2011 Record: (6-7, 3-4 in WAC)
Head Coach: Norm Chow (first time head coach)
Last Bowl Game: 2010 Hawaii Bowl: lost to Tulsa 62-35
Big Name Opponents: 9/1 at USC, 11/10 vs Boise St
Swing Games: 9/22 vs Nevada, 9/28 at BYU, 10/6 at SDSU, 11/16 at Air Force
Stat to Cheer: 35 sacks in 2011 (15th in Nation)
Stat to Fear: allowed 41 sacks in 2011 (113th in Nation)
Phil Steele’s Returning Starters: (Offense: 6; Defense: 4; Specialists: 2)
Key Defensive Returnees: LB Art Laurel (60 tackles, 8 sacks), CB John Hardy-Tuliau (73 tackle, 3 INTs), DE Paipai Falemalu (50 tackles, 4.5 sacks)
Key Offensive Returnees: RB Joey Iosefa (548 yds, 7 TD), WR Billy Ray Stutzmann (78 rec, 4 TD), WR Jeremiah Ostrowski (65 rec, 5 TD), OG Dave Lefotu
Hawaii is another team that is taking the step from the WAC to the MWC. They will also be taking the field under new head coach Norm Chow. One thing that will be interesting to watch is how Chow’s “pro style” offense takes hold at Hawaii. Hawaii will be running the football more under Chow but how quickly and how successfully will it happen?
Chow has added some discipline to Hawaii with his tougher style of practices than the Warriors are used to. I like the fit of Norm Chow in Hawaii and I think he will have success….in the long term. As for this year, I think it’s going to be a bit of a struggle at times. You will see some really great stuff, some really mediocre stuff and probably some really bad stuff. This is a transition year for Hawaii. The critical stretch is from 9/22 to 10/6. They host Nevada on 9/22 and then they travel to BYU and San Diego State in back-to-back weeks. That stretch will decide the Warriors season.
2012 Prediction: 5-7
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