For the third time in four weeks, the University of Hawaii football team will once again play in a hostile environment on Saturday.
Arizona Stadium, home to the student section known as the 'Zona Zoo,' will surely be rocking, but so will the Rainbow Warriors' confidence. Hawaii is coming off their first win of the season, yes, but Grambling State -- Arizona's opponent last weekend -- also showed the 'Bows that it's feasible to come to Tucson and put the Wildcats on the ropes.
As with any upsert bid, possessing the football and avoiding turnovers will be critical to Hawaii's success on Saturday.
"I need to stay within the offense," said Hawaii senior quarterback Ikaika Woolsey. "Obviously I know this offense really well, I know where the ball needs to go, but sometimes when plays break down, instead of trying to force the ball, I just need to throw the ball away. Sometimes the best play is the next play, so I just can't do too much."
Much of the attention this week will be fixated on the other side of the ball, as Rich Rodriguez's offense squares off against Kevin Lempa and the 'Bows defense.
"They bring a lot of pressure, they're not afraid to challenge you and play man coverage," said Rodriguez, the head coach at Arizona. "They'll blitz quite a bit particularly when you're going in around the red zone. Very active, very active up front."
"This team is going to run the football," said Lempa. "If we don't stop the run, they'll just run the ball up and down the field on us. That's where our focus this week, that's where our focus is every week. We have to get better. We have to do our techniques better, we have to coach better, we have to play better."
What last week's second half against Tennessee Martin showed the 'Bows is that they can be a scrapppy team when their backs are against the wall. They'll need that mentality for the full sixty minutes tomorrow night, as Hawaii is a 24.5-point underdog to the Wildcats.