When Norm Chow took over the University of Hawaii Warriors football program, he instituted a complete change in philosophy as well as systematic transformations, setting forth a true rebuilding course. After the first four games of the 2012 season, the program is in need of help.
As far as the actual contests go, the Warriors have looked like one of the worst college football programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). It's figured to probably take Chow a year or two to get things in place - but in the meantime, they look awful.
In their first game, they were easily beaten by a then #1 USC Trojan team that isn't as good as originally advertised. Next, they beat Lamar quite handily but the Cardinals are only in their third season after having put their football program on hiatus for 21 years. Hawaii was then pounded by the Nevada Wolf Pack at Aloha Stadium in one of their worst games ever played at home. And finally at BYU, a thin defensive line coupled with poor play nearly everywhere on the field, saw the Warriors get skunked by the Cougars. It hasn't been pretty - they've stunk up the place.
The new pro-set offense is led by a new quarterback, transfer Sean Schroeder. The lefty Schroeder hasn't set the world on fire but he does what Chow wants and hasn't been the weakest link. But the offense hasn't shown an ability to consistently move the ball. In fact, they were shut out by BYU, marking the first time in 14 seasons that Hawaii had put up a goose egg on the scoreboard. Everyone saw the injuries to two defensive linemen early in the game against BYU but the Warriors also lost two offensive linemen as well.
Joey Iosefa was supposed to be a mainstay in the backfield this season but nagging injuries have kept him at bay. Redshirt freshman Will Gregory has been solid in the backfield and should only get better as the season moves along. The team is stocked at wide receiver but veteran wideout Billy Ray Stutzmann is still the prime target. Sophomore Trevor Davis has established himself as a pass-catching threat.
The new 4-3 defense has been devastated by injuries, especially at tackle. The linebacking corps is led by Paipai Falemalu. The secondary figured to be the team's strength and so far, for the most part, that's been true. Cornerback Mike Edwards has been the cornerstone of the defense along with being a good return man. Special teams as a whole have been okay with the return teams ranking in the Top 25 nationally.
Grading a work in progress
Evaluating and grading a rebuilding project is hard to do with expectations and reality not always on the same page. But in actual play, the offense has played poorly and deserves a grade D. The defense has struggled because of injuries and a lack of offense so they get a C-. Special teams receive a B. At this point, the Hawaii Warriors grade out at this point with a D+ overall.
As they head back to the mainland for a game against San Diego State (see related articles), who is another struggling team; it would be nice to see some improvement. That is what has been absent - a lack of improvement from week to week. Likely, this season isn't going to end with a bowl visit but if development in the program has a good progressive nature, maybe 2013 will see better results.
It's a work in progress.
Sources - University of Hawaii, USA Today
Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of college football as well as Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!