Next up on the docket for the Arizona Wildcats are the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors. Hawai’i has had a rough go of it so far this season, posting a 1-2 record. They have been plagued by an inexperienced defense and inconsistent quarterback play. Also, let’s not forget the 19,000 miles they’ve traveled for their first two away games and the 6,000 mile round trip from Honolulu to Tucson.
But let’s get into the players that are most likely to have an impact on Saturday.
Ikaika Woolsey, QB (#11)
Woolsey has not had a good start to the season. He is 33-for-65 for 527 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions. He can make some good throws, however, he is inconsistent with his accuracy (especially under pressure). The five interceptions are indicative of that. Both Michigan and California were able to get pressure on him, causing errant throws. Last week against UT-Martin, Woolsey threw three interceptions, but also had four touchdowns. It’ll be interesting to see how many bad throws Arizona will be able to force.
Diocemy Saint Juste, RB (#22)
Saint Juste is one of Hawai’i’s work horses in the backfield. At 5-foot-8 and 195 pounds, he isn’t the biggest back, but he is well built. So far this season, he has 42 carries for 225 yards (5.4 ypc) and two touchdowns. He’s gotten a little over 50% of the Warriors’ running back carries so far (sharing time with Steven Lakalaka who I’ll talk about next) and I expect the same against Arizona. Hawai’i’s coaching staff really likes Saint Juste and what he can do.
Steven Lakalaka, RB (#4)
Lakalaka is the other horse in Hawai’i’s backfield. He is the bigger back (5-foot-10, 210 pounds) and could be a load to bring down. He has 30 carries for 172 yards (5.7 ypc) and two touchdowns so far this season. He has gotten a little under 50% of Hawai’i’s running back carries over their three games this year. I believe Arizona’s biggest test this coming weekend is stopping these two backs.
Marcus Kemp, WR (#14)
Kemp is Woolsey’s go-to guy. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, he’s a big receiver. He is a talented receiver with good hands and decent speed. So far in 2016, he has 12 catches for 272 yards and four touchdowns. When Woolsey is in trouble or can’t get going, he usually finds Kemp for a completion to build momentum; I saw it a few times during their game against Michigan. Expect him to be a favored target throughout the game against Arizona. I would expect someone like Dane Cruikshank to cover Kemp due to Cruikshank’s height and length.
Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea, DL (#5)
Kema-Kaleiwahea is a former Arizona Wildcat who transferred to Hawai’i after the 2013 season. If you don’t recognize the name, you may remember him as Keoni Bush-Loo. During his two year stint with the ‘Cats, he played 25 games, including 12 games as a true freshman. The Rainbow Warrior defense does use a lot of blitzing to flush the quarterback out of the pocket, setting up TFLs and sacks for the defensive linemen. However, Kema-Kaleiwahea does have a nose for the ball carrier. He has racked up 8 tackles, 2.0 TFL, and 2.0 sacks so far this season.