Preview 2016

Hawaii Preview 2016: Rolovich Renewal


The Hawaii football outlook for 2016 season. The Rainbow Warriors are starting over with a former quarterback star looking to restore the glory.


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Norm Chow will forever be known as a legendary quarterback coach and offensive coordinator – along with being a fantastic guy – but it had been several years since he had any real success before taking over the Hawaii job. The one thing he was supposed to be able to do was crank up the offense, and it never happened.

Enter Nick Rolovich, a former Hawaii quarterback best known for going on an epic tear in 2001, making 500-yard passing games the norm – no pun intended.

Just 37, he’s young, he knows the program, and he’s ready to take over the job and show what he can do after handling the Nevada offense for the last few years.

So now this becomes interesting, and sort of harsh. Either Chow was holding the program back, and it just needed a few tweaks and new ideas – meaning Rolovich can now unleash everything he wants to do running the Hawaii football team – or it’s not possible to be HAWAII again offensively, at least like it used to be.

In any event, the Rainbow Warriors are going younger and in a new direction, with Rolovich about to try to crank up the high-flying attack again to at least make Hawaii football fun again.

2010 was the last winning season, and that was the only one since the Colt Brennan 12-1 run to the Sugar Bowl in 2007. Rolovich first has to get a passing game going after finishing 118th in efficiency for an offense that averaged a mere 316 yards per game. Next, he has to make Hawaii a dangerous place for teams to visit, and that only happens with more pop and explosion on both sides of the ball.

Ten starters return on offense, seven on defense, and there are plenty of options to test out to see what works. There might be a wee bit of a honeymoon period – no one is expecting Mountain West titles right away – but as long as the offense works, this season should be a success.