The University of Hawaii football team got back to work on Tuesday morning as the Rainbow Warriors look to move past their five overtime win at San Jose State by playing host to Wyoming on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
The Rainbow Warriors at 5-1 are off to their best six game start since 2007 and will be looking to reclaim the Paniolo Trophy in the rivalry game that dates back to the Western Athletic Conference.
Much credit to Hawaii’s solid start has to be given to a defense that has made big plays in big moments through the first six weeks of the season.
One of the leaders on that front has been junior pass rusher Kaimana Padello.
The Mililani graduate leads the Mountain West Conference with five sacks this season.
What makes his efforts even more impressive is that being generously listed at 6-feet and 215-pounds Padello goes one on one against opposing offensive tackles that outweigh him on average of up to one hundred pounds.
“Well, that’s what Kaimana wakes up every morning to do. He’ll do whatever is asked of him. But when he puts his feet on the ground in the morning. He’s ready to pass rush,” said head coach Nick Rolovich.
“I mean the whole thing with me is when I look at somebody, I mean I don’t really look at their size. I kind of just, I’m more like keying the ball. It’s just like, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just like, I don’t think he’s bigger than me, he’s stronger than me, I’m just going to beat you,” said Padello. “I’m going to do what I need to do. Do my job to the best of my ability. And that’s pretty much my mindset. I don’t really overthink things. I don’t think he’s better than me, I don’t know, it’s a hard feeling to explain I just rush, do my job and that’s that.”
On the season Padello leads the team in tackles for loss with seven.
The Rainbow Warriors and Cowboys will play for the Paniolo Trophy which was debuted in 1979. Wyoming, who leads the all-time series 14-9 and currently owns possession of the trophy after a 28-21 overtime victory in Laramie last season.
Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 6:00 pm at Aloha Stadium and will be televised on pay-per-view.
The Rainbow Warriors opened the week as three point favorites.