GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
UH coach June Jones said Colt Brennan needs to get rid of the ball more often and not absorb as many sacks. Brennan was sacked five times on Friday.
Brennan still runs from trouble
One of the finer points the sophomore is learning is when to throw the ball away
The Colt Brennan and Tim Chang comparison game is well under way. It has been all season. And despite Hawaii's 4-7 record, the sophomore has received some favorable reviews in the shadow of his predecessor as Warriors quarterback.
But he remains behind his predecessor in at least one area very important to UH coach June Jones: avoiding sacks.
Chang, the NCAA's all-time career passing-yardage leader, had a knack for feeling pressure and getting rid of the football instead of taking a loss.
Unlike Chang, Brennan is an adept scrambler who often runs his way out of trouble. But Jones would like to see him get rid of the ball more often and absorb fewer than the five sacks Brennan took in Friday's 41-24 loss to Wisconsin at Aloha Stadium.
Of course the offensive line is responsible, too.
"When the offensive line doesn't do the job, the quarterback has to save the day," Jones said. "We've echoed that about Timmy many times, how he's been in the system so long he knew where to go with the ball when there was pressure. It's part of learning."
Jones said one of the encouraging things about Brennan is that he learns from his mistakes.
"On the (third-quarter) touchdown pass he threw to Davone (Bess), the same thing happened in the first quarter, and he got sacked," Jones said. "We talked about it, that even if we don't block, you still have to know to throw it. That's one of the little nuances, growing up and learning as you play."
Brennan passed for 403 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 33 of 53 passes and was intercepted once.
Right tackle Dane Uperesa said Wisconsin blitzed more than expected, and kept the Warriors from getting into a rhythm.
"Despite what people were saying, they were an aggressive defense and they just came after us," Uperesa said. "It just seemed like we couldn't get anything going when we needed to. It felt like a weird game. We were in it, but times that we needed a big play something would happen. Whether it was our fault or other things, it just seemed like we couldn't get things going."
The five sacks by Wisconsin were magnified by the fact that Hawaii came up with none.
"When I watched the defensive tape, we had guys in positions to make plays -- we probably could've sacked them four or five times, but we run by and don't get it," Jones said. "So instead of second and 19, (Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco) scrambles and it's second and 2. Those plays change that type of game immensely. We didn't sack them once, and we got no turnovers. When you sack 'em, sometimes the ball pops out. (Wisconsin's offense) played a good game, give them credit. At the same time, there were five or six times when we were close and just didn't get it done."
The Warriors have forced 17 turnovers in 11 games. Four were on interceptions by cornerback Turmarian Moreland, who was out yesterday with a knee sprain and will likely also miss the season-ender Saturday against San Diego State.
"He is missed," Jones said. "He made something happen every time he got in. When you play cornerback, you know you're going to get beat a couple times, but you have to make a big play here and there to even it out. We came close (Friday), but you have to do it."
UH was penalized eight times for 74 yards, often in critical situations.
"A lot of the penalties were bonehead plays, guys doing things there's no way they should be doing," Jones said. "Some on offense are because they're just young, new and learning what they're doing."