Was the Oregon State loss a step back?

The University of Hawaii football team is 0-2 to start the season, and that’s not a surprise.

What may have been unexpected for some is that UH was still in the game late in the fourth quarter against both Washington and Oregon State before falling 17-16 and 38-30.

The frustrating thing for many fans is what appears to be regression in many areas instead of progress from the first game to the second game.

Overall defense, Ikaika Woolsey’s quarterback play, penalties, turnovers … some of the major areas where the Rainbow Warriors looked worse in the second game against the Beavers than the first against the Huskies. UH’s lack of overall team speed and offensive weapons to support Joey Iosefa and Quinton Pedroza were glaring — and now Iosefa is nursing an ankle injury and losing the burly running back for any length of time is disastrous for UH’s offense.

If special teams hadn’t come up with two huge plays early in the fourth quarter how would this have ended on the scoreboard?

So, as UH heads into what most (including I) projected as a winnable game against Northern Iowa, are fans confident the Warriors are improved from last year’s 1-11 team?

Is a change needed at quarterback?


  1. wowlaulau September 7, 2014 12:06 pm


  2. innocent observer September 7, 2014 12:40 pm

    nope, a change at head coach is needed. he lost the first game by not going for the field goal, and he lost the second game by not preparing the team well enough, the defense and offense looked bad in the first half, you need to play the whole game, not just 1/half – that was basically the problem last year, they did not have a game that they played well the whole game.

  3. oldtimer808 September 7, 2014 1:12 pm

    Hawaii did not lose the first game by not going for a field goal in the 2nd quarter. No one play decided that lost. If at the end of the season because of the win/lost record than the decision to make changes will occur. In the meantime I do see improvement and I do see a change in the culture for the good in the football program. Any change in the quarterback position will happen during practice this week.

  4. MP September 7, 2014 1:59 pm

    If this is Warrior World I won’t be coming here again. Instead of focusing on the positive you focus on the negative. Stating things like if we didn’t get the two special teams plays in Q4 what would the score be………why don’t you give Williams and Maggit for making some big plays. THEY MADE THOSE PLAYS HAPPEN. In every game there are a lot of mistakes by both teams. To pose a question that this team is regressing demonstrates a lack of football accumen. This team has definitely improved. Are these some glaring issues that need to resolved? Yes, there is but to imply that this team has regressed? And is worse then last years team? I don’t need this type of sports writing from a wanna be.

  5. Old School Dave September 7, 2014 2:14 pm

    Nope. I’ll tell you what’s a setback; 1976 Oregon St – 59, UH – 0. That was a setback. I was there.

  6. dahometeam September 7, 2014 2:26 pm

    A loss is a loss no matter how you look at it. But I remain hopeful . Adjustments on the D made after the half is something that was lacking the past few seasons , clune has done a good job so far . Also, wish there was something more for the fans at the game. I was there and it felt dead. I’ve been to other stadiums where the fans have a greater part . Wisconsin has the stadium jumping in the 4th quarter. Florida st. Even kahuku does the Tomahawk chop during kick offs. We need something to help the boys on the field..Make some noise … yelling rain-bows from sideline to sideline doesn’t cut it. We tried starting a wave …hit reef and died.

  7. cl parks September 7, 2014 2:27 pm

    what the hell is going with the head coach. His body language says nothing about a winner on the sidelines.This needs to be fixed right now. The facts are right are right here and right now, bring a young coach from the west coast, that can get the attention of all of these talented players, in the islands, and on the west coast. Wake the hell up, before football is thrown out the door. As anybody on the west coast knows, we miss live football close to home,

  8. Gerald de Heer September 7, 2014 2:36 pm

    UH could have won both games. They still have to learn how to win. Getting to a bowl game is possible but difficult. I am not a huge Norm Chow fan however, the appear to be playing better. This is a new season. Obviously, if we are looking for a winning record in a month then yes, this game indicated a ‘set back’. For now it is a step on the road.

  9. Black-n-green September 7, 2014 3:03 pm

    Wolsey did not have good game against UW either. Beyond the script and automatic reads it is hard to say if he completed any passes in which he had to go through his progression. He is 43-92-1 (46%) no TDs. That’s absolutely horrible. If Iosefa does not play next week, woolsey will have to be a real QB, make reads and deliver the ball. If he stinks it up in the first half of the UNI game. I hope to only see him in on FG/PAT.

