HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Warriors first Mountain West Conference game of the season will be a homecoming for Warrior head coach Nick Rolovich.
Saturday’s game will be the fourth contest against the Nevada Wolfpack since Rolovich took over the 'Bows in 2016.
Rolovich previously served as offensive coordinator for Nevada from 2012-2015, and recalls how challenging playing at Mackay Stadium can be.
“There’s some built in home field advantages that they have,” said Rolovich following Tuesday’s practice in Manoa. "We have to win games in conference on the road, there’s challenges the rest of fall and if we get overwhelmed by thinking about the difficulties of the conference, then we won’t play our best game on Saturday in Reno.
Rolovich is 1-2 vs. Nevada since returning to Manoa and secured a win in his inaugural season of 2016 and tallied consecutive defeats in 2017 & ’18.
After a 3-1 start to the season, the Warriors offense is looking to keep the momentum going into Saturday night against a stout Wolfpack defense.
“They are pretty tough,” said Warrior Quarterback Cole McDonald. “Their coaching staff is tough on them and that’s what makes them tough players and tough competitors.”
Mcdonald has shined nationally in 2019, currently ranked number 8 in the country and second in the Mountain West in total offense.
With a veteran offensive line, and a plethora of talented receivers surrounding McDonald, the offense at times has looked unstoppable.
After a review of Nevada’s game tape wide receiver Cedric Byrd believes there are ares on the field in which he and other playmakers can capitalize.
“They have a great secondary,”said Byrd. “But we have six or seven receivers who can do great in this offense, I feel like no one can stop us--but us."
The Warrior defense has battled through a host of injuries through the first four games of the season, but continue to keep their energy and focus ahead of conference play this weekend.
Defensive back Cortez Davis, says it will all come down to communication and staying ‘locked in’ while on the road.
“We have to be more focused in because it’s conference play now,” said Davis. “Each and every week we are trying to go out there and win, we have to stay focused and stay together as a team, that’s the most important thing.”
Nevada hasn’t been kind to the Warriors in the past.
Nevada currently leads the all-time series 14-9, including a 8-1 record at home in Reno, and since 2009, UH has lost 10 consecutive games in the state of Nevada (0-5 vs. Nevada, 0-5 vs. UNLV).
The Warriors will hope to change their fortunes this weekend.
Kickoff between the Warriors and Wolfpack is set for 4:30 p.m. September 28 at Mackay Stadium in Reno.