HONOLULU - The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will travel on the road to Las Vegas, NV where they will take on the UNLV Rebels. The sixth and final road trip of the year will mark the first road game for the Rainbow Warriors under new leadership since 2011. Interim head coach Chris Naeole will attempt to salvage the disappointing season, as Hawaii aims to break the six game losing skid, and earn their first Mountain West conference victory of 2015.
Saturday’s meeting at Sam Boyd Stadium will be the 25th overall meeting between the two schools, with UH leading 15-9 overall. Hawaii has come out on top seven out of 12 contests in Las Vegas, but in recent years the home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings.
Who: Hawai'i (2-7, 0-5 MW) at UNLV (2-6, 1-3 MW)
When: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
Time: 3:00 p.m. PT/1 p.m. HT
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium (35,500)
Television: Televised live locally in O'ahu and statewide on Oceanic Pay-Per-View (Digital Ch. 255 and HD Ch. 1255) and Hawaiian Telcom Pay-Per-View (Ch. 969), with Robert Kekaula (play-by-play) and Rich Miano (analyst).
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM will carry the game live with Bobby Curran (play-by-play) and John Veneri (analyst). Chris Hart and Gary Dickman host the "Countdown To Kickoff" beginning at 11:00 a.m. HT, and also the halftime show. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona, KTOH on Kaua'i, and KNWJ in Pago Pago, American Samoa. In addition, the game is available on satellite radio on XM 203 and Sirius 93.
Steaming Video: Live video for those outside of the Hawaiian Islands at www.theMW.com
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on www.espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats will be provided by UNLV
Series Information: 25th meeting, UH controls the series lead, 15-9
Naeole Takes The Reigns:
Surely the focal point of this Saturday’s match up will be the Rainbow Warriors' ability to respond to the adversity that comes with a coaching change. Former offensive line coach and now interim head coach Chris Naeole is up to the task and is preparing to take on this challenge game by game.
“I’m going to take it one (game) at a time and concentrate to win four games.” Naeole said. “Schematically we are gonna stay the same, we have the same coordinators and they have the green light. It’s business as usual.”
Throughout practice this week Naeole has been stressing the importance of attitude and is not worried about the team morale.
“Good energy, stressing tempo, speed of the game, they’ve done the right things on and off the field, nobody has missed class this week so I’m pretty proud of them.” Naeole said.
He went on to comment on his new role as the head man, “I’m having fun, I might not get no sleep right now. I’ve just been trying to catch up and sit down with Dave Matlin, we’ve been talking and meeting every day.”
Although Naeole has been appointed as the interim head coach, he still very much understands the importance of his group’s collective effort, and its direct effect it will have on the team’s future success.
“I’m not here by myself, I’ve got help, coaches are out there working hard, we are going to continue to work hard and put our best foot forward.” said Naeole.
Since taking over for Chow, Naeole has made a few changes to the team’s leadership, first starting with the eight team captains.
“With the new captains, I felt that they bring a little more credibility, the eight guys I chose all have been paying in these first eight games and have been playing pretty well.” Naeole said. “They have been grading out the best. Who grades out the best I want everybody to strive for that.”
In addition to changing the team captains, Naeole has opted to go with quarterback Ikaika Woolsey under center.
“Right now its Ikaika Woolsey, first most important decision is to pick a QB.” Said Naeole. “I feel he brings that energy right now that we need. When he got in he moved the ball around and got out of the pocket a little and made some things happen.”
Although senior quarterback Max Wittek has been demoted to second string. Naeole has been impressed with how Wittek has handles the situation, and if Woolsey struggles on Saturday, he will not be hesitant to put Wittek in.
“Max has handled himself as a pro so far, he hasn’t complained, he’s been doing the work and I’ve noticed that.” said Naeole. “If Ikaika can’t get it done I’m not afraid to pull the trigger and put Max in.” Naeole added, “There’s live bullets out there and I’m trying to win the game. But right now I think Ikaika gives us the best chance but I’m not sleeping on Max at all.”
Kickoff at Sam Body Stadium is set for 3:00 p.m. PT/1 p.m. HT.