  10. Black-n-green September 7, 2014 3:04 pm

    Not to mention no less than three dropped interceptions

  11. Zach September 7, 2014 3:07 pm

    Definitely improved in 2/3 phases of the game.

    Kevin Clunes aggressive defense reminds me of the Jerry Glanville days, where the blitzing/attacking style of play created more turnovers and gave the offense more opportunities to get the ball into the endzone. The only catch to that style is that you are occasionally beat on the big play, but at times the defense has shown cohesiveness and I think they will only get better as the season goes along.

    The one phase that appears to have taken a big step back is on the offensive side of the ball. Injuries and transfers to the receiving core has basically made the ability to move the ball downfield a JOURNEY. Compile that with the inaccuracy at quarterback and you basically have the “Iosefa-Offense”. A change at QB will only be necessary if accuracy issues are not resolved. So although the defense and special teams have shown significant improvements, the one piece of the puzzle who’s job it is to put points on the board has digressed and must find a way to execute or else it could be a long season.

    #wegetchance #beatthetraffic

  12. Dave Reardon September 7, 2014 3:41 pm

    MP … Hit the link and you will get a column from today’s paper where I give the special teams a ton of credit (warning, if you are not a subscriber there is a charge for that material). I do my best to analyze UH football with fairness, but also with reality. If you disagree with my opinions, that’s fine … I don’t claim to have football acumen to match all the armchair coaches out there, but given the number of mistakes UH made in Saturday’s game compared to those made in the season-opener I think the question of regression is a fair one to pose.

  13. kev-1 September 7, 2014 4:02 pm

    DR . . . fair question, sure. But I don’t really think you believe that this team has regressed or is worse than last year.

  14. Dave Reardon September 7, 2014 4:32 pm

    kev-1 … the question is posed as what the fans think, not what I think. What I think, at this moment, is that there’s quite a bit to like about this team but if Iosefa is out UH is in a lot of trouble on offense.

  15. kev-1 September 7, 2014 4:54 pm

    DR . . . I’m not taking a stab at you. I just meant to state that while it is a fair question, there is a lot to like about this team. And I think you might agree (as you stated above). I wasn’t trying to be sassy. Maybe that’s how it came off.

  16. 2 centz September 7, 2014 6:08 pm

    change is needed in the head coaches style. this is because the head coach isn’t a head coach, but he think he knows about head coaching. just my opinion.

  17. Rocky September 7, 2014 6:14 pm


    Just a thought here. I do not believe Warrior football has regressed. And I am not sure if fans feel the same way as you do in terms of regression. They play much better now than the season before and they never give up. What more can you ask for. I agree with MP. Please balance your critique in the future. You come across as a very negative sports journalist. Support the Warriors and let us not chase away the fans. Yes Joey Iosefa is a big lost, however, football is a team sport and someone will step up to take Iosefa’s place. Go Warriors and I will continue to positively support the team and other UH athletic teams.

  18. Dave Reardon September 7, 2014 6:38 pm

    Thank you for your thoughts but please don’t confuse fandom with journalism and try to understand that it is not my job to “support the Warriors.” If I were to write as a cheerleader as you suggest I would not be doing my job. Enjoy your evening.

  19. Dave Reardon September 7, 2014 6:40 pm

    No worries … I just wanted to be clear that I do see improvements despite the losses and the injuries. I think the fan base is split … many can see the improvement, but some don’t and I’m curious to hear from the various perspectives. … There is a huge challenge now with Joey out.

  20. Rocky September 7, 2014 7:12 pm


    Your point is well taken.

  21. shoichi84 September 7, 2014 7:47 pm

    Yes, there were too many mistakes. And yes, there does seem to be a lack of offensive weapons outside of Iosefa and Pedroza. However, we did lose 2 of our best 3 outside threats in training camp. Woolsey looked out of sorts and was inaccurate during much of the game, but he’s still a sophomore and should get better with more game and practice reps. So far, it seems this team has taken a noticeable step forward from last season, and last season was a noticeable step forward from the season before that (I realize the record didn’t show it, but if you watched the games I’m confident you will agree). We faced two decent PAC12 opponents, and I believe that OSU was a much better team than UW. I think the Bows will have a decent conference season, and will show everyone that the team has taken a step in the right direction.

