HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii football team will host San Diego State on Saturday night with more at stake than any other conference game since joining the Mountain West.
With the Rainbow Warriors boasting a 4-3 record in conference play, and the Aztecs sitting a game better at 5-2, the winner of Saturday’s game will clinch the conference’s West Division and advance to the Mountain West Conference Championship ― a game Hawaii not appeared in since joining the league in 2012.
San Diego State is seeking its third title game appearance after winning the championship in 2015 and 2016.
Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich knows his program has an opportunity to do something unprecedented, but the staff and players aren’t feeding into the hype.
“It’s a special opportunity,” said Rolovich. “It’s still a 60-minute football game this weekend at Aloha Stadium, (against) a very good football team, and I think the singular focus does our guys a lot of good.”
A win by Hawaii would also give the Rainbow Warriors eight wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2006-07, which was also the last time UH was bowl eligible in consecutive seasons.
Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, the 'Bows have already clinched a spot in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
The Aztecs defense allows just 13.7 points per game this season, which ranks No. 8 nationally. Only two of SDSU’s opponents have scored 20 points or more.
Comparatively, Hawaii is No. 21 nationally in scoring offense, at 35.8 points per game, and have scored at least 20 points in every game this season.
Quarterback Cole McDonald believes this will be one of the best defenses the Warrior offense has seen all season, but looks forward to the opportunity of representing the University of Hawaii and the state as a whole on Saturday.
“It’s what we’ve worked for,” said McDonald. “That’s what all these long days of really hard work have come to, if we can just go out there and execute, if we can go out there and win, then we can show everyone that we are back.”
The Warriors host San Diego St., Nov. 23, kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.