Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Hawaii season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview
Head Coach: Timmy Chang, 1st year at Hawaii
2021 Preview: Overall: 6-7, Conference: 3-5
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Hawaii Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022
Hawaii might be starting over in just about every way, but it certainly should be fun.
After the disastrous end to the Todd Graham era – with a mass exodus of players who didn’t want to be around the program anymore thanks to a slew of abuse allegations and issues – Hawaii hired legendary quarterback Timmy Chang to take over and make everything okay again.
He inherits a program that earned four straight bowl bids amid a slew of problems – like losing its iconic home stadium – but now needs an overhaul.
The transfer portal took away a whole lot of key parts and stars, but Chang has been able to bring enough in to make the Rainbow Warriors interesting.
Chang might not have any head coaching experience, but he’s going to get the O going again. We’ve heard that before with other Hawaii coaches – Nick Rolovich was one – with success at different levels.
At the very least, with a little work, things will start to look more familiar.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022: Offense
Get ready for the passing game to start winging it around early and often. Timmy Chang knows what it’s like to throw for a bazillion yards with this program, and now it’s up to Ian Shoemaker to come in as the offensive coordinator and make it happen. This is his first FBS gig of any kind, but after running the Eastern Washington offense for the last few years, here we go. But …
Hawaii needs its quarterback. Veteran baller Chevan Cordeiro is now at San Jose State, but there are a whole slew of options. Brayden Schager worked late last season and ended up throwing for 615 yards and two touchdowns with five picks, but former Washington State passer Cammon Cooper knows what he’s doing – he was part of the Rolovich era at Wazzu – and on the way is Joey Yellen from Pitt after Kedon Slovis signed on.
The receiving corps is just as interesting. The wideouts didn’t to all that much in the old offense – WR/RB Calvin Turner is done after leading the team with 73 catches – and Nick Mardner is gone to Cincinnati after leading the way with five touchdowns and close to 20 yards per catch.
21.4-yard-per-catch guy Zion Bowens is back, and in comes Chris Jackson – a part-time target at BYU – to be part of the fun.
The passing game will end up working, but the front five has to come together fast. There are a few nice parts returning with Ilm Manning back at one tackle, senior Micah Vanterpool returning at left guard, and Solo Vaipulu returning at right guard. On the way is Luke Felix-Fualolo from Utah to push for one tackle job – the overall developed depth is lacking.
Leading rusher Dae Dae Hunter off to Liberty, but the backs are fine. Dedrick Parson is a good veteran who ran for eight touchdowns and was second on the team with 618 yards – he can catch, too. There might not be a ton of experience behind him, but there’s depth.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Preview 2022: Defense
All of the attention will be on the offense as it tries to recreate the magic under Timmy Chang. The parts are there, though, to eventually make it go once the right starting 11 emerges. The defense is a different story.
The Hawaii D was the worst in the Mountain West, allowing 446 yards per game and 32 points per outing. It couldn’t come up with a third down stop, the pass defense was among the worst in America, and after all of that, now it has to go on by piecing things together through the transfer portal. But …
Hawaii has a guy on the inside. Blessman Ta’ala is a 6-1, 300-pound immovable rock. Start with him and 300-pound senior John Tuitupou, and the defense has something to build around, even with Justus Tavai going to San Diego State.
Now the line needs the ends. The transfer portal hit this group hard, but Mataio Soli from Arkansas needs to grow into an edge rusher to take over.
The 2021 defense had good players, but it just didn’t work. That starts in the back seven with leading tackler Darius Muasau off to UCLA and just about everyone who mattered gone from the secondary that didn’t stop anyone.
To be nice, the defensive backs are going to be a work in progress through fall camp. Hugh Nelson is one part at corner, and everything else has to fill in. Penei Pavihi is a 6-3, 245-pound fifth-year veteran at linebacker along with former Oregon State transfer Isaiah Tufaga.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: Key To The 2022 Offense
Just let it rip.
Start with not turning the ball over in bunches. Last year’s O gave it up 29 with only three games without multiple giveaways. This year, that’s the cost of doing business.
Under the new coaching staff, the whole idea is to get the timing down, spread everything out, and shoot more than run as the passing game starts to throw it around and then do it some more. Hawaii needs its offense to be a differentiating factor again, and that’s not going to happen right away.
The downfield plays have been there over the last few years, now the consistent high-powered production has to follow.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: Key To The 2022 Defense
Stop someone from cranking up the deep plays.
Teams only completed 57% of their passes on the Hawaii secondary, but they went for a whole bunch of yards. Seven teams threw for 280 yards or more, Colorado State slung it for 527, a few others got to 400 – or flirted with it – and the defense couldn’t seem to get off the field.
In all, Hawaii allowed 290 passing yards per game, and that even factors in the losses to San Diego State and UCLA when those two spent all game running.
With all the changes in the secondary personnel, things might be worse before they get better.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: Key Player To The 2022 Season
CB Hugh Nelson, Sr.
The starting quarterback – whoever that ends up being – is the key player to the 2022 Hawaii season, but that will work out and should end up being just fine. The secondary that was among the least effective in the nation – and is starting from scratch – needs even more attention.
Nelson is a 6-2, 205-pound former Georgia transfer who made 19 tackles with two picks and six broken up passes last year and now is one of the few holdovers in the secondary. He needs to be the rock with all the uncertainty in the defensive backfield.
With that said …
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: Key Transfer
QB Joey Yellen, Jr.
Or Cammon Cooper, the former Washington State Cougar who knows how to handle an offense like this.
Brayden Schager might have the inside line on the starting gig after seeing time last year as the No. 2 man, but Cooper is being given every shot to take over Timmy Chang’s passing attack. So is Yellen, a former Arizona State Sun Devil and Pitt Panther who threw five touchdown passes at the two schools. He’s got the talent to be exactly what Hawaii needs.
Hawaii Key Game To The 2022 Season
UNLV, Nov. 19
2022 is going to be about how far the program has come as opposed to what it’s able to do right away. There’s so much turnover on defense and there’s such a big change happening throughout the program that it’s going to take a little while.
Timmy Chang is just getting going as a head coach, but he’ll be given a whole lot of time to turn this around. The final home game of the year against UNLV – at worst – will be the measuring stick. Or, it might be the game needed to come up with the win needed to go bowling.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: 2021 Fun Stats
– 3rd down conversions: Opponents 46% – Hawaii 36%
– Time of possession: Opponents 32:29 – Hawaii 27:31
– Penalties: Opponents 81 for 797 yards – Hawaii 68 for 586 yards
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Just how fast can Hawaii get everything up and running?
All new coaching staffs have to deal with big changes, especially in the transfer portal. This is different.
Hawaii was hardly perfect and had a whole slew of problems last year, but it was still good enough to get to six wins and bowl eligibility – the team didn’t get a shot to play in the game.
The expectations aren’t going to be set at anything lower than a bowl game with a whole lot of fun and big stats with the passing game.
The schedule might help.
Set The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Regular Season Win Total At … 5.5
It will be Hawaii’s normal 13-game schedule, and as long as it gets to six wins – like last year – it should be able to get to a bowl. Considering all the changes, the trip to Michigan is an all but certain loss, and going to San Diego State and Fresno State are going to be tough. Throw in the home opener against Vanderbilt, too.
Duquesne should be a win, and beating New Mexico State on the road is a must. Considering UNLV should be better, that’s about it for the layups.
It’s Hawaii. Weird things happen to teams when they make the trip to Honolulu, so assume the Rainbow Warriors will somehow get to five wins. Getting that sixth – or seventh – will be a fight.