WR Chad Owens (PHOTO BY: Jay Metzger)

2002 Statistics

Coach: June Jones
31-20, 4 years
2002 Record: 10-4
at Brigham Young LOST 32-35
at Texas-El Paso WON 31-6
SMU WON 42-10
at Boise State LOST 31-58
at Fresno State WON 31-21
at Rice WON 33-28
Tulane LOST 28-36

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

June Jones' squad will be in for a special season if the defense can improve over last year's inconsistency. In six games, the Warriors allowed only 91 points (15 ppg). In the other eight games, they allowed 298 (37 ppg). The defense held strong against Fresno State and Alabama, so it is capable. The unit just needs to find confidence early in the year. One thing they can again rely upon is the offense putting up mesmerizing numbers. With his receivers in tact and thirteen tries, Chang could realistically challenge David Klingler's single-game passing yardage mark (716 vs. Arizona State, 1990).

We see Hawaii over-coming an early reality check loss at Southern Cal to get off to a 4-1 record heading into a clash with Fresno State. Simple to tell, with games against USC and Alabama, if Hawaii can make a run for a Top 15 ranking, undefeated season or even BCS bid. Games against Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada and Boise State reveal if the Warriors will even improve upon last year's mark. We predict that Hawaii will lose to strong USC and Alabama teams, but take care of the rest. An extra loss will mean much to their higher-tiered bowl hopes.

Look for a classic shoot-out when the Warriors play on the road against Louisana Tech (and QB Luke McCown). Overall, the offense should shine enough to carry the defense to the pot o' gold at Rainbows end.

Projected 2003 record: 11-2
WR Jeremiah Cockheran
LB Chad Kalilimoku
OT Samson Satele
QB - 4.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 2
WR - 4 DB - 3.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Timmy Chang, 624-349-22, 4474 yds., 25 TD's

Rushing: John West, 59 att., 451 yds., 5 TD's

Receiving: Britton Komine, 58 rec., 886 yds., 10 TD's

Scoring: Justin Ayat, 15-23 FG, 55-56 PAT, 100 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Justin Ayat, 15-23 FG, 55-56 PAT, 100 pts.

Tackles: Hyrum Peters, 77 tot., 55 solo

Sacks: Travis LaBoy, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Hyrum Peters, 4 for 176 yds.

Kickoff returns: Chad Owens, 19 ret., 25.1 avg.

Punt returns: Chad Owens, 17 ret., 7.7 avg.


FS Hyrum Peters (PHOTO BY: Jay Metzger)
OFFENSE: Shawn Withy-Allen-QB, Thero Mitchell-RB, Justin Colbert-WR, Neal Gossett-WR, Lui Fuata-C, Vince Manuwai-OG, Wayne Hunter-OT (NFL)
DEFENSE: Laanui Correa-DE, Matt Wright-SLB, Chris Brown-MLB, Pisa Tinoisamoa-WLB, Mat McBriar-P

written by Dave Bagchi

There are no secrets to the Hawaii offense- throw, throw and throw. Last season, the Warriors averaged 386 yards passing per game (2nd in I-A, 495 total yds/game also 2nd in I-A) and scored 502 points (35+ point/game 8th in I-A) using their run n' shoot formation. All this and they probably under-achieved!

Junior QB Timmy Chang is ready for an All-American season. Last year, Chang put up a mind-boggling 624 pass attempts for over 4,470 yards. He has a strong arm and, most important, confidence. He will have to improve in his decision-making to take the next step. Chang only completed 56% of his attempts, which is low for a June Jones-offense. Also, his 25 to 22 touchdowns to interceptions ratio is not good. Sacked 27 times with a mere 3.0 yds/rush when not sacked, he must move around better in the pocket. You will hear Chang's name in the 2003 Heisman race as you did for Byron Leftwich last year. The strengths to his game are that he gets better as the game wears on and he is lethal on third down. Hawaii converted 45% of their third down conversions in 2002, a stat unheard of for a team so one-dimensional. He obviously does well once he knows the defense that day. Chang is the make-or-break dimension of this offense. His improvement will immediately translate to more wins.

The key to the run n' shoot is the combination of your quarterback's decision-making ability and the talent and discipline of your receiving corps. All eight of last year's top pass-catchers were wide receivers, six of which return. The air attack will now feature 6'0, 193-pound senior WR Jeremiah Cockheran. He will be flanked by inside receivers Britton Komine and Nate Ilaoa, with senior Clifton Herbert adding time at slotback. Komine and Cockheran combined for 107 receptions for over 1,600 yards and 15 TDs. Clearly, Hawaii will be loaded with depth, experience, speed and variety in the receiving department. Chang has nowhere to look but inward if they cannot produce. Don't forget about young speedster Chad Owens as well. His punt and kick return abilities were good enough to place him on the NationalChamps.net All-American list in 2001 as a freshman. Although injured in several games last year, many around the program feel Chad is the best prospect of the bunch.

