Here’s your 10-day recap of the Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union Hawaii Football Countdown:
July 15, Day 40: In 2018’s season opener against Colorado State, Hawaii exploded for 43 points – that’s the most points UH scored in a season opener since 2007, when Colt Brennan and the Rainbow Warriors dismantled Northern Colorado, 63-6.
July 14, Day 41: Hawaii coaches have high hopes for incoming defensive back Cortez Davis. The 5-11, 180-lb. junior from Decatur, Georgia played last season at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi, recording 59 tackles. He was named to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges All-State First team. He was recruited to Manoa by UH defensive coordinator Corey Batoon.
July 13, Day 42: Defensive lineman Justus Tavai hopes to contribute this season after sitting out 2018. The 6-3, 295-lb. redshirt sophomore was a standout performer for El Camino College in Torrance, California before coming to Manoa. He is the younger brother of former UH linebacker Jahlani Tavai, who is now with the Detroit Lions.
July 12, Day 43: The Arizona Wildcats, Hawaii’s season-opening opponent, are currently 11.5-point favorites over the Rainbow Warriors. The UH-Arizona game officially kicks off the 2019 college football season, along with Florida vs Miami.
July 11, Day 44: UH QB Cole McDonald has been named to the Davey O’Brien Award preseason “watch list.” The award is given annually to college football’s best quarterback. McDonald has also been selected to the Maxwell Award “watch list,” which is awarded to college football’s best overall player.
July 10, Day 45: Hawaii hosts arch-rival Fresno State on Nov. 2. The Bulldogs were one of the top defensive teams in the country last season, surrendering just 14.1 point per game (third in the nation). They return two defensive stalwarts: linebacker Mykal Walker and safety Juju Hughes. Both have been nominated for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is annually bestowed to the nation’s best defensive player.
July 9, Day 46: After opening and closing the 2018 regular season on the road, this year’s UH football schedule allows the Rainbow Warriors to open and close the season with two straight games at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii opens with Arizona and Oregon State, and concludes the regular season with home dates with SDSU and Army.
July 8, Day 47: Injuries have curtailed much of Jake Luton’s career at Oregon State, but the redshirt senior QB has impressed when healthy. Last season, he passed for 300-plus yards in back-to-back games against Colorado and USC. This past April, he completed 6 of 9 passes for 94 yards, leading his Orange squad to a 27-7 victory in the Beavers’ spring game. He is expected to get the nod as the team’s starting signal-caller.
July 7, Day 48: During an interview with Maui News, UH QB Cole McDonald revealed how injuries plagued much of his breakthrough 2018 season. He strained his MCL in the season opener and, against San Jose State, took a hard hit to side. Tests showed that he was experiencing internal bleeding that wasn’t draining properly. “I played hurt most of the season,” he said. “It was pretty brutal.”
July 6, Day 49: Senior defensive back Rojesterman Farris put in a solid campaign in 2018, breaking up 11 passes and snaring an interception for a total of 12 passes defended on the season. That placed him tied for seventh in the MWC.