2007 Hawaii Preview

Posted Jun 10, 2007

While it'll be bombs away as Colt Brennan, Davone Bess, and the Hawaii passing game prepares for another assault on the record books, the team might be more than just a stat-sheet filler. The schedule is favorable enough to potentially be bound for the big time.

Hawaii Warriors

Preview 2007

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 Hawaii Offense Preview | 2007 Hawaii Defense Preview
- 2007 Hawaii Depth Chart
| 2006 CFN Hawaii Preview 

You’re a diehard football fan who’s been drilled since birth to believe in the basics, like good defense and a sound running game.

Get over it.

Head coach: June Jones
9th year: 64-40
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 29, Def. 39, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best UH Players
1. QB Colt Brennan, Sr.
2. WR Davone Bess, Jr.
3. WR Jason Rivers, Sr.
4. NT Michael Lafaele, Sr.
5. OG Hercules Satele, Sr.
6. LB Solomon Elimimian, Jr.
7. LB Adam Leonard, Jr.
8. WR Ryan Grice-Mullen, Jr.
9. PK Dan Kelly, Jr.
10. SS Jacob Patek, Sr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 12-0

Sept. 1

Northern Colorado

Sept. 8

at Louisiana Tech

Sept. 15


Sept. 22

Charleston South.

Sept. 29

at Idaho

Oct. 6

Utah State

Oct. 12

San Jose State

Oct. 27

New Mexico State

Nov. 10

Fresno State

Nov. 16

at Nevada

Nov. 23

Boise State

Dec. 1


2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2006 Record:
Preview 2006 predicted wins

9/2 at Alabama L 25-17
9/16 UNLV W 42-13
9/23 at Boise State L 41-34
9/30 Eastern Illinois W 44-9
10/7 Nevada W 41-34
10/14 at Fresno State W 68-37
10/21 at NMSU W 49-30
10/28 Idaho W 68-10
11/4 at Utah State W 63-10
11/11 Louisiana Tech W 61-17
11/18 San Jose State W 54-17
11/25 Purdue W 42-35
12/2 Oregon State L 35-32
12/24 Hawaii Bowl
Arizona State W 41-24

Loosen up and have fun enjoying the ultimate college football eye candy. You won’t have more fun this year watching sports than you will going out of your way to find the late-late-night Hawaii games after a full Saturday slate. 

College football has been played for well over 100 years, so when there’s a chance to see history in the making, you have to go out of your way to watch, even if it requires staying up until four in the morning to be a witness. For those old enough, remember 1991 UNLV basketball when Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon and the crew put on their must-see shows in games that went deep into the early morning, for anyone on the East Coast.

With Colt Brennan pulling his early application for the NFL draft, the band is back together to assault the NCAA record books with what should be among the most exciting, efficient passing attacks ever. Hawaii finished first in the nation in total offense (559 yards per game), first in scoring (46.86 points per game), and first in passing (441.3 yards per game), and should do more of the same this year, helped by receivers Davone Bess, Jason Rivers and Ryan Grice Mullen, who’ll soon become college football household names.

This isn’t a fluke or some gimmicky attack, and it isn’t Timmy Chang cranking out numbers because of the system. This is a pro-caliber quarterback throwing to pro-caliber receivers, in what should be the ultimate showcase for the June Jones passing offense.  As long as the media pressure doesn’t get to Brennan, and as long as the team doesn’t lose its head when it hits a few rough patches, this could be a BCS-caliber team that none of the big boys will have any interest in dealing with.

What to watch for on offense: Will Brennan press? Brennan was at his best last year in the second half of games, once he got into a rhythm and a feel for what the defenses were doing. However, he was far, far better when he relaxed and took what was given to him. When he tried to make too many things happen on his own, like he did in the loss to Oregon State, the machine wasn’t as effective. The spotlight will be on and the pressure and attention might be suffocating at times; he can’t let it get to him.

What to watch for on defense: Hitting. Hawaii isn’t exactly known for being the most physical team around, but the defense, despite not being all that great, will pop even without Jerry Glanville (who left to take the head coaching job at Portland State) running things. The Warriors are back to a 4-3, but it’s still built to be aggressive and force big plays. With seven starters returning in the backfield, the D might be a little bit more productive than last year. This group won’t be a brick wall, but all it has to do is hold teams to around 35 points and the offense will do the rest.

The team will be far better if … It finds a productive running back right off the bat. The offense lost 254-pound power back Nate Ilaoa, who was a killer yin to Brennan’s yang, and also was a tremendous receiver. Making matters worse, the offensive line has to replace three key starters, including both tackles, so at least early on, it’ll be Brennan, Brennan and more Brennan.

The Schedule: There isn’t a who’s who of good non-conference teams making the trip across the pond, but there are enough good home dates to not only hope for a WAC title, but also a BCS berth. The toughest road game is either at San Jose State or at Nevada, while Fresno State has to come to Aloha Stadium. The WAC season ends with a nationally televised Friday showdown in Honolulu with Boise State, while the regular season ends at home against Washington.

Best Offensive Player: Senior QB Colt Brennan. Although junior receiver Davone Bess might turn out to be the better pro, Brennan is the star of this show. The numbers are simply astounding. In 26 games, he’s thrown for 9,850 yards (379 yards per game), 93 touchdown passes and just 25 interceptions, while rushing for 520 yards and seven touchdowns. Most impressively, he has a 70% completion percentage. He’s not just a function of the system; he’s the real deal.

Best Defensive Player: Senior DT Michael Lafaele. The anchor up front, this 302-pound senior was decent against the run, making 32 tackles while occupying double-teams. If he can get into the backfield a little more, he’ll be a first team All-WAC selection.

Key player to a successful season: Someone to replace RB Nate Ilaoa. The 254-pound bulldozer was the unsung star of the offense, catching 67 passes for 837 yards while running for 990 yards and 13 scores. Backup Reagan Mauia is also gone, meaning there’s an open casting call for someone to provide some sort of a running game to balance things out. The likely number one option is 240-pound David Farmer, but the Warriors are going to audition several backs before the opener.

The season will be a success if ... Hawaii wins the WAC title. Going unbeaten might be tough, considering the concerns on defense and the road dates with San Jose State and Nevada, but the offense is going to hang 50 on just about everyone. With Fresno State and Boise State coming to Honolulu, anything less than the first WAC title since 1999 will be a huge disappointment. The BCS is also a realistic dream if the Warriors can get to late November unbeaten.

Key game: Nov. 23 vs. Boise State. The Warriors gave the Broncos all they could handle in last year’s loss, but the comeback attempt fell just short. Now Boise State has to come to Hawaii in what should be one of the must-see games of the year, if everything goes according to plan. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that these two could be unbeaten when they play each other.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Passing yards per game: Hawaii 441.3; Opponents 241.7
- Penalties: Hawaii 103 for 929 yards; Opponents 72 for 625 yards
- Punts: Hawaii 17 for 646 yards; Opponents 60 for 2,500 yards


Related Stories
2007 Hawaii Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 10, 2007
2007 Hawaii Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 10, 2007
2007 Hawaii Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 10, 2007

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