They are called the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. That needs to be changed. As they did many times last season and did again on Saturday night, Coach Nick Rolovich’s team hit the road in a full sprint by posting a 38-35 come-from-behind victory over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen.
For Hawaii, which rebounded from five consecutive losing seasons to a 7-7 record last season, the accomplishment was not so much in winning–UMass had won only 10 games in the past five seasons.
It was in the journey.
Consider some numbers. A year ago, Hawaii opened its season in Sydney, Australia against California on August 26th and played its second game at Michigan on Sept. 3. By the time the regular season was over, Hawaii had logged more than 46,000 in air miles, which was more than double the distance of most NFL teams and by far the most of any college team. They should be called the Hawaii Road Warriors.
This season they opened in Amherst, Mass, which means Hawaii had two opening games the past two seasons more than 10,000 miles apart. Obviously, playing in Hawaii means there are no short road trips. But this season, the Road Warriors will have cut their travel down to a much more manageable, 18,936 miles.
Compare that number to SMU’s travel schedule. The Mustangs do not leave the state of Texas until Oct. 21 when they travel to Cincinnati.
The Road Warrior philosophy has been embraced by Rolovich. When questioned about a first half decision to take a gamble on fourth down, Rolovich responded, “We didn’t come 5,000 miles to punt.”
No they didn’t. They came 5,000 miles to win and for that the Hawaii Road Warriors are TMG’s Newsmaker of the Week.