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Hawaii vs. Oregon State Football Prediction and Preview

Chevan Cordeiro, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Football

Chevan Cordeiro and the Rainbow Warriors head to Corvallis to face the Beavers on Saturday night

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will travel to the mainland for the second time in three weeks, this time to take on the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis. 

Hawaii lost to UCLA 44-10 in its season opener but bounced back for a 49-35 home victory over Portland State last week. The Beavs also opened the season on the road and fell 30-21 to Purdue. Oregon State has now lost four games in a row dating back to the 2020 season, in which the team posted a 2-5 record.

The Rainbow Warriors won their last meeting in 2019, a 31-28 barnburner in Honolulu, to snap a four-game losing streak to OSU. The Beavers hold the all-time edge 7-4 in the series that dates back to 1924.

Hawaii at Oregon State

Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 11 at 11 p.m. ET
TV: FS1
Spread: Oregon State -11

When Hawaii Has the Ball

Like the offense as a whole, quarterback Chevan Cordeiro struggled in the Week 0 opener but played much better in Week 1. Cordeiro was 25-for-47 (53.2 percent) for 220 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions against UCLA, and he was 18-for-25 (72.0 percent) for 305 yards and three scores with one interception against Portland State. He increased his yards per attempt from an ugly 4.7 to an outstanding 12.2 and was also a more productive runner, gaining 66 yards on the ground last week after running for 11 against the Bruins.

Listed as a running back and receiver who also plays quarterback in some short-yardage situations, Calvin Turner Jr. didn't record a single rushing attempt in Week 1 and had only three last week. However, Turner turned those three carries into 36 yards and a touchdown. Turner leads the team with 10 receptions and is tied with Nick Mardner for the team lead with 132 receiving yards. Mardner, Jared Smart (105 receiving yards), Aaron Cephus (52), and Caleb Phillips (four) have each caught a touchdown pass from Cordeiro.

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With Turner's role shifting to more of a pure receiver, Dae Dae Hunter has emerged as the top running back for the Rainbow Warriors. Hunter leads the team with 148 yards and has scored one touchdown. Howard transfer Dedrick Parson ranks third behind Hunter and Cordeiro with 53 rushing yards on 14 carries. Parson scored twice last week.

When Oregon State Has the Ball

Tristan Gebbia was Oregon State's starting quarterback for the first four games of 2020, but he suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Oregon and has not played since. Gebbia is reportedly close to returning and could regain his starting role. He completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 824 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions last season. Colorado transfer Sam Noyer started last week against Purdue and completed 10 of 21 passes for 94 yards and an interception before giving way to Chance Nolan. Nolan, who started the final three games of 2020, was much sharper than Noyer against the Boilermakers, throwing for 157 yards on 10-for-16 passing.

The Beavs are also unsettled at running back. B.J. Baylor ran for 23 yards and two touchdowns on a team-high nine carries last week, and Trey Lowe led with 27 rushing yards on six attempts. South Carolina transfer Deshaun Fenwick, projected by many as the starter in the preseason, had just one carry for one yard. Linebacker, former quarterback, and short-yardage weapon Jack Colletto gained 10 yards on three carries, and receiver Tyjon Lindsey added 10 yards and scored once on two rushing attempts. Lindsey was one of five Oregon State players to record 40 or more receiving yards, having gained 42 yards on four receptions. Trevon Bradford led with five receptions and 75 yards, followed by big-play receivers Zeriah Beason (2 rec., 53 yds.) and Champ Flemings (2, 49), as well as tight end Teagan Quitoriano (2, 42).

Final Analysis

Both defenses were attacked through the air last week. Hawaii surrendered 400 passing yards to its FCS opponent, one week after allowing 244 rushing yards to UCLA. Assuming Oregon State can settle its quarterback and running back depth charts, the Beavers should be able to move the football with the pass or the run.

But the Oregon State defense also allowed 313 passing yards last week, and though Purdue gained only 85 yards on the ground, the Rainbow Warriors are capable of a more balanced approach. If Hawaii can recapture some of the magic that made Turner a breakout star in 2020, Oregon State could be on upset alert. Nevertheless, despite a four-game losing streak and question marks at highly visible offensive positions, the Beavs have a talent advantage and are rightly favored at home.

Prediction: Oregon State 37, Hawaii 24

Podcast: Week 2 Preview, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

— Written by Nicholas Ian Allen, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and managing editor of CFBWinningEdge. Follow him on Twitter @CFBWinningEdge.