"When things are clicking, it can be very scary," he said.
Wulff said the offense is simple from a conceptual standpoint, but that doesn't mean it's easy to stop. Hawaii ranked 18th in passing yards (3,518) last season, but was 46th among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams with 7.2 yards per attempt.
Hawaii returns senior quarterback Greg Alexander, who guided the Warriors to a 24-10 win against WSU in last year's regular-season finale. Alexander completed 19 of 34 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns in that game.
But Wulff said the major complexities with the run-and-shoot begin with the wide receivers rather than the quarterback.
"There's a lot of adjustments by their receivers depending on how you play them," he said. "They adjust based on the coverage they see."
Stopping the offense isn't as simple as dropping most of the defense back into pass coverage, either. College run-and-shoot teams traditionally don't run the ball often — although Wulff said McMackin runs more than most because of his background as a defensive coordinator in college and the NFL — but there are other ways they can pick up shorter gains.
"If you focus on only stopping the pass, they have draws and screens that can hurt you," he said.
He also noted Alexander's scrambling ability. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder rushed for 76 yards on 16 carries in the Warriors' 25-20 season-opening win last week against Central Arkansas, a Football Championship Subdivision team (formerly D-IIA).
Wulff said he was happy with the amount of pressure his team applied on Alexander last year in the 24-10 Cougar loss, but said the Cougars were hurt by some of his scrambles. He had 43 yards on 14 carries.
But he said the main issue during last year's loss was "an offense was not potent enough to keep us in the ball game."
"I think it's good for our alumni," Wulff said. "It has a lot of value to it. As long as the support is there from our fans and the intensity is there, it's something we must do."
But he also feels the game should be evaluated on an annual basis to make sure it still has support.
Wulff said the travel isn't much of an issue this week. The team will split into three buses — one with linemen and the other two with offensive and defensive skill position players — and he will encourage them to sleep as much as possible in preparation for the game. He said the team will do its typical stadium walk-through when it arrives Friday and then head for the hotel.
The Cougars play the Warriors at 4 p.m. Saturday at Qwest Field and then return to Martin Stadium to host SMU on Sept. 19.