CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander took instruction from coach Nick Rolovich yesterday.
Tebow vs. who knows?
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As other position battles were clarified in the days leading up to Saturday's season opener, the situation surrounding a focal position for the Hawaii football team clouded up.
Hawaii at Florida; Saturday; 6:30 a.m.; Oceanic Cable Pay-Per-View (Digital Ch. 255); KKEA 1420 AM.
UH head coach Greg McMackin said the starting quarterback job could be a "game-time decision" between junior Greg Alexander and sophomore Brent Rausch.
The coaches are taking a cautious approach to Rausch's return from a sore throwing arm and Alexander took most of the snaps in practice yesterday prior to the team's departure for Atlanta, where the Warriors are scheduled to practice tonight and tomorrow.
Elsewhere, on a depth chart that has firmed up this week, McMackin confirmed that Erik Robinson will be the starter at strong safety on Saturday.
Awaiting the Warriors in Gainesville will be a fifth-ranked Florida team with its quarterback firmly in place in Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
"We are taking them very seriously," Tebow said in a press conference on Monday. "They are a good team. When they come to The Swamp they are going to be very motivated. They'll play with a lot of passion."
Kickoff at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is set for 6:30 a.m. Hawaii time.
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander took the bulk of the snaps with the first team at yesterday's practice.
The motto the Boy Scouts adhere to certainly applies to backup quarterbacks, and it's a principle Greg Alexander is living by these days.
A week ago, it looked like Alexander was destined for a reserve role behind Brent Rausch when the Hawaii football team opened its season against No. 5 Florida in Gainesville. Now he could be the first quarterback on the field to start the season.
Alexander took the majority of the snaps in the Warriors' practice yesterday morning and head coach Greg McMackin said the starting quarterback job "could be a game-time decision" as Rausch eases back from a strain in his throwing arm.
McMackin said Alexander and Rausch, both junior college transfers in their first seasons with the Warriors, will be evaluated in the remaining practices leading up to Saturday's game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:30 a.m. Hawaii time.
"I can only control what I do and the coaches are going to make their decision, so that's how I have to approach it," Alexander said before the Warriors departed on their trip yesterday to Atlanta, where they'll practice the next two days.
Rausch was named the starting quarterback about two weeks into fall camp, but sat out two days of practice last week to rest his sore throwing arm.
The sophomore returned on Monday and was the first quarterback in the rotation.
McMackin said Rausch would be the starter "if he's healthy." But he said yesterday that the team trainers recommended Rausch take it slow in his return and Alexander took the lead role in practice.
"I've got to see that (Rausch's) arm is OK," McMackin said.
The quarterbacks had a relatively light day of throwing on Monday and "we didn't give (Rausch) a lot of big throws (yesterday)," quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said.
"You just don't want to go out and start throwing deep balls and making tough throws because it affects your mechanics and that could lead to more injuries and more soreness," Rolovich said. "We gave him some of the mid-level, lower-level throws."
Alexander, who threw for 71 touchdowns in two years at Santa Rosa Junior College, was a part of a tight three-man competition with Rausch and junior Inoke Funaki early in camp, but was hampered by a foot injury around the time Rausch was named the starter.
Now with Rausch working his way back, Alexander had a chance to prove himself in running the bulk of the plays in yesterday's practice.
"I've still got a ways to go, but watching the films I can see some progress coming," Alexander said of his growth in the run-and-shoot system.
"The more reps you're able to take, the more you can get into a rhythm and get a feel for things. It's like anything else, the more you do it, the better you're going to get at it."
With Rausch and Alexander in the top two spots on the depth chart, Funaki enters the season as the No. 3 quarterback. McMackin said there would not be a rotation among the quarterbacks although more than one could see playing time.
"We're going to make that decision and the next guy could be one play away from getting in the ballgame," McMackin said.
"The first guy that goes in is going to be the quarterback and I don't want him looking behind his back. But they could both play, all three of them could play."
The Warriors took four quarterback on the trip to Florida -- Alexander, Funaki, Rausch and senior Jake Santos.