After a close win for the Arizona Wildcats against Grambling State, they now welcome the Hawai’i Warriors to Tucson for their final non-conference game of 2016.
With the Arizona win, all of us got it right, so here’s a look at our updated prediction standings:
So how will the Wildcats do this weekend? Our picks are below, and you can submit yours here:
Gabe Encinas: I think Brandon Dawkins comes out with a new level of confidence and the team refocuses as a whole after last week. I just don’t think they were prepared last week and weren’t expecting Grambling State to come out and just punch them in the mouth, causing all sorts of panic.
Based on Hawaii’s last three games, it doesn’t look like they have much of a defense so this is the time for Dawkins to come out and lead the offense. I’m honestly not expecting much out of the running back depth, simply because we hadn’t seen with it Orlando Bradford as a "co-starter". We’ll see how Arizona’s defense comes out, hopefully with better tackling and more aggressive play in the secondary.
Arizona 41 Hawaii 17
David Stevenson: It must be pointed out that both Hawaii and Arizona struggled last week in their respective FCS victories. I imagine it was a rough week of practice for UA to ensure the squad doesn’t stumble out of the gate again. The Wildcat offense will finally start to click with Dawkins under center. The UA defense is still a work in progress, but should perform better against a lackluster Hawaii defense that struggled last week versus The University of Tennessee at Martin.
Arizona 44 Hawaii 13
Drake Horner: After the way Arizona started the game against Grambling and hearing it from the coaches all week, I don’t think it will be another slow start. Hawaii can put up points, but their defense hasn’t been great, allowing an average of 50 points in their three games. The offense should be able to score points, but after the last two weeks, I’m skeptical. I think it’s a close game at half then Arizona separates itself late in the game.
Arizona 34 Hawaii 21
Mike C. Paulus: The Hawaii game feels like a crossroads. If the Wildcats struggle or (gasp!) lose to Hawaii, the 2016 season could derail. Luckily, Hawaii isn't very good. Sadly, neither are the Wildcats. Overall talent wins this contest — but barely.
Arizona 24 Hawaii 18
Brandon Combs: After multiple players and some coaches stating Arizona didn't come into the Grambling game with energy and didn't take the Tigers seriously, I think this week will be different. I think the ‘Cats will come out with energy and it will reflect positively on the field.
Hawaii’s offense can be dangerous, but I don't think it will be a shootout. Their defense is pretty inexperienced and gives up a lot of points. It also helps Arizona that Dawkins already has one start under his belt and had all week to get in sync with his receivers.
Arizona’s defense should be able to get pressure on Ikaika Woolsey and cause errant throws and/or sacks. Woolsey becomes really inaccurate when under pressure and has five interceptions so far this year. I believe Arizona will get a lead in the first quarter and not look back.
Arizona: 49 Hawaii: 24
Ryan Kelapire: Okay, I know everyone predicted a blowout against Grambling State and it obviously didn't happen, but I think this will finally be the week that Arizona gets a comfortable win. And honestly, the Wildcats kind of need one at this point — otherwise the confidence in this team's ability to win in Pac-12 play will be diminished.
I do think Hawaii will keep it close in the first half, maybe even through three quarters, but I think the Wildcats will eventually win by a pretty wide margin.
Arizona 41, Hawaii 21
Jason Bartel: I think that last week was the wake up call that the Arizona offense needed, and the late mistakes by Trevon Cherry allowed the Wildcats to gain some momentum at the end of that game.
Hawai’i is a team that has traveled the globe in the first three weeks, and is already playing their fourth game of the season. I don’t know that the Warriors will be able to hang for very long.
Arizona 45 Hawaii 17
Steve Apter: Hawaii allowed 214 rushing yards on 43 carries to Tennesse-Martin at home last week. I fully expect Arizona to follow a similar formula. Hawaii might be competitive for a half -- Diocemy Saint Juste should easily top 100 rushing yards and they'll get lucky with a few Marcus Kemp jumpballs. Ultimately, Arizona wears out a jet lagged Hawaii team who has already made trips to Australia and Michigan.
Arizona 42 Hawaii 17