CFN Take: Hawaii Wins Thriller Over UNLV
Posted Nov 22, 2014

2014 Hawaii Warriors ... Head Coach: Norm Chow

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

2014 Schedule
Record: 4-8

Aug. 30 Washington L 17-16
Sep. 6 Oregon State L 38-30
Sep. 13 Northern Iowa W 27-24
Sep. 20 at Colorado L 21-12
Oct. 4 at Rice L 28-14
Oct. 11 Wyoming W 38-28
Oct. 18 at San Diego St L 20-10
Oct. 25 Nevada L 26-18
Nov. 1 Utah State L 35-14
Nov. 8 at Colorado State L 49-22
Nov. 15 at San Jose St W 13-0
Nov. 22 UNLV W 37-35
Nov. 29 at Fresno State
Nov. 22 at Hawaii 37, UNLV 35
And You Care Because … Marcus Kemp caught a 20-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game to complete a wild comeback in a crazy final five minutes. UNLV appeared to have the game won with just 15 seconds to play on a Taylor Barnhill seven-yard touchdown catch, but Ikaika Woolsey found Donnie King on a big pass play and managed to move up a bit more leaving just one second left. Woolsey hung it up in the end zone, and Kemp went and got it. UNLV got up 14-0, Hawaii rallied back with 24 straight points – highlighted by a 52-yard Diocemy Saint Juste run, but the Rebels took control right back with Blake Decker coming off the bench and throwing three fourth quarter touchdown passes. Hawaii pulled back ahead with two minutes to play on Joey Iosefa’s second touchdown run of the game, but Decker marched the Rebels 75 yards in seven plays for what seemed like the game-winner.
What Else? Hawaii RB Joey Iosefa ran 35 times for 219 yards and two scores
- UNLV QB Jared Lebowitz completed 13-of-30 passes for 212 yards and a pick, but was benched for Blake Decker, who completed 10-of-13 passes for 187 yards and three scores
- UNLV WR Devante Davis caught five passes for 163 yards
- Total yards: Hawaii 578 – UNLV 474
Game Rating: A

Nov. 15 Hawaii 13, at San Jose State 0
And You Care Because … Tyler Hadden hit field goals from 36 and 32 yards out, and Joey Iosefa ran for a one-yard score as Hawaii came up with the first road win in the Norm Chow era and the first shutout since 2005. San Jose State turned it over three times and missed two field goals.
What Else? Hawaii QB Ikaika Woolsey completed 9-of-16 passes for 152 yards and a pick
- San Jose State QB Joe Gray completed 25-of-45 passes for 305 yards and a pick
- Hawaii RB Joey Iosefa ran 26 times for 68 yards and a touchdown
- Total yards: San Jose State 462 – Hawaii 240
Game Rating: C

Nov. 8 at Colorado State 49, Hawaii 22
And You Care Because … Garrett Grayson found Charles Lovett for a 52-yard score and Steven Walker for a 30-yard touchdown as part of a four touchdown pass day. Treyous Jarrells added two touchdown passes and Dee Hart cranked out a seven-yard scoring run. Hawaii only came up with a safety and two Tyler Hadden field goals, but was down 35-8 before finally getting into the end zone on a two-yard Joey Iosefa run.
What Else? Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson completed 13-of-24 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns
- Hawaii QB Ikaiaki Woolsey completed 16-of-47 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown with two picks
- Colorado State RB Dee Hart ran 11 times for 115 yards and a score
- Total yards: Colorado State 580 – Hawaii 352
Game Rating: D+

