The long first season for Norm Chow continues this week as the Hawaii Warriors head east to California in hopes of turning around a difficult season. The Hawaii-Fresno State series is very close all-time, with the Bulldogs holding a slight edge, 22-21-1. At home, however, Fresno State is 11-7-1.
The Warriors have had a trying season, currently at 1-6 overall, and 0-4 in the Mountain West. With the defeat last week, Hawaii has now lost seven straight conference games (extending back to last season), but can begin the turnaround this week with a much-needed victory over Fresno State.
Despite losing last week, there were signs of life in the Warriors against the Colorado State Rams. One bright note was last week's quick start, wherein the Warriors scored 14 first quarter points. This may not seem like a significant amount, but given the fact that they had previously scored but 10 points in the first quarter all season long, there was reason to take notice.
The Warriors also caused five turnovers against the Rams, which, unfortunately, were cancelled out by their own five miscues in the game. That said, the standout performances of running backs Joey Iosefa (106 yards) and Will Gregory (84 yards) showed that Hawaii could control the ball and provide some relief for QB Sean Schroeder, who has shouldered much of the offensive load this season.
Schroeder (126-of-245, 1,284 yards and nine TDs) has been the starter for all seven previous games this season. Much of his difficulty this year has stemmed from spotty protection in the pocket, and play execution that often leaves him in problematic third-down passing situations.
Fresno State comes in as the 14th-ranked passing attack in the nation, with QB Derek Carr (251-of-367 for 2,766 yards and 26 TDs) lighting up the Mountain West conference. Add to that a rushing attack that features RB Robbie Rouse (999 yards and nine TDs), and that spells big trouble for the Hawaii defense, which now ranks 121st in points against.
Game Time: Saturday, Nov. 3, 4pm PT, 7pm ET. Television; Oceanic Pay Per View Channel 255.