HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Royal Hawaiian Ocean Lawn was the scene for the SoFi Hawaii Bowl pregame press conference this morning as both coaches and players previewed this Saturday’s matchup taking place at Aloha Stadium.
Throughout the last two weeks of practice, Rainbow Warrior football head coach Nick Rolovich has stressed the importance of representing the state on the national level while also taking time to appreciate the opportunity to play one more game as a team.
To balance both philosophies, he leaned on the experience of his coaching staff to ensure the team prepared as well as they could.
“Coach (Mark) Banker, he said we just got to keep it fresh. So (we) just tried to change things up and I think they’re sick of practicing (against) together,” Rolovich said. “I think they’re all tired. It’s time to go play another football game. But it’s been good to spend time together. It’s been good to get the opportunity to spend another month together. That’s really what it’s about: Play another football game.”
This year’s SoFi Hawaii Bowl isn’t just any other game, however. In many ways, it’s “Senior Night 2.0.”
“It’s an absolute blessing to be here at the Hawaii Bowl but it’s also to get a few more weeks with some guys. For the seniors, this is a big deal. Even more so for the seniors,” said offensive lineman J.R. Hensley. “We’ve got to be here to do everything we can to make sure the seniors have a good last send-off.”
Louisiana Tech poses a challenge on both sides of the ball, featuring one of the nation’s elite pass-rushers in Jaylon Ferguson.
Nevertheless, LA Tech head coach Skip Holtz knows he can’t just rely on his defense to defeat the Warriors.
“You’re not gonna win this football game 14-10. This is going to be a high-scoring affair and you got to be able to put some points up as an offensive football team,” Holtz said. “We’ve kind of put the burden on the entire team rather than just the defense because of the explosive nature of their offense.”
The offense might be a work in progress heading into Saturday, but LA Tech’s defensive line is not.
The aforementioned Ferguson will be the center of attention for the Warriors offensive line this weekend, and he knows it. But in the meantime, he’s making the most out of Bowl Week. After all, he is in Hawaii.