You could argue that Hawaii was a few plays away from upsets over Washington and Oregon State. You could say if Joey Iosefa hadn't gone down with an injury, the Warriors may have beat Colorado, or even Rice.
Instead, the 'Bows sit at 1-4 going into Mountain West play, with one of the worst offenses in the country. It's obvious that whatever this offense is trying to do, it isn't working. That falls square on the shoulders of the Offensive Coordinator...who happens to be Norm Chow. Is it possible for Norm Chow to fire himself as OC? Probably not.
In Norm Chow's first year at Hawaii, the Warriors posted a 3-9 record, and according to Football Outsiders, were dead last in offensive efficiency. OC Tommy Lee retired and Aaron Price was brought on to be the new coordinator in 2013, but Price stepped down before Hawaii even took a snap last season, and Chow decided to take the job himself. There was some improvement offensively when Chow took over, going from 21.1 points per game in 2012 to 27.4 last season, but that didn't translate to success on the field as Hawaii finished 1-11 in 2013. Yes, there were a handful of games that UH was very close to winning, (lost six games by ten points or less), but ultimately there were several instances where the offense couldn't follow through to push the 'Bows to victory.
So far this year, it seems the offense has taken a big step back. Hawaii is near the bottom of the list in passing yards, total offense, offensive efficiency, the list goes on. The UH offense is more effective then Eastern Michigan, Wake Forest, SMU, and UConn. Misery loves company, I guess.
The problems start at the quarterback position. Ikaika Woolsey has been able to show any consistency as a Quarterback, completing just 45% of his passes this year. When pressured, he's shown tendencies to make quick decisions that usually lead to over/under thrown passes, killing drives before they can ever get going. I made the joke of the burning dumpster fire that is the Hawaii passing attack, but the 2014 output from this group speaks for itself. The three quarterbacks that have seen the field have combined for 940 yards (102nd in the country), 43% comp. rate, three touchdowns, and three picks. The lack of starting experience obviously a big reason behind the struggling group, with a combined seven starts currently on the active roster (Woolsey - 5, Taylor Graham - 3). Last year, Norm Chow was lucky to have Sean Schroeder on the depth chart, who took over after game five last year. Schroeder came to last season with 11 starts on his resume, and kept the Warriors in more games than Woolsey or Graham could have.Woolsey isn't the right fit for the pro-style offense Chow wants to run. I'd wager that Graham and Reilly can't do much better or worse either.
The run game isn't doing much better. Joey Iosefa won't be back for another couple of weeks, and all of the workload has fallen onto Steven Lakalaka. His style of running over anything with a pule is similar to that of Iosefa, and while he's a little smaller in size, he's still matched Iosefa's production with 300 yards in the past three contests. Once Iosefa is back, whenever that may be, I expect the rushing attack to pick up some of the offensive slack, but I highly doubt it'll be enough to get Hawaii out of the bottom of the MWC offensive rankings.
Hawaii welcomes Wyoming to Honolulu this Saturday, in a match up they're actually favored in! The Warriors haven't been a favorite over an FBS opponent since 2012, which means something terrible is going to happen this Saturday. (Kidding.) The 'Pokes offense is no better than the 'Bows, with an average of 16.4 PPG this year, but the defense has driven them to three wins to start off 2014. Wyoming also had the pleasure of taking on both Oregon and Michigan State, so I would say their SOS was a little tougher than the 'Bows.
This game could very well end in a 12-7 victory for either team. This is a good opportunity for Norm Chow and the Warriors to get back on track, and maybe give Hawaii something to think about this fall when reevaluating his job status. If the offense isn't any better going forward, Norm Chow will be fired as Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach when all is said and done.