The best of foes — Hawaii and Fresno State — meet for the 50th time.
Yes, they have had quite a history, particularly in the June Jones-Pat Hill rivalries. There was even that bizarre time when Jones invited Hill to a UH spring practice. Ah, memories …
But the past is the past, and here’s the current situation:
> The Bulldogs are off to a nice start at 4-1 in the Mountain West. They already are bowl eligible. Although Fresno owns the tie-breaker over 4-2 San Diego State, the Bulldogs are not a lock for the West title. After tonight’s game, the Bulldogs have to play at Wyoming (forecast is 44/30 for Nov. 18) and finish against Boise State. The Aztecs final two games are against Nevada (1-4) and New Mexico (1-5). (Whoops. I earlier had the San Jose State game this week. Hey, jet lag. lol.)
> If this were fantasy football, the Warriors win the rushing battle because they have the best running back in Diocemy Saint Juste (1,245 yards, 5.7 yards per carry). But the Bulldogs are very good collectively, with the Ronnie Rivers rejoining the mix after missing two games because of an injury. Rivers, Jordan Mims and Josh Hokit have combined for 1,166 yards, 17 TDS and only one lost fumble. They have been tackled for a loss eight times in 241 carries.
> Fresno’s Marcus McMaryion doesn’t throw picks — OK, he has one this year, but that was 118 passes ago — and he rarely gets sacked. He also has not thrown a TD pass the past three games.
> The Bulldogs have a defense with a lot of movement — loops, stunts, shifts. But I really like the two defensive tackles. Unlike UNLV’s space eaters last week, Fresno’s Malik Forrester and Nathan Madsen (as well as Kevin Atkins) create havoc with power moves and first-step quickness. They open the way for the linebackers and safeties to rack up tackles.
> Rolovich has had three levels of success against Fresno. As a quarterback, he led the Warriors to the comeback victory in 2001. As quarterbacks coach in 2008, he mentored Inoke Funaki, who led the Warriors to their first road victory over a ranked team. And last year, in the stayin’-alive game, Viane Moala made the game-saving block.
It’s game day. Please add to the discussion.