The UCLA Bruins will start their season against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday. To say this is a mismatch is a little bit of an understatement.
Meanwhile, Hawaii was .500 last year in the inferior Mountain West. They graduated the majority of their starting lineup, and their recruiting class was 125th best in the country. Now Hawaii did land a few strong transfers, but they still lack top end talent that a Power 5 school usually plays with.
It shouldn’t be a shock to hear that UCLA is a massive favorite to win this game. It may be a little surprising to see that UCLA is an 18 point favorite. That’s the 3rd biggest margin of opening weekend. Fresno State, 27.5 point favorites over UConn, and San Jose State, 22 point favorites over Southern Utah, have bigger margins.
If the spread isn’t your thing, UCLA is given -714 odds, or an implied 87.7% implied chance to win the game. Meanwhile, Hawaii is given +650 odds, or an implied 13.3% chance to pull the upset.
UCLA and Hawaii have played each other three times prior to this matchup. UCLA has won all 3 matchups.
The first matchup went 19-6 to the Bruins in 1935. That win snapped a 2 game Bruin losing streak. They would finish the year 8-2.
The second matchup went 32-7 to UCLA in the 1939 Poi Bowl. The Bruins had finished the regular season 6-4-1 before heading to Honolulu for the first time. They won a beat down to close out a bounce back season after going just 2-6-1 in 1937.
The third matchup went 56-23 to UCLA in 2017. Darren Andrews caught 3 touchdowns that day, Demetric Felton ran one in, as did Bolu Alorunfunmi. The defense got in on the action as well with a Darnay Holmes pick-6 off of Cole McDonald.
This was schedule to be an easy opening week win for UCLA. This is team who hasn’t performed all that well in the Mountain West, and saw most of their starters graduate a year ago. Anything other than a blowout win would look like an unacceptable start to the season.