Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 8-6 overall, 5-3 in Mountain West
Head Coach: Nick Rolovich, 4th year, 18-22
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HAWAII OFFENSE
– Well that was fun. It’s not like the Hawaii passing game went away, but it wasn’t the Hawaii passing game like it was when it ruled the planet under June Jones. Last year, with the move back to the true run-and-shoot, the air show went up by almost 1,500 yards as it finished ninth in the nation averaging over 300 yards per game. Most of the pieces are back.
– All Cole McDonald did was throw for close to 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns as he made the air show go, but he’s getting more than just a hard push from redshirt freshman Chevan Cordeiro for the starting job.
They can both move the offense, but Cordeiro – who threw for 384 yards and six touchdowns – can run a little more and took over the attack late in the season. It’ll be Game On for the job throughout fall camp.
– Leading receiver John Ursua left early for the NFL, but the receiving corps is more than fine. Cedric Byrd is a smallish-quick volume catcher who made 79 grabs with nine scores, and called smallish-quick volume catcher JoJo Ward made 51 grabs and was more of a big play threat.
It’s Hawaii, so the JUCO transfers will come in to make an impact. Melquise Stovall will almost certainly be a 40-plus catch target out of the box, Jared Smart is a decent-sized big play threat, and 6-3, 180-pound true freshman Mekel Ealy might be the most talented new guy on the lot.
– The running game was along for the ride, but at least most of the top parts are back. 5-11, 250-pound Dayton Furuta averaged close to five yards per carry, and the quicker Fred Holly led the team with 468 yards and four scores. On the plus side for the running game and the rest of the O, the line returns with all five starters after going way young – and struggling. The pass protection has to be better, but the size and experience are there.