2012 HAWAII WARRIORS FOOTBALL PREVIEW:
The University of Hawaii has never been a true powerhouse on the national stage, but the Warriors always seem to have talented rosters with players who know how to compete. Hawaii finished with a 6-7 record and a 3-4 record in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), but this year will make the transition to the Mountain West Conference (MWC). Head coach Greg McMackin has retired and former University of Southern California (USC) and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow will take over the job. There has been a certain buzz around the UH football team, which has always been known for its high-flying offenses, but it looks like it could take a major leap into national contention in 2012.
Chow is known as a bit of a quarterback guru, but he will have to choose between two talented youngsters in Jeremy Higgins and David Graves. While the Warriors' offense is traditionally set around a spread offense, the team expects big things out of running back Joey Iosefa, who gained nearly 600 yards on the ground in 2011 and showed he was a true weapon with the ball in his hands. Billy Ray Stutzmann will return as the Warriors' No. 1 receiver and leads a talented group of underclassmen like Scott Harding and Jeremiah Ostrowski. While David Lefotu returns at guard, the offensive line will see a few new faces and will need to adjust quickly to deal with the improved MWC competition.
The Warriors' defense will return a bevy of starters from the 2011 squad, none more important than defensive end Paipai Falemalu. The defensive lineman's constant pressure should help new starters Geordon Hanohano and Moses Samia get acclimated to their new positions. In the linebacking corps, Art Laurel, TJ Taimatuia and George Daily-Lyles form a formidable trio on the inside and will be supported by safeties Bubba Poueu-Luna and Mike Sellers. Finally, the Warriors should be able clamp down on MWC offenses with the return of starting corners Mike Edwards and John Hardy-Tuliau.
While there's plenty to be excited about with the Warriors' switch to the MWC, they will go toe-to-toe with their biggest rival, USC, on the first week of the season in Los Angeles. With tough matchups against Brigham Young, Boise State and Fresno State, the Warriors will have plenty of chances to show that they're more than capable of competing on the national stage.
HAWAII WARRIORS INFORMATION:
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Stadium: Aloha Stadium
Rivals: Fresno State Bulldogs, BYU Cougars
Notable Alumni: Chad Owens, Ashley Lelie, Isaac Sopoaga
Recent Bowl Games:
The University of Hawaii Warriors football team has established itself in recent years as a Top-25 team and has proven to have one of the most high-powered passing games in the nation. Since joining the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 1979, the Hawaii Warriors have won conference titles and bowl games. The Hawaii Warriors offense can cover a lot of ground and score a lot of points in a hurry, making a Hawaii football game a wild experience you won't soon forget.
The Hawaii Warriors football team first played in 1909. The team would become a Division II independent in 1946 after four years with no team after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Hawaii Warriors would join Division I-A in 1974 and become a member of the WAC in 1979. Hawaii's main rival is Brigham Young. BYU Cougars has dominated the series but in 2001 Hawaii played spoiler to BYU's otherwise perfect season by defeating the Cougars 72-45 and dashing BYU's hopes of a BCS bowl bid. Boise State and Fresno State are also considered rivals. Since the turn of the century, Hawaii Warriors has earned a reputation for high scores and an exciting passing game. Who can forget the wild triple overtime game in the Hawaii Bowl against Houston, which Hawaii won 54-48. In 2004 Hawaii Warriors quarterback Jimmy Chang would break the NCAA all-time passing yardage record, and in 2006 quarterback Colt Brennan set the single season touchdown and pass efficiency record.
The University of Hawaii Warriors play their home games at Aloha Stadium. The stadium was opened in 1975 and holds 50,000 spectators. The stadium was the first in the US that can be reconfigured for different purposes. Large sections of the stadium weighing more than 3 million pounds each can be moved via air cushions into different arrangements. These sections are now locked permanently in place for football due to maintenance concerns. Buy University of Hawaii Warriors football tickets and watch this exciting team contend for another conference title and bowl game bid!
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