Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Hawaii season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview
Head Coach: Timmy Chang, 1st year at Hawaii
2021 Preview: Overall: 6-7, Conference: 3-5
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Hawaii Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022
Hawaii might be starting over in just about every way, but it certainly should be fun.
After the disastrous end to the Todd Graham era – with a mass exodus of players who didn’t want to be around the program anymore thanks to a slew of abuse allegations and issues – Hawaii hired legendary quarterback Timmy Chang to take over and make everything okay again.
He inherits a program that earned four straight bowl bids amid a slew of problems – like losing its iconic home stadium – but now needs an overhaul.
The transfer portal took away a whole lot of key parts and stars, but Chang has been able to bring enough in to make the Rainbow Warriors interesting.
Chang might not have any head coaching experience, but he’s going to get the O going again. We’ve heard that before with other Hawaii coaches – Nick Rolovich was one – with success at different levels.
At the very least, with a little work, things will start to look more familiar.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022: Offense
Get ready for the passing game to start winging it around early and often. Timmy Chang knows what it’s like to throw for a bazillion yards with this program, and now it’s up to Ian Shoemaker to come in as the offensive coordinator and make it happen. This is his first FBS gig of any kind, but after running the Eastern Washington offense for the last few years, here we go. But …
Hawaii needs its quarterback. Veteran baller Chevan Cordeiro is now at San Jose State, but there are a whole slew of options. Brayden Schager worked late last season and ended up throwing for 615 yards and two touchdowns with five picks, but former Washington State passer Cammon Cooper knows what he’s doing – he was part of the Rolovich era at Wazzu – and on the way is Joey Yellen from Pitt after Kedon Slovis signed on.
The receiving corps is just as interesting. The wideouts didn’t to all that much in the old offense – WR/RB Calvin Turner is done after leading the team with 73 catches – and Nick Mardner is gone to Cincinnati after leading the way with five touchdowns and close to 20 yards per catch.
21.4-yard-per-catch guy Zion Bowens is back, and in comes Chris Jackson – a part-time target at BYU – to be part of the fun.
The passing game will end up working, but the front five has to come together fast. There are a few nice parts returning with Ilm Manning back at one tackle, senior Micah Vanterpool returning at left guard, and Solo Vaipulu returning at right guard. On the way is Luke Felix-Fualolo from Utah to push for one tackle job – the overall developed depth is lacking.
Leading rusher Dae Dae Hunter off to Liberty, but the backs are fine. Dedrick Parson is a good veteran who ran for eight touchdowns and was second on the team with 618 yards – he can catch, too. There might not be a ton of experience behind him, but there’s depth.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022: Defense
All of the attention will be on the offense as it tries to recreate the magic under Timmy Chang. The parts are there, though, to eventually make it go once the right starting 11 emerges. The defense is a different story.
The Hawaii D was the worst in the Mountain West, allowing 446 yards per game and 32 points per outing. It couldn’t come up with a third down stop, the pass defense was among the worst in America, and after all of that, now it has to go on by piecing things together through the transfer portal. But …
Hawaii has a guy on the inside. Blessman Ta’ala is a 6-1, 300-pound immovable rock. Start with him and 300-pound senior John Tuitupou, and the defense has something to build around, even with Justus Tavai going to San Diego State.
Now the line needs the ends. The transfer portal hit this group hard, but Mataio Soli from Arkansas needs to grow into an edge rusher to take over.
The 2021 defense had good players, but it just didn’t work. That starts in the back seven with leading tackler Darius Muasau off to UCLA and just about everyone who mattered gone from the secondary that didn’t stop anyone.
To be nice, the defensive backs are going to be a work in progress through fall camp. Hugh Nelson is one part at corner, and everything else has to fill in. Penei Pavihi is a 6-3, 245-pound fifth-year veteran at linebacker along with former Oregon State transfer Isaiah Tufaga.