2011 Hawaii Preview - Offense
Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz
CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Preview - Hawaii Warriors Offense
Preview 2011 - Offense
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What You Need To Know:
Former star quarterback Nick Rolovich took over the offense and joined forces with legendary run ‘n' shoot guru Mouse Davis to make the offense blow up. Hawaii led the nation in passing, was sixth in total offense, and produced a 1,199-yard, 18-touchdown season on the ground from RB Alex Green. The line has to find four new starters, Green is gone, and three of the top four receivers need to be replaced, but QB Bryant Moniz returns after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns, and the shelves are stocked with several decent receivers waiting to break out. Finding a new starting running back will be a problem and the line will struggle in pass protection, especially early on, but the attack will keep on cranking out big numbers. It'll be a stunner if this isn't one of the nation's top three passing offenses.
Star of the offense: Senior QB Bryant Moniz
Passing: Bryant Moniz
361-555, 5,040 yds, 39 TD, 15 INT
Rushing: Bryant Moniz
81 carries, 102 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Royce Pollard
64 catches, 901 yds, 7 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Senior C Matagisila Lefiti
Unsung star on the rise: Junior WR Jeremiah Ostrowski
Best pro prospect: Sophomore OG Chauncey Winchester-Makainai
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Moniz, 2) WR Royce Pollard, 3) WR Billy Ray Stutzmann
Strength of the offense: Passing, Moniz
Weakness of the offense: Running Back, Line Experience
State of the Unit: As always, the Hawaii passing game was tremendous leading the nation with 394 yards per game while finishing tenth in passing efficiency. Five different players got to throw a pass as the combination went for 5,520 yards with 42 touchdown passes and 17 picks, and while several new receivers have to step up, the quarterbacks should make everyone shine.
Senior Bryan Moniz led the nation in total offense as the new leader and star of the high octane attack. After coming over from Fresno City College, the 6-0, 200-pounder was thrown into the mix in 2009 and had a decent season throwing for 2,396 yards and 14 touchdowns with ten picks, and then it all clicked. Last year he completed 65% of his passes for 5,040 yards with 39 touchdown passes and 15 picks while finishing third on the team in rushing with 104 yards and four scores. He went over the 300-yard mark 11 times with a 532-yard day against Louisiana Tech, a 560-yard performance against San Jose State, and with three touchdown passes or more in ten outings. He's not all that big and he doesn't have a huge arm, but he's great on the move and he has the timing of the attack down cold. Cutting down on his picks is a must after closing out the year with eight interceptions in the final four games, including four thrown in the bowl loss to Tulsa, but he's going to put up monster numbers once again and should be a threat for another 5,000-yard season if the new receivers can play like veterans.
6-0, 200-pound senior Shane Austin got in a little bit of mop-up work completing 19-of-33 passes for 258 yards and two scores with a pick. Most of his production came in the opener against USC when Moniz was dinged up, and he was terrific completing 6-of-9 passes for 141 yards and two scores. Smart and with a good arm, he might not be the baller that Moniz is, but he's a good, sound passer.
Does David Graves get the keys to the car next year? The 6-0, 195-pound sophomore got in a little bit of work completing one of three passes for a 41-yard touchdown, but he also saw time on special teams and at safety finishing with two tackles and a fumble recovery. A big-time passer who fits the Hawaii mold, he's also a terrific athlete who can add more of a rushing element to the mix.
Watch Out For … the No. 3 situation. Moniz and Austin are both done after this year and Hawaii needs other options going into 2011. While there are always rumors and always several transfers who want in – Tate Forcier, anyone? – seeing what Graves or Cayman Shutter can do.
Strength: The Hawaii passing offense. The thing works. It might not always be effective against the top teams and it might be a lot of big numbers at times without anything behind them, but the yards are going to come. The system is always going to crank out the yards.
Weakness: The receivers. Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares are done after combining for 207 catches. The Warriors always find replacements to catch the ball, but losing veterans always requires an adjustment.
Outlook: It's Hawaii. The passing attack is going to blow up. Moniz is a near-lock for WAC Player of the Year honors if he has a 2011 like his 2010, and Austin is good enough to step in and shine if needed. Finding an option for 2012 would be nice, but the offense is Moniz's to fly.
Unit Rating: 9
State of the Unit: The running game will never be a major part of the Hawaii offense, but it was extremely effective throughout last year with Alex Green tearing off 1,199 yards and 18 touchdowns and averaging 8.2 yards per carry. QB Bryant Moniz will add more of a rushing element to the mix and will get a few yards, and several different players will get involved, but the ground game is only used to take advantage of teams cheating against the pass.
