Hawaii Preview 2006
Hawaii Warriors
Posted Aug 9, 2006

Why doesn't anyone want to admit that high-octane passing offenses can work?

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

Football coaches have it ingrained since birth that you must run the ball, you must be physical, and you must win games on defense and offensive balance. While in a perfect situation you have all the offensive talent in the world and can do whatever you want, like USC and Texas did last year, but programs that aren't full of future NFL superstars, like Texas Tech and Hawaii, have to do what they can to move the ball.

Coaches have been sold on the spread formation because it's mostly a running attack, but for consistent yards and points, no one has beaten what the Red Raiders and Warriors have done over the last several years. Of course, the two teams run different variations of a run and shoot, but yards are yards and points are points. Hawaii threw up 476 yards and close to 31 points per game last year while averaging over 35 points per game over the last 65 outings; who cares how they got there?

Head coach: June Jones
8th year: 53-37
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 25, Def. 34, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 16
Ten Best UH Players
1. WR Davone Bess, Soph.
2. QB Colt Brennan, Jr.
3. FS Leonard Peters, Sr.
4. C Samson Satele, Sr.
5. DE Melila Purcell, Sr.
6. WR Ryan Grice-Mullen, Soph.
7. DE Ikaiaka Alama-Francis, Sr.
OT Tala Esera, Sr.
WR Ross Dickerson, Sr.
10.  WR Chad Mock, Jr.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:

9/2 at Alabama
9/16 UNLV
9/23 at Boise State
9/30 Eastern Illinois
10/7 Nevada
10/14 at Fresno State
10/21 at New Mexico State
10/28 Idaho
11/4 at Utah State
11/11 Louisiana Tech
11/18 San Jose State
11/25 Purdue
12/2 Oregon State

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2005 Record: 5-7

Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/3 USC L 63-17
9/10 at Michigan State L 42-14
9/24 at Idaho W 24-0
10/1 Boise State L 44-41
10/8 at La Tech L 46-14
10/15 New Mexico St W 49-28
10/22 at San Jose St W 45-38
10/29 Fresno State L 27-13
11/5 at Nevada L 38-28
11/12 Utah State W 50-23
11/25 Wisconsin L 41-24
12/3 San Diego State W 49-38

Ask yourself this; if someone told you right now that your team was going to average close to 500 yards and 35 points per game, you'd take it in a heartbeat, right? For about 110 teams, of course they would. That's what Hawaii's attack is going to do this year.

While Hawaii's offense might be a fantastic system that allows mediocre talents put up big numbers (witness the collective national yawn when Timmy Chang set the NCAA career passing record a few years ago), this year's attack has real, live, NFL potential at the top skill positions which means the June Jones attack should be its most devastating yet.

Colt Brennan is a big, fast quarterback with a live arm and stunning command of the offense considering he has only been in the system for a year. Davone Bess, who wasn't heavily recruited, has NFL written all over him after his freshman year. Ryan Grice-Mullen, Ross Dickerson, Chad Mock, and the return of Jason Rivers, round out the best receiving corps the program has ever enjoyed. In other words, system, meet talent.

Of course, defense is always going to be an issue with the Warriors, but defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville has a boatload of speed to play around with. This isn't going to be a killer group, but it doesn't have to be to win. The return of star safety Leonard Peters after missing all of last year hurt, and the hope for Meilia Purcell to be 100% after playing dinged up last year, should provide a big boost. 

So as you might expect, the offense is great, the defense is iffy, and there will be plenty of firefights that will make late night Warrior games appointment television for true college football fans. And yes you purists, it's OK to accept that throwing the ball 50 times a game is acceptable. It'll lead to wins this year.

The Schedule:
This has never been a road team, so throw any hopes of a WAC title out the door with away dates at Boise State and Fresno State. Interestingly enough, the conference season will, for all intents and purposes, be over by mid-October after playing the Broncos, Bulldogs and Nevada Wolf Pack in the first three league games. The second half of the slate gets significantly easier with the distinct possibility of a five game winning streak before home dates with Purdue and Oregon State.

Best Offensive Player: Sophomore WR Davone Bess. He might not be huge at 5-10 and 187 pounds, but he's an elite playmaker with hands, precise route running ability, and toughness. He's a sure thing go-to receiver who'll demand double coverage way too often for most defensive coordinators to be happy about.

Best Defensive Player: Senior FS Leonard Peters. Back from a knee injury suffered in the season opener against USC, Peters should be back to his All-America caliber self at free safety. He made 120 tackles with 77 solo stops in 2004 and should be the sheriff of the secondary once again.

Key player to a successful season: Junior CB A.J. Martinez and several JUCO transfers. The pass defense was iffy at best last year and will be a huge question mark coming into the season. Safety shouldn't be an issue, but there are major concerns at corner where untested A.J. Martinez and JUCO transfers C.J. Hawthorne, Myron Newberry and Chris Camacho have got to improve the nation's 93rd ranked pass D.

The season will be a success if ... the Warriors go back to a bowl game. With this much firepower and the WAC schedule opening up the way it does after a brutal opening three games, a seven win regular season is a must with an eye on nine.

Key game: Oct. 7 vs. Nevada. The Warriors aren't going to beat Boise State and Fresno State, but a split on the road would be a dream come true. A home win over Nevada in what should be one of the season's better shootouts will be a must to stay alive for a top three finish in the conference race.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Second half scoring: Opponents 268 - Hawaii 155
- Penalties: Hawaii 101 for 872 yards - Opponents 89 for 874 yards
- Fourth down conversions: Opponents 15 of 22 (68%) - Hawaii 6 of 19 (32%)

The Last Time Hawaii…
…played in a bowl game…2004 (Hawaii Bowl vs. UAB)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Idaho)
…was shutout…1998 (SMU)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Utah State)
…went undefeated…1934
…won a conference title…1999 (share, WAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2005 (Colt Brennan)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…1992 (Travis Sims)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2005 (Ryan Grice-Mullen and Davone Bess)
…had a first-round draft choice…2002 (WR Ashlie Lelie)

Related Stories
Hawaii Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006
Hawaii Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006
Hawaii Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006

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