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Rainbow Warriors head to Ninth Island for showdown with UNLV

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 3:23 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2021 at 1:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors are heading to the Ninth Island for a showdown against the UNLV Rebels.

Currently holding a record of 4-6 on the season, the ‘Bows must win out to stay in the hunt for bowl game eligibility.

“We have not played to our potential, no doubt about that. In my opinion, we’ve got to do a better job than that,” Head Coach Todd Graham told reporters.

The Rainbow Warriors are coming off of a close 17-10 loss to top-ranked San Diego State.

LISTEN: UH Football Preview Podcast with Kyle Chinen, Davis Pitner

Last Saturday’s game was the first full capacity crowd in over two years, but the electric atmosphere was not enough to get the job done.

Against SDSU, Hawaii’s bright spot was their defense ― holding the Aztecs to just 227 yards of total offense.

The Warriors defense looks to do the same against the Rebels, who are riding high after their first win of the season.

“You know it all just comes down to that. They know what we’re going to do and we know what they’re going to do,” linebacker Penei Pavihi said.

“We just do our jobs for 60 minutes, and I’ll just hold them to like minimal gains.”

On the other side of the ball, Hawaii’s offense has stalled in the last couple of games with the ‘Bows struggling to move the ball down the field.

Most recently, it was letting the clock run out last weekend with a chance to tie or win the game.

“We are just not executing to the fullest we can. We definitely could be a lot better catching passes, running our routes a little bit more crisp,” said Calvin Turner Jr.

“Everyone, I mean, everyone is accountable for what happened in the loss. Not Tte coaches, not the players, everyone. I mean, everyone can be a little bit better than what they were.”

The Rainbow Warriors are looking to keep their bowl game hopes alive, while also keeping possession of the Island Showdown Trophy.

Hawaii has won the golden pineapple three of the last four seasons.

Even though the ‘Bows are on the road, it could feel like a home game with a big group of the Warrior faithful set to make their way to Allegiant Stadium this weekend.

“Man, everybody and their dog wants to come to this game in Las Vegas. Obviously, I think the Vegas attraction, the new stadium and all that,” Graham said. “It’ll be a great turnout.”

The Island Showdown is set to kick off at 11 a.m. HST.

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