Warrior defense looks to ride the wave of momentum into game at SDSU

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Still riding the high of an unforgettable rally to secure bowl eligibility this past weekend, the University of Hawaii football team will hit the road on Thanksgiving as the Rainbow Warriors will close out their regular season at San Diego State this Saturday.

For good reason, much attention has been given to the mystery at quarterback this week as head coach Nick Rolovich has made clear that it will be a game time decision as to not only who starts but who plays in that game.

Freshman quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who came off of the bench to lead UH to a come from behind win over UNLV on Saturday is expected to be handled strategically as UH has their regular season finale and an expected bowl game.

Cordeiro, who has played in three games can only play in one more outing this season in order to keep his redshirt status and play as a freshman again next season.

Sophomore Cole McDonald who started all but one game this season is sixth nationally in passing yards (2,338) and touchdown passes (32). 

Another freshman, Jeremy Moussa has played in just two games thus far.

It’s easy to see why the quarterback topic is such a hot topic, but perhaps lost in the heroics of Cordeiro on Saturday and the questions moving forward was the play of the UH defense down the stretch against UNLV.

The Rainbow Warrior defenders allowed just 38-total yards in the final four possessions of the game, led behind linebacker Penei Pavihi.

“Coming out of a game like this, people would expect a person to be big-headed and whatnot. I just try to forget about the game. Just coming out with a brand new juice. Because it’s a new week and a new opponent. You know, just coming out, trying to make everyone smile, cracking a few jokes here and there. I just like to see my teammates smile,” said Pavihi.

“They probably aren’t getting the attention they deserve for keeping us in that football game; Penei and the fourth down stops. And truthfully, I understand the quarterback thing is a big deal right now, but if we’re going to win this football game we’re going to have to stop the run,” added Rolovich.

The Rainbow Warriors and Aztecs will kickoff on Saturday at 5:30pm HST on ESPNU.

Hawai’i (7-5, 4-3 MW) vs. San Diego State (7-4, 4-3 MW)
When: Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. HT
Where: San Diego, Calif.
Stadium: SDCCU Stadium (54,000)
Television: ESPNU. Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Kirk Morrison (analyst).
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM. Bobby Curran (play-by-play) and John Veneri (analyst). Chris Hart and Gary Dickman hosts the “Countdown To Kickoff” at 2:30 p.m. HT. KNUI (Maui), KPUA (Hawai’i Island), and KTOH (Kaua’i).
Video Streaming: ESPN.com/watch
Audio Streaming: ESPN1420am.com/Sideline Hawaii app
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Series Information: SDSU leads 21-9-2
Game Notes:

  • Hawai’i (7-5, 4-3 MW) snapped a four-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 35-28 victory over UNLV last Saturday. Back-up quarterback Chevan Cordeiro threw three fourth quarter touchdowns, including the game-winner to John Ursua with 1:25 remaining.  
  • San Diego State (7-4, 4-3) dropped its second straight following a 23-14 loss to Fresno State despite leading 14-10 at halftime. The Aztecs are 5-1 at home with their lone loss to UNLV two weeks ago.
  • UH is bowl eligible for the first time since 2010, although the Rainbow Warriors appeared in the 2016 Hawai’i Bowl with a 6-7 regular season record. UH won that game over Middle Tennessee for a 7-7 final record.
  • A win on Saturday would ensure Hawai’i its first winning season since 2010 (10-4). During that span, UH has one .500 record and six losing seasons.
  • UH seeks its first win against SDSU since joining the Mountain West in 2012. The Aztecs have won all six MW meetings with five by double digits.
  • UH’s last win over SDSU came in a non-conference match-up in Honolulu in 2005  (49-38) and its last conference win occurred in 1989 (31-24) in San Diego, when both were members of the Western Athletic Conference. 
  • SDSU leads the all-time series 21-9-2 which began in 1939. The Aztecs also hold a 9-5 advantage in games played in San Diego. SDSU shut-out the Warriors in the teams’ last meeting in San Diego in 2016. UH has lost eight straight games in San Diego with its last win in 1989.
  • The teams met every year from 1980-98 as WAC members and only twice from 1999 to 2011, until UH joined the MW in 2012.
  • UH finishes the regular season on the road for the just the second time in school history. The first occurred in 2014 at Fresno State.
  • UH is 2-3 in road games this season, including a 2-1 mark in MW play. Under Rolovich, UH is 6-11 in road games, including a 5-6 record in MW road contests.
  • This season UH will have logged 37,500 miles by air and 332 miles by bus and have played in four different time zones.
  • UH will make its sixth appearance on national television this season with a 2-3  mark with wins over Colorado State and Navy and losses at Army, BYU, and Fresno State.

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