Michigan Football Preview 2016

2016 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 133 of 179

132 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2016 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY RYAN TICE From 1999‑2007, Hawai'i head coach June Jones went 76‑41 overall and won a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles before heading to the mainland for the job at SMU. The Rainbow Warriors promoted defensive coordinator Greg McMackin, who went 29‑25 in four years at the helm, before turning to island native Norm Chow, who stumbled to a 10‑36 mark in four seasons. Jones, who finished under .500 just twice in his nine years on the island, actually applied to retake the job after the school parted ways with Chow (and he had resigned from SMU), but the school decided to go a different direc‑ tion. But not too different — UH hired Jones' former starting quarterback Nick Rolovich, who is expected to utilize his own version of the coach's run‑and‑shoot offense and hired a trio of former teammates as assistants. The main difference might be that the system of the 36‑year‑old Rolovich — the fifth‑youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision — might be more flexible, in terms of playing to his personnel. From 2008‑11, he directed Hawai'i to a national top‑28 finish for passing offense every season as the quarterbacks coach, adding play‑call‑ ing duties in 2009 and the title of offensive coordinator in 2010, when UH led the coun‑ try with 394.3 yards per game through the air. Then, he went to Nevada, where the offen‑ sive success continued — but it was powered by the ground game. The Wolf Pack finished seventh nationally with 271 rushing yards per game in 2012 (and eighth in total of‑ fense), became a balanced unit the following year and then reverted back to a ground‑ oriented attack for his final two seasons. Although Rolovich's offense boasts a quarterback that has 19 starts under his belt in fifth‑year senior Ikaika Woolsey, the leader of the unit will be fifth‑year senior running back Paul Harris. The 5‑11, 190‑pounder burst onto the scene from Ventura College by becoming the school's first 1,000‑yard rusher since 2010 and just the second since 1992. He finished with 1,132 yards on the ground despite missing a game with injury and start‑ ing just 10 times. The Columbus, Ohio, native and former Toledo walk‑on averaged 5.8 yards per carry, scored six touchdowns and ended the campaign by tying the school record with four straight 100‑yard rushing outings. Redshirt junior Dejon Allen, a road‑grad‑ ing guard, was an All‑Mountain West honor‑ able mention pick and will lead the offensive line this fall. The veteran of 24 starts tied for the team lead with a season grade of 89 per‑ cent, led the way with 52 knockdown blocks and allowed just one sack last year. Three others who started at least 12 games last year are also back up front. While the majority of the offense — includ‑ ing the top five rushers and 10 of the top 11 receivers — returns, only six defensive starters are back, including two from a secondary that allowed just one 300‑yard passing game last year. The unit will be led by all‑conference defensive end Kennedy Tulimasealii — who paced the league with 18.5 tackles for loss as a junior last season — provided he returns from an indefinite suspension this offseason. Punter/kicker Rigoberto Sanchez is also back for his senior year after being one of just five athletes nationally who handled all four kicking duties for his squad. He posted a clip of 45.1 yards per punt and went 8 of 11 on field goals, including 4 of 6 from be‑ yond 40 yards. Rolovich was part of a Hawai'i turnaround as a player under Jones after transferring in from junior college — the Rainbow Warriors went 3‑9 in his first year on the roster then rebounded to go 9‑3 in 2001, despite losing the incumbent quarterback and turning to Rolovich in game three. There might be a rough start to his tenure as the main man at his alma mater, but the hope is the Warriors can eventually battle their way to a similar bounce back under his version of a high‑powered Hawai'i offense. Notes One of the Rainbow Warriors' three 2015 victories came against Colorado, which Michigan plays in game three this season; it was a 28-20 win at home for UH … U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh was the starting quarterback in the first meet - ing between the two schools; the Wolverines won Big Ten ti- tles both previous years they played Hawai'i … Athlon ranked Hawai'i's wide receivers and tight ends third-best in the Moun- tain West; none of their other position groups ranked higher than sixth (running backs and defensive line). ❏ Rainbow Warriors' Rebound Hopes Hinge On Infusion Of Alumni GAME 1 • HAWAI'I • SEPT. 3 2016 SCHEDULE Date Opponent 2015 Result Aug. 27 vs. California* — Sept. 3 at Michigan — Sept. 10 UT Martin — Sept. 17 at Arizona — Oct. 1 Nevada L, 30-20 Oct. 8 at San Jose State L, 42-23 Oct. 15 UNLV L, 41-21 Oct. 22 at Air Force L, 58-7 Oct. 29 New Mexico L, 28-27 Nov. 5 at San Diego State L, 28-14 Nov. 12 Boise State L, 55-0 Nov. 19 at Fresno State L, 42-14 Nov. 26 Massachusetts — * at Sydney, Australia QUICK FACTS All-Time Series: U-M leads 2-0 First Meeting: U-M 27, UH 10 (Dec. 6, 1986, at Honolulu) Last Meeting: U-M 48, UH 17 (Nov. 28, 1998, at Honolulu) Head Coach: Nick Rolovich, first year at Hawai'i and overall Off./Def. Systems: Multiple/4-3 2015 In Review: 3-10 overall, 0-8 Mountain West (6th West) Final 2015 Ranking: Unranked Returning Starters: 16 (9 offense, 6 defense, 1 specialist) Last Bowl Appearance: 2010 (Sheraton Hawai'i, vs. Tulsa, L 62-35) Mountain West Conference Championships (last): 0 (shared four Western Athletic Conference titles, last in 2010) RETURNING LEADERS Passing: Ikaika Woolsey (908 yards, 5 TD, 6 INT) Rushing: Paul Harris (1,132 yards, 6 TD) Receiving: Marcus Kemp (563 yards, 2 TD) Tackles: Jerrol Garcia-Williams (89) Sacks: Kennedy Tulimasealii (3.5) Interceptions: Jalen Rogers and Dany Mulanga (1) PLAYERS TO WATCH Offense: Ikaika Woolsey, 5th-Sr., QB — The 6-1, 215-pounder started at least twice in each of his three previous years … Opened 12 games under center in 2014, completing 50.5 percent of his 416 passes for 2,538 yards with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions … Started five times last year and went 73-of-149 passing for 908 yards with five scores and six picks. Defense: Jerrol Garcia-Williams, 5th-Sr., LB — Has been at least a part-time starter since the 2012 season, bringing 23 starts and 191 tackles into his final year … Has battled injuries the last two seasons, missing the final three games of 2015 but still finishing second on the squad with 89 tackles. Fifth-year senior running back Paul Harris broke a 60-year-old school record last year for the longest touchdown run with a 95-yard scamper against UC Davis. PHOTO COURTESY HAWAI'I

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