QB Timmy Chang (PHOTO CREDIT - Metz Photography)

2003 Statistics

Coach: June Jones
40-25, 5 years
2003 Record: 9-5
at Southern Cal LOST 32-61
at UNLV LOST 22-33
RICE WON 41-21
at Tulsa LOST 16-27
at Louisiana Tech WON 44-41
UTEP WON 31-15
at San Jose State WON 13-10
at Nevada LOST 14-24
ARMY WON 59-28
Houston WON 54-48

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Once again, Hawai'i will be one of the most entertaining teams in college football. The team may start feeling the pressure of not reaching the levels that other WAC teams, such as Fresno State or Boise State, have attained. While Hawai'i still plays "offense first" football, the aforementioned teams are improving steadily on defense. A lack of emphasis on defense, along with a finesse style of play, causes the Warriors to struggle on the road. In '03, four of five losses were on the road, and the offense averaged 71 less rushing yards and 18 less points per game away from home. It's those short puddle-jumpers they have to catch to the mainland, huh.

With Chang and the returning experience on offense, the road performance should improve for point scoring. The issue will be on defense, where Hawai'i will take another step down. This team will be more polarized than before, and scoreboard lights will flicker on both sides every time either side of the ball for Hawai'i steps on the field.

It will be an exciting season once again for Warrior fans as Chang will chase a remarkable record that he will surely reach. The schedule includes home dates with two big ten opponents in Northwestern and Michigan State - more and more, middle of the pack BCS-conference teams are scheduling dates at Hawai'i late in the season, as coaches like to ensure the players get a bowl-game/palm tree-holiday experience. The Warriors are capable of putting points on the board against all the teams on their schedule but they will not be able to put up enough points to save the defense all season. As a result, Hawai'i will still remain a step behind the leaders of the WAC.

Projected 2004 record: 9-3
QB - 3.5 DL - 3
RB - 2 LB - 3
WR - 4 DB - 2.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Timmy Chang, 601-353-20, 4199 yds., 29 TD

Rushing: Michael Brewster, 54 att., 405 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Chad Owens, 85 rec., 1134 yds., 9 TD

Scoring: Justin Ayat, 14-22 FG, 30-38 PAT, 72 pts.

Punting: Kurt Milne, 63 punts, 39.7 avg.

Kicking: Justin Ayat, 14-22 FG, 30-38 PAT, 48 long

Tackles: Ikaika Curnan, 121 tot., 71 solo, 11.5 TFL

Sacks: Ikaika Curnan, 4 sacks

Abraham Elimimian, 4 for 17 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Ross Dickerson, 17 ret., 24.0 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns:
Chad Owens, 14 ret., 9.7 avg.


WR Chad Owens (PHOTO CREDIT - Metz Photography)
OFFENSE: Jeremiah Cockheran-WR, Jason Whieldon-QB, John West-RB
DEFENSE: Houston Ala-DE, Isaac Sopoaga-DT, Lance Samuseva-DT, Travis LaBoy-DE, Kevin Jackson-DE, Keani Alapa-STUB, Chad Kalilimoku-MACK, Hyrum Peters-SAM, David Gilmore-JILL, Kelvin Millhouse-CB

It seems senior quarterback Timmy Chang has been firing passes in the Hawai'i run-and-shoot forever. He has flourished throughout his career, and is now quietly only 2,218 yards from becoming the NCAA's all-time leading passer. The most remarkable thing about his nearly 4200 passing yards last season was that he did it in only 11 starts. Durability has been a question throughout Chang's career until finally last year, where he made strides by playing through injuries late. Chang's biggest negative is that he has thrown over 40 interceptions the past two seasons (3.3% INT rate in '03), but he looked like a different quarterback in the bowl game (five touchdowns to only one interception). When he performs at that level this year, Chang will be a dark-horse Heisman candidate and the Warriors will have one of the most dangerous arms in America.

Running Back
West Keliikipi, a 266-pound bulldozer continues to impress coaches with his bruising, hard running style. He will platoon as the one-back with Mike Bass and Michael Brewster. Both players are more the typical undersized, speedy backs employed in the run-and-shoot scheme. The position calls for versatility as the running backs combined for over 100 receptions overall, and were even asked to line up as fifth receivers. Their lofty six-yard per carry average is nothing unusual in this offensive system. The Warriors only run the ball on about 30 percent of their offensive plays, so when they do, defenses are typically caught off-guard.

Wide Receiver
The Warriors will line up four receivers on every play and go eight deep throughout a game. It seems all of these receivers are cut from the same mold- short, quick, agile players with great hands (but) that can get pushed around physically. Senior Chad Owens returns after a team-leading 85 receptions. He will continue to be Chang's go-to-guy, as he seems to make things happen when the team is running on life support. Two other receivers in Britton Komine and Gerald Welch are coming off solid seasons (40+ receptions each). The group has the ability to grab tough catches but is often times manhandled off the line of scrimmage and over the middle against tougher opponents, a trend that will not change.