Nov. 1 Utah State 35, at Hawaii 14
And You Care Because … Utah State was down to its fourth-string quarterback, Kent Myers, and he was nearly perfect throwing three touchdown passes with two to Hunter Sharp in the first quarter from six and 70 yards away. Hawaii tied it at 14 late in the first on a one-yard Justin Vele touchdown catch, but it was all Utah State the rest of the way with 21 unanswered points. Devin Centers returned a fumble ten yards for a score, and Ronald Butler caught a 39-yard touchdown pass and threw a 44-yard scoring pass to LaJuan Hunt.
What Else? Penalties: Hawaii 13 for 100 yards – Utah State 12 for 96 yards
- Utah State QB Kent Myers completed 14-of-15 passes for 186 yards and three scores
- Hawaii WR Quinton Pedroza caught eight passes for 123 yards
- Utah State RB LaJuan Hunt ran 33 times for 150 yards
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 25 Nevada 26, at Hawaii 18
And You Care Because … Down 10-0 after Hawaii got a 38-yard Donnie King touchdown catch and a 36-yard Tyler Hadden field goal, Nevada ripped off 26 straight points as Cody Fajardo ran for two scores from six and eight yards out and found Hasaan Henderson for a 16-yard touchdown. Hawaii scored on a five-yard Steven Lakalaka run in the final minute, but Nevada recovered the onside kick.
What Else? Nevada QB Cody Fajardo completed 17-of-26 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and ran 23 times for 133 yards and two scores
- Hawaii QB Ikaika Woolsey completed 18-fo-32 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown with an interception
- Third down conversions: Nevada 10-of-20 (2-of-2 on 4th downs) – Hawaii 4-of-13 (2-of-2 on 4th downs)
- Time of possession: Nevada 37:36 – Hawaii 22:34
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 18 at San Diego State 20, Hawaii 10
And You Care Because … Hawaii came up with the play of the game on a brilliant Hail Mary to Marcus Kemp to end the first half, but that was about it for the offense. San Diego State grinded out a big day from Donnel Pumphrey getting a ten-yard touchdown run early, and Lloyd Mills caught a 26-yard touchdown catch late in the third. The Hawaii offense could only managed a 25-yard Tyler Hadden field goal outside of the one big play.
What Else? San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey ran 25 times for 182 yards and a score
- Hawaii QB Ikaika Woolsey completed 17-of-31 passes for 174 yards and a score with two picks
- San Diego State QB Quinn Kaehler completed 13-of-24 passes for 174 yards and a score
- Total yards: San Diego State 457 – Hawaii 264
Game Rating: D+

Oct. 11 at Hawaii 38, Wyoming 28
And You Care Because … Wyoming took a 14-0 lead in the first six minutes on a 20-yard run from Shaun Wick and a fumble return for a score by Devyn Harris, but Hawaii kept pushing with Quinton Pedroza catching touchdown passes from 16 and 53 yards out, with the second score sparking a run of 21 unanswered points. Ikaiaka Woolsey threw two touchdown passes and Diocemy Saint Juste put the game away with a 16-yard scoring run.
What Else? Hawaii QB Taylor Graham completed 9-of-17 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown before suffering a broken foot. Ikaika Woolsey completed 8-of-9 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns
- Wyoming RB Shaun Wick ran 24 times for 121 yards and a touchdown
- Hawaii RB Diocemy Saint Juste ran 17 times for 135 yards and a score
- Total yards: Hawaii 513 – Wyoming 322
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 4 at Rice 28, Hawaii 14
And You Care Because … Darik Dillard ran for two short scores and Driphus Jackson hit James Mayden for an 81-yard touchdown pass and put the game away with a 31-yarder to Jordan Taylor as Rice scored 21 unanswered points in the second half for the win. Hawaii had a 14-7 lead in the third quarter on Scott Harding’s second touchdown catch – scoring from 20 and 24 yards out – but the offense kept turning it over in key spots.
What Else? Rice RB Darik Dillard ran 23 times for 141 yards and two scores
- Hawaii WR Scott Harding caught four passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns
- Turnovers: Rice 3 – Hawaii 2
- Total yards: Rice 391 – Hawaii 261
Game Rating: C

Sept. 20 Colorado 21, Hawaii 12
And You Care Because … A record-setting day from WR Nelson Spruce, and a solid effort from the D propelled Colorado back to the .500 mark. Spruce hauled in a Buff-record 13 passes for 172 yards and the game’s first touchdown, while the defense didn’t allow a TD in a game for the first time in four years. Hawaii rallied to within nine points in the third quarter, but went the final 22 minutes without getting back on the board.
What Else? Spruce’s battery mate, QB Sefo Liufau, went 29-of-45 for 287 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His other scoring strike went to George Frazier.
- The Warriors used three different quarterbacks, none of whom worked. Jeremy Higgins, Ikaiaka Woolsey and Taylor Graham combined to go 17-of-46 for 155 yards and a pick.
- Hawaii, though, did have a pulse on the ground. Powerful RB Steven Lakalaka carried the ball 19 times for 123 yards, including a long run of 30 yards.
- Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre is happy with the win but undoubtedly dissatisfied with his team’s execution. The Buffaloes committed nine penalties, and too often failed to put away Hawaii when it had a chance.
Game Rating: D+

Sept. 13 at Hawaii 27, Northern Iowa 24
And You Care Because … Hawaii took a 24-10 lead into the fourth and then held on late as UNI’s Sawyer Kollmorgan threw his second touchdown pass of the game with just under two minutes to play to pull within three, but the Warriors ran out the clock. Tyler Hadden hit two field goals for the Rainbow Warriors and Steven Lakalaka ran for a 30-yard score, but the D started things off with a Beau Yap fumble recovery in the end zone. UNI answered with an 80-yard drive and a Kollmorgen touchdown run, but Hawaii took the lead for good with ten straight points helped by a 15-yard Harold Moneli scoring grab. Lakalaka finished with 124 yards and a score on 32 carries, while Ikaika Woolsey completed 14-of-30 passes for 188 yards and a score.
Game Rating: B

