Picking 3 Wins

The Rainbow Warriors didn't earn their first win until the final game last year; hopefully, this year will be different. RANDY DELA CRUZ PHOTO

The Rainbow Warriors didn’t earn their first win until the final game last year; hopefully, this year will be different. RANDY DELA CRUZ PHOTO

Wayne Coito is a true believer. Every year at this time, despite the gloom and doom that comes from many current University of Hawaii football observers, the superfan from Mililani truly believes that the Rainbow Warriors are going to turn the corner and once again achieve a winning season. He’ll sit with his friends in the same seat he’s had for years — in the front row in the South end zone at Aloha Stadium — and cheer his head off, hoping, believing that this could finally be the year.

Only time will tell if he is right, or if predictions of more gloom and doom are spot-on. A year ago, Norm Chow’s team suffered five losses by a touchdown or less, and didn’t earn their first win until the final game. This year, I’m less hopeful than my friend, the superfan, but I can see the Rainbow Warriors improving on last year’s win total.

Here now are my annual game-by-game prognostications, along with Wayne’s true believer predictions:

Game 1: Washington at home. I say UW wins big, 42-17. Wayne says it’s closer, the nationally ranked Pac-12 Huskies winning 31-20.

Game 2: Oregon State at home. I say Beavers win 34-20. Wayne has virtually the same outcome, OSU winning 35-21.

Game 3: Northern Iowa at home. I say the third home game’s the charm for Hawaii, winning a close one over its FCS opponent 34-31. Wayne also has UH winning 35-27.

Game 4: Colorado on the road. I’m picking the Buffs to win handily, 31-14. Wayne says Hawaii will produce a big upset in Golden, winning 28-27.

Game 5: Rice on the road. I see another lopsided road loss for UH, with Rice winning 34-14. Wayne also picks Rice 35-17.

Game 6: Wyoming at home. I may be crazy, but I think Hawaii can win its first conference game of the season, so I’m picking UH 28-24. Wayne says UH 37-24. Game 7: San Diego State on the road. I see a lopsided Aztec victory, 41-17. Wayne also sees SDSU winning, but in a closer score, 35-28.

Game 8: Nevada at home. I see a tough Homecoming loss for UH, with Nevada winning 35-27. Wayne picks Hawaii to win again at home, this time 27-21.

Game 9: Utah State at home. I say another frustrating loss for Hawaii, falling to the Aggies 31-28. Wayne also picks Utah State to win 31-20.

Game 10: Colorado State on the road. I’m predicting a Colorado State blowout victory 34-17. Wayne, feeling the effects of the mountain air again, says Hawaii wins 42-41.

Game 11: San Jose State on the road. I see San Jose winning handily 31-17. Wayne is California believin’ and predicts another Hawaii win 31-24.

Game 12: UNLV at home. I struggled with this one, but I think Hawaii can pull it off on Senior Night. I’m picking UH 28-27. Wayne says UH will pick up win No. 7, 29-13.

Game 13: Fresno State on the road. I say a powerful Fresno squad wins 38-20. Wayne sees the Bulldogs with a lopsided win, 41-21.

Bottom line: I’m suggesting a three-win season for UH this year and continued struggles at the gate. I’ll be there for at least a couple of games, but Wayne will be there through thick and thin, bleeding green all the way and truly believing that Hawaii will somehow win seven games this year. In this case, I’m rooting for the true believer.