    On another note, I was severely irritated with some of the callers on the fan phones after the game. As a season ticket holder for the past 20 years, nothing gets under my skin more than “fans” that show up to 2 or 3 games a season and EXPECT the Bows to consistently beat PAC12 opponents just because he or she deemed to show up for that particular game. Programs in the “Power 5” conferences were not built overnight; it took decades of consistent fan, community, institutional, and financial support to get those programs to where they are today. Multiple callers expressed that the “fans” will not show up until the Bows can beat the Power 5 opponents. This is such backwards thinking! If we expect the Bows to compete with the Power 5 on a consistent basis, we need to give them the same support year-in and year-out that those programs have enjoyed for decades. I would challenge all those who think we should be able to compete with the Power 5 to come out and support the boys. Until they do that, their words our empty.

  22. Jjay September 7, 2014 7:59 pm

    Ikaika had a poor game he knows it. His accuracy has to improve dramatically for this team to win. More so now with Joey out. Come on ikaika. ! Warriors must soldier on this week , we really need thus win!

  23. Manoa#1 September 7, 2014 8:15 pm

    they need to play Higgins….Duuuhhhh.

  24. jeffdman2000 September 7, 2014 9:16 pm

    As I have been saying. loosely is bad…that’s his name now loosley

  25. Jalansky September 7, 2014 9:29 pm

    As the game progressed, my exhortation from the stands changed from “let’s go Ikaika” to “settle down Ikaika!” To his credit, he completed some difficult passes during the second half rally, which required picking himself up from the horrendous, almost out-of-control first half. That says something about his toughness. I think, in his case, the improvement will come between week two and week three. So, to answer the first part of your question: yes, the team is betterthis year; no, don’t change the QB.

  26. MakakiloGuy September 7, 2014 9:44 pm

    I soooo sick of these people sticking up for this lame program…I’m glad DR is telling it like it is… We are crap & until there is a change at the top…just like anything else in this state…nothing will change

  27. Whats Up September 7, 2014 11:00 pm

    I remember last season Taylor Graham did the same thing overthrowing receivers and had accuracy issues in his first 2 starts. We all complained that Woolsey and Higgins should get a chance and they both didn’t produce. Nobody mentioned Sean Schroeder as a replacement for Taylor Graham which we found out he was the right man for the job. All of us that were complaining were wrong about the QB situation last season.

    And there is no Sean Schroeder on the roster this season. So going through this same exercise again of the arm chair QB’s asking for a QB change is premature. Woolsey will get better over the season and if he doesn’t the coaching staff will make changes as needed. But it’s going to take until the MWC games before Woolsey and the offense gels together solidly.

  28. Noaasark2x2 September 8, 2014 6:16 am

    I don’t think it was a set back as in our team played that much worse. I think this is a case of playing a team with a better Quarterback and more stable coaching staff who had game tape of our offense to watch.
    With that being said we are in for a long year. Even with Iosefa it was going to be tough as we are really lacking speed at receivers so no one to take the top off the D. Plus we are struggling to win the one on one battles on the outside.
    Shoots without Iosefa we may need to really spread people out and hope that we can find some match ups on Linebackers.

  29. 4-Prong September 8, 2014 6:17 am

    It’s entertaining to me that some people think that journalism = cheerleading. Or that being critical of the team means that you’re “against” them. entertaining and also typically american.

    If the biggest progression for a team happens between games 1 and 2 of the season, then UH is in HUGE trouble. It’s obvious that the offense is extremely limited due to shortcomings at quarterback (i.e. ikaika woolsey can’t go through his reads and consistently and accurately deliver the ball past five yards downfield). The entire passing game revolves around roll outs and 5 yard passes or check downs. It’s very surprising that a norm chow offense (given his reputation of wide open pass happy attacks that put up points on the scoreboard) is basically reduced to iosefa up the middle, a few read option plays, and check down throws.

    What is this team’s identity? Does it even have one?

