SportsRatings 2012 College Football Pre-season Top 124
|Hawaii Warriors (Mountain West #7)
|Record: 6-7||Strength:#81 Success:#101 Overall:#88|
|AP NR, USA NR||Bowl: None
|Record: 6-6||Picks: Lindy's #88; Athlon #108; Steele #101
|AP NR, USA NR
||Bowl: None/Hawaii Bowl (Eligibility odds: 55%)
Norm Chow, one of the most famous offensive coordinators of the past decade, takes the head coaching mantle at Hawaii, and brings with him big changes.
|'11 Scoring Offense: #36 (raw) #63 (adjusted for competition)|
|'12 Projected Scoring Offense: #92 (adjusted)
Hawaii's offense will undergo a massive transition with new coach Norm Chow. Instead of a run-and-shoot passing game the offense will feature a lot of running in a pro-style set. The new offense might get off to a rocky start, and with that and a less rapid pace comes fewer points.
|'11 Passing Rank: #12 (raw) #14 (adjusted)||'11 Sacks Allowed (adj.): #117|
|'12 Projected Passing Rank: #74 (adjusted)
||'12 Sacks Allowed (proj.): #115|
Bryant Moniz might be known as the last of the great Hawaii QBs, at least of the run-and-shoot era ushered in by June Jones. Moniz didn't get the all-time NCAA record like Tommy Chang or Heisman consideration like Colt Brennan, but he finished 3rd behind those two on Hawaii's all-time yardage list, adding 2,733 last year along with 22 TDs and just 5 interceptions. #3 Shane Austin (500 yards) also departs, leaving David Graves (768 yds, 5 TDs, 2 int) in charge of the new scheme unless Utah transfer Jeremy Higgins can swipe the job (update: out of the blue, Duke grad transfer Sean Schroeder, who hasn't thrown a college pass, got the starting job!). They lose top receiver Royce Pollard (1,011 yards, 8 TDs) but just about everyone else is back including Billy Ray Stutzman (910 yards) and Jeremiah Ostrowski (687), though backup Allen Sampson (186) was lost due to an ACL tear. Looking at Chow's most recent offense at Utah, they ran the ball about 60% of the time compared to the Warriors who threw almost 2/3 of the time. It's unlikely Chow will run the ball even 50% of the time, but it will move closer to that, and the loss of a great QB and receiver and several offensive linemen will further diminish the passing stats. It's very possible that the Warriors will be a below-average passing team in 2012.
|Rushing||'11 Rushing Rank: #117 (raw) #121 (adjusted)||'11 Projected Rushing Rank: #78 (adj.)
Many of reps that would have gone to the passing game in the last decade or so with go to the running game this year, making the running backs much more than a diversion from pass plays. Joey Iosefa was last year's top runner with 548 yards and 7 touchdowns, with Moniz 2nd with 293. Iosefa will actually play fullback sometimes in the new offense, with freshman Will Gregory at tailback. The offensive line will have to learn a completely different playbook, but with four starters gone it might be a good time. Levi Legay had to retire due to injuries, leaving just Dave Lefotu back as a starter and he started just 7 of 13 games. It's only the change in offense that has us predicting that Hawaii will go from nearly dead last to an reasonable rushing team this season.
|'11 Adjusted Stats:||Rush Defense: #63 Pass Defense per-game: #99 Per-attempt: #96|
|'11 Scoring Defense: #84 (raw) #98 (adjusted)||'11 sacks: #23||'11 picks: #48|
|'12 Projected Scoring Defense: #105 (adjusted)
||'12 sacks: #21||'12 picks: #52|
Linebackers Corey Paredes and Aaron Brown both notched over 100 tackles last year for the Warriors and both are gone, leaving Art Laurel—no slouch himself with 9 sacks—to hold down the fort. The secondary is in somewhat better shape; they lose Richard Torres and Tank Hopkins who had 12 pass breakups, but returnees John Hardy-Tuliau and Mike Edwards had 11 each. The defensive line is in the most trouble, however; of last year's four-man front, only Paipai Falemalu (4.5 sacks) is back.
With this much personnel loss, we expect a big decline, particularly in rushing defense due to the loss of 5 of the front 7. But the scoring defense might not suffer as much due to the change in offense. With things moving at a slower pace, the offense will be on the field longer, and opponents' offenses won't have as many plays; that should mitigate the slide in defensive stats.
- Kicking Game: Tyler Hadden attempted most of last year's longer field goals and made just 5 of 10, but returns as Hawaii's placekicker. Alex Dunnachie (39.7 ave) is back as punter, where out of his 56 punts only four were returned, giving him a 38.4 yard net.
- Return Game: Mike Edwards (24.7 on kickoffs) and Scott Harding (7.4 ave on punts) are back as return men.
- Turnovers projection: Hawaii lost fumbles 16 times last year and only gained 10, and if that moves toward the center this year it will be a boon for the Warriors.
Coaching/Recruiting 2012 Recruiting Rank: #116 2011 Recruiting Rank: #88
Norm Chow has probably been the most recognized name among college football offensive coordinators due to his work at USC. His first recruiting class here has all the earmarks of a coaching transition year—particularly one in which the new coach is known to play a completely different offensive style than the previous one. Chow is high-profile enough that we expect a big improvement in next year's class.
Whereas many teams overachieved in 2011 by getting upsets, Hawaii probably underachieved by losing close games. The season started well with a 34-17 win over Colorado, and they played Washington close. The loss to UNLV was an indication that something was wrong, but they crushed UC Davis and beat a good Louisiana Tech team. Three games later they were 5-3, a bit unpredictable, but winning. Down the stretch, however, QB Moniz broke his ankle and they dropped 4 of their last 5, most of the losses on the year close ones.
Hawaii 2012 schedule & forecast
|10/6||Sat||@||*San Diego State||31%||L|
Straight up: 5-7 Cume: 6-6 Bowl eligible: 55%
2012 Outlook The Norm Chow Era appropriately enough starts in Pasadena against the USC Trojans, a game nobody expects Hawaii to even be competitive in for the first quarter. The Warriors return home to play Lamar which should equally be a joke the other way. So we won't know much about Hawaii until later in September.
The Nevada game will tell us a lot, and it's a winnable game at home. The Warriors should certainly beat New Mexico at home as they start to get into the heart of their new conference's season. They also have a great chance at beating Colorado State, though the Warriors are a notoriously bad road team. They should close out the season with two wins, and with all the possibilities a 6-6 year is most likely, with 5-7 more likely than 7-5.
This could be significant, since 6-6 might not them the automatic bid to the Hawaii Bowl (they have to be 7-5 according to Wikipedia, which we trust with our lives) and if they are the 7th place team in the Mountain West, they could be left out of the bowl picture....on the other hand, this year the FBS might be starved for bowl teams. It's pretty uncertain, but if Hawaii does manage to go 6-6, we assume they will be tied with a few other Mountain West teams at that mark, and the Hawaii Bowl will want to take them. If so, it could be a rematch of the 2010 game with Tulsa.
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SportsRatings 2012 College Football Pre-season Top 124