Mountain West spotlight: Hawaii hopes to break through with USC transfer at QB


Coach: Norm Chow

Record: 8-29 (fourth season); 8-29 career

Last year: 4-9 overall, 3-5 MW

Last bowl: 2010 Hawaii (L, 62-35 to Tulsa)

Returning starters: 8 offense, 6 defense, 0 specialists

Story line: Chow is looking to end a futile stretch in Warrior football, though Hawaii showed some improvement last season with six losses by 10 points or fewer. USC transfer Max Wittek could provide some needed stability at quarterback on an offense that was last in the league in yardage and 11th in scoring, while the defense was at times pretty stout last season (tied for fifth with Boise State in scoring defense at 26.8 ppg).

Star player: Wittek (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) is the sort of strong-armed passer Chow's pro-style system could thrive with. He was 50-of-95 for 600 yards with three touchdowns to six interceptions in 2012 and 2013 with the Trojans. "We need each other equally as bad - he needs a quarterback like myself, that style, and I need a coach like him," said Wittek, a senior.

Quotable: "Get a quarterback in there, get him going and get him playing well." — Chow on what his offense needs to do to catch up to his defense

NOTE: This is the second in our series profiling the Mountain West’s football teams (except Boise State). We will start with the West Division, and go in reverse order of the preseason poll, found here.

Previous Mountain West previews