Warrior Beat: UH is nation’s only 3-0 team

DPK was among many who welcomed Cole McDonald's parents — John and Rona — at a pregame tailgate. / Photo by Tim Bowden

Remember when oddsmakers set the over/under at 3.5 wins for the Warriors this season? Or when folks questioned whether Cole McDonald could adapt to the run-and-shoot offense?


> After three games, the Warriors are the nation’s only 3-0 team.

> Their 3-0 start matches the three-game record of the 2007 team, which, of course, went 12-0 that regular season. By the way, the 2007 team will be honored during the Sept. 22 game against Duquesne. That team was inducted into UH’s Circle of Honor.

> The Warriors already have won as many games as they did all of last season.

> McDonald leads the NCAA in passing yards (1,165) and total offense (430.0 yards per game). He’s eighth in pass efficiency (197.1).

McDonald had an underrated performance against Rice. When the Owls repeatedly dropped eight defenders into coverage, McDonald fed Fred Holly or threw quick timing passes. It wasn’t a popular strategy, but Nick Rolovich said, “I know people booed. But, sorry, we’re trying to win a football game.”

There also has been a nice chain reaction on defense. When Jahlani Tavai was held out of the opener, Penei Pavihi started at middle linebacker. Tavai returned, but Pavihi stayed put. Tavai then was given expanded assignments. He aligned as a rush end or cover linebacker. When he was not making tackles, Tavai was narrowing the pocket with his edge-setting ability. “He wears many hats for us,” defensive coordinator Corey Batoon said of Tavai.

* * * * *

Congrats on the Spectrum debut of former UH offensive lineman R.J. Hollis.

R.J. Hollis and Rob DeMello

* * * * *

“Kekoa” has battled health issues, but he mustered the strength to watch the Warriors last night.


  1. iGrokSpock September 9, 2018 3:05 pm

    I know that RJ is tall, and that Rob is short, but what a difference in height!

  2. SA-WarBeat September 9, 2018 3:17 pm

    Saw him on the broadcast…RJ’s comments were intelligent, inciteful, informative and well phrased…RJ you rocked! This job fits you like a glove.

  3. haka September 9, 2018 3:22 pm

    You go DPK! A most gracious and fun host indeed. Well wishes to Kekoa! Aloha to the McDonald’s!

    The Warriors have brought back the mana! Feel it! Embrace it! Protect it!

    Go Warriors!
    Turn out da lights on da knights!

  4. wafan September 9, 2018 4:02 pm

    Hi, Kekoa! Hope you and the Queen are getting better by the day.

  5. JesseJames September 9, 2018 4:08 pm

    Good afternoon Tsaikos. Nice to meet the McDonalds yesterday. Solid family. If you haven’t been to a tailgate with the Tsaikos, you should come on down. Food, fun, and football. Details for the Dusquene game will be posted later.

    It wasn’t a pretty win but a win is a win. I know that many people thought that this would be a rice-cake walk of a game but Ricw brought their game. Maybe this will serve as a wake up call to everyone not to take anyone lightly.

    Not to say that we can’t improve because we sure can, especially on defense but I’m confident that coach Batoon can adjust and get the defense going. We’ll also have to recruit more speed, l obviously but that can be worked on.

    My main disappointment is that the fans failed to show. Lese than the first game although the students were out in force again. C’MON PEEPS GET TO THE STADIUM… 🤙

  6. Whats up September 9, 2018 4:11 pm

    Rolo is doing the right thing by running the ball to keep the defense honest and keep the clock running. Hawaii Fans are finicky and will moan and groan at Aloha Stadium when a pass is dropped. The boos for running the ball is nothing new for this Aloha Stadium Hawaii fan base. We did it during the June Jones and McMackin eras at Aloha Stadium too.

    I for one didn’t think this team would be 3-0 and playing this fast. With so many new players learning new schemes in all 3 phases of the game, I figured it would take 6 games or more for the team to start playing fast. We got to remember that this team is still learning and is really young. Just imagine next season team will be loaded with returning starters and depth.

    Rice played a variety of defensive schemes which incorporated fire zone blitz concepts. Rice blitzed the Safety or Corner Back from the outside pretty regularly. Good job by the RB’s to pick up the blitz.
    Hawaii RnS teams always have a tough time against teams that run Pro Style offense like Wisconsin, Georgia, Rice, Fresno State, BYU, SDSU, Wyoming, Notre Dame, Boise State just to name a few.