Sept. 6 Oregon State 38, at Hawaii 30
And You Care Because … Oregon State got up 38-7 going into the fourth quarter on four Sean Mannion touchdown passes, and Terron Ward ran for touchdowns from 22 and two yards out, but had to hang on late. Hawaii scored 23 fourth quarter points with Joey Iosefa running for two of his three touchdowns on the day, and Ikaika Woolsey ran for a two-yard score to pull the Rainbow Warriors within eight with 1:35 to play, but the Beavers got out.
What Else? Oregon State QB Sean Mannion completed 26-of-37 passes for 300 yards with three touchdowns and a pick.
- Hawaii RB Joey Iosefa ran 19 times for 54 yards and three touchdowns, and caught three passes for 33 yards.
- Oregon State RB Terron Ward ran 15 times for 124 yards and two scores, and Victor Bolden caught 11 passes for 119 yards and a score.
- In a penalty-marred game, Oregon State was flagged 13 times for 99 yards, and Hawaii was hit 12 times for 108 yards. Both teams turned it over twice.
Game Rating: B-

Aug. 30 Washington 17, at Hawaii 16
And You Care Because … Hawaii took a 10-0 first quarter lead helped by a one-yard Joey Iosefa run and the first of three Tyler Hadden field goals, but Washington was able to come back before hanging on for dear life. John Ross took a pass 91 yards for a score and ran for a 20-yard touchdown, and Cameron Van Winkle kicked a 36-yard field goal, but that was it by halftime – the Huskies didn’t score in the second half. The UW D allowed just two Hadden field goals in the second half and hung on.
What Else? Cyler Miles, it’s time to get off suspension soon. Jeff Lindquist had major problems, completing 10-of-26 passes for 162 yards and a score with 91 of the yards coming on one play.
- Hawaii moved the ball, but couldn’t close. The offense will work around RB Joey Iosefa, who ran for 143 yards and a score on 30 carries, while Ikaika Woolsey completed 23-of-42 passes for 207 yards and ran for 34 yards. However, the Hawaii passing game didn’t explode.
- Hawaii teed off against the run – it didn’t respect Lindquist at all. The Huskies averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and got just one big play on a 20-yard Ross run.
- Washington got outplayed, but got the key defensive stops it needed. It didn’t look anywhere near ready for USC.
Game Rating: B

2014 Preview 

If you’re Hawaii, be Hawaii.

Be that team that always wins at home after opposing teams see the beach, the life and the beauty and quit caring about football. Be that team that throws for a bazillion yards and finds ways to come up with big offensive performances that no one can seem to stop – at least at home. Be the team that has the right attitude when it comes to being one of the most unique programs in all of college football.

The passing game was okay in Norm Chow’s second season, but it wasn’t a killer. There wasn’t any efficiency and there weren’t enough big plays, and with a defense that couldn’t seem to come up with a key stop, not having a great offense to fall back on turned into a killer.

Recruiting isn’t an issue – it’s not like Hawaii was competing with the Ohio States and Alabamas of the world for talent when things were going well. The big question is Chow, who has the legendary name and the amazing resume, but hasn’t seen much success over the last decade.

The USC national title-level days were a long time ago.

Chow struggled in his time in the NFL as the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, the UCLA/Rick Neuheisel experience was a stunning disaster, and 2011 Utah’s offense didn’t exactly rock. But Chow obviously knows how to get an offense moving and he’s an elite quarterback coach. In Year Three, though, it’s all about producing, and at the very least, being more interesting. Hawaii can lose, but it has to be entertaining.

There were signs that things might be improving with a nice finishing kick. The Rainbow Warriors lost two overtime games before finally coming up with their first win of the season against Army, and five of the losses overall were by seven points or fewer. Sometimes it takes a few years for a coach to get his pieces in place, and sometimes a rebuilding job has to be done. Maybe, just maybe, Chow needed to build to get to this point.

The defense has a good-looking secondary that could turn into a major strength with a little help up front, the line has a few nice pieces and linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams to build around. The offense might be missing a loaded receiving corps, but RB Joey Iosefa is back and healthy and the line could be far better with four starters back. If the quarterback situation is steady, and with all the other pieces looking good, all of a sudden, Hawaii could be interesting, entertaining, and most of all under Chow, it could start to win.

