So you think you know your UH football running backs? Take this short-but-deliciously-challenging trivia quiz and see how effective your “ground game” really is!
Q1: Name the current NCAA Division 1 FBS head coach who once led the Rainbow Warriors in rushing yards in a season.
Q2: Who’s the only UH running back to lead his team in rushing yards for four consecutive seasons?
Q3: Name the running back who joined UH as a walk on and wound up playing three seasons for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.
Q4: Prior to Joey Iosefa being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, who was the last UH running back to be drafted? (Hint: He was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles.)
Q5: What former UH running back later ran for Mayor of Honolulu?
Q6: Who holds the UH record for most rushing yards in a single season?
Q7: The UH career leader for rushing TDs was not a running back. Who has the record?
Q8: Anthony Edgar played two seasons for the Rainbow Warriors. He led the team in rushing in 1982, including a 242-yard performance against Air Force. Which school did Edgar transfer to UH from?
Q9: Norris Birdsong played two seasons at UH (1975 and 1976). What “famous first” did he achieve as a Rainbow Warrior?
Q10: Who led UH in rushing yards in the 2008 Sugar Bowl?
A1: In 1983, running back Dino Babers led Hawaii with 295 yards rushing (76 carries). That remains the lowest season output by a leading UH running back. (By comparison, Alex Green rushed for 327 in a single game in 2010, helping Hawaii beat New Mexico State.) Babers is now the head coach at Syracuse.
A2: From 1978 through 1981, Hawaii’s leading rusher each season was Gary Allen. Allen began his UH career as a receiver, but converted to running back midway through his freshman year.
A3: James Fenderson joined the Rainbow Warriors as a walk-on out of Mililani High School. In 2000, he led the team in rushing yards (651, 5.8 ypc) and later signed with the Saints as a free agent. In the 2002 season, Fenderson scored a 17-yd. TD against the Cleveland Browns.
A4: In 2007, the Eagles tabbed Nate Ilaoa in the 7th Round of the NFL Draft. He was cut shortly before the season opener and went on to play for the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League.
A5: In his two seasons in Hawaii, Punahou alum Arnold Morgado rushed for 1,007 yards and 4 TDs. He later played for seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs. Morgado entered the political arena after returning to the Islands, serving in as a State Representative and Honolulu City Councilman. In 1996, he had an unsuccessful bid for the Honolulu Mayor’s seat.
A6: In 2017, Diocemy Saint Juste ran for 1,510 yards, setting a new Rainbow Warrior record. The previous record holder was Travis Sims, who netted 1,498 yards for Hawaii during the 1992 Holiday Bowl season.
A7: QB Michael Carter (1990-93) holds the school record for most career rushing TDs, with 39. Carter is the only UH player to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards passing in the same season, a feat he achieved in 1991.
A8: Edgar transferred to Hawaii from UCLA.
A9: On Oct. 18, 1975, in Hawaii’s third home game of the season, Birdsong became the first UH running back to score a TD at Aloha Stadium. His 6-yd. score helped Hawaii beat Portland State (quarterbacked by June Jones), 24 to 7.
A10: The Rainbow Warriors’ rushing attack in the Sugar Bowl was led by Kealoha Pilares, with 26 yards. Pilares, who would later convert to wide receiver and go on to play in the NFL, led Hawaii in rushing during that Sugar Bowl season.