While the college football season earlier in the evening may garner more attention, it’s not really college football season until you’ve stayed up past midnight watching Hawaii play football. Your first chance to do so will come on Saturday night when Hawaii welcomes Arizona to Honolulu.that kicks off the 2019
This will not be the first time these teams have met but rather the sixth. The last meeting came in 2016 when Arizona hosted Hawaii and beat the Warriors 47-28. And that’s been the story between these two as Arizona has won all five prior meetings, though the biggest blowout came all the way back in 1952 when Arizona won 57-7. Only one of the first five meetings featured a one-score margin, Arizona’s 17-10 win in Honolulu during the 1977 season.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 24 | Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Aloha Stadium — Honolulu, Hawaii
TV: CBS Sports Network | Live stream: CBSSports.com (Authentication required), CBS Sports App, fuboTV (Try for free)
Arizona: There was some buzz surrounding Arizona last season when Kevin Sumlin took over for Rich Rodriguez, but Sumlin’s first season in Tucson got off to a rocky start. The Wildcats started the 0-2 before picking up Sumlin’s first win in a 62-31 win over Southern Utah, but things didn’t even out much in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats went 4-5 in the Pac-12, finishing the season at 5-7 and failing to qualify for a bowl game following a heartbreaking loss to rival Arizona State. Arizona held a 40-21 lead over the Sun Devils after three quarters and proceeded to give up 20 fourth-quarter points to lose 41-40. Now, Arizona enters the 2019 season hoping to not only get back to a bowl game but compete in a Pac-12 South that’s got plenty of wiggle room for a team looking to make moves.
Hawaii: The Rainbow Warriors are hoping to have a big year in 2019. They have 18 starters returning from last season’s team, more than any other program in the Mountain West. That’s good news for a team that went 8-6 overall last season, 5-3 in conference play. The Warriors offense was led by quarterback Cole McDonald, who threw for 3,875 yards and 36 touchdowns while also rushing for 359 yards and four more scores. McDonald enters his junior season hoping to lead Hawaii to a Mountain West title, and this opener against Arizona should prove to be an excellent barometer to gauge just how good this Hawaii team can be in 2019.
Game prediction, picks
I believe Arizona will win this game and improve to 6-0 against Hawaii lifetime, but 11 points just seems like too large a spread here. The Arizona defense allowed 32.6 points per game last season, and I’m not ready to trust that it will have improved enough to stop a potent Hawaii offense in the first game of the season. Factor in that Arizona has to fly roughly 3,000 miles to get there, and I have a hard time passing up the home dog here. Pick: Hawaii (+11)