    Instead of looking at the scoreboard, let’s instead look at the process of how the game went. Was there improvement on offense between game 1 and game 2? As in, was woolsey better at going through his reads and delivering the football accurately? No. Could the offense create sustained scoring drives consistently? no. Did the defense limit big plays and clamp down on scoring? no.

    But we did play hard, I’ll grant you that. But shouldn’t that go without saying? Is the university and the boosters and private donors REALLY paying a head coach hundreds of thousands of dollars to motivate the players to “play hard” and “not give up?”

  30. kryon September 8, 2014 6:21 am

    Some just have no clue. Calling for the coach, saying if we did this n that then we would have won. Kick the fg in first gm and we would have won. Come on! To beat a top team and change destiny u need to take outrageous chances. Wake up people! Get back to reality. Hawaii is ranked 100 n sum out of 118 schools. We just played 2 teams ranked in the top 30. Perspective. Its like putting waialua up against hawaii and getting hysterical that waialua didn’t win. If u really have football smarts then u would no that is a big odd to overcome. Same as Hawaii’s first 2 games. 1-1000. N we should all have seen that oregon st is a better team then wash right now. Plus completely diff styles. The team played hard that’s all that matters. Yes there are some things that need fixing but this is a way different team then last year. That’s all that we can ask for. They grew. Do we want to eventually b able to beat top 30 teams? Yes. Do we want to b in the top 30? Yes. But it all takes time. More time for us cuz financially we r way behind then those big programs. We as hawaii fans should b just measuring the climb and we are climbing. Focus on that because even our best yrs we hardly ever beat the odds n defeated top 30 teams. That’s y its so special wen we do. B happy we were competitive cuz last yrs team would have gotten smoked. So we grew.

  31. Manoa Mist September 8, 2014 7:18 am

    Thanks for keeping it real Dave. If certain readers just want just the Kool Aid and not the bitter taste of reality, they can peruse other blogs.
    Chow is not head coach material. Period. He is 4-22 and taking more smash this year. All you can ask of the players is to play hard. They do that.
    When Chow goes after the refs on national tv with Uh down 31-7, he embarrasses all of us.

  32. Criticalfan September 8, 2014 7:21 am

    Dave Reardon is a homer people make no mistake about it. He’s just in hiding and hasn’t come out of the closet yet. He has stated before that he luvs the team being called the RAINBOWS!!!!!!! This paper is filled nothing with uh homers because their writers are born and raised here. We need to fire them and hire non biased writers from the mainland. Then and only then will you get fair articles that subscribers deserve. This doesn’t just extend to this paper, no no no, the other media outlets are also guilty of this as well. Sorry it’s too many names to list but you know who i’m talking about. Thank Yewwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. FCWarrior September 8, 2014 7:55 am

    Many of you may not agree with Dave or even like him, but the reality is he writes stuff that most of us would not publicly admit to agreeing, instead, we challenge what is written. Are we attacking the issue or attacking the person. Still, we all in the same boat when it come to wanting a winning football program. It appears to be a daunting task and am not sure if we will ever get there.

  34. jmor56 September 8, 2014 10:49 am

    I think this team is improved over last years team. Game one was lost due to poor coaching decisions. There was no reason to go for it on 4th down inside the red zone and the lead with an automatic 3 points there for the taking. Also coach should have gone for it instead of attempting a long field goal knowing your kicker has accuracy issues at that distance.

    Game 2 there was an obvious lack of speed on both sides of the ball. That’s 2 games in a row db got beat deep with no safety help. QB is having accuracy issues but I think Chow should give him the green light to run instead of forcing passes. I think his mobility is more of a weapon than his arm at this point in his career.

    Over all this team is improved having lost to close games to 2 PAC 12 teams that are now 2-0. its a long season ahead with quite a few winnable games even without Iosefa. Good coaching decisions will get us those wins.

    We should be 1-1 maybe even 2-0 instead of 0-2

  35. 4-Prong September 8, 2014 10:51 am

    No way, 2-0. Maybe 1-1. That Washington team doesn’t look very good anymore.

