The #23/21 ranked University of Washington Huskies(1-1) will close out there season opening three game homestand when they host the Hawaii Rainbows (2-0) Saturday for a scheduled 4:30 p.m. at Husky Stadium. After last week’s 20-19 disappointing loss to the California Golden Bears the Huskies will be out to pay the role of rude hosts. The Rainbows know something about being rude hosts. Hawaii played host to Arizona and Oregon State and gave both Pac-12 team no love as they defeated the Wildcats 45-38 and the Beavers 31-28. Keys to Saturday’s contents.
HAVE THE HUSKIES GOTTEN RID OF THE JITTERS?
In the loss to the Bears the Huskies missed a lot of tackles especially in the second half despite being at the point of attack. The Husky defense gave up an uncharacteristic 303 offensive yards. 192 of those yards were on the ground. Hawaii will present an entirely different offense from the Bears. Quarterback Cole McDonald is a tall 6’4 220 playmaker who has a quick release and can get the ball to his receivers in the blink of an eye. McDonald threw for four touchdowns and one interception against the Beavers.
If the Huskies can stay disciplined in pass coverage and bring pressure McDonald could be rattled. He threw four interceptions in HAwaii’s win over Arizona. That will be a tall order for the Husky defense, Hawaii runs the classic run and shoot offense that is designed to get ball to the receivers before they complete their routes and give them the room to adjust.
GOOD JAKE VERSUS BAD JAKE
Jacob Eason looked like the real deal in the Huskies 47-14 win over Eastern Washington by tossing four touchdowns and completing 27 of 36 passes for 349 yards and no interceptions. Eason looked in command of the offense with quick and decisive reads. Unfortunately for the Huskies bad Jake showed up in the game against Cal. Eason was 18 of 30 for 162 yards with one interception and one fumble. Eason looked uncomfortable in the pocket, indecisive in his throws and when he did make the right throw, the Husky receivers dropped the ball. While Eason gets the majority of the passing game woes such is the life of a quarterback, the Husky receivers where no help
HUSKY RUNNING GAME CAN BE A GAME CHANGER
Husky running back Salvon Ahmed had his best game as a Husky rushing for a career-high 119 yards and a touchdown. The Huskies looked to have abandoned the running game in favor of the pass and the impatience is partly why the Huskies struggled against the Bears. The Huskies averaged 4.0 yards per game in the Cal game. In the game against Eastern Washington they averaged 4.7 yards per carry. The key in the running game is to be able to run the ball when you want to not when the defense lets you. The Huskies need the offensive line to be dominant against the smaller Hawaii Defensive line and create running lanes for Ahmed, Sean McGrew and Richard Newton
UH and Washington have met five previous times with UW holding a slim 3-2 advantage The Huskies have won the last two meetings in 2011 and ’14.
The series began in 1938 in Honolulu and the teams didn’t meet again until 1973 in Seattle. In that latter meeting, Hawai‘i, as 50-point underdogs, pulled off one of the biggest upsets in school history with a 10-7 victory. In 2007, UH won 35-28 in Honolulu to complete an undefeated regular season (12-0).
UH is one of only three teams nationally with two wins over Power 5 teams this year along with Clemson and North Carolina.
Since 2006, UH’s last eight wins against Power 5 conferences have come against Pac-12 opponents. UH has never beaten three Power 5 teams in the same season.
UH’s last road/neutral win against a Pac-12 opponent was a 38-20 victory over Washington State in 2009 in a game played at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. Since then, UH has lost eight straight.
UH is 3-1 all-time in games played in the state of Washington (1-1 vs. UW, 1-0 vs.
WSU, 1-0 vs. Puget Sound).
A win would give UH a 3-0 start for the second consecutive season, a feat last accomplished in 1981 & ’82.
UH has lost its last 10 games against ranked opponents dating back to 2010 and has an overall record of 10-43.
UH is 1-16 all-time against ranked teams on the road with its only win at No. 22 Fresno State in 2008. Hawai‘i has lost six straight since then.
UH has dropped 16 of its last 17 non-conference road games dating back to 2010