Throughout the years the Bulldogs have had difficult times when flying over the Pacific to take on the Warriors. Prior to 2005 Hawaii was a place that the Bulldogs struggled mightily when visiting. Since 2005 the Bulldogs are 3-1 in Hawaii (when facing Hawaii.) The last time the Bulldogs visited the Warriors they walked away with a 24-21 victory in what may have been the single worst season the Bulldogs have had over the past fifteen years. In 2013 the Bulldogs and Warriors are on the opposite end of the spectrum performance wise. Fresno State sits at 3-0 with two huge one point victories over Rutgers and Boise State. The Bulldogs will enter their game with the Warriors ranked anywhere between 22 and 25 in the polls meaning that the 2013 version of Fresno State-Hawaii could mirror what took place in 2006 at Bulldog stadium.
Hawaii's Game Performances
If we take a look at Hawaii's offensive statistics we are able to better understand what is plaguing them this season.
QB Stats - 58 for 118, 3 tds, 9 ints, 14 times sacked, 86.5 rating
If we take a look at the statistics for Hawaii's QB's (they have used four different QB's to this point in the season) we are immediately able to see that the Warriors offensive line has done a terrible job of giving their QB time to throw. The Warriors average giving up nearly five sacks per game as well as three interceptions per game. While this has been a problem for the Warriors, it is far from the only thing they will have to fix prior to their game with the Bulldogs.
Rushing Statistics - 92 attempts for 225 yards, no touchdowns, 2.4 ypc average
Hawaii has struggled with their ground game as well. We could have looked at the stats and noticed that Hawaii has not been able to run the ball successfully throughout the course of the game; however Bulldog Playbook took a look at the film to gain a better understanding of why Hawaii's offense has struggled so significantly. Hawaii has had trouble opening holes for their RB's and cannot seem to create time for their QB to throw the ball. Defenses have continually loaded the box forcing the Warriors to throw downfield resulting in numerous mistakes. Look for Fresno State to do the same thing with their secondary. The Warriors have been susceptible to allowing the secondary as well as Linebackers to get to their QB's who have performed terribly under pressure. The Bulldogs will have the opportunity to force the Warriors into mistakes early and often if they use pressure from different angles.
Overall there isn't a great deal we can provide you that the statistics don't already say. Hawaii's statistics tell the complete story of how their season has been to this point. The Warriors give up large chunks of yards through the air and on the ground and counter with little offense. 2012 was a difficult season for Hawaii with 2013 looking to be much of the same. Fresno State possesses the most potent air attack that the Warriors have faced this season. Derek Carr has thrown for over 1100 yards against defenses that pose more difficult schemes to read that Hawaii's. Bulldog Playbook feels that this game will be reminiscent of the 2006 game in which Hawaii left Fresno with a 68-37 win. The score may not be as lopsided as the 2006 game between the two teams, however if we look at the two teams from that season we can say the Bulldogs possess the explosive offense the Warriors had and the Warriors resemble a Bulldogs team that went 4-8 that season and could literally stop no one on defense.
Later this week Bulldog Playbook will look deeper into this game and offer insight into what we think the score will be, how the flow of the game will go, who will be successful offensively and defensively, and what this game will mean in terms of the 201 season for the Bulldogs. At the same time we will attempt to speak with Hawaii's publisher to gain some insight into Hawaii from their own fan base.