HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii football team has arrived in Seattle ahead of its third-consecutive Pac-12 contest after defeating Arizona and Oregon State to open the season.
The Rainbow Warriors will invade the Emerald City for a showdown with #23 Washington on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies hold a slight 3-2 advantage in the all-time series between the schools.
School officials believe over 60,000 fans will pack Husky Stadium for Saturday’s game, an environment Kaleen Hicks and the rest of the Warrior football team is ready to embrace.
“I think we’re very excited and we’re very eager," said Hicks after Tuesday’s practice. "We’re coming into a house with a good school and a good program, I think we’re all hungry, and this is one of the biggest games so far.”
Although the Warriors are currently 2-0 against PAC-12 teams, head coach Nick Rolovich believes the Huskies present a different challenge then anything they’ve seen so far.
“They’re not stupid," said Nick Rolovich. “They know that Washington has been better then Arizona and Oregon St. in the PAC-12, and this is going to be on the road ― it’s loud, its wet, but I think this team will handle it well."
The current Rainbow Warrior roster boosts a plethora of starters on every unit on the field, and defensive coordinator Corey Batoon believes the team’s experience will help with continuity while on the road.
“We’ve taken practices on the road five or six times,” said Batoon. "I don’t expect a big departure from what we’re about. We’ve got a pretty veteran team and they know how we travel.”
Warriors quarterback Cole McDonald currently ranks No. 3 in total offense (419.5), No. 4 in passing (399.5) and passing TDs (8).
Wide receivers Cedric Byrd is No. 2 in receiving yards (142.5) and No. 3 in receptions (10.5) while JoJo Ward is the nation’s leader in receiving touchdowns (5).
Despite the proficiency of the Warrior offense through the first two games of the season, McDonald says the unit continues to improve and is ready for a battle against the nationally ranked Huskies.
“We’re not going in there with cocky heads,” said McDonald. "We’re going in there with the mindset to work, the mindset to play a full game against a good football team.”
Kickoff between the Huskies and Warriors is set for 1:30 P.M. Hawai’i time and will be broadcast live on the PAC-12 Network.