2010 Record: 10-4
2010 Bowl Result: Lost Hawaii Bowl 62-35 to Tulsa
2010 Against the spread: 11-3
2010 over/under: 7-6-1
Returning Starters: 9 (3 offense, 6 defense)
Throughout August we are releasing pre-season previews for all the major college teams. Our College Football Handicappers are doing plenty of research to make sure we release winners every week during the upcoming season.
Last season, Hawaii tied for the WAC Conference title with Boise St and Nevada. Hawaii ended the regular season with a 10-3 record. The Warriors were crushed by Tulsa 62-35 in the Hawaii Bowl to end the season 10-4. This season Coach Greg McMackin and the Warriors are picked to win the conference over Fresno St and Nevada. Boise St has moved to the Mountain West, so the three schools will compete for the title. Hawaii only has 9 starters returning this season.
Here is a look at Hawaii’s offense, defense, special teams, and schedule.
Explosive offense has always been a trademark of the Hawaii football program, and last year was no exception. They had the number 1 passing game in the country with 394.3 yards a game, but the rushing game ranked near the bottom of the country with 114.3 yards a game. Overall, they had the #5 ranked offense in total yards with 508.6 yards. The Warriors scored 39.6 points a game last season which was #10 in the country. The Warriors only return 3 starters from that unit.
Senior Quarterback Bryant Moniz does return to run the offense. Moniz completed 65% of his passes for 5,040 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season. He also had 81 carries for 102 yards and 4 touchdown runs. He threw for over 300 yards in 11 games and over 500 against San Jose St and Louisiana Tech. He needs to cut down on the interceptions, as he threw 8 in the last 4 games, including 4 against Tulsa in the blowout loss. Senior Shane Austin will be the back-up. He played sparingly last year in mop-up work. He did play a lot in the opener versus USC when Moniz was injured. He threw for 258 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick last year. Sophomore David Graves is the future of the program, but did throw a 41 yard touchdown pass last year. Graves played special teams and a little bit at safety as well.
Despite averaging only 114 rushing yards a game, Hawaii had a 1,000 yard rusher in Alex Green. Green had 146 carries, 1,199 yards, and 18 touchdown runs. He also had 27 catches, 363 yards, and a touchdown. Green is now with the Packers. The Warriors also lose second leading rusher Chizzy Dimude who had 44 carries, 258 yards and a touchdown. Junior Sterling Jackson sat out last season after transferring from Mendecino College. He will be the lead back. He is a good runner but doesn’t have a lot of experience catching passes out of the backfield. Redshirt freshman Joey Iosefa is built more like a fullback, but Hawaii doesn’t use a fullback in their offense so will be the short yardage or change of pace back. True freshmen Will Gregory and Jared leaf will get significant carries as well.
The Warriors lose 4 of their top 5 receivers if you count Green. Grag Salas (Rams) and Kealoha Pilares (Panthers) are both in the NFL now. Salas had 119 catches, 1,889 yards, and 14 touchdowns. Pilares had 88 catches, 1,306 yards, and 15 touchdowns. Rodney Bradley, the #4 leading receiver had 48 catches, 511 yards, and a touchdown and is also gone. Junior Royce Pollard had 64 catches, 901 yards and 7 touchdowns. He will return as the #1 receiver this season.
Junior Darius Bright redshirted last year after transferring from a Junior College. He has a good combination of size and speed that will make him the #2 receiver. JUCO transfer Chris Grant will also be in the rotation of receivers. Sophomore Billy Ray Stutzman had 13 catches, 130 yards, and a score last year. Junior Cecil Doe is another JUCO transfer looking to catch some of the many balls Moniz will throw. Junior Jeremiah Ostrowski is also the starting point guard for the Warriors basketball team. Ostrowski had 4 catches for 94 yards last season. He will work out of the slot, but will also run some reverses. Sophomore Allen Sampson is a better kick returner than receiver but he will get some targets as well, along with Donnie king and Justin Clapp.
The offensive line loses 4 starters from a year ago. Hawaii’s line was OK but not spectacular last year. They struggled against good pass rushing teams, although the Warriors did attempt 618 passes last year so the line had to pass protect an average of 44 times a game. Some of the problems protecting the quarterback came from fatigue. Senior Austin Hansen returns to anchor the line at left tackle.
The defense wasn’t bad by Hawaii standards, giving up 359 total yards a game which was #51 in the country. Hawaii allowed 221.7 passing yards and 137.3 rushing yards a game last season. They allowed 25.5 points a game, which #58 in the country. They return 6 starters from that unit.
Hawaii will be more aggressive on defense blitzing with the linebackers and perhaps the secondary as well. Corey Paredes and Aaron Brown are two of the best linebackers in the conference. Vaughn Meatoga and Kaniela Tuipuloti are talented at the defensive tackles. The secondary also has lots of talent. Hawaii will have to depend on JUCO transfers and inexperienced underclassmen to step up and contribute right away.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Hadden takes over as the kicker for Scott Enos. Hadden as a strong leg and is accurate as well. Their might be some growing pains at first but he should be fine.
Junior punter Alex Dunnachie averaged 43 yards per punt and had 15 inside the 20. He does need some help from his coverage unit.
Allen Sampson will return both kicks and punts with his 4.4 speed. He averaged 20 yards on kick returns last year.
Hawaii opens the season with a home game against Colorado, before heading to the mainland for a 2 game road trip at Washington and UNLV. They return home to play UC Davis before another 2 game road trip. They travel to Louisiana Tech, a ridiculous 7,000 mile conference road trip, before going to San Jose St. The Warriors host New Mexico St before traveling to Idaho. They return home to host Utah St before traveling to Nevada. Hawaii closes with 3 straight home games against Fresno St, Tulane, and BYU. The only potential trouble spots are the games versus Washington, Nevada, Fresno, and BYU. Even if they get a split in those games, that is still 11 wins. Hawaii looks to win the WAC title one last time before leaving for the Mountain West along with Fresno and Nevada.
Hawaii was 11-3 ATS last year including 7-1 at home, and 4-2 on the road. The over/under was 7-6-1 including 4-3-1 at home and 3-3 on the road.
Game to play Hawaii
Hawaii hosts Colorado in the opener. The Warriors are a 7 point favorite against the rebuilding Buffaloes. Even breaking in new players at the skill positions Hawaii will have enough to cover at home.
Game to bet against Hawaii
November 12, Hawaii travels to Nevada. The Warriors won last year in Honolulu 27-21. I like Nevada to get revenge this year in Reno.
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