The University of Hawaii football team has had more than its share of problems this season, but one of the most glaring could mean especially big trouble today.
The Warriors (1-4, 0-2 Mountain West Conference) rank 106th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in rushing defense, allowing an average of 214.0 yards per game on the ground.
New Mexico (3-3, 0-1), meanwhile, brings the eighth-best rushing offense in the nation to Aloha Stadium, running for 271.7 yards per game and 5.4 per carry.
Hawaii coach Norm Chow says the Warriors’ 1-4 start has left the entire team “frustrated.”
"We have to stop the run game," UH coach Norm Chow said Monday in a news conference posted on the school's athletic website. "We have got to stop the mid-line (option) that did not stop against Reno."
Hawaii allowed Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson to tie a record for a game involving two FBS teams by scoring seven touchdowns - six rushing - last month in Honolulu. Jefferson ran for 170 yards.
Last week, the Warriors lost 52-14 at San Diego State, giving up 194 yards on the ground.
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Hawaii is 0-4 against FBS teams this season, outscored 217-48 in those games.
"We're all frustrated. You can't help but be frustrated," Chow said.
The leading rusher in New Mexico's option offense is Kasey Carrier, who has run for 469 yards and six touchdowns. Last week, he went for 191 yards and four scores in a 35-14 victory over Texas State.
The Lobos attempted only three passes in their 62 offensive plays against the Bobcats, and have run on 81 percent of their snaps this season.
"They will force us to throw the ball more, I really believe that," New Mexico coach Bob Davie said of UH. "Thy will come up there man-to-man and press on us. They will have more people in the box, and I'm kind of looking forward to it. I am. I think we've got some good receivers; I think we practice the throwing game a lot. I think we're capable of throwing the football, I really do."
Davie is in his first year with the Lobos - his only other head coaching job was at Notre Dame, where he went 35-25 from 1997 to 2001.
New Mexico has four players averaging at least 50 rushing yards per game, and has scored all but one of its 18 touchdowns on the ground.
"The triple option is hard (to defend)? particularly if you have some good tailbacks in it like we do," Davie said.