Although talk is picking up that true freshman Zach Wilson could be making his first career start Saturday, BYU’s offense needs to prove it can move the ball versus Hawaii—regardless of who is starting under center.
Hawaii is 6-1 and has put up a ton of points, but the Rainbow Warriors have played a weak schedule and will be one of the weakest defenses BYU plays this year. According to Sagarin rankings, Hawaii has played the 135th toughest schedule in the nation and has yet to beat a top 100 team.
Here are Hawaii’s defensive rankings through seven games (out of 130 FBS teams):
- Total Defense: 411 ypg (89th)
- Rush Defense: 158.9 (102nd)
- Pass Defense: 251.9 (99th)
- Points allowed per game: 29.6 (85th)
- Turnovers forced: 4 (120th)
- 3rd down defense: 41.8% (93rd)
- Sacks per game: 2.67 (33rd)
Hawaii has done all of this versus two military academies that run the triple option, a winless San Jose State team, a FCS team and a handful of other below average teams.
Keeping in mind both BYU’s and Hawaii’s strength of schedule and Hawaii’s defense performance thus far, the 11.5-point spread in favor of BYU doesn’t seem so outlandish. Granted, BYU has looked very underwhelming the past two games, but Vegas usually knows best when a point spread seems too far tilted a particular direction.
Another poor outing from the BYU offense would be embarrassing. Hawaii will likely put up its fair share of points, and BYU will need to show better than it has the past few weeks if they are to keep up.
If Wilson does indeed get the starting nod and ends up having a good game, fans should keep in mind the the ineptitude of the Hawaii offense during the excitement.
Regardless of what the stats say, BYU fans would surely be relieved and encouraged to see a positive outing from the BYU offense.