he has become passing it.
Cordeiro has yet to throw a touchdown entering his third start of this season against the Lobos.
UH finished with 110 passing yards against Wyoming, its lowest total since passing for 88 yards in a loss at Boise State in 2015.
What Cordeiro has lacked as a threat in the passing game he has made up for as a threat on the ground.
Cordeiro became the third Rainbow Warriors’ quarterback in the last 10 seasons to crack 100 yards rushing.
Bitten by the injury bug
Senior safety Eugene Ford suffered a season-ending injury (lower leg) early in last week’s loss to Wyoming.
During his career with the Rainbow Warriors, Ford started 27 games since his freshman season and entered his senior season as one of four team captains.
Lobo to watch
New Mexico has some famous NFL alumni, including former Chicago Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher, but there is another Lobo looking to make an impact: Tevaka Tevakatuioti.
The Lobos have struggled the last couple of seasons to get a significant amount of victories. Tevakatuioti, a product from Long Beach, California, has made a name for himself as a dual threat.
The Lobo quarterback put up solid numbers in their loss to San Jose State. He was 20 of 35 for 294 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s debut loss.
Tevakatuioti can also get it done on the ground, and ran the ball a significant amount of carries in the season-opening loss to the Spartans.
Tevakatuioti ran the ball for 69 yards on 14 attempts and scored a touchdown. If Hawai‘i is going to have a chance to win their second game of the season, they will have to contain him, and not allow him to take over the football game, which he has proven he is capable of doing.
Where to Watch
When: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m. HT
Where: Honolulu, O‘ahu
Stadium: Aloha Stadium
Television: Spectrum Sports PPV (Spectrum Ch. 255/HD 1255 and
Hawaiian Telcom Ch. 969). Robert Kekaula (play-by-play) and Rich
Radio: ESPN Honolulu (1420AM/92.7FM). Bobby Curran (play-by-
play) and John Veneri (analyst). KRKH (Maui), KPUA (Hawai‘i Island),
and KTOH-HD3 (Kaua‘i). Chris Hart and Gary Dickman hosts the
“Countdown To Kickoff” at 4:00 p.m.
Video Streaming: Only available outside the state of Hawai‘i through
the Team1Sports app.
Audio Streaming: ESPNHonolulu.com/Sideline Hawaii app
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org