Offensive Line
Hawai'i's inexperienced offensive front grew quickly and is now back to sustain the momentum from paving the offense's 641 yards in their bowl game. Samson Satele, a sophomore guard that has emerged on the scene by improving with every game, leads the unit. He possesses an outstanding combination of physical tools plus solid footwork. The unit is young, talented and very mobile. The only exception is senior guard Uriah Moenoa, who has struggled with his weight problems and will need to show dedication this off-season. Tackle Tala Esera moved over to offense and fit right into his role. Now bigger than ever, center Derek Faavi will start on the inside. Pass blocking is made easier on this group because the offensive play calling asks for passes to be released within three to four steps. Despite this, the group will need to improve upon the 26 sacks allowed. Like most offensive lines in a proficient system of this sort, this is not a very physical group because they generally do not need to hold blocks for very long.

Coach Jones is an offensive mastermind and he has guided this team into top five national passing yardage rankings each of the past five seasons. With Timmy Chang at the helm and ten offensive starters returning, this trend will easily continue. However, while the run-and-shoot has brought wins to programs over the years, it has not been a consistent success factor in big games. This is a stigma that the Warriors will struggle to rectify once again. When Hawai'i goes up against superior defensive athletes, the lack of physicality along their front, the receivers being under-sized and the running game being non-existent (ranked 106th, barely generating over 100 yards per game) generally will result in predictable game-flows and eventual defeat. Even still, Chang will get lots of national attention while following the NCAA passing records, and also bringing national respect for the program as well. But their lack of balance here will mean the team never reaches any real "next levels".


OG Samson Satele (PHOTO CREDIT - Metz Photography)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Timmy Chang-Sr (6-2, 194) Jack Rolovich-Fr (6-3, 213)
RB Michael Brewster-Sr (5-6, 180) Mike Bass-Sr (5-7, 174)
West Keliikipi-Sr (6-1, 266)
WR Jason Rivers-So (6-2, 187) Ian Sample-Jr (5-10, 186)
WR Chad Owens-Sr (5-9, 174) Gerald Welch-Sr (5-8, 205)
WR Nate Ilaoa-So (5-9, 204) Se'e Poumele-Sr (5-9, 179)
WR Ross Dickerson-So (5-10, 172) Britton Komine-Sr (5-10, 187)
OT Tala Esera-So (6-3, 283) Dane Uperesa-So (6-5, 318)
OG Samson Satele-So (6-3, 289) Hercules Satele-Fr (6-3, 289)
C Derek Faavi-Jr (6-1, 273) Michael Lafaele-Fr (6-0, 294)
OG Uriah Moenoa-Sr (6-2, 365) Marques Kaonohi-So (6-1, 270)
OT Brandon Eaton-Jr (6-3, 287) Jeremy Inferrera-So (6-2, 281)
K Justin Ayat-Sr (5-11, 205) Nolan Miranda-So (5-8, 172)



Defensive Line
Hawai'i loses their entire starting front-four, and the coaches will entertain an open competition heading into the spring. The only real game experience comes from Mel Purcell, Lui Fuga and Abu Maafala, of whom Purcell was the most active and productive. The Warriors defensive line helped to account for 46 sacks last season but also allowed nearly 160 rushing yards per game. This is an aggressively coached unit that uses an attacking scheme to force big plays to happen. From this, the unit often falls victim to running back screens and delayed hand-offs/draws.

Junior outside linebacker Ikaika Curnan returns as the team's leading tackler and one of its most dependable players. Curnan has outstanding speed, instincts and range, which compensate for his lack of size. Chad Kapanui and Lincoln Manutai will be the other backers, filling out the four-three. Although Cunan is the only returning starter, both of the other two players saw consistent playing time as backups, yet were under-producers for the needs of starters. The unit will need to help carry the weight against the run for the revamped defensive line. This will be a difficult task as all are better either blitzing the line or back in pass coverage than to take on blockers head on. Smart offensive coordinators will stretch the DBs back and have a field day with the over-pursuing front-seven through exploiting the underneath/crossing routes, especially if they have a capable TE.

Defensive Back
Hawai'i's secondary was effective overall, helping to lead the WAC in pass efficiency defense. However, a lot of this success was a result of the relentless pressures up front, something that cannot be relied upon in 2004. Cornerback Abraham Elimimian is the back four's best player. The junior has increased his size and strength since his freshman year and built himself into a NFL prospect. As the corners can play sound in man coverage, the safeties can then support the run stopping efforts. This is critical for the effectiveness on this side of the ball because the safeties are marginally poor in pass support. Leonard Peters struggled at safety with his positioning and tackling ability. He will be challenged in the spring, especially by hard-hitting free safety Paul Lutu-Carroll. As a unit the secondary will be below average in three of the four spots, a major cause for concern considering the pass-happy WAC competition.

