Hawaii football: JoJo Ward wins Mountain West honor

Right wideout JoJo Ward was named the Mountain West's Offensive Player of the Week after catching 10 passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns in UH's 31-28 victory over Oregon State. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

Following Hawaii’s 31-28 victory over Oregon State, quarterback Cole McDonald proclaimed the start of the “Joe Era.”

It was in tribute to right wideout JoJo Ward, who caught 10 passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns.

Today, the Mountain West recognized that performance, honoring Ward as the Offensive Player of the Week. It is the second week in a row a UH receiver has claimed that award. Right slotback Cedric Byrd caught 14 passes, including four for touchdowns, in the Rainbow Warriors’ Aug. 24 opener against Arizona.

“It’s a blessing,” Ward said of the MW honor. “Anybody in this offense — and this defense — could get player of the week. In this offense, anybody can have a great day.”

Against Arizona, Ward was targeted three times. Against Oregon State, Ward was the primary target on 14 throws.

“There were different schematics (in the OSU game) that allowed another position to get some of those deep-threat opportunities,” head coach Nick Rolovich said. “He took advantage of it.”

Ward, a senior from Waco, Texas, joined the Warriors a few days before the 2018 training camp. Despite not having a spring-ball experience to learn the offense, Ward caught 51 passes for 865 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games last season.

“I thought in the offseason, he’s taken his knowledge of the offense, his comfort with the offense, to another level,” Rolovich said.

As a Monday tradition following a UH football victory, made-to-order omelets are served to all student-athletes as part of the training-table plan. Ward enjoyed breakfast, then focused on schoolwork and this week’s road trip to Seattle.

“I’m going to attack the offense this week and get ready for Washington,” Ward said.


  1. SteveM September 9, 2019 1:07 pm

    Congrats to Jojo Ward!

  2. SteveM September 9, 2019 1:17 pm

    Repost: Winner of the Guess the Score contest is Tanks Ah! who was 7 over/under (absolute value) points from both scores.

    Second Place was H-Man who was 8 points off and third place goes to NorthShoreFan who was 9 points off.

    UH – OSU blog score predictions

    23 – 10 … burro sabio
    24 – 21 … Cappie the Dog
    35 – 23 … NorthShoreFan (THIRD @ 9 off)
    38 – 27 … H-Man (SECOND @ 8 off)
    38 – 28 … Tanks Ah! (FIRST @ 7 off)
    41 – 34 … Boolakanaka
    43 – 27 … sackkabooya
    45 – 31 … A-House
    45 – 38 … Izzy
    45 – 39 … J-FORCE
    48 – 27 … Andrew
    49 – 28 … Kapahulu
    51 – 30 … roygbivs
    52 – 21 … wafan
    52 – 34 … oneseason
    52 – 38 … DJ Funk
    55 – 10 … azwarrior22
    56 – 13 … Kekoa
    56 – 28 … Petey808
    59 – 24 … bg
    63 – 28 … Throw ‘Bows

  3. Whats Up September 9, 2019 1:29 pm

    Watching the MWC win against P5 schools the past few weeks has got me thinking the dissolution of the WAC has played a big part in this. When the West Coast only has 2 D1 conferences PAC-12 and MWC the recruits in the West Coast, Pacific and beyond only have 2 choices in conferences if they want to stay close to home.

    Just think about it Fresno State is in a rebuilding year and they gave USC all they could handle on the road at USC. Hawaii has 2 wins against PAC 12 schools. The MWC will continue to gain on the P5 schools and it will be come to a point that either another conference realignment or invite the MWC to the big boy table. Just some food for thought…

  4. Honu888 September 9, 2019 1:35 pm

    Not to compare with past UH receivers but I think this year as a total group must be one of the very best we’ve ever had. Every position has deep threat capabilities and although there were a few dropped passes I think they are still very reliable and we have the depth to back them up as well.

    Congrats to Byrd and Ward for their MW player of the week awards! BACK TO BACK! Well deserved!

  5. hilorain September 9, 2019 2:07 pm

    UH 38, udub 30….Go Bow!! Go Warriors

  6. Andrew September 9, 2019 3:01 pm

    The PAC 12 is also having a very down year and is pretty much the butt of jokes in terms of Power 5 conferences. I think this game with Washington is going to be a real indicator with this team. Arizona and Oregon State are bottom tier PAC-12 teams and UCLA has been struggling as well. After Oregon stomped all over Nevada, a good showing by Hawaii could do a lot for the team as well as perception of the conference.