What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation has to be settled. Four quarterbacks had got in a few throws last year, and now there's even more confusion with former USC passer Max Wittek looking like he's coming aboard. He won't be ready to go until next year, and top passer Sean Schroeder is gone meaning former Ohio State transfer Taylor Graham has to be far better than he was when he started last year and Ikaika Woolsey needs to be sharper after struggling with his accuracy. Jeremy Higgins started out his career at Utah State, but the former superstar local passer needs to be lights out in fall practices to have any chance at the job.

What to watch for on defense: New defensive coordinator Kevin Clune knows how to stop a running game after coaching linebackers at Utah State, and while slowing down the run will be vital, just generating more turnovers and being more disruptive will be his main job. The Rainbow Warriors only picked off nine passes and came up with 15 fumble recoveries – that wasn’t enough to overcome the mistakes from the offense. Considering the linebacking corps needs some work after losing Art Laurel and Brenden Daley, Clune might be the perfect guy at the right time for a defense that allowed close to 500 yards and 39 points per game.

The team will be far better if … the offensive line can keep the quarterbacks from getting popped. It’s a function of an offense that threw the ball 519 times, but still, Hawaii has to figure out how to give the passing game more time to operate. The receivers have to be a little tighter and better at giving the quarterbacks something to work with, but it all comes down to a line that allowed 42 sacks a year after allowing 40 sacks – yeah, the Rainbow Warrior O line gave up 82 sacks in the first two years of the Norm Chow era. Improve here, and the turnovers and mistakes should slow down and the production should go up.

The Schedule: It’s a schedule full of streaks and runs, kicking things off with three straight home games against Washington, Oregon State and Northern Iowa all coming to Hawaii Airlines Field. And then it’s time to travel with three of the next four games on the road, finishing up the non-conference slate with Colorado and Rice before kicking off Mountain West play with Wyoming at home. There’s no Boise State from the East, but playing Utah State is rough – fortunately, that’s at home. The Rainbow Warriors have to rock in the middle of the season with three of the last four games on the road, finishing up at Fresno State.

Best offensive player: Senior RB Joey Iosefa. Hawaii will always be throwing and throwing and throwing some more under Chow, but one of the biggest keys to the season should be a healthy Iosefa running behind a veteran offensive line. The 6-0, 245-pound pounder was never quite right last year and played in just five games – he still led the team in rushing. Settling on the right quarterback on will be vital, and coming up with playmakers at receiver will be one of the team’s biggest keys, but as long as Iosefa is able to pound away, all of a sudden, the Rainbow Warrior offense will have a key part to work around.

Best defensive player: Senior DE Beau Yap. The line loses two starters and the front seven has to come up with a few new key parts, but Yap is the disruptive force who everyone will work around. The team’s top pass rusher by far, he’s not necessarily built for the position, but he’s quick off the ball and has a great motor that doesn’t quit. Overall, the stars of the defense will be in the secondary, and safety Marrell Jackson and corner Ne’Quan Phillips should be fantastic, but it’s Yap who’ll set the tone up front.

Key player to a successful season: Senior OT Frank Loyd, Jr. Ben Clarke is a terrific center and guard Kody Afusia might be the team’s best blocker, but the biggest overall problem the last few years has been pass protection, needing to keep the quarterbacks upright and give them time to operate. Loyd is a 6-3, 285-pound veteran tackle who can play either on the left or right side, and he’s the most experienced returning blocker for the outside. It’s not just him, the entire line has to improve, but he’s the one who has to be a star pass protector.

The season will be a success if ... Hawaii wins five games. The winnable games are there. Northern Iowa, Wyoming and UNLV are all possible wins at home, and going on the road to face Rice and San Jose State isn’t bad. It’s going to take a few upsets to get close to five wins, and it’s going to take a major change in offensive production, but there has to be hope. 5-7 would be a springboard type of campaign, while anything less could mean a regime change.

Key game: Oct. 11 vs. Wyoming. The Warriors have to be better in Mountain West play, and they have to start out the conference slate with a win at home. The Cowboys won in overtime last year, but this is the first game in a run of three home games in four before closing out with three road games in four. If nothing else, the team has to reestablish itself as a threat at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium, and even though the first three games of the season are at home, this will be the one that matters.

2013 Fun Stats:
- 3rd Quarter Scoring: Opponents 132 – Hawaii 49
- Time of Possession: Opponents 33:21 – Hawaii 26:39
- Penalties: Hawaii 88 for 777 yards – Opponents 69 for 635 yards
- 2014 Hawaii Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players

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