Sep 10, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) dives in for a first quarter touch down against the Hawaii Warriors at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Michigan trounces Hawaii, 56-10

J.J. McCarthy went 11-of-12 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 4 Michigan to a 56-10 home win over Hawaii on Saturday night.

Making his first career start, McCarthy stated his case that he should be the full-time starter going forward over Cade McNamara. McCarthy led the Wolverines (2-0) to six touchdowns in the first half before being pulled from the game.

Joey Yellen went 13-of-36 passing in defeat for Hawaii, which was outgained by Michigan, 588-253.

The Wolverines also held a 268-140 advantage in rushing yards.

McCarthy first hit Roman Wilson for a 42-yard touchdown pass with 12:48 remaining in the first quarter to give Michigan a 7-0 lead.

After a 1-yard touchdown run by Blake Corum put Michigan up 14-0 with 7:36 left in the first, Wilson scored on a 21-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 Wolverines with 4:23 to go in the first.

Corum rushed for a game-high 88 yards on nine carries.

McCarthy then hit Ronnie Bell for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 12:05 remaining in the second quarter, and Donovan Edwards scored from a yard out with 8:38 left in the second to put Michigan up 35-0.

Bell finished with six catches for 74 yards.

With 1:06 left in the second quarter, McCarthy hit Cornelius Johnson for a 17-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolverines a 42-0 lead.

Hawaii (0-3) spoiled Michigan’s shutout bid when Matthew Shipley kicked a 26-yard field goal with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter to make it 42-3 Michigan.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Michigan grabbed a 49-3 lead on a 15-yard touchdown run by C.J. Stokes.

Hawaii then cut Michigan’s lead to 49-10 on a 54-yard touchdown run by Tylan Hines with 11:27 remaining, but Michigan took a 56-10 lead with 7:59 left on a 38-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Gash.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

QB co-op center stage as No. 4 Michigan hosts Hawaii

These days, not all of the buzz surrounding Michigan is about wins and losses.

Instead, a quarterback controversy that seems to be growing in intensity heading into a home contest against Hawaii on Saturday night has dominated the conversation around the No. 4 Wolverines.

Coach Jim Harbaugh made it clear before last week’s opener that incumbent starter Cade McNamara would start against Colorado State, but that sophomore 5-star recruit J.J. McCarthy would get the nod against Hawaii.

The cries among those who support McCarthy only grew louder against Colorado State.

In Michigan’s 51-7 win, McNamara went a pedestrian 9-of-18 passing for 136 yards and a touchdown, while McCarthy completed all four of his passes and added a 20-yard touchdown run in a performance Harbaugh described as “electric.”

McCarthy will get his shot to be the No. 1 QB this week, and McNamara seemed to ignite some tension after the Colorado State game by saying Harbaugh’s decision to start both quarterbacks was unexpected.

“I would definitely say it’s pretty unusual,” McNamara said. “It was kind of a thing that I wasn’t expecting. By the end of camp, I thought I had my best camp and put myself in a good position.”

During his weekly press conference on Monday, Harbaugh was complimentary of McNamara’s performance.

“He’s a perfectionist,” Harbaugh said. “So I thought it was a really solid game.”

The quarterback situation certainly is most of the talk with Michigan now, especially since the Wolverines are in the midst of what might be the easiest nonconference schedule of any Power 5 program.

Next up is Hawaii, which is off to an awful start.

The Rainbow Warriors have been blown out twice at home to start the season, first 63-10 by Vanderbilt on Aug. 27 and then 49-17 by Western Kentucky last Saturday.

“You know, we got to play better,” Hawaii coach Timmy Chang said. “I think what’s happening is the mistakes start to happen and it snowballs. So we got to get better.”

The biggest problem offensively for Hawaii has been taking care of the ball. The Rainbow Warriors committed six turnovers against Western Kentucky and have seen turnovers turn into immediate touchdowns for the opposing defense three times this year.

Hawaii also has committed 20 penalties for 181 yards in two games.

