With both teams looking for that first WAC win, next weekend's game could deal a serious blow to one team's bowl hopes and give a boost to the other.
Hawaii plays 13 games this year and needs 7 wins to be bowl eligible. Louisiana Tech needs to finish at least 7-5 to have even a remote chance at a bowl.
Both teams expect to beat Utah State and Idaho. Both teams will have to pass tough home tests against a still dangerous Nevada team and both teams will have to beat a solid NMSU on the road.
Louisiana Tech has the easier road for sure. The Bulldogs already have 2 wins and get a non-conference game at an Army team that has struggled this year. If the Bulldogs can win their next three games against Hawaii, Idaho, and Army, then they will be 5-2 going into a big showdown with Fresno State.
Hawaii will be ready and the Bulldogs never play great on the islands. Louisiana Tech has a long week to work on a few things.
The Bulldog offensive line has to keep working to open holes for the running game. They also need to give Taylor Bennett more time. Meanwhile, Bennett really needs to plant his feet and throw the short to mid range passes with a little more authority. Too many times he throws off his back foot and the ball sails above or behind his receiver.
The receivers played better against Boise, but there were still too many drops. The offensive unit as a whole needs to develop more consistency. Less incompletions and more diverse playcalling would also help the offense tremendously. The coaching staff must develop some go to plays in the red zone.
The Boise game showed, like the Kansas game, that Tech has a long way to go offensively. The Bulldogs lost the Boise game themselves, although the officials proved a little too eager to keep Boise's BCS hopes alive. (I guess calling an obvious holding at least once when they were up 20+ was out of the question.) Regardless of the officials, Tech could not take advantage of any single opportunity to get in the game.
Another key date to circle on the schedule is November 8th. Louisiana Tech must go to San Jose for a game that really could determine a bowl spot. The Spartans, with the big win on the islands, are 3-2 and could be 6-3 when the Bulldogs come to town. A win over Tech would almost certainly put San Jose in a bowl game.
Despite losing their all-WAC runner, Luke Lippincott, Nevada sits ominously at the end of both the Bulldogs and the Spartan's schedules. The Wolfpack will still have bowl hopes of their own and could easily find themselves in the mix for that third bowl spot behind Fresno and Boise.
The Hawaii game is first, however, and Tech must find some offense against a team that simply can not afford to lose. It should be a great game, with both teams putting it all on the line.
Louisiana Tech's defense has played well, despite spending a lot of time on the field. Special teams have been a bright spot, and were the difference in both wins this year. To get back on track, it will take a group effort. The Bulldogs really can be 5-2 going into the Fresno game, but they have to be on their game next weekend on the islands. It is going to be a long week waiting for this game.