    It’s no surprise Hawaii was in a dogfight with Rice but they show relentless grit and toughness to get the win.

    I still read in other teams blogs that they still think Hawaii is a flashy finesse fast break team and is a paper tiger when meeting up pro style big boy football running teams with tall fast athletic WR’s.

    The term “Paper Tiger” refers to something that seems threatening but is ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge.

    The naysayers are still naysaying, Hawaii has got to clean up the mental mistakes and penalties.

    Army Football team is really good, they lost against a very good Duke Football team on the road and opened up a can of whoop *** on a high scoring Liberty University team coach by Turner Gill.

    Army would love to prove that Hawaii Football is nothing more than team full of “Paper Tigers” at West Point, NY.

    Work Grind/Earn Respect

    Live Aloha/Play Warrior

    Play Swag/Go Warriors!

  7. Chicken Grease September 9, 2018 4:18 pm


    Dear ESPN,

    When did week 1 start, now? How can ANY team be 3-0? Hmmm. Please check your ESPN/ABC calendar. Thanks!

  8. Da Punchbowl Kid September 9, 2018 4:35 pm

    That was great game! It was nice that defense was able to hold down the fort while the “O” regrouped.

    I only spent a short time with Cole’s parents, but you could see the leaf falls close to the tree. Dad was a big guy! Cole should “fill out” nicely in the years ahead.

    Wanna see a game within a game? Watch Jahlani Tavai! 100% Warrior!

    I have a one word rant for all the “fans” who booed last night: DON’T!

    Go Warriors!!! Live Aloha/Play Warrior!!!

  9. snowmantoo September 9, 2018 4:35 pm

    Does anybody know what’s happened to J. Pritchart? Haven’t seen him in any of the first three games…… did I miss something?

  10. Mytake September 9, 2018 5:40 pm

    Army may win this game. however UH at +6.5, I’m taking the points.

  11. tommui September 9, 2018 5:41 pm


    Great going!

    Nice to see a photo of Kekoa – and hope the Queen is doing well.

  12. tom-warriornation September 9, 2018 6:06 pm

    Congrats 3-0 Warriors! But we need to focus one game at a time; starting with a good Army team that beat Navy last year!

    Last call for tickets to the Army game this Sat; I can email these tix to you anytime before this Sat. Text me 415-324-0585; or email: tomkitaguchi@yahoo.com

    Also if you need tix to the road games at SJSU or SDSU sitting with 100-200 other UH fans behind the Warrior bench!

  13. Stephen Tsai September 9, 2018 6:11 pm

    I know some people think a week zero skews the national stats — rhymes with Harry Hickman — but every game counts. So Alabama usually gets three extra games of stats because of the postseason. Hey, what the heck. Happy team, happy coaches, happy post-game interviews.

  14. Koakane September 9, 2018 6:20 pm

    eh boo birds warriors are 3-0 deal with it and be happy

  15. Petey September 9, 2018 6:43 pm

    Army 7pt favorites vs Hawaii. We gotta show um again!!

  16. Inyoface September 9, 2018 6:57 pm

    #15 No way! Watttt!

  17. Koamahusuz September 9, 2018 8:04 pm

    Hi Koakane.

    Good job not breaking last night boys. Now, clesn up the mistakes and it will be a great season.

    Where my cuz been lately?

  18. Savich September 9, 2018 8:23 pm

    21,000 at Aloha Stadium, plus few hundred more. Rice game. A lot ha…ha…ha…

  19. Savich September 9, 2018 8:25 pm

    Army gonna run, Hawai’i’s gonna gun. Defense will give the edge. I’ll give it to whoever has a better defense. Stop the 1st down conversions.

  20. Savich September 9, 2018 8:34 pm

    I think the loyal fans is at 21,000 base. If you add the wins and the curious fans, add 20,000 more fans. If they go 10-0, the Aloha Stadium will be 41,000 at November 17, 2018 vs. UNLV GAME. Their quarterback is 6-5 tall Armani Rogers, Sophomore.

