The Boise State Broncos will be hoping to remain undefeated when they host the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Albertsons Stadium on Saturday night.
Head-to-head hopelessnessThe Rainbow Warriors are off to a 4-1 start, with a loss only to then-No. 23 Washington. They preceded that blemish with defeats of Arizona and Oregon State before following it up by beating Central Arkansas and Nevada. Their 54-3 win over Nevada two weeks ago marked the third-largest margin for a road win in program history. Thanks in part to that onslaught, Hawaii is averaging 37 points per game so far this season.
The underdogs will need something similar if they want to reverse course from a 3-12 all-time record against Boise State, including 0-6 on the blue turf while losing those six road games by an average margin of 35 points.
"Everybody needs to get over the fact that it is Boise State," head coach Nick Rolovich explained. "This aura that they have earned is a weapon for them."
Junior quarterback Cole McDonald is completing 68.9 percent of his attempts for 1,629 yards and 17 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions. Seniors Cedric Byrd II and JoJo Ward lead the receiving corps; Byrd has 40 receptions for 498 yards and nine touchdowns and Ward has 28 catches for 418 yards and six scores. Redshirt freshman cornerback Kai Kaneshiro and senior safety Ikem Okeke share the team lead of two interceptions and senior safety Kalen Hicks has a team-best 36 tackles for a unit allowing 27.4 points per game.
Weaver feverBoise State has kicked off its 2019 campaign with consecutive victories over Florida State, Marshall, Portland State, Air Force, and UNLV. Not to surprisingly, only FSU has been more competitive than a touchdown margin and the Broncos have won their last three games all by double-digits. Junior pass rusher Curtis Weaver has nine sacks this season to raise his career count to a new Mountain West Conference record of 29.5, breaking the mark of 28.5 shared by BYU's Jan Jorgensen and TCU's Jerry Hughes. Weaver, who leads a defensive unit allowing just 16 points per game, is only 2.5 sacks behind second-place Chris Wing (1994-96) on the Broncos' all-time list.
The Broncos are averaging 32.6 points per game thanks in part to freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier. He has been solid while throwing for 1,489 yards and eight touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. Boise State does not have a go-to receiver, but it does boast three with more than 300 yards in sophomore Khalil Shakir (26 catches, 357 yards), senior John Hightower (17 catches, 303 yards), and junior C.T. Thomas (16 catches, 302 yards).
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are:
- 16-37-2 ATS in their last 55 overall
- 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 road games
- 6-16 ATS in their last 22 games against teams with winning records
The Boise State Broncos are:
- 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine overall
- 5-1-2 ATS in their last eight games against the Mountain West Conference
- 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games following a win