It is scary to imagine what would happen if a June Jones' coached team ever built a strong defense (ranked 76th in total defense and 85th in scoring defense). The headman is wondering the same thing, as for the first time in his four years at Hawai'i much of the recruiting focus was surprisingly towards this side of the ball. Many of these guys may be asked to start playing for real now, whatever that will have to mean. The strength of this Warrior defense will be in LB Curnan and DB Elimimian, and the pair will have to become leaders that help the inexperienced players along. There are a lot of question marks, especially along the front. This group will have a difficult time stopping opposing offenses running attacks, making for long days in the Hawai'i sun for the defense.


LB Ikaika Curnan (PHOTO CREDIT - Metz Photography)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Darrell Tautofi-Sr (6-2, 281) Nkeruwem Akpan-Jr (6-7, 254)
DT Lui Fuga-Sr (6-1, 299) Matt Faga-Sr (6-2, 380)
DT Abu Ma'afala-Jr (6-3, 261) Kahai LaCount-So (6-3, 308)
DE Mel Purcell-Jr (6-5, 258) Kila Kamakawiwo'ole-Jr (6-2, 240)
STUB Tanuvasa Moe-Jr (6-0, 220) Chad Kapanui-Sr (6-0, 225)
MACK Ikaika Curnan-Jr (5-11, 218) Timo Paepule-Fr (6-0, 229)
WILL Paul Lutu-Carroll-Sr (6-0, 200) Lincoln Manutai-Sr (6-0, 234)
CB Abraham Elimimian-Sr (5-10, 190) Ray Bass-Fr (5-10, 174)
CB Kenny Patton-So (6-0, 181) Omega Hogan-Jr (5-7, 159)
SAM Lamar Broadway-Jr (5-11, 176) Matt Manuma-Sr (6-1, 209)
JILL Leonard Peters-Jr (6-1, 181) Lono Manners-Jr (5-10, 186)
P Kurt Milne-So (5-11, 199) Tim Wilson-So (6-5, 210)




Kicker/ Punter
Justin Ayat has a strong leg but fell into a mental slump late last season. Ayar was 13-for-16 on kicks inside 40 yards, but only one-of-six beyond that. The punter will be Kurt Milne, who has a good touch (19 kicks placed inside the 20-yard line) but needs to be more consistent. Net punting was a dismal 76th nationally, so the defense will need to have its reserves shine, something not foreseen by us.

Return Game
Either Mike Bass or Chad Owens will provide Hawaii with a solid return game. The coaches do not seem to put a lot of emphasis on this part of the game, but considering the amount of points scored in their games it would make sense they did. As a result, the return game will stay average to sub-par until changes in the play calling and schemes are made.


QBs Kainoa Akina and Jack Rolovich (Nick's brother) have battled furiously for the #2 spot behind Chang. Akina has a slight edge, showing a better grasp of the offense, but Rolovich carries a better arm. Jones does not wish to rank them, though, in hopes that uncertainty will push them (and those beneath them) harder to continually improve through competition. RB West Keli'ikipi has been (temporarily) suspended for his alleged involvement in a theft occurrence. Chances are good that he'll be re-instated. Ross Dickerson has made the switch from slotback to wideout, in an effort to replace Jeremiah Cockheran. Dickerson has sweet moves and good vision, which make him a dangerous open-field runner. Coaches plan to have him run more "sit" routes (i.e. hitches, hooks, curls, etc.) to put him in a position to use that run-after-catch speed he possesses. OL coach Mike Cavanaugh says he is trying to get his linemen to drop some weight. RG Uriah Moenoa has added 30 pounds since last season (he has had some family problems) and is in jeopardy of losing his starting spot - one he's maintained for three years now!

UH lost their top three DEs from a year ago, so replacements were needed in a hurry this spring. Coaches were pleased with the emergence of Nkeruwem Akpan, Ikaika Alama-Francis, and Karl Noa (say them three times fast…go!). Akpan has shown the most quickness off the corner, regularly tormenting the Warrior QBs this spring. (slated) Starting DT Abu Ma'afala has left the team for family reasons, and his presence will be missed. UH is looking to get immediate help on the inside from JUCO-transfers Austin Jackson (formerly, too, at USC) and Lawrence Wilson. Wilson gives them some girth along the line and hopes to help a rather thin defense. June Jones was also pleased with the versatility of his LBs, noting their ability to quickly get to the ball. Overall, this defense has come up hitting. The pads have been popping a lot more noticeably than in years past. DB coach Rich Miano is beyond excited for Kenny Patton to step in at CB. Patton benefits from having a solid frame and great technique. As long as he can stay healthy (suffered spring-ending injury), he will be a surprise talent in the WAC.

DL Austin Jackson (jr)
DT Lawrence Wilson (jr)
RB Andrew Pearman (fr)