Colt Brennan would like to play tomorrow but won't risk it if his ankle doesn't feel right.
Colt still hopeful
Brennan to practice again this afternoon
STORY SUMMARY »
In yesterday's installment of As The Ankle Turns, Colt Brennan did not look like he could play effectively in a football game in two days. The Hawaii quarterback tried to practice, taking seven reps with the first team. He didn't throw a pass, other than on the side.
Who: Hawaii vs. Charleston Southern
Time: 6:05 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
TV: PPV 255, live; Sunday, 10 a.m., delayed, KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
He said things might go better at today's walk-through, since it will be in the afternoon rather than the usual morning practices.
"(Today) should be a good indication," Brennan said. "Mornings are the hardest part because the ankle's stiff. But I wanted to get out there and run around. By Saturday night it should be healed up enough (to play)."
Coach June Jones said he thinks Brennan will be able to play, but said it will be a game-day decision.
Brennan said he won't risk missing future games to play against Division I-AA Charleston Southern (1-2) tomorrow -- a game in which No. 19 Hawaii (3-0) is favored by 60 points.
"It's a good point," Brennan said.
"It all depends on how I feel Saturday. I want to get out there and play some series. But if there's going to be any negative effect ... I'm not shooting it up for this game."
Brennan turned the ankle last Friday and took a painkiller injection to play Saturday at UNLV, where he accounted for five touchdowns in UH's 49-14 rout of the Rebels.
Around 34,000 tickets had been issued as of yesterday for tomorrow's game at Aloha Stadium. Starting wide receiver Jason Rivers (back strain) is likely out tomorrow.
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CSU sees opportunity
CSU coach sees positives in playing heavily favored Hawaii
Some would call it a suicide mission.
Jay Mills considers Charleston Southern's trek to Hawaii an important part of a long-term plan.
The Buccaneers coach and his team arrived in the islands yesterday. Tomorrow at Aloha Stadium the 60-point underdogs serve themselves up like a pupu platter to the 19th-ranked Warriors.
But Mills doesn't see it that way. He's not allowed to.
"Obviously you do your team and your program a disservice if you enter without the goal of winning the contest," Mills said in a phone interview earlier this week. "We look at this as an opportunity to continue our growth. Our ultimate goal is to win a national championship at the FCS (Division I-AA) level. This gives us a chance to raise the bar."
Under Mills' direction the past five years, CSU has improved each season. Last year the Bucs won their first nine games before finishing at 9-2, the best record in school history. They had a 14-game winning streak dating back to 2005.
Mills looks at this game as a bonding experience that will help the team in future games.
"After this, you've leathered yourself, matured as a program," he said.
This is Charleston Southern's first game against a ranked Division I opponent, and the Bucs have never beaten a Division I team. The 4,750 miles they covered yesterday is the farthest any Big South team has traveled to play a football game.
"Our starting quarterback (sophomore Eli Byrd) has never been on a plane. This is just the second time we're flying to a game," Mills said. "Many wouldn't have had an opportunity to visit Hawaii. We want the to experience and grow culturally."
Mills said memories from a road game at Howard in 2004 helped him decide coming here would be good for his team.
COURTESY OF CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
Charleston Southern coach Jay Mills sees Hawaii as a stop on his team's road to the Division I-AA championship.
"We took the team to the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial. So many players said thank you. They had never been to Washington," said Mills, who has a Pearl Harbor visit scheduled for the Bucs.
Mills has been here before, going back to 1984 when he was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish fell to SMU in the Aloha Bowl. Then he came back in the 1990s as Harvard's offensive coordinator, recruiting Neil Rose from Pac-Five and Todd LaFountaine from Punahou.
Rose became Harvard's all-time passing yardage leader under Mills' tutelage.
"He's one of the key people in my life," Rose said. "An excellent coach and mentor. I got so much from him in the time I spent with him. He's real principled, intelligent and ethical."
Rose said UH won't be the only team showcasing an innovative passing offense tomorrow.
"Really wide-open book in terms of the playbook, complex but not needlessly so," Rose said of Mills' offensive tactics. "It's no huddle, two or three plays at one time and the quarterback makes a lot of decisions. It's a quarterback's offense in that it puts the quarterback in position to choose the best play."
The reality for tomorrow is that the greatest scheme in the world probably won't make a difference in who wins the game.
While Mills isn't conceding the game, he admits the Bucs are here for the payout ($75,000 in expenses covered, plus $150,000) and publicity. He said Charleston Southern's leadership recently mandated a higher national profile.
"Playing a nationally-ranked football team with Colt Brennan fits that," Mills said. "Our aspiration is to become the University of Hawaii of the FCS level. We really feel they are the Boise State of this year. Playing against a tremendous team is going to help our growth."
Does Charleston Southern draw inspiration from Appalachian State?
"Our first response (when the Mountaineers won at Michigan) was one of shock," Mills said. "There's a distinct disadvantage right off the bat, the 23 scholarship difference. The depth usually comes into play."