Redshirt freshman Samson Satele is expected to replace All-American RG Vince Manuwai . Along with sophomore center Derek Faavi and returning starters Shayne Kajioka and Uriah Moenoa, the Warriors should be fine along the offensive front. Moenoa should be the best of the group by season's end. Also look for backup junior Chad Kahale (337-pounder) to provide depth. In the Hawaii scheme, the role of the offensive line is to be able to allow Chang just enough time to get rid of the ball. The team averaged 5.0 yds/rush, a testament to this line. This compliments the approximately two sacks per game allowed, phenomenal for a team that throws close to 50 times per tilt. They are not a weak link by any means.

The two biggest weaknesses last season were turnovers and the lack of a consistent running threat. The latter of which probably won't change because of Jones' pass-happy philosophy. Still, there is an opportunity to develop the running game a bit more. Consider Hawaii's running game's 5.0 average and 26 TDs… the talent is there. Senior John West, junior Mike Bass and Junior Michael Brewster return. The trio combined for over 800 yards, 6.7 yds/rush and 9 TDs. All three are little, quick guys (under 5'10), so 210 lb. departed Thero Mitchell will be missed (his 11 TDs reveal the need for a "closer" when down near the goal-line.) The player to watch is Sophomore Pesefea Fiaseu, a 5'9, 248 pound beast. The main problem, if/when the running game is held back, will be the man barking the calls, Jones himself.

Turnovers really killed the Warriors in 2002. Five TOs prevented the team from pulling off an upset over Alabama. Hawaii had 41 offensive TOs (26 INTs, 15 fumbles) and ended with a (-14) turnover margin. It is amazing the team won ten games with this careless ball handling. If this number does not go down in 2003, the Warriors will continue to under-achieve. If Chang holds his INTs to under 15, this team will improve immensely.


QB Timmy Chang (PHOTO BY: Jay Metzger)


Returning Starters in bold
QB Timmy Chang-Jr Jason Whieldon-Sr
RB Mike Bass-Jr John West-Sr
WR Britton Komine-Jr Kanale George-Jr
WR Jeremiah Cockheran-Sr Mark Tate-So
SB Nate Ilaoa-So Ross Dickerson-Fr / Gerald Welch-Jr
SB Chad Owens-Jr Clifton Herbert-Sr
OT Samson Satele-Fr Brandon Eaton-So
OG Shayne Kajioka-Sr Kahai LaCount-Fr
C Derek Faavi-So Marcus Kaonohi-Fr
OG Uriah Moenoa-Jr Chad Kahale-Jr
OT Dane Uperesa-Fr Ryan Santos-Jr
K Justin Ayat-Jr Nolan Miranda-Fr



written by Dave Bagchi

The strength of next year's Hawaii defense will be the secondary. This experienced unit showed improvements as the season progressed. Seven of the eight deep (and all the returning starters) return. Corners Abraham Elimimian and Kelvin Millhouse combined for 20 pass break-ups. Safeties Hyrum Peters and David Gilmore, at the SAM and JILL positions, respectively, also return. Peters (4 INTs, 3 pass BrUps) and Gilmore (3 FF) will be called upon to support the run. The duo combined for 147 tackles. Gilmore is bigger and stronger while Peters is better at playing the ball and man-to-man. The Warriors have depth with sophomores Kenny Patton and Lamar Broadway at corner and senior Leonard Peters in the middle.

The other strength of the Hawaii defense will be the defensive ends. Seniors Travis LaBoy and Houston Ala (13 of the Rainbows' 37 total sacks) are under-sized speed rushers who excel against passing opponents but struggle against the run. The Hawaii plan has been to line up in the 4-3, with a bulked up middle of big tackles and converted linebackers as rush ends. This puts a lot of pressure on the DE to make plays. Maturity to have learned the fore-mentioned requirement of staying in assigned modes (and not becoming one-dimensional) will be the wild-card to make this line work.

Despite allowing 389 points, the Warriors actually showed minor improvements on defense from a year ago moving from 94th to 79th in the nation. The problem of offensive TOs often put Hawaii's defense in precarious positions has to end for the defense to establish any consistency and character. The Warriors still have a lot of question marks heading into 2003.

Gone is LB (Will-Backer) Pisa Tinoisamoa and his team bests in tackles and TFL. Inexperience at LB continues throughout the starting unit. Senior Keani Alapa and Chad Kalilimoku will hopefully step up, but no guarantees.. With all three new starters roaming the middle of the field, look for opponents to take advantage by exploiting them in the flats and with underneath passing . The inexperience will also put tremendous pressure along the defensive line to stop the run.

