What gives with the Hawaii Rainbows?

They're usually about as reliable away from home as a broken umbrella in a rainstorm.Not so this year. They defeated Oregon, 24-21, two weeks ago in Eugene, then stunned Air Force, 6-3, last week in Colorado Springs.

Three quarterbacks - Michael Carter, Ivin Jasper and Rodney Glover - have had to play due to injuries. Running back Travis Sims and the defense have also been keys in the successful start for a team that was picked by the media to finish near the bottom of the WAC standings.

After two games Hawaii ranks second in total defense, allowing 367 yards per game. Air Force is first at 309 (BYU ranks sixth at 430 and Utah seventh at 452). Hawaii isn't wearing out the yard markers - ranking only eighth offensively with 333 yards per game - but in the most important category, victories, they're first. At 2-0, they're the only unbeaten, untied team in the conference.

The Rainbows have a week off to get the QBs healthy for their home opener Sept. 26, where they'll play a team from Provo that they've had pretty good success against lately.

ANOTHER HEISMAN FOR WAC? - San Diego State's Marshall Faulk, who was sensational last year as a freshman, leading the nation in rushing and scoring, appears to have an excellent chance to bring the WAC its second Heisman in three years - Ty Detmer of BYU being the first to do it in 1990.

Faulk, one of the front-runners going into the season, has had an extra boost - a regionally-televised game against USC in San Diego State's opener, where he rushed for more than 200 yards and scored three touchdowns, and last Thursday night's nationally-televised contest against BYU on ESPN, where he rushed for 299 yards and three more touchdowns to establish himself as the frontrunner after two games.

His chief competition is likely to come from three quarterbacks - Notre Dame's Rick Mirer, Miami's Gino Toretta and Florida's Shane Matthews - and all purpose runner Qadry Ismail of Syracuse.

WAC FORECASTS:

UCLA at BYU - At least, as far as is known, all of UCLA's players are from the planet Earth. That wasn't the case last week. The San Diego State Aztecs tried to pass their alien off as an Earthling, but humans don't accelerate the way he did.

Lack of galactic help notwithstanding, UCLA is an excellent team, ranked 15th in the nation. But the Bruins lost their starting quarterback for the season last week against Cal State Fullerton and will start a redshirt freshman - a big plus for BYU.

There are other factors that favor BYU:

- The game is being played in Provo, where the Cougars have never lost two straight games during the LaVell Edwards Era.

- This is a statement game for BYU. After the loss to San Diego State the Cougars need to show they're a solid team before venturing to Hawaii for a WAC game against the crazed Rainbow Warriors.

- Most of the players for BYU played in the Rose Bowl (UCLA's home field) last year where the Cougars came close to beating the Bruins, who were led by quarterback Tommy Maddox.

Despite the loss of quarterback Wayne Cook, the Bruins have some dandy offensive weapons - wide receiver Sean LaChappell and running back Kevin Williams, who both had big games against BYU last season.

The key will be BYU's defensive line, which with the exception of nose guard Lenny Gomes, has been missing in action. The call here is that they will not only rise and shout Saturday but tackle people and put pressure on the quarterback as well . . . BYU 34, UCLA 24.

Rest of the WAC: SMU at New Mexico; New Mexico State at UTEP; Air Force at Wyoming; Colorado State at Fresno State. After last week's abysmal performance, where outside of the BYU and Utah games only one of six games was picked correctly, a far better method for this week is suggested - flip a coin.