Senior quarterback Colt Brennan was one of several starters to miss practice yesterday because of injuries. Also sidelined were guard Larry Sauafea and wideout Jason Rivers.
Three offensive starters were sidelined at yesterday's practice
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The Hawaii first team offense operated with three players up from the second string yesterday: quarterback Tyler Graunke, right guard Lafu Tuioti-Mariner and left wide receiver Malcolm Lane.
Who: Hawaii vs. Charleston Southern
When: Saturday, 6:05 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
TV: PPV 255, live; Sunday, 10 a.m., delayed, KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
Quarterback Colt Brennan was out with a sprained right ankle, right guard Larry Sauafea with an illness and left wideout Jason Rivers with a sore back.
Some -- if not all -- of the starters are expected to be healthy in time for Saturday's 6:05 p.m. kickoff against Charleston Southern (1-2) at Aloha Stadium. Brennan, UH's marquee player, was still on crutches yesterday. He remained hopeful to practice today and play Saturday.
But the 19th-ranked Warriors (3-0) are 59-point favorites, which begs the question: Why not start the entire second string?
For one thing, it's a matter of respect.
"We don't take any team lightly," junior safety Desmond Thomas said. "We're going to respect them, and we're going to try to kick their butts like we would Boise State or anyone else."
Coach June Jones said he is looking for continued improvement from his team, regardless of the opponent.
"We are 3-0. We have to play better every week and we need to play better this week just so we keep inching along on what we want to do," he said. "We have got to stay focused and eliminate mental errors."
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Especially considering the aggressive style in which he plays football, Colt Brennan has been fortunate.
The Hawaii quarterback said the sprained ankle he's now dealing with is the most severe injury he's suffered in the last 10 years. There was one worse, he said.
"I had a really bad concussion as a kid," Brennan said yesterday after the Warriors' practice. "I was throwing up. I was taking too many shots to the head."
Brennan was 14, in his final year of Pop Warner youth football before advancing to high school ball.
"I was out a week," he said. "I came back and played, but didn't have the kind of tenacity I had before. It took some time to get that back."
Did he think of not playing football anymore after that injury?
"Hell no," Brennan said. "Absolutely not."
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Colt Brennan said the only other time he was injured was when he had a concussion at the age of 14 playing Pop Warner.
That's the kind of chutzpah UH fans have come to expect from the Heisman Trophy candidate, who often puts his body into harm's way while scrambling for first downs.
Brennan was still on crutches yesterday, but he told reporters he is optimistic about playing Saturday when No. 19 Hawaii (3-0) hosts Charleston Southern (1-2).
If Brennan can't go, it would be the first UH game he misses due to injury.
"I'm dying to get out there. It's such a routine in football. A lot of my success the last two years is because I was consistently never hurt," said Brennan, who suffered some back pain last season. "I was always practicing and always ready for Saturday's games. I don't want to lose that edge or level of just working every day doing the same thing every day."
If the game were yesterday Brennan indicated he wouldn't have been able to play.
"It's just not ready yet," he said. "If I go out there Saturday, I want it to be as close to 100 percent as possible."
Tyler Graunke ran the offense for a second day in a row. Coach June Jones said Graunke will play, but he expects Brennan to participate in his 29th consecutive game.
"Tyler can play," Jones said. "He'll get some time this week. Hopefully after we get it going. Colt will play also. We'll play just a normal game."
Brennan leads the nation in points responsible for with 32.0 per game and UH is first in the country with 494.7 passing yards per game.