“That’s not the team that we want to be,” Chang said. “I think we had two unsportsmanlike (penalties). That’s not a team we want to be. There’s no place for that in Hawaii football. Our guys have to know when you wear that ‘H’ and what we represent, it means something, and that’s not the brand of football we want to play.”

Hawaii hasn’t beaten a Power 5 conference team on the road since 2009.

–Field Level Media

Vanderbilt Commodores    AJ Swann looks to pass during the Vanderbilt Spring Game at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville , Tenn., Saturday, April 16, 2022.

Spring Game004

QB Mike Wright piles up yards, TDs as Vanderbilt routs Hawaii

Mike Wright passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another two, and visiting Vanderbilt rode a 35-point third quarter to a 63-10 blowout of Hawaii in Saturday’s season opener for both teams in Honolulu.

Hawaii (0-1) drove 75 yards in eight plays on the game’s first drive, capped when Dedrick Parson rushed 37 yards for a touchdown. It was the only time the Rainbow Warriors reached the end zone.

Vanderbilt (1-0) needed just 15 seconds to change the complexion of the contest. Wright threw the first of his two touchdown passes to Will Sheppard, the 1-yard strike finishing a 90-yard drive with 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

Then, with 21 seconds remaining in the period, Anfernee Orji returned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown that gave the Commodores the lead for good.

Matthew Shipley tacked on a Hawaii field goal in the second quarter that pulled the Rainbow Warriors to within 14-10.

Vanderbilt responded by scoring the next 49 points en route to the program’s highest-scoring game since 1969.

Wright concluded the scoring for the first half with a goal-line rush. His second touchdown run was considerably longer. The 87-yarder accounted for more than half of his game- and career-high 163 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Wright put an exclamation point on his night with the last of Vanderbilt’s five third-quarter touchdowns, finding Sheppard for a 15-yard touchdown. Wright finished 13-of-21 passing for 146 yards.

Ray Davis and Rocko Griffin, who each carried for scores during the third-quarter deluge, rushed for 87 and 63 yards on nine and five carries. Chase Gillespie added another 63 yards on 11 carries, and Cooper Lutz ran for a seven-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Vanderbilt outgained Hawaii 601 yards to 358. Parson rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries for Hawaii, while Jonah Panoke caught seven passes for 101 yards.

Brayden Schager and Joey Yellen split quarterbacking duties, with Schager going 18-of-35 for 161 yards and Yellen going 10-of-20 for 89 yards.

–Field Level Media

Jul 19, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; Vanderbilt player Ben Bresnahan shown during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt visits Hawaii with higher expectations

A Hawaii football legend adds another milestone on Aug. 27 in Honolulu when former record-setting Rainbow Warriors quarterback Timmy Chang coaches his alma mater in the 2022 season-opener against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Chang’s debut as head coach marks the end of a tumultuous offseason for Hawaii, which parted ways with Todd Graham after going 11-11 in just two seasons. Graham resigned in January following allegations of mistreatment from players and an investigation by the state Senate.

A transfer exodus in the offseason saw Hawaii lose its top passer (Chevan Cordeiro to San Jose State); top rusher (Dae Dae Hunter to Liberty); top receiver (Nick Mardner to Cincinnati); and a pair of defenders with 100-plus tackles (Darius Muasau, now at UCLA, and Khoury Bethley, now at Arizona State).

Chang – who became the NCAA’s career passing yardage leader while at Hawaii in 2004 – said in his media availability following Aug. 16 that the goal for the new-look Rainbow Warriors is “for them not to be surprised [in] the first game.”

“This will just be an ongoing process every week as we go through,” he said. “But we’re trying to get all of our guys to the race on Saturday.”

For visiting Vanderbilt, the Week 0 matchup marks the beginning of the program’s second season under coach Clark Lea.

The former Notre Dame defensive coordinator helped the Fighting Irish to a pair of College Football Playoff appearances in the 2018 and 2020 seasons, and at July’s Southeastern Conference media days said his goal is to lead the league’s longtime cellar-dwelling program to “become a dominant force within the conference.”

