By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
The University of Hawaii football regular season has just about reached its midway point – six games down, seven to go – and the hope is that last week’s upset over nationally-ranked Fresno State will spur even greater success in the weeks ahead. The Rainbow Warriors are 3-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Our new ESPN Honolulu FAN’S VOICE question for you is this: “WHAT GRADES WOULD YOU GIVE THE RAINBOW WARRIORS AT THIS SEASON’S HALFWAY POINT?” Hand out your letter grades for the Offense, Defense, Special Teams and Coaching.
Here are my marks for the team. Feel feel to disagree.
OFFENSE: For better or worse, the Todd Graham era has featured a more balanced attack. So far this season, UH has had 218 passing plays and 212 running plays. I’m fine with that. I’m also good with the team’s 27.8 points-per-game average. Still, you get the feeling that this offense should be a bit more explosive. The offensive line needs to continue to improve, the receivers need to be more sure-handed and Chevan Cordeiro needs to get healthy. Grade: B-minus.
DEFENSE: The bad news? The Hawaii defense is surrendering 31 points per game. The good news? In the two conference games (San Jose State and Fresno State), that average plummets to 20.5 ppg. Without question, the D has stepped up of late, with the secondary leading the way. If the unit can cut down on allowing big plays, the second half of the season could get really interesting. Grade: B.
SPECIAL TEAMS: This unit has been shaky at times – after not having a punt blocked since 2008, UH surrendered two so far this season – but seems to have settled nicely. Kicker Matthew Shipley has been an unsung hero, converting 7 of 8 FG attempts and going a perfect 20 for 20 on extra points. He’s also been serviceable in his punting duties, although only 6 of his 26 punts have landed inside the 20. The return game has been rather anemic. The kickoff and punt coverage units have been solid. GRADE: B
COACHING: We’ve heard the rumblings about first-year offensive coordinator Bo Graham, that perhaps he’s in over his head at a crucial coaching position. And the play calling did seem suspect early on. But to be fair, Group of 5 offenses are often going to look pedestrian against PAC-12 teams. And the offense has opened up a bit as of late. More importantly, head coach Todd Graham has done a good job keeping the team focused and upbeat, even after the disappointing 1-3 start. GRADE: B-minus.
OVERALL GRADE: B-minus
Okay, that’s my take. What about you? Join our conversation and share your assessment at our ESPN Honolulu Facebook page. Just click the link below: