Warrior Beat: The next step

Linebacker Kana‘i Picanco (pronounced Pee-con-so) was among the reserves who helped out in Saturday's game against Nevada. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

In the aftermath of a 40-22 loss to Nevada in which little went right — five drops, some mis-reads, many missed tackles — the Warriors are preparing for the next step. Here’s a look at some areas.

> Health: As of this morning, there was no update on the status of linebacker Jahlani Tavai, who did not play in the second half because of what appeared to be a shoulder ailment. Earlier in the season, it was thought he would miss some time because of another ailment. He did not miss any time at all. If he can play, he will play.

> Backup plan: Pumba Williams, Penei Pavihi, Kana‘i Picanco and Paul Scott filled in for Tavai. All had their moments. Jeremiah Pritchard is redshirting this season.

> Search and recovery: In the first nine games, the Warriors forced 10 fumbles, but recovered only one. Against Nevada, they recovered three. That’s a start.

> Closing the deal: Too often, an “ooh” turned into an “oh, my” when a Nevada ball-carrier eluded the grasp of a would-be tackler. It comes down to taking the runner to the ground. It also involves taking the right angle and getting enough defenders to the ball-carrier. But, yeah, mostly it comes to taking down the runner.

> Bulldog mentality: It was 10 years ago when the Warriors, who were underdogs to the Bulldogs, had to play in one of the toughest-to-win stadiums. But the Warriors did win, thanks in part to surprise hero, Inoke Funaki. Anything is possible.


  1. Warrior Dave October 21, 2018 12:18 pm

    Lots to work on. Last nights game was the worst of the year. Total regression

  2. kev-1 October 21, 2018 12:57 pm

    No way to sugar coat last night’s loss. It was FUGLY!!!

    Defense is too porous. Too often last night, it looked like our defenders were playing the roll of downfield blockers for the opposing RB or WR. Was bad.

    Offense? Disappointing and predictable.

  3. kev-1 October 21, 2018 12:59 pm

    Remember last season how we were so excited after the first few games. Then things started to fall apart and we were left figuring out who or what was to blame.

    Feels eerily familiar, except this time it is happening 3 games later in the season.

  4. H-Man October 21, 2018 1:12 pm

    Yeah, what’s going on? It seems whenever there’ s a good crowd, Warriors find ways to make it ugly. Last night was missed opportunity (again) to get the crowd excited and back into Aloha Stadium. Maybe not having a bye week is taking its toll.

  5. Da Punchbowl Kid October 21, 2018 2:23 pm

    Fire up Warriors!!! Get that next one!!!

  6. suckkabooya October 21, 2018 2:30 pm

    I think the RPO in pistol works better. The offset RPO can be the “audible” read formation. The run is so much more “downhill”. And the read shouldn’t take that long, read the give (or keep or quick pass) pre snap. Looks like a lot of indecision and second thoughts (especially on that 4th and 1in our own territory). Also McDonald needs to “drop back” a little deeper (on non RPO) so the pocket can have more “integrity”. He usually sits in the “tightness” of the pocket not as able to step up. He can still throw quick if the read is there, but by dropping back a little he wouldn’t have to seem so hesitant when the quick throw is not open. Just create time for the natural abilities of the receivers to find the “pukas”. They did it a lot more earlier in the season (when they were clicking). Just need to trust the protection a little more. Use Furuta for protection (and shovel), and Reed or Holly (flat route) to make them pay if they rush from the middle. Just got to drop back a little more. I hope they figure it out. The answer (adjustment) is there somewhere. Just got to find it. Personnel, play calling and “processing”. Learning how right now. It’s hard. They can do it. “Anything is possible”.

  7. Akamai Okole October 21, 2018 2:32 pm

    Great Afternoon All!

    It’s hot!!! 👿

    Time fo Rise UP in Raisin Country!

  8. Akamai Okole October 21, 2018 2:33 pm


    59 -28 Akamai Okole

  9. Akamai Okole October 21, 2018 2:34 pm

    Wow, sucka…

    Das a lot fo read


  10. Akamai Okole October 21, 2018 2:35 pm

    I jus skip to da end..

    “Anything is possible”

    Right on…

  11. Discouraged October 21, 2018 2:40 pm

    Dissappointed in the play calling by Rolo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Huge fan of Rolo and feel we are lucky to have him as a coach but I also call it how it is. Onside kicking has a very low percentage of being successful and our playcalling was just too aggressive! Very disappointed!

  12. suckkabooya October 21, 2018 2:59 pm

    Akamai Okole

    Sorry. Hard to explain with less words. But yep, “anything is possible”.

  13. 808bowler October 21, 2018 3:21 pm

    I think they should stick with the traditional RnS. Adding RPO not working. We never had a problem with offense when jj ran the traditional RnS. I have yet too see a rb draw. Or a run play with a pulling guard. Jmho


  14. kahuna October 21, 2018 3:58 pm

    #12…the problem with running the traditional RnS is that we really do not have anybody on staff that knows the pure RnS like JJ or Mouse Davis or Ron Lee. Rolo can only teach what he knows. If he does not have the years of experience of a June Jones then it is not smart to run something you really don’t know. The boys just need to execute better. Block better, catch the ball better, run better routes, and just play smart football.

    Rolo’s time at Nevada have made a big impact on him and I believe he will always have Nevada’s stuff in his offensive gameplan. Former Nevada HC Chris Ault had a big impact on Rolo just like Mouse Davis had a big influence on June Jones so Rolo’s style of RnS will include stuff he learned at Nevada. Nothing is wrong with that.

  15. JT808 October 21, 2018 4:00 pm

    What happened to Batoon’s “attacking” defense? Our defense consistently gets burned in the secondary. DBs have no clue where the ball is in the air! resulting in pass interference calls when passes are not completed. Safeties are nowhere to be found to help. D-line is absolutely atrocious. The only bright spot is Padello, who if an OL is smart and gets a piece of him, is squashed into the ground. Our defense isn’t good enough to tackle solo in space so we need to swarm tackle. We rank almost dead last in turnovers forced and turnover margin. We need more possesions in order for offense to find a rhythm. Attack the ball! Speaking of offense, why are we dinking and dunking again like Schroeder’s years. We have the talent and speed to stretch the field. Opposing defenses are scouting us and taking away the underneath routes. Very frustrating to see regression instead of progression at this time of the season.

  16. PONO October 21, 2018 4:06 pm

    Go Bows stay positive.

  17. eMpTy October 21, 2018 4:34 pm

    I’m a little superstitious so I think Cole needs to get rid of the dreadlocks or loosen it cause I think he needs more blood circulation to think better and faster. He was playing better before the dreadlocks.
    Go warriors…..

  18. islandman October 21, 2018 4:37 pm

    The defense and special teams gave the offense chances, but the offense couldn’t convert on many of those chances. Special teams recovered 2 fumbles and the defense one.
    UH had to punt 6 times. If they had scored on 3 of those possessions, the game would have been closer. The goal, per Nick, is to score at least 35 pts. but they haven’t scored over 23 pts in the last three games.

  19. islandman October 21, 2018 4:49 pm

    The defense caused Nevada to punt 3 times, but UH scored on only a drive after the last punt in the 4th quarter.

  20. suckkabooya October 21, 2018 4:55 pm

    Padello is terrific with pressure packages but not as good as run in that two point stance. He needs to be in three point stance and put pressure on linemen even in running plays. With him standing up way easier for offensive line. Thomas too. Mauritian can be the stand up guy in that scheme. Got to figure it out.

  21. suckkabooya October 21, 2018 4:56 pm

    Mautautia. Damn spell check

  22. islandman October 21, 2018 5:14 pm

    UH did not score at 1st and goal at the Nevada 7 yd line and 1st and 10 at the Nevada 18 yd line in the 3rd quarter.

  23. THE ULTIMATE FAN October 21, 2018 5:46 pm

    Its time to look at all the coaches. We go for it on 4th down way to often. Why don’t we rotate the DB”s. The onside kick is manly when your down. Seems like we need to go back to the basic on defense, Tackling, running with the receiver. Our team is to good to play so bad. Let’s prepare for next week. Go UH

  24. Warzone October 21, 2018 5:47 pm

    And despite all the negatives… Hawaii has a winning record with no five star or four star athletes sitting on the bench or field… This team is young and makes mistakes It happens officials call bad games too be happy they even have a chance at a bowl game people… Go Warriors!!

  25. cappie the dog October 21, 2018 6:16 pm

    I know this is going to grate on people because it’s the only opinion I have on Hawaii football.

    I think it’s amazing that this team has six wins.

    The only real qualm I have about last night’s game is that a first quarter onside kick, which for all intents and purposes given the situation amounts to being a trick play, should be saved for teams in which Hawaii has no shot of winning.

    Momentum shift.

  26. SteveM October 21, 2018 6:56 pm

    Well, not quite 24 hours since theme ended but I’ll throw in my two cents: the defense was on the field too long again. But I thought Jerry Glanville’s “big bag” in practice would have helped.

    Too many crucial dropped balls. My seat partner asked me if McDonald’s pass was off or the receiver muffed it? I said, “I don’t know…a good receiver can make a bad pass look catchable”. But it sure looked like drops.

    Nevada’s passing attack looked like how Hawaii’s used to when we started the season…Nevada ran our playbook better than us.

    As for the onside kicks–it it works you are a genius! If it doesn’t you look like much less. Nine games in a roll has taken a physical toll despite no “reported” injuries. If the first team is under 90% healthy, maybe it’s time to go further down the depth chart as ST’s article suggested using the new redshirt rule.

  27. cappie the dog October 21, 2018 7:28 pm


    That is the name of Yoko Ono’s new album.

    Barnes and Noble isn’t carrying it.

    It’s on SONY.

    It should be there.

    The end of the CD looms near.

  28. Stephen Tsai October 21, 2018 10:27 pm

    Yoko Ono still makes music?
    Barnes & Noble still sells CDs?
    What’s a CD?

  29. Whats up October 21, 2018 11:46 pm

    We know this team is very young but the coaches putting the young defense and team behind the 8 ball by multiple early in the game on-side kicks, giving Nevada a short field is self destructive and momentum killers (Like a turnover). We know this young team is nicked up and hasn’t had a bye week yet. If we know these things, then why would the Hawaii coaches make it any easier for Nevada and gift them the ball on Gut feeling, Roll it, low percentage gambling calls.

    The coaches need to hear the obvious from outside observers like us fans. The failure of many leaders is to only listen to their inner circle of yes-men, ignore other perspectives to get the total picture and self evaluation. Its easy to pile in on and blame the players but we as fans know the all the coaches have the capability to figure this out. However, if we say nothing how are the coaches going to know they need to take some time to look in the mirror and figure this out?

    Live Aloha/Play Warrior

    Go Warriors of Hawaii!

  30. roygbivs October 21, 2018 11:56 pm

    Performance STUNK’D.
    MAN UP!!
    This is BIG BOY football these next 4 games.
    You WANT it?
    YOU have to TAKE it!!

  31. Boolakanaka October 22, 2018 5:21 am

    With such a young team, and that includes the coaching staff, a general theme comes to mind—fatigue.

    The play calling has become a bit staid, and more alarming, is the ability of the coaches to make effective half time adjustments—we seem to get out coached in the 3rd or 4th quarter.

    As to the players, it appears many of the younger players have hit the physical wall of a very long season….

  32. cappie the dog October 22, 2018 6:00 am


    She’s 85.

    When Rykodisc put out a six CD retrospective of her work, the press release read, “It’s not as bad as you think.”

    Mind you, this was her own record company.

    And back to football: I can’t believe Central Florida’s movement in the polls remained static.

    Well, actually I can believe it.

    You can see the foreshadowing.

    There is no way that the gatekeepers are going to permit a non-power five team into the 4-team playoff.

    Back when Hawaii made the Sugar Bowl, the writers had the power. And I always saw Hawaii’s ascent into the upper echelon of the poll despite playing a weak schedule as a corrective measure for stiffing an undefeated Tulane team a couple years earlier. There was a concerted effort to get a team like Hawaii into a Bowl Championship Series game. Now the opposite is true.

    I think there is a gentleman’s agreement among the Power 5 teams to blackball any team that poses a threat to their monopoly from their collective schedules.

    Hawaii actually used to scare the elites.

    Texas bailed on Hawaii.

  33. Maddog50 October 22, 2018 6:12 am

    Football is a simple game…..you play with passion emotion and will. Couple that with a game plan then you execute. Without those elements you get what you got Saturday. I don’t dare say in detail what I might about Fresno or the other teams but at times they have struggled with the aforementioned elements of a game. Fresno at this time is a heavy favorite not only because they boast great defensive numbers but also we are on the road and we don’t boast good numbers. So this team is somewhat at a crossroads, be what they can be or suffer another loss. The question is what needs to be done to “clean” all three phases of the game. I totally support this team and staff but what player what coach what true fans accepts the “hey we’re a lot better off than predicted”. The next game and the coming weeks will speak volumes of these young players-reminds me of an old coaching adage “if the dogs gonna bite, he’ll do as a pup”. Time to get back to playing real football-nothing is out of reach if you refuse to accept it-GoWarriors!!!

  34. tom-warriornation October 22, 2018 7:28 am

    To diehard fans only: Who needs tix for the Fresno St road game on Oct 27 sitting with Cole McDonald’s parents & friends on the 40 yard line behind our Warrior bench; can’t beat this road game experience! $55 each; or $30 for sideline end zone. I can email you the tix by Friday. Text me 415-324-0585.

    Also for SDSU on Nov 24 @$35; our group there is over 200 UH fans now.

  35. u808man October 22, 2018 7:48 am

    OK. Heal up~ Refocus~ Prepare with the same energy, strength and excitement as you did for the CSU opener in Fort Collins~ Travel Well~ Stick Together~ “Live Aloha-Play Warrior!”

  36. FISH1 October 22, 2018 7:57 am

    The problem with our tackling is we are hitting too high! We are either bouncing off the runner or being dragged for more yards. When you tackle high, you have to be stronger and bigger than the ball carrier.In our case, we are neither !

  37. stephen c paschal October 22, 2018 8:04 am

    Nevada out played us, top to bottom. Thats all there is to it. We were out coached, plain and simple. It happens.

  38. Andrew October 22, 2018 8:12 am

    I thought the two onside kicks was a bit much. I get it that if we got them he’s a genius and if not it’s an issue, but even if we did get them, I still would be a bit critical on the decision to do so. Onside kicks have a very low success rate, and you would think that they would be used in situations against a team that you are at a disadvantage with to create momentum. We were up in both situations with the momentum. He should have had more confidence in the defense to make a stop rather than risking giving Nevada half field advantage. I also thought they went to Furuta a bit too much. It was getting predictable and Nevada was ready for it especially on that 3rd and goal play.

  39. H-Man October 22, 2018 9:51 am

    A bit premature. Maybe looking too far ahead, but I don’t think the Warriors have to beat Fresno St, Utah St and San Diego St. Just play them tough; keep it close. And let’s say Hawaii sneaks into the Hawaii Bowl by beating UNLV. Right now, I see it as an “if.” But if they manage to win, but lose in the Hawaii Bowl, then the season will “feel” like a disaster. Win, then it will a successful season at 8-6 with lots of positives going into 2019. Still lots to play for.

  40. burro sabio October 22, 2018 9:59 am

    Derek Thomas tries to wrap up and tackle. Learn the lesson.

  41. Rodney October 22, 2018 10:08 am

    It’s simple Run n shoot or RPO pistol option run.
    Who are we?
    It’s been the other teams Jimmies and joes
    better then our X’s and O’s
    On the other hand we get to play again……
    Let’s go bows!!!

  42. tom-warriornation October 22, 2018 10:40 am

    Nevada’s defensive front 3 was the best we’ve seen so far. Instead of running into those 3; we should have done swing passes to our RB’s; or more RPO’s with Cole running the ball.

  43. NorthShoreFan October 22, 2018 11:11 am

    Baseball theory…see ball, hit ball. Football theory, see ball, get ball
    Heal up and bring the passion…..Oh and forget the onside kick. Shouldn’t be practicing it during the game….OK?

  44. islandman October 22, 2018 11:12 am

    UNLV is not so easy, they also passed for 3 TD’s vs Air Force:

  45. Stephen Tsai October 22, 2018 11:13 am

    New post: http://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=47239

Comments are closed.