However, the Commodores must first improve from a 2-10 finish to Lea’s debut season.

Vanderbilt finished 2021 with the worst scoring offense among all Power Five-conference teams, and third-worst overall in the Football Bowl Subdivision, at 15.8 points per game. The Commodores allowed the third-most points per game of any Power Five program at 35.8.

While a high point of Vanderbilt’s previous season came in a visit to Mountain West Conference country – the Commodores knocked off Hawaii’s league counterpart Colorado State in Week 2, 24-21 – an opening-game slip-up against East Tennessee State foreshadowed struggles to come.

Avoiding a similar first-game setback is the priority of a Commodores side seeking the program’s first winning record since 2013.

“Leadership … and experience,” linebacker Ethan Barr said of how the team has improved from a year ago. “Also, I think we have a lot of speed. The back end is pretty fast.”

The speed of the Vanderbilt secondary can expect to be tested against a Hawaii program long defined by its high-volume passing offense. Chang rewrote record books in a run-and-shoot system – the same offense the Rainbow Warriors rode to their first-ever Mountain West Championship Game under Nick Rolovich in 2019.

Chang returns to Hawaii with air-raid offensive credentials after having coached tight ends and wide receivers under Jay Norvell at Nevada the previous five seasons.

No doubt the Rainbow Warriors will throw, but the lingering question centers around his preference at quarterback. Chang has not yet named a starting quarterback, though 2021 reserve Brayden Schager has experience.

Schager helped Hawaii to a high mark in its 6-7 campaign with two touchdown passes in an upset of Fresno State. However, he was intercepted four times the next game against Nevada.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; A general view of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football helmet during a game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Hawaii turns to former QB Timmy Chang as new head coach

Timmy Chang, the former record-setting quarterback for Hawaii, was named the school’s new football coach Saturday.

Chang enjoyed a legendary career for the Rainbow Warriors from 2000-04, setting the NCAA’s all-time record for passing yards (17,072) and total offense (16,910). He currently ranks second behind former Houston star Case Keenum in both categories. Chang also set the NCAA record for completions (1,388), although he has since been passed by Keenum and two others.

“I’m back. I’m home. In my heart, I’ve never left,” Chang said in a statement. “Like I’ve always done, I’m ready to give my all for Hawai’i. The highest privilege in coaching is the right to represent an institution as a head coach. This is beyond indescribable. I get to do it here in Hawai’i, where I am from. I am so proud to represent MY school and state. I’m honored to lead the BRADDAHHOOD.”

The news comes one day after June Jones, the coach that Chang played for at Hawaii, emphatically rejected what he considered an insulting offer to return to coaching the Rainbow Warriors.

“No coach in their right mind would accept!” Jones tweeted Friday after turning down the job with the Rainbow Warriors, where he won a school-record 76 games from 1999-2007. Jones went on describe his issues with the school’s contract offer in subsequent tweets.

The details of Chang’s contract, meanwhile, are still in the works. He will be formerly introduced this coming week.

Jones, 68, has not coached in the collegiate ranks since 2014 but had expressed an interest in returning to Hawaii following the resignation of Todd Graham earlier this month.

Instead the job will go to the 40-year-old Chang, who spent the last five seasons as the wide receivers/tight ends coach at Nevada. He recently followed former Wolf Pack coach Jay Norvell to Colorado State.

This will be Chang’s first head coaching position at any level.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; A general view of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football helmet during a game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

June Jones declines offer to return as Hawaii coach

June Jones emphatically rejected what he apparently considered an insulting offer to return to coaching at Hawaii.

“No coach in their right mind would accept!” Jones tweeted Friday after turning down the job with the Rainbow Warriors, where he won a school-record 76 games from 1999-2007.

Jones, 68, has not coached in the collegiate ranks since 2014 but had expressed an interest in returning to Hawaii following the resignation of Todd Graham earlier this month.

