HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For most teams the red zone is just the homestretch before picking up six-points. For Hawaii, in recent weeks, it's become the most frustrating 20-yards on the field. Now it's a point of emphasis and the Rainbow Warriors prepare for their conference home opener.
Against Wyoming, for the second time in as many games, the Rainbow Warriors' offense seemed to have no issue moving the ball between the 20's. In Hawaii's game against the Cowboys, U.H. accumulated 181-yards more of total offense, passed for more than three-times as many yards and dominated time of possession. The 'Bows had possession of the ball for 39-mintues and five-seconds to the Cowboys' 20-minutes and 55-seconds.
But still, breaking the plane was no easy task for Hawaii - who currently ranks last in the Mountain West in red zone offense. It's a statistic that Nick Rolovich has taken note of. And one he plans to change.
"We had good numbers last year," said Rolovich of Hawaii's red zone offense, which ended up fourth in conference in 2016. "This year our red zone numbers are bad. You work that hard to nothing out of it, why even get on the bus?.. We should probably be averaging six more points a game."
Hawaii has scored 14 times on 21 red zone attempts. At 66.67% scoring rate they're more than 10% behind Nevada, the next best team in that statistic.
The most promising fact behind that stat, is that most of Hawaii's issues when it comes to picking up seven-points are self-inflicted mistakes. While it's not exactly a positive, it is a problem that can be fixed and one that the 'Bows are working on fixing this week ahead of their match-up with Colorado State.
"We got to capitalize better along the goal line and correct some mental mistakes," said sophomore receiver, John Ursua. "We know we can drive the ball down and manage that clock really well. Now it's just taking that next step and being disciplined while we're down there."
Hawaii won't get any breaks against Colorado State in their conference home opener. CSU is ranked first in the Mountain West in red zone defense.