UH hopes not to repeat ’03 trip
June Jones and his Hawaii Warriors have been down this road before -- an early-season, two-game, two-week trip with a team predicted to win the conference championship, and a quarterback being promoted for the Heisman Trophy.
Things didn't work out so well last time.
In 2003, UH left Hawaii 1-0 for games at USC and UNLV. They returned to the islands 1-2. The Warriors bounced back to finish 9-5, but they were a disappointing 5-3 and fourth in the Western Athletic Conference.
One of their wins, though, was at Louisiana Tech, where the 20th-ranked Warriors play Saturday. Following a week of practice in Houston, UH plays at UNLV on Sept. 15.
"It kind of gives you an opportunity to come together as a group, which really does matter late in the year," Jones said yesterday, before the team left Hawaii, headed for a one-day stopover in Houston. "Just gotta stay focused and make sure everybody understands why we're going up there: We're going to play a football game."
Tim Chang was the high-profile quarterback in 2003 and his Heisman campaign fizzled. While Chang put up yardage numbers, the wins weren't plentiful.
Today, Colt Brennan is a legitimate candidate after finishing sixth in the Heisman balloting last year and getting off to a good start with six TD passes in one half of last week's 63-6 thrashing of Northern Colorado. If the Warriors continue to win, especially on the road, his star will continue to rise.
He hopes to enjoy the journey.
"I think it has the possibility of being fun," Brennan said before taking off yesterday. "You never can predict the elements, when there's going to be a bus delay, a flight delay. That stuff's tough, and if that stuff does happen we gotta be able to overcome it. But we gotta spend that many days on the road with each other, at hotels and hanging out. I would assume it would definitely help team chemistry.
"I think it'll be a fun trip, but we really need to make sure we win the games so that it is a fun trip."