Jones gave a lengthy explanation on Twitter to explain his decision to turn down an offer made by Hawaii athletic director David Matlin.

“I am still interested in this job for the people of Hawaii but the job offered to me today there is no way I could accept the conditions offered me,” Jones wrote in one post. “No coach in their right mind would accept!”

“Dictating who can be on my staff and only 2 year contract..What recruit would come if I was here for 2 years???” Jones wrote in another post. “..this has never been about money-but it is about giving me the ability to turn our program around and not have people tell me who is on my staff or how to coach my team.”

Matlin, who told ESPN he later extended Jones’ offer to three years, issued a statement Friday night.

“I understand that there has been a lot of support for Coach Jones this past week, but he has declined our offer,” Matlin said. “I respect his decision and we need to move forward in our search. At the end of the day, we couldn’t agree on a succession plan that I felt was important for our student-athletes and supporters of Rainbow Warrior football.”

After compiling a 76-41 record with six bowl appearances (four wins) at Hawaii, Jones posted a 36-43 record with four bowl appearances (three wins) at SMU from 2008-14. He has since coached in the CFL and XFL.

He also was head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994-96.

According to ESPN, other candidates under consideration at Hawaii include former Rainbow Warriors quarterback and current Colorado State receivers coach Timmy Chang, UCLA defensive assistant Brian Norwood and former Hawaii offensive coordinator Brian Smith.

Hawaii was 11-11 in two seasons under Graham, including 6-7 in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Hawaii Rainbow Warriors  head coach Todd Graham reacts at the end of the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Graham resigns as Hawaii head coach

Todd Graham resigned as Hawaii’s head coach, the school announced Friday night.

The move is the latest in an offseason saga that saw several former Rainbow Warriors players testify before the state senate last week that Graham created an abusive culture within the program.

As many as 19 players reportedly entered the transfer portal following the end of Hawaii’s season, including starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and defensive back Michael Graham — the coach’s son. A number of players took to a Twitter Spaces room in early December to voice their frustrations over Todd Graham’s supposed verbal abuse and favoritism toward first-team players.

Those claims led the state senate to call the hearing.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the head football coach at the University of Hawaii for the past two seasons,” Graham, 57, said in a statement. “After much prayer and reflection with my family, I have come to the conclusion that I will step away as head coach of the Rainbow Warriors, with a very heavy heart. I want to give my thanks and appreciation to the players, staff and coaches who persevered through all the challenges of 2020 and 2021. It wasn’t easy, but they all fought the good fight and we did things the right way.”

Athletic director David Matlin added in a statement, “Todd informed me of his decision to resign. We enjoyed many successes under his leadership even as he faced pandemic conditions, the withdrawal of Aloha Stadium, and the prohibition of any fans for nearly all his time with us. Todd’s tireless efforts as a coach have made a positive impact on many student-athletes. We have talked at length, and it is clear he has taken this action so that the football program can thrive moving forward.”

The statement added that the school would immediately begin looking for Graham’s successor.

Hawaii was 11-11 in two seasons under Graham. The Rainbow Warriors went 6-7 this season and were slated to play Memphis in the Hawaii Bowl before COVID-19 issues within the program caused the school to pull out of the game. Hawaii beat Houston 28-14 in the New Mexico Bowl in 2020.

Graham is 106-72 in his 14-year career. Along with Hawaii, Graham has coached at Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State. His teams are 6-4 in bowl games.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Hawaii Rainbow Warriors  head coach Todd Graham reacts at the end of the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Hawaii players blast Todd Graham at state senate hearing

Allegations of mistreatment continue to follow Hawaii coach Todd Graham, with a group of his former players virtually attending a Hawaii state senate hearing Friday to provide testimony about the culture Graham built inside the Rainbow Warriors’ program.

“He’s hands down the worst guy I’ve ever met in my life,” former player Leonard Lee reportedly said of the coach.

As many as 19 players reportedly entered the transfer portal following the end of Hawaii’s season, including starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and defensive back Michael Graham — the coach’s son. A number of players took to a Twitter Spaces room in early December to voice their frustrations over Todd Graham’s supposed verbal abuse and favoritism toward first-team players.