  36. aiya September 8, 2014 1:02 pm

    like 5 steps back

  37. Notwhoutink September 8, 2014 1:29 pm

    What this team and coaches need is fan support. Now is not the time to ask what we think are the hard questions. How would you like for your columns to be second guessed every day? I’m just doing my job is not a good answer. How about trying to be supportive and generating support, maybe that should be part of your job. Why not try being positive?

  38. hatakeman September 8, 2014 2:33 pm

    I’ve read the words “everyone” and “all” said this or that. It is presumptuous to say that we all carry the same view or opinion. Many different opinions have been stated on this and other blogs. Having different views or opinions simply opens the door to an exchange of dialogue.

  39. Dave Reardon September 8, 2014 2:50 pm


    My columns ARE second-guessed. And with rare exception I believe they should be … one of the goals is to generate and stimulate open discussion and dialogue. Again, it is not my job to be a “fan,” and I don’t expect everyone to agree with my conclusions and opinions. … If you have a problem with the way I approach my work you can contact one of my editors; their numbers and emails are in the paper. Or just read some of the comments above from the many folks who understand the difference between a fan and a journalist. Thanks for your comments and have a great afternoon.

  40. Notwhoutink September 8, 2014 3:38 pm

    You sound a little testy. Now you know how the coaches and players must feel. All the dialog in the world won’t help them. But some positive support might. Don’t you think?

  41. Travis K September 8, 2014 3:40 pm

    Dave, I don’t think your a “negative” columnist nor do I think you are one-sided. Don’t listen to the other commenters that say otherwise. It’s a breath of fresh air to read or hear about the football team from a journalistic pov with comments on the negative and positive story lines. What’s funny is that if you wrote as a “fan” with more positive columns you would still have complaints that your being too nice and biased and that you should write about the bad things, haha. You can never please everyone.

  42. Dave Reardon September 8, 2014 4:05 pm


    What I think is I’m done conversing with you about this. Not because I’m “testy” … but because it’s a waste of my time to have a circular and repetitive discussion with you after I already explained that “positive support” is not my job. … You can go ahead and provide the positive comments in support of the team here if you want, as others have. And others are providing criticism. It’s all good as long as it doesn’t get too personal.

  43. Dave Reardon September 8, 2014 4:10 pm

    Appreciate it … like I said, just trying to stimulate discussion, no agenda one way or the other. With that being said, I wonder what most UH fans think about June Jones being done at SMU. Some are already eager to reinstall him as Hawaii coach.

  44. Notwhoutink September 8, 2014 4:24 pm

    You sound a little testy, now you know how the coaches and players must feel. All the dialogue in the world won’t help them, but maybe a little positive feedback

  45. Notwhoutink September 8, 2014 4:27 pm

    Now that’s circular

  46. Sully September 8, 2014 4:55 pm


  47. 4-Prong September 8, 2014 9:04 pm

    Notwhouthink: Dave Reardon is not paid to be a fanboy of UH football and to only write happy things and think happy thoughts no matter how much of a train wreck UH football is becoming. Why? Because he’s a sportswriter, not norm chow’s personal cheerleader. Sportswriters don’t have to give positive juju and happy vibes to bad/terrible football teams (and make no mistake, right now, UH is a pretty terrible football team). There are many MANY sportswriters, for much bigger publications than the star advertiser who don’t function as the personal cheer section for their hometown teams as well.

    Yeah, cheer the players and the school, but also consider, there is A LOT of money being invested into the football program and the head coach (public money as well as private). Different perspectives (which includes criticism) of the program is a healthy and useful thing.

    I don’t see why you don’t understand this.

  48. jeffdman2000 September 8, 2014 9:33 pm

    Bench Ikaika Losely

  49. Sofaking_blk September 9, 2014 7:17 am

    Thank you Dave for speaking the truth. I don’t blame the kids because their playing their butts off. The teamis only as good as the coach and right now we have a very bad coach. It’s now year 3 and he’s making the same stupid mistakes as he did in year 1. So it’s more like the coaches are regressing and their dragging the team down with them.

  50. amela September 9, 2014 11:04 am

    I think if by halftime this week Woolsey needs to lead this team or we need to give Higgins a chnace. Let’s not wait too long. To the negative fans did you think we’d be 2 and 0? Two loses by a total of 9 points ain’t bad but not good either. Better then last year but tough schedule. Go Rainbow Warriors!

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