Facts and figures
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Colors: Green and white
Nickname: Rainbow Warriors (men), Rainbow Wahine (women)
Record: 2-2 overall, 0-0 Mountain West (4-9 last season; 3-10 all-time vs. Boise State)
Last game: Lost at Wisconsin 28-0 on Saturday in Madison.
Norm Chow, 69, is 10-41 in his fourth season as the Rainbow Warriors’ head coach. A Honolulu native, he’s earned the reputation as one of the top offensive minds in the nation the past 20 years as coordinator at BYU, Utah, North Carolina State, UCLA, USC and with the Tennessee Titans.
A system that produced 40.3 points per game last season at Idaho State, that also has Chow’s fingerprints on it, has struggled away from home. Hawaii has zero points in two road games and 75 in two home games. Former Idaho State offensive coordinator Don Bailey (a Boise State assistant from 1993 to 1996) is in his first season on the field with the Warriors, as is quarterback Max Wittek. The senior USC transfer has completed 58-of-118 passes for 730 yards with five TDs and four interceptions.
Senior receiver Quinton Pedroza leads the team with 15 receptions (for 175 yards), while junior Marcus Kemp leads with 255 yards (on 13 catches). Junior running back Paul Harris has 283 yards rushing on 48 attempts, including a 95-yard touchdown. Hawaii is ranked 121st nationally in scoring and rushing (97 yards per game), and 124th in total offense (296.8 ypg).
Like the Hawaii offense, the defense has a new coordinator, and it’s also one that used to be on the Boise State staff from 1993 to 1996 in Tom Mason. He’s kept the 3-4 defense the Warriors had a good amount of success with last season, when they gave up 26.8 points a game. They’re allowing 28.3 ppg in 2015.
Senior safety Marrell Jackson has put together a strong start, posting a team-best 37 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Junior defensive end Kennedy Tulimasealii leads with 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. While they’ve faced some tough running teams (Colorado and Ohio State are in the top 25 nationally), the Warriors are yielding 223 ypg. on the ground, 109th in the nation. Hawaii is allowing 190.8 passing ypg, fourth-best in the Mountain West.
Hawaii is one of six teams in the nation that has blocked two punts, running one back for a touchdown. Junior Rigoberto Sanchez is one of just a few players in the nation who handles his team’s punting and placekicking duties. He’s averaging 42.9 yards per punt and is 4-of-5 on field goals. The Warriors average 17.8 yards per kickoff return and 8.0 yards per punt return, 110th and 71st, respectively.
DID YOU KNOW?
Because of its isolation and the transportation modes available at the time, Hawaii only played local high school, military and club teams from 1909-20 and didn’t play on the road until 1923.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420;Twitter: @IDS_Southorn