Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors
- Head Coach: Todd Graham (2nd Season)
- 2020 Record: 5-4 (4-4 in Mountain West)
- Last Meeting: 9/17/19 - Oregon State 28, Hawai’i 31
- Key Returners: QB - Chevan Cordeiro, DB - Khoury Bethley, LB - Darius Muasau
The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will be the Beavers first home opponent in the 2021 campaign, as Oregon State hopes to avenge a a three-point loss from back in 2019. However, this time around, the program looks a bit more prepared for the challenge, pending Jonathan Smith’s rebuild continues on as scheduled.
The one player Oregon State will need to focus on stopping is quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, one of the most unique and challenging talents from the Mountain West, who boasts a real dual-threat attack mindset. Cordeiro tossed for 2,083 yards and 14 scores through the air, while also running for 483 yards and 7 touchdowns in just nine games last season. He’ll combine in 2021 with running back Calvin Turner, a play-making talent featured below in our Player To Watch, who added 10 touchdowns of his own last year.
The receiving core and up front is where Hawai’i still has some questions to answer, as besides Jared Smart, the team’s leading returning receiver who actually plays the position, things get murky. To round out the offense properly, these two position rooms needs to have a solid season of growth and development and be able to help carry the team at times.
And then there’s the Rainbow Warriors defense, who might be able to break the mold of historically being the afterthought when thinking about Hawai’i football.
Coach Graham’s secondary has potential to be one of the best in their conferences, with defensive back Khoury Bethley leading the way. Alongside him, fellow versatile talent Cameron Lockridge, who had two interceptions in the team’s Spring Game and finished fourth on the team in tackles in 2020, is due for a campaign of stardom. They can be a two-headed issue for opposing offenses, who usually see the Rainbow Warriors as an offense-only program. Make no mistake about it, this team can defend too.
At linebacker, Darius Muasau is the name to know as he totaled a team-high 102 tackles last season, with 4.5 of those coming for loss. Muasau will have to help anchor not only a bit of a tweaked linebacker grouping, but a defensive line room which needs to keep finding its way to become both pass and rush defense oriented.
In closing, this might be a tight one again for the Beavers, as Hawai’i is fairly balanced across the board and won’t be afraid of Oregon State after a win just a few years ago over the program.
Player To Watch
Calvin Turner - Running Back
Positions are a bit hard to determine for Hawai’i at times, as some of the Rainbow Warriors talents like Calvin Turner can be just as lethal in the run game as they are in the team’s multi-headed passing attack. Turner tallied the most receiving touchdowns on the team in 2020 with 6 scores through the air (4 more than any other player), while also rushing for the third most yards and scoring four times on the ground. The transfer from Jacksonville is a workhorse offensive piece who will be crucial for Hawai’i.
- Date: Saturday, September 11th
- Time: TBD
- Location: Reser Stadium (Corvallis, Oregon)