  21. TH September 9, 2018 8:46 pm

    The poll trollsters are back at it again. Let me get this straight. Hawaii is ranked 3 spots ahead of Memphis which just lost to navy. Also Colorado state just beat an SEC team in Arkansas, and we all know Colorado state lost to Hawaii at home. Houston received a significant more points than Hawaii when both teams had similar outcomes against Rice. It’s so funny that when Hawaii is successful on the field, our wins are chalked up as “a gimmicky offense” but when other teams run different offenses from the majority of the other teams, they are credited as just being a good team. These pollsters need to stop discrediting teams based on their schemes and start giving credit for their wins versus losses. Hawaii as it stands is if I’m correct, the only 3-0 team in the country! GO WARRIORS!

  22. Savich September 9, 2018 8:52 pm

    Borrowed the book too. We’ll we see Kenny Estes, for the KIF fans? Versus Kenny Niumatalolo, and his fame in college sports at Navy. He was from Waianae, West Oahu.

  23. Savich September 9, 2018 9:00 pm

    Also will we see Vaughn Meatoga, was from Kalaheo, Kauai? Went to UH football. Versus Mark Tuinei. He played for the Dallas Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors? 6-6 tall

  24. Savich September 9, 2018 9:08 pm


  25. Savich September 9, 2018 9:19 pm

    There is no such school as Edmonds CC. Washington. Pac North West.

  26. Savich September 9, 2018 9:22 pm

    June Jones era. Afatia Thompson was working as a hula dancer in 2007. 3 figures.

  27. Savich September 9, 2018 9:27 pm

    Put on the yellow vest. Serious though. $8 parking please.

  28. Savich September 9, 2018 9:34 pm

    I want to move my way up to owning that burger stand every home game.

    It’s a business. Rewarding. I start at 12:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m. We’re food vendors. I’d like to own that gig. For fun.

  29. burro sabio September 9, 2018 11:28 pm

    Mr. Tsai, pesticides or the rubbah slippah please!

  30. suckkabooya September 10, 2018 12:05 am

    This might be the appropriate time and reason to boo.

  31. ai-eee-soos September 10, 2018 12:17 am

    Fun Fact,

    Cole McDonald’s Mom is part Tagalog.

    Nick Rolovich Show.

  32. roygbivs September 10, 2018 1:35 am

    Indeed they are!! 3 n O baby!!

    C’mon, we all need to take a chill pill, a win is, a win.

    Every team is a work in progress and I entrust that our coaches will call the game as they see fit for this team to win games. Let’s go Bows.. Come home 4 n O!!!

    Side Note: the Dallas Cowboys sucked today!

  33. Maddog50 September 10, 2018 3:00 am

    This 3-0 team is extremely young in fact only one team is younger in all of football, CSU. According to stats only 8 true freshman start in all of college football, we have two of them. Experience is key, both for coaches and players for the “we’ve been here before” moments. So with all the bumps this past Saturday, they are good bumps. We face a good Army team that does pass a little but is very dive dominated team with big backs. I do believe the the defense is not quite as talented as defenses we have faced. So again we show up in game mode expect a hard fought win! GoWarriors!!!

  34. PONO September 10, 2018 5:35 am

    3-0 is fantastic with a realistic chance to be 6-0 at the halfway point. What’s really exciting is that there are only two seniors who start of the 22 starters (Tavai and Manu). The expectations next year with another solid recruiting class will be through the roof. ST, is Jonah Welch healthy? I expected him to crack the two deep. Gotta stay healthy.

  35. LizKauai September 10, 2018 5:38 am

    Mahalo, Ke Akua! Mahalo, Coach Rolo, Mahalo, Rainbow Warriors, Mahalo Tsai-kos for keeping the football spirit alive in Hawaii for all the right reasons. LIVE ALOHA, PLAY WARRIOR :mrgreen:

  36. Boolakanaka September 10, 2018 5:43 am

    The more critical and germane question here is how can any one man be as dubonaire and elegant as DPK? It was as if Ricardo Montablan merged with a young Don Ho and was sprinkled with an extra dollop of charisma and Polynesian panache! #greyfoxgoals

  37. Da Punchbowl Kid September 10, 2018 7:27 am

    Boola –

    Mahalo for the kind words. You’re still not getting a kiss. Let’s have lunch next time you’re in town.

    How’s the Boola Football team doing?


  38. Boolakanaka September 10, 2018 7:43 am

    #36 we play the mighty Crusaders,, not Kalaepohaku, but Holy Cross for the season opener this Saturday!

  39. Inyoface September 10, 2018 8:15 am

    Saviche u mento lol

  40. Stephen Tsai September 10, 2018 8:28 am

    New post: http://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=46758

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