Trying to replace Green's production is Sterling Jackson a 6-0, 220-pound junior with good size and the skills to crank out yards in chunks. He sat out last year waiting his turn after shining for Mendocino College for two years as a linebacker as well as a running back. He can run but he has to prove he has the hands to handle himself in the passing game.
6-0, 245-pound redshirt freshman Joey Iosefa is a big, physical, pounding back with big hitting ability as a blocker and the athleticism to do a little bit of everything. He'd be the ideal fullback if Hawaii actually used a fullback, but he'll likely be a devastating short yardage runner and a good short range receiver.
Watch Out For … the true freshmen. The job is wide open and there for the taking by anyone who can show a steady spark. 6-0, 190-pound Will Gregory out of L.A. could provide an instant spark, while 6-2, 230-pound Jared Leaf is a big, strong back with excellent speed.
Strength: Ten-mile wide holes. Alex Green didn't average 8.9 yards per carry and Chizzy Dimude didn't average 5.9 yards per run just by being talented. The function of the offense is to use the ground game once in a while just to keep teams honest, and any back worth his salt should be able to take advantage of the holes and the chances to crank out big runs.
Weakness: Experience. There aren't any veteran backs to count on, and while that doesn't matter too much in this offense considering just one player needs to emerge to do what the attack wants, it would be nice if there was someone to count on.
Outlook: Losing a 1,000-yard rusher hurts, even for Hawaii. Green was a perfect back for the system, and now it should take a long tryout to find the right fit. Jackson looks the part, and Iosefa will be a fan favorite, but the chances will be there for someone to take the job by the horns.
Unit Rating: 4
State of the Unit: Lose a few star receivers, fill in the gaps with new ones, Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares were unstoppable as the team's top two targets, and No. 4 receiver Rodney Bradley and his 48 catches will also be missed. However, there's talent coming back and the system will take care of things. Salas might have been a legitimate NFL receiver, but the numbers and production will come from the new targets. It just might take a little bit of time.
The leading returning receiver and the only one of the top six pass catchers who's back is veteran Royce Pollard, a 6-0, 175-pound senior who caught 64 passes for 901 yards and seven touchdowns on the inside. While he was a steady producer throughout the year, he had his biggest games at the beginning and the end catching seven passes for 106 yards against USC and eight catches for 129 yards and a touchdown in the bowl loss to Tulsa. Along the way he closed out the year with a touchdown grab in each of the last four games and proved to be a steady, reliable target with good hands and excellent route running ability. After suffering a leg injury two years ago he came back more than fine, and now he'll be the No. 1 target.
6-3, 230-pound junior Darius Bright is a huge, physical target who came over from the JUCO ranks and was supposed to see time right away but ended up redshirting. Now he'll be a key part of the attack for the next few years with the speed to put up big numbers at the outside X position and the size to beat up defensive backs. Also pushing for time at the spot is JUCO transfer Chris Gant, a speedy gamebreaker who was a high school machine before blowing up for Moorpark College. He caught 17 passes for 238 yards in a win and finished last year with 145 catches. Utah and Washington State wanted him, but Hawaii got him.
Sophomore Billy Ray Stutzman got his feet wet last year as a good backup with two starts finishing with 13 catches for 130 yards and a score. At 6-0 and 165 pounds he's a skinny receiver who finds his way into the holes, and he should shine at the inside Z position with his quickness and Hawaii state champion sprinter ability. Expect him to be terrific on the move, while 6-3, 200-pound junior Cecil Doe is ready to go after spending the last two years at North Dakota College of Science. Very big and very athletic he could quickly become and interesting an integral part of the passing game.
Working in the slot will be 5-9, 175-pound junior Jeremiah Ostrowski, a basketball player who took over the starting point guard job. He saw a little bit of time on the football field making four catches for 94 yards including a 54-yard play against Tulsa, and now he'll be used in a variety of ways as both a receiver and a runner. He's too quick to not have the ball in his hands. Bringing even more quickness to the position is 5-7, 155-pound sophomore Allen Sampson, a dangerous kick returner with sub-4.4 speed. The Tampa native only caught one pass for -2 yards, but he'll get his chances to get the ball in places where he can do something with it.
