The Warriors are getting ready for year two of head coach Greg McMackin’s takeover of the Hawaii program. McMackin is applying a very interesting strategy this year by only guaranteeing three starting roles and claiming all the other spots are up for grabs. Even if a starter is returning from last season there is no guarantee that he will have that same privilege in the 2009-10 season. The only players who will retain their starting roles are quarterback Greg Alexander, center John Estes and the big defensive end John Fonoti. McMackin’s plan is to create an extremely competitive environment that will encourage players to tap deep into their talent and perform at their best ability.
Hawaii enters the 2009-10 season with a lot to prove after coming off a upsetting 7-6 season including a blowout Hawaii Bowl loss to Notre Dame. The Hawaii Bowl marked the second year in a row that Hawaii suffered a humiliating post-season loss, following the beat down they suffered against Georgia in the 07-08 Sugar Bowl.
The Warriors, thankfully, are looking pretty good on the offensive side of the field as they have an experienced QB in Greg Alexander to conduct the pass dominant playbook. The Warriors are going to have to attempt to operate the offense without their two biggest targets from the 2008 season, Michael Washington and Aaron Bain, each of whom were each responsible for hauling in six touchdown passes. The experience of Alexander should go a long way in making up for their losses, as they have a plethora of talented receivers that they can utilize.
The defense is an entirely different story as only two starters return from last years season. Although McMackin has made it clear that only Fonoti has earned the starting spot, we can assume the Brashton Satele will regain his starting role and act as the captain for a young linebacking core. Satele will need to somehow fill in the hole left by the WAC Defensive Player of the Year Solomon Elimimian.
If the depleted defense is not enough to get McMacklin nervous for the upcoming season, he also has to worry about a very tough schedule, which features match ups against Boise State, Navy, Wisconsin and a very underrated Fresno State program. If theres any consolation, these key match ups come midway through the season meaning the Warriors will have time to mesh together and gain some valuable playing experience.