It was enough to catch the attention of the state senate, which organized the hearing to gather additional information about the direction and culture of the football program. Hawaii athletic director David Matlin and school president David Lassner were in attendance, and Graham attended at least a portion of the meeting.

The former players and parents of players who testified did so over Zoom. Lee, a former Hawaii defensive back, called Graham a “tyrant” and claimed he would use verbal abuse against his players under the guise of discipline.

Lee also claimed he was kicked off the team for participating in the Twitter Spaces conversation.

Hawaii is 11-11 in Todd Graham’s two seasons as coach. The Rainbow Warriors went 6-7 this season and were slated to play Memphis in the Hawaii Bowl before COVID-19 issues within the program caused the school to pull out of the game.

Graham reportedly said during the hearing that “if I have one player that leaves because of a bad experience, then I’m accountable for that.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Hawaii Rainbow Warriors  head coach Todd Graham reacts at the end of the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hawaii DB Michael Graham, son of coach, enters transfer portal

Hawaii defensive back Michael Graham, who entered the transfer portal Thursday, has some interesting bloodlines.

Michael Graham is the son of Rainbow Warriors head coach Todd Graham, and the younger brother of Hawaii offensive coordinator Bo Graham.

Michael Graham had two tackles in nine games this season as a freshman.

The Rainbow Warriors have had a reported 14 players enter the transfer portal, and the list includes starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and standout linebacker Darius Muasau. Cordeiro is headed to fellow Mountain West school San Jose State while Muasau hasn’t yet picked a new school.

Hawaii athletic director David Matlin released a statement after several departures earlier this week.

“The amount of transfers is disappointing, however not unusual compared to many other schools around the country, and even within our own conference,” Matlin said in a statement. “We can’t ignore that there are areas we need to improve on. Coach Graham and I are in constant contact and are always looking for ways to make the program better.”

Hawaii is 11-11 in Todd Graham’s two seasons as coach. The Rainbow Warriors went 6-7 this season and were slated to play Memphis in the Hawaii Bowl before COVID-19 issues within the program caused the school to pull out of the game.

Todd Graham said he recognizes the situation calls for some changes in his approach as well as the coaching staff.

“As a staff, we realized the transfer portal would bring challenges to our team,” Todd Graham said in a statement. “The portal has been a challenge to many teams this season. We are disappointed to lose any member of our Warrior family to the transfer portal. … Moving forward, we are continuing to listen, learn and improve daily. We are focused on developing the players on our 2022 squad.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Hawaii Rainbow Warriors running back Calvin Turner Jr. (7) runs against the Wyoming Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Hawaii Bowl canceled after Hawaii withdraws

A lack of available players led Hawaii to withdraw Thursday from the Hawaii Bowl, which was to be played Friday in Honolulu.

Memphis had been due to oppose the Rainbow Warriors, but the game is now canceled.

Hawaii was left short-handed due to COVID-19 protocols as well as players who were unavailable due to injuries or transfers.

Rainbow Warriors coach Todd Graham said in a statement, “We are disappointed our season has to end this way. As competitive as we are and as much as we want to play the game, we cannot put the health and safety of our student-athletes at risk.”

Hawaii athletic director David Matlin added in a statement, “The health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important part of this decision. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has forced us to not participate in the game.

“We are disappointed for our players, coaches, and fans. ESPN and the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl staff did everything they could for us and we appreciate their valiant effort throughout the week. We want to thank the Memphis Tigers for making the long trip to Hawaii. We are disappointed we can’t compete on the football field.”

The Rainbow Warriors became the second team this week to be forced out of a bowl game due at least in part to COVID-19 issues. Texas A&M bowed out of the Gator Bowl, with Rutgers replacing the Aggies for the matchup with Wake Forest on Dec. 31.

Hawaii ends the year with a 6-7 mark while Memphis winds up 6-6.

–Field Level Media