If America is tuning in on Friday night to see the up-tempo, high-octane, run-n-shoot offense of Hawaii, they are going to be as disappointed as they were when they tuned into Dateline thinking it was a remake of Blind Date. (Seriously, how was anyone supposed to know Dateline was a news magazine featuring Stone Phillips?)
That high-octane Hawaii offense doesn't exist anymore.
You have this man to thank.
New Hawaii quarterback Inoke Funaki (pictured above, feeling pretty) is one cause for a shift in offensive philosophy. The departures of Colt Brennan, June Jones, and a bunch of receivers whom we don't care to name also play a role. The fact is that the 2008 version of the Hawaii offense is not and will never be the 2007 version of the Hawaii offense. They've adapted.
The Warriors are running for 121.7 yards per game, compared to only 72.6 per game last year. They’re throwing the ball 32 times a contest — they threw it 51 times a game last season.
The video game offense that Hawaii is best known for is no more. At least, the following video game offense is no more:
This one, however, might still be relevant.
Funaki's "strengths" certainly have played a part in the paradigm shift. He is a mobile quarterback who enjoys getting outside the pocket, making plays with his feet, and not going through all of his progressions.
The Hawaii receivers, too, are reason for change. Quick: name one of them. What's that? Oh, we don't know. We can't name any, either.
The offensive line and running backs are also deserving of credit/blame for the new look. They are the strength of the offense, so rather than spreading the field and airing it out, it makes more sense for the Warriors to slow things down, shorten the game, and alienate fans who came for a good time.
Throw in the fact that Hawaii will be taking on one of the best defenses it will see all year when it comes to Boise, and you might very well see a shutout.
Sorry to disappoint you, America. You might want to try reruns of Blind Date instead.