Watch Out For … the unknowns. 13 different receivers caught passes last year, and there will be plenty of opportunities for new players to see time. 5-7 slot receiver Donnie King could see plenty of time on the inside, while 6-2, 195-pound Justin Clapp will get his chances in the rotation.
Strength: Variety. Receivers come to Hawaii by the truckload looking for big numbers and lots of opportunities. The offense will bring the stats and there are several different types of targets for Bryant Moniz to work with. From the size of Bright and Avery to the quickness of Ostrowski and Sampson, there's a little something for all secondaries.
Weakness: Greg Salas, Kealoha Pilares, and Rodney Bradley. The three combined for 255 catches for 3,706 yards and 30 touchdowns. There might be several talented players ready to step in and stand out, but it's asking a lot to immediately replace three talented players like the Hawaii had last year.
Outlook: It might take a little while, but there are several excellent options for each spot and enough good players ready to show what they can do to make the offense continue to rock. Pollard and Stutzmann have to steady and reliable, but at least two more receivers have to take on big roles right away. Several players will get the chance. The ranking is based on production more than talent.
Unit Rating: 7.5
State of the Unit: The line was loaded with veterans last year. It was a fully jelled group that knew what it was doing, and it still struggled in pass protection. Granted, it paved the way for a 1,000-yard rushing season from Alex Green, and it had to try to pass protect on 618 passes, but there were still problems against the better pass rushing defensive fronts. Only one starter is back, and while this is a big line, it could take a little while for everything to come together.
If only one starter is back, it's not a bad thing that it's the left tackle. 6-4, 305-pound senior Austin Hansen has been a key part of the puzzle for the last few seasons with good size and the versatility to play either left or right tackle. He has always struggled with his consistency as a pass protector, but he's very smart and he doesn't make too many big mistakes. He'll be backed up by 6-2, 290-pound senior Clayton Laurel, a reserve who hasn't seem much time and only got a little mop-up time last year. He's not all that big, but he has been around long enough to know what he's doing.
Senior Matagisila Lefiti is a short, squatty 6-0, 285-pound interior lineman who was supposed to get the call at center last year but worked as a reserve. Now he'll get the job to himself and he has to use his size to his advantage; leverage won't be a problem. Built the same way is 6-0, 290-pound senior London Sapolu, a transfer from Orange Coast College with the bulk to play anywhere on the interior.
Former JUCO transfer Brett Leonard is a big 6-5, 310-pound senior who was a big recruit for the program a few years ago but only got one start last year and saw limited time the rest of the way. Now it's his left guard job and he should be one of the team's best run blockers, while 6-3, 305-pound senior Andrew Faaumu can play either guard spots after seeing time in nine games last year.
Taking over the right guard job will be Chauncy Winchester-Makainai, a massive 6-4, 310-pound sophomore who was a track star in high school as well as a top blocker. A very good, very smart recruit, he got his feet wet last year as a special teamer and now he's ready to be the anchor. Backing him up will be 6-3, 305-pound redshirt freshman David Lefotu, a mauler of a blocker who was a Hawaii state champion-level wrestler. He could've gone to play in the Pac-12, but he chose to stay home.
Stepping in at right tackle will be junior Levi Legay, a reserve throughout last year with the ability to play just about anywhere on the line. At 6-3 and 280 pounds he's not huge, but he can move, while 6-4, 270-pound redshirt freshman Sean Shigematsu might be the team's most athletic offensive lineman. Smart, versatile, and great on the move, he should be a perfect fit for the Warrior offense with a little bit of time.
Watch Out For … Winchester-Makainai. A right guard isn't supposed to make a world of difference, but he has the size and the talent to be the blocker the line works around for the next three years.
Strength: Size. Hawaii doesn't skimp on the beef on the inside. The tackles have decent size, but they have to be quick and agile. The interior is big and tough to get around, and while the athleticism might not be there, everyone can maul in pass protection.
Weakness: Experience. Last year's line didn't have too many veteran starters, but it was loaded with upperclassmen who knew what to do. Four new starters have to hit the ground running this year, and that's not a plus for a line that relies on timing and precision for the passing game.
Outlook: The line was supposed to be a major problem last year, and despite the experience and the veterans it wasn't very good. The pass protection was a problem, even for a passing offense line Hawaii's, and it should be an issue again this year. However, there's good talent to get excited about and the left side should be fine with Hansen and Leonard each big veterans who should hold their own.
Unit Rating: 5
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2011 Hawaii Defense |
Hawaii Depth Chart
- Hawaii Previews 2010 |