Rainbow Warriors open 2017 season on the road at UMass this weekend

The University of Hawai’i football team will make its furthest trip east when it opens the 2017 season against Massachusetts, Saturday, Aug. 26 in a non-conference game at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Mass.

The Rainbow Warriors (0-0) will travel more than 5,000 miles on a nearly 10-hour plane ride and three-hour bus ride to the UMass campus. UH begins Year 2 of the Nick Rolovich-era with 15 starters returning from a team that won their first bowl game in 10 years. Hawai’i will look to snap a 13-game non-conference road losing streak.

The match-up concludes a home-and-home series which began last season in Honolulu. The Warriors won the contest 46-40 at Aloha Stadium to close out the regular season and clinch a Hawai’i Bowl berth.

Game #1
Who: Hawai’i (0-0) vs. Massachusetts (0-0)
When: Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017
Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. HT
Where: Amherst, Mass.
Stadium: McGuirk Alumni Stadium (17,000)
Television: Eleven Sports Net with Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Andy Gresh (analyst). Televised live locally and statewide on Spectrum (257/1257 HD) and Hawaiian Telcom (91/1091 HD).
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 10:00 a.m. HT, and also the halftime show. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA on the Big Island, 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.
Video Streaming: UMassAthletics.com
Audio Webcast: ESPN1420am.com
Live Stats: UMassAthletics.com
Series Information: UH leads the series 1-0. The Rainbow Warriors held off the Minutemen 46-40 in last season’s regular-season-finale in Honolulu.

Game Notes
The second straight straight season UH will play in “Week 0” after taking on Cal in Sydney, Australia to open the 2016 season. UH and UMass were originally scheduled to play on Oct. 21…A rematch of the 2016 regular-season finale. The teams combined for 86 points and 938 yards of total offense as Hawai’i held on for a 46-40 win in Honolulu to secure its first post-season berth since 2010…This will be UH’s first trip to Amherst and the program’s furthest trip east ever at more than 5,000 miles. Last year, UH travelled more than 5,000 miles to open the season in Sydney, Australia…This will be just the fourth time in the last 24 years that UH will open the season on the U.S. Mainland…UH looks to break a string of 13 straight non-conference road losses. UH’s last non-conference road win came at Army in 2010…Second-year head coachNick Rolovich returns to Amherst where he had a brief stint as offensive coordinator under Charley Molnar before taking on the same role at Nevada in 2012.

About UMass
UMass returns 46 letterwinners and 15 starters (7 offense/8 defense) from a squad that finished 2-10 last season…UMass finished 43rd nationally in passing yards per game at 256.7 yards, while its 99.4 rushing average was fifth-worst in the FBS…The Minuteman boast a number of returning skill players in quarterback Andrew Ford, running back Marquis Young, and tight ends Adam Breneman and Andy Isabella…Breneman  and Isabella combined for 132 receptions, 1,609 yards, and 15 touchdowns last year. Isabella is on the Biletnikoff Watch List, while Breneman is a third-team preseason All-American by Athlon and is also on the Biletnikoff and John Mackey Award watch lists…Quarterback Andrew Ford (Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List) threw for 2,665 yards (60.8%), 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2016. He threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s loss at Hawai’i…Marquis Young (Doak Walker Award Watch list) is the team’s featured back with season totals of 898 yards (4.6 avg.) and four touchdowns. He had 117 yards and a TD at Hawai’i last year…Head coach Mark Whipple enters his 10th season at UMass where he has a 57-54 record. He owns an overall head coaching record of 129-87…He is currently in his second stint with UMass and has also coached at Brown and New Haven.

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