  7. UH Fan for Life September 9, 2019 3:18 pm

    Congratulations to Coach Rolo, the players and the coaching staff the win against the beavers and the 2-0 start.
    Hawaii has played with noticeably improved discipline compared to their PAC-12 opponents. Against Arizona, Hawaii had 7 penalties for 54 yards compared to the Wildcats’ 10 penalties for 88 yards, and Hawaii had just 4 penalties for 40 yards vs the Beavers’ 9 penalties for 92 yards. Hawaii has been called for fewer personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct and holding penalties and this is helping to win the close games.
    The Warriors also seem more resilient in recovering from key injuries, turnovers, dropped passes or missed scoring opportunities. This team seems to believe they can overcome any adversity their faced with.
    It looks like Rolo’s has successfully recruited for and built a culture with players who play for each other, the University of Hawaii, and the entire state. This is a team we can all be proud of.

  8. Manoa Mist September 9, 2019 3:20 pm

    UH 35 UW- 28 OT
    McDonald 338 yards 3 TDs
    Freddy Holly 129 yards 2 Rushing TDs
    Melquise Stovall 170 yds 2 TDs

    *Rolo will post a Twitter Pic of a PAC-12 non-conference champions : UH Rainbow Warriors 🌈 🏈 🥇

  9. Ipu Man September 9, 2019 3:53 pm

    SteveM, Rolo’s Warriors will roll…
    UH 55
    UW 49

  10. iGrokSpock September 9, 2019 4:25 pm

    Yum! I should have made an omelet this morning. Congrats to JoJo!

  11. wafan September 9, 2019 6:00 pm

    SteveM . . . 52 – 21. Us of course!

  12. Naks8 September 9, 2019 6:59 pm


    Pac12 isn’t having a down year. They have been regarded as one of the worst power 5 conferences for the past 3-5 years. They are mainly top heavy with uw as the only legitimate national threat.

  13. Inyoface September 9, 2019 9:10 pm

    We went into UCLA & byu with momentum the last couple years. Hopefully this year will have a different outcome.

  14. uhwarrior23 September 9, 2019 9:55 pm

    Hawaii 34
    Washington 27

  15. UH Fan for Life September 9, 2019 10:09 pm

    More national exposure for UH – “StanfordSteve” Coughlin was wearing a retro green UH Rainbow t-shirt on tonight’s ESPN Sportcenter with Scott Van Pelt broadcast.

  16. Whats Up September 9, 2019 11:20 pm

    I’m not only talking about MWC vs PAC12 in my thought, but Wyoming beat the sports pundits dark horse pick to make a new year six bowl the SEC Missouri Tigers. The MWC beat teams from the ACC, Big10 and PAC12, maybe not the elite teams from those conferences but teams that usually beat MWC teams. Think teams like Fresno, Nevada, Utah State are in rebuilding years but still did pretty well against the non-elite P5 teams. Only Boise State usually wins these games or at least keeps it respectable.

    The fall of the WAC has already started a recruiting talent balance between MWC vs many P5 schools. It will continue to climb with only 2 West Coast D1 conferences…

  17. sackkabooya September 10, 2019 12:59 am

    Watching the videos on youtube Stovall has remarkable vision. The sample size is small but he seems to set up runs without needing much “burst”. He starts off returns at what looks like a medium-fast (faster than your normal “set up your blocking”) speed so he gets up on you pretty quick. His cuts are “hard” and not real “clean” so his balance looks “anykine” but you can see his change of direction messing up coverage lanes. His running style (“anykine”) is going to be hard to prepare for unless coverage teams are athletic (like OSU’s kicker, nice play). Unreal vision (the ability to see how and when a certain cut will create a workable crease).

  18. sackkabooya September 10, 2019 1:43 am

    Watching Sarsh on video you can see he is good at working the underneath “stuff”. Low catches are kind of his “thing” (possession specialist) When he does cut his route upfield (deep middle) he usually seems to be what looks like a “decoy” drawing the safety so the other slot can break open. It happened several times vs Arizona so Byrd was iso middle deep making a lot of big plays. Versus OSU Sarsh was the iso more often than Byrd. Sarsh has a hard time (mostly with his balance I think) making up field plays and catching the ball in “stride”. But he needed (and can do eventually) to make those reads then catches. Stovall changed the structure and scheme when he replaced Sarsh but I don’t think (I don’t know actually, hard to tell right now) his running style sets up others real good. Not as good as Sarsh I think. But he is a way more explosive playmaker in that spot. Thus the dilemma for Rolo. I think Phillips can rotate in that spot as well giving the 4 wide an even different dimension (way, way faster than either of them). Heck maybe eventually (phase III) rotate a TE in that spot (think Clark Evans or Harold Moleni on short yardage package). That spot has a lot of possibilities moving forward. Can do. Unreal the Run and Shoot.

  19. sackkabooya September 10, 2019 3:10 am

    Example of guys who would (would have been) be good as that complementary slot:

    Makoa Camanse-Stevens (6’4″ downfield possession guy).
    Dylan Collie (Unselfish complementary route runner, good in and out of space, if you can handle a drop or two)
    Kanawai Noa (Good playmaking possession type skillset)
    Kumoku Noa (Good at creating space in short routes. Maybe next year??)

  20. Stephen Tsai September 10, 2019 5:56 am

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=51005

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