With so much pressure on the interior tackle combo of seniors Isaac Sopoaga and Lance Samuseva, the Warriors had/will have their problems stopping the run. Sopoaga is active but had problems with stamina after sitting out 2001 with academic problems. He could well be a dominating force when all is said and done. Samuseva struggles, often times getting manhandled at the line, and will be hard pressed to hold on to his starting spot. The Warriors allowed over 168 yards per game rushing, a poor total when you consider the pass-happy WAC. Word is that Hawaii will not be making major changes. So the way to keep Sopoaga and Samuseva fresh will be with depth. The Warriors have that in sophomore Abu Ma'afala and senior Keali'I Aguiar. Aguiar will challenge to replace Samuseva on the starting front. If this unit can improve, Hawaii turns their weak defensive front into something positive. If not, this unit will be the most damaging to any hopes of overall team improvement. If you cannot stop the run….(you make up the rest, ok?)


DT Isaac Sopoaga (PHOTO BY: Jay Metzger)


Returning Starters in bold
DE Travis LaBoy-Sr Kevin Jackson-Sr
DT Isaac Sopoaga-Sr Abu Ma'afala-So
DT Lance Samuseva-Sr Lui Fuga-Jr
DE Houston Ala-Sr Kila Kamakawiwo'ole-So
SLB Keani Alapa-Sr Patrick Harley-Jr / Chad Kapanui-Jr
MLB Chad Kalilimoku-Sr Tanuvasa Moe-So
WLB Ikaika Curnan-So Tyrone Brown-Jr
CB Abraham Elimimian-Jr Gary Wright-Sr
CB Kelvin Millhouse-Sr Kenny Patton-So
SS Hyrum Peters-Sr Brown Faavae-So
FS David Gilmore-Sr Leonard Peters-So
P Kurt Milne-So Tim Wright-Jr




Junior placekicker Justin Ayat has a big-time leg. Ayat connected on only 15-23 field goals, but 14-16 from inside the 40. In the punt return game, the Rainbows will need to improve on both sides of the ball. Junior Chad Owens must improve on his 7.7 yards per return average. To make matters worse, the punt-return defense allowed an alarming 18.1 yards per return and three scores. Owens is quite a bit better on KOs (25.1 yds/return). Special teams could cost June a game or two if he doesn't fix these holes listed, especially punt coverage.


The passing game looks to make senior Jeremiah Cockerhan a star this season. Coaches have been impressed by his progress and expect nothing but an All-WAC season from this Californian. Along the outside, I like what I see from freshmen Ross Dickerson (rsf) and Jason Rivers (true). Rivers (a 3-time All-State selection) appears to be the better talent, with great size and speed. He turned down offers from Washington and Washington State to stay home and play for the Warriors. Teammates in high school, both should see considerable playing time and have a notable impact in this passing scheme. Another guy to watch (in the future) is freshman Marcus Weems, who has drawn some comparison to (former UH great) Ashley Lelie. Fellow WRs Kanale George and Daniel Inferrera had pleasant spring showings… Depth is abundant at QB, but it got even better with the addition of sophomore Kainoa Akina, a transfer from Eastern Michigan. Akina started as a true freshman at EMU in 2001 and brings a strong arm and helpful mobility. As deep as Hawaii is though, he starts the year at #4 on the depth chart. Speaking of QBs, it is assuring to know that Timmy Chang has really applied himself to the Warriors strength program this off-season and has put on some considerable weight/muscle… UH offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh is a master at putting together a battle-ready group and thinks he has a good one this year. RSF Samson Satele will be one to watch.

I like what I see in MLB Chad Kalilimoku, and June Jones feels the same way. He had a polished career in JUCO and played well in limited minutes last year. He has improved his speed and strength this off-season, and coaches say he has that linebacker temperament they love to see. Expect this young man step up and take charge of this defense. West Virginia transfer Brown Faavae will start the year as a backup SS, but could be moved to WLB if the projected top two don't perform… I'll say it right now- this Hawaii defensive line will finish as one of the best in the country! Even with Travis LaBoy sitting out the spring to rehabilitate an injury, the line still produced massive results and will be a real force… Three recruits who look to get action on defense are DBs Ray Bass and Viliami Nauahi, and LB/DE Daniel Tautofi. All three are proof that the Warrriors can compete and win in recruiting battles with some of the bigger schools…

Someone who goes unnoticed in the media is special teams ace, junior Chad Kapanui. Kapanui is adept at blocking punts, has thrown passes on fake punts and is a superb cover man on the kick units. He's certainly fun to watch and someone you should keep your eye on this year. He should be wearing #5… Michael Brewster will be returning kicks this year, but according to coaches, will be doing it without cohort Chad Owens. Wanting to preserve Owens for offensive purposes, coaches will look for other means. Clifton Herbert should get the nod returning punts. Ross Dickerson should see a piece of the pie too. Keep in mind, though, that coaches didn't plan to have C.O. return kicks or punts last year, yet he led the team in both categories. Don't rule him out just yet.

FYI- Hawaii's Aloha Stadium had FieldTurf installed this summer, which will initiated on the Warriors' August 30th opener against Appalachian State.