This week, we look ahead to OSU’s match up with Hawaii in what will probably be another offensive shootout.
The Defense Will Not be Worse
Look, I know we’ve said this from the outset, and last week’s performance was pretty abysmal, but Hawaii’s offense, while good, is nowhere near as versatile as Oklahoma State’s.
The Rainbow Warriors will hurt you through the air with quick passes, but their run game is pretty below average and their starting QB Cole McDonald is not the running threat that the Beavers saw last week in Spencer Sanders.
Personally, I don’t think the Beavers will face a better offense all season then the one they saw in the opener, and although it wasn’t pretty, there were things that are encouraging for the rest of the season.
For example, the Beavs managed to make 9 TFL’s and a sack. They were in the backfield more last week then they were in any game last season. There were times where Spencer Sanders had way too long to throw the ball, but this is still a young defense that is figuring things out, it’s not always going to be perfect.
Also, Cole McDonald ended up throwing four interceptions in the first half(!) against Arizona in week zero before being benched, so there should be more opportunities for the Beavers to create turnovers next week after not forcing any against the Cowboys.
I expect the defense to be fired up out of the gates after being embarrassed last week. They will get more stops and give the offense a chance to win, but Hawaii’s offense will still be able to put decent points on the board.
The Beavers Will Have an Easy Time Moving the Ball
Hawaii’s defense didn’t necessarily look all that great against Arizona. In the week zero match up, the Rainbow Warriors gave up 531 yards (178 rushing, 361 passing) and 38 points to the Wildcats.
There’s no doubt that Arizona QB Khalil Tate is a prolific offensive player, but if he can pass for that many yards, I think Jake Luton is going to have an easy time getting the ball to receivers.
The one thing to worry about from the offense next week is the offensive line. I personally thought they did a pretty good job against the Cowboys last week only giving up one sack, but the Rainbow Warriors defensive line looked a lot better in their week zero match up than the one the Cowboys put onto the field last week.
Because the Beavers might be facing more of a rush this Saturday, I think they’ll try to get the ground game going earlier in possessions rather than airing it out, but if they get down early on, they might be forced to pass as much as they did last week.
Overall, I see the Beavers having success moving the ball this week, the biggest question mark will again be whether the defense is able to piece together some stops.
Isaiah Hodgins Will Continue to Dominate
There’s no doubt about the connection that Jake Luton and Hodgins have formed in their limited playing time together. It was on full force last week when Luton hooked up with Hodgins 9 times for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns.
It’s almost remarkable how easy it looked for Hodgins to get open against the Cowboys when it seemed that Luton was practically staring at him from the time the ball was snapped, to when he let it go.
I’m sure defenses are going to start keying in on Hodgins as one of the main threats of this offense, and while Hawaii might be capable of slowing him down, I think we’ll see numbers similar to what we saw last week.
With Trevon Bradford still not playing, Hodgins will almost definitely be the number one target on almost every passing play, so look for the ball to go his way often.