DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Warriors offensive line gave quarterback Colt Brennan plenty of time to find open receivers last night against Utah State.
O-line speaks up
With the Hawaii offense bumping along in the first quarter of last night's game against Utah State, the Warrior offensive line decided it was time to get things rolling.
The Warriors struggled to maintain drives early in the game and settled for two field goals to take a 6-3 lead into the second quarter.
It was about that time that the O-line -- the most experienced group on the UH offense -- sent a message to the rest of the offense.
"Me and (center) Derek (Fa'avi) take it upon ourselves to get everybody focused and get everybody going," senior guard Brandon Eaton said. "We have to get it into their heads that we need them to make plays, just to get them going."
Whatever was said in the huddle must have worked, as the Warriors exploded for 28 second-quarter points en route to a 50-23 win in the Western Athletic Conference game at Aloha Stadium.
UH quarterback Colt Brennan appeared off rhythm in the first quarter, completing five of 11 passes in the period, and his first pass of the second quarter was intercepted.
Before starting UH's next drive, Fa'avi took a moment to give Brennan a morale boost.
"It was nothing much; I just told the guys relax, especially Colt," said Fa'avi, a team captain. "Don't think about anything, just do your job. I don't know if it helped him or not.
"I told the guys an analogy. The O-line is like the tires of the bus. The receivers are the engine and Colt's the driver and we just had to keep rolling."
Following the interception and pep talk, Brennan completed 11 of 14 passes for 183 yards and guided the Warriors to the end zone on their final four possessions of the quarter to give UH a 34-3 lead and control of the game.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Tala Esera protected quarterback Colt Brennan against the pass rush of John Chick during the first quarter.
UH's 28-point outburst was its highest total in a quarter this season and the Warriors went on to post a season high in scoring.
Brennan ended up completing 24 of 36 throws for 386 yards and two touchdowns.
"Once I threw that interception, everybody got mad and everybody said, 'OK that's it, no more messing around, no more doing anything stupid, let's just go win this football game,' " Brennan said.
"If things are going bad it means a lot for your O-line to turn around and start giving you a bunch of encouragement. They were right there for me."
Brennan had a chance to watch from the sideline at the end of the first quarter when backup Tyler Graunke went in for a series, and UH coach June Jones said he benefited from taking a step back.
"When he went back in, he was a little more himself," Jones said.
After sputtering in the red zone early in the game, the line led the way for three rushing touchdowns as the Warriors pulled away from the Aggies.
After UH opened up a 20-3 lead on David Farmer's 1-yard plunge, Brennan connected with Ross Dickerson on a 57-yard completion deep down the middle to set up a Nate Ilaoa TD run.
He then went 5-for-5 on UH's last drive of the period and scored on a quarterback sneak to cap the first-half scoring.
Fa'avi also helped lead the way on UH's first score of the third quarter, getting downfield to throw a block that helped spring Davone Bess for a 62-yard touchdown on a short swing pass that put UH ahead 41-10.
"When I saw him in front of me I knew it was six," Bess said.
"(The linemen) are really the heart and soul of our offense. They're leaders."