The Trojans new-look 5-2 scheme will be presented with the task of slowing down the Rainbow Warriors offense on their home turf at Aloha Stadium. With an offense returning seven starters including a bulk of their offensive line from last season., Hawaii’s offense should more battle-tested than the 49-10 beat down last season.
Sean Schroeder (a native of Laguna Niguel) started at quarterback against USC last season throwing for 208 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a 27-yard touchdown by Hayes Pullard. What ultimately doomed in the Rainbows Warriors however, was a poor rushing attack, mustering only 56 yards on 32 carries. Despite the poor outcome, Hawaii did convert 7-16 attempts on third down after falling behind 35-0 in the first half.
This year, Taylor Graham will take the reins at quarterback, while the Rainbow Warriors return experience on the offensive line.
Graham is a transfer from Ohio State and will be getting his first start for Hawaii on Thursday night. Coming out of high school in Illinois in 2010, Graham was the 14th best quarterback in his class according to Rivals. He then spent two years in Columbus, before choosing Hawaii when Urban Meyer came to town. He’s a big prototypical pocket passer who should fit right into Norm Chow’s scheme.
The Hawaii offensive line will be coached under tremendous hands in NFL veteran and former Kahuku High School standout Chris Naeole. After spending four years at Hawaii, Naeole became the highest drafted Rainbow in school history going 10th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft. He spent 11 years playing for both the Saints (1997-2001) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2002-08), only missing one game due to injury.
Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator: Norm Chow (2nd Season)
- Norm Chow has served as offensive coordinator for three national championship teams (BYU-1984 and USC-2003 and ’04) and has tutored three Heisman Trophy winners (Ty Detmer-BYU, Carson Palmer-USC and Matt Leinart-USC) and six NFL first-round draft picks throughout his prolific career.
- Serving in his second season as head coach, Chow implemented a traditional pro-style offense for his program fading away from the run-and-shoot fashion that had been a staple of Hawaii football. It should be also noted that Chow has hired and now promoted Graduate Assitant, and former player at Utah, Jordyn Wynn to a special offensive assistant with enhanced duties in the booth this season.
Hawaii’s Projected Starters
ZWR Vasquez Haynes #81
FWR Scott Harding #29
XWR Chris Gant #9
LT Sean Shigematsu #68
LG Kody Afusia #54
C Ben Clarke #71
RG Dave Lefotu #72
RT Mike Milovale #77
QB Taylor Graham #8
TB Harold Moleni #87
RB Aofaga Wily #34