The official start of the 2023 SEC football season comes this Saturday in Nashville, as Vanderbilt is set to host Hawaii in a rematch from last seasons Week 0 slate. This will be only the second-ever meeting between the two programs, with the Commodores having previously defeated Hawaii in Honolulu a year ago to open the 2022 season, 63-10.
Led by head coach Clark Lea, the Vanderbilt Commodores are coming off what was one of their top seasons in recent memory, going 5-7 overall, as well as 2-6 in SEC play, to just miss a bowl game. This would be the Commodores best season since their 2018 campaign, a year in which they went 6-7 overall, as well as 3-5 in the SEC.
Offensively, the Commodores posted an average of 24.6 PPG to rank among the bottom of all SEC football teams, and are set to return a few key names among that group headlined by quarterback AJ Swann. Vanderbilt also returns one of the SEC’s top wide receivers in Will Sheppard, who had a combined 60 receptions for 776 yards and nine touchdowns a year ago, along with others such as Jayden McGowan, Quincy Skinner Jr., and more likely names to know on offense.
On defense last season, the Commodores allowed an average of 36 PPG to opponents, and return multiple names off that side of the ball in 2023. Included in that group are names such as CJ Taylor, De’Rickey Wright, Jaylen Mahoney, Kane Patterson, and more.
Led by head coach Timmy Chang, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are coming off a down year, one in which they finished 3-10 overall, as well as 2-6 in MWC play. This was the lowest win total for the Rainbow Warriors since the 2017 season where Hawaii went 3-9 overall, as well as 1-7 in MWC play.
The Rainbow Warriors averaged a combined 19.8 PPG last season, and are set to return starting quarterback Brayden Schager off that same team. Elsewhere on Hawaii’s offense, the Rainbow Warriors also return others such as Tylan Hines, Jalen Walthall, Jonah Panoke, and more.
Defensively, Hawaii ranked slightly better than Vanderbilt nationally a year ago by allowing 34.7 PPG to opponents, and will return some of the their top tacklers from last season such as Logan Taylor, Peter Manuma, Meki Pei, and Virdel Edwards II. The Rainbow Warriors also have a few new faces that could make an impact in this game, especially up front with transfers such as Patrick Hisatake and Kuao Peihopa.
Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii Line, Spread, Over/Under
As of Monday afternoon, Vanderbilt is a 17-point favorite over Hawaii according to FanDuel. The over/under currently sits at 55.5, while Vanderbilt is -900 compared to Hawaii’s +590.
Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii SEC Football Prediction
Taking a look back at last season, the Commodores completely owned the matchup between the two teams, which included 601 yards of total offense, as well as a dominant second half in which they outscored Hawaii 42-0 after leading 21-10 at halftime. With this years game being played in Nashville as well, expect more of the same for the Commodores, and for Vanderbilt to pickup a big Week 0 victory to open the season. Prediction: Vanderbilt 48, Hawaii 17
What Channel is the Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii Game On?
The Week 0 matchup between Vanderbilt and Hawaii will be played Saturday, August 26 at 7:30 PM ET on SEC Network. Vanderbilt will host the Rainbow Warriors from FirstBank Stadium in Nashville, TN.
Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii Live Stream
A live stream of the Week 0 matchup between Vanderbilt and Hawaii can be found on fuboTV here.