Warriors will have to show up on time
Question 1: When was the last time Hawaii beat a BCS conference team on the road?
Answer: Before there was such a thing as a BCS conference. UH knocked off Cal, at Berkeley, 21-7 on Sept. 17, 1994, improving the Rainbows' record to 2-1.
Question 2: What happened after that?
Answer: You really don't want to know. But I guess I have to tell you now.
Hawaii went on to 0-8 in the WAC and 3-8-1 overall.
The Warriors hope they get a chance to spit in the face of that bad omen with a win at Oregon State on Saturday.
For UH coach Greg McMackin, it would also mean victory in the state in which he was born and raised.
"That probably will get me excited. I have a lot of friends and went to school there, high school and college," McMackin said at yesterday's news conference. "Have had a lot of calls and that, so that might be a little more emotional. ... That's going to get emotional probably."
The Warriors players need to get more pumped up than they did for their last game. Defensive coordinator Cal Lee admitted so much at the Quarterback Club yesterday.
"It's tough to motivate them when you show them Weber State," Lee said. "Show them USC, the lights go on and they pay attention."
Results, predictable. The Wildcats pushed the Warriors around early in the game.
"We got hit in the mouth," Lee said. "(In the second half) they realized they had to strap it on and play hard."
Come on guys, there's only 12 more of these - or 11 if you continue to take that approach. You don't have the kind of team that can take anything for granted.
Tyler Graunke's starting now, so there aren't any firemen left on the bench, at least for this game. Blaze Soares and Rocky Savaiigaea may be ready to provide a lift for the WAC opener against San Jose State, but that's not until Sept. 27.
With Rocky, and now Fale Laeli out, the Warriors are dangerously thin at defensive tackle. Josh Leonard manned up Saturday, earning a game ball for an eight-tackle effort against the Webers.
He and Keala Watson are a solid starting pair, but they'll need help from Vaughn Meatoga and others at some point Saturday - even against a Jeremy Perry-less Beavers O-line (they've still got Cav coaching it).
Mack related yesterday how Urban Meyer told him the Warriors hit the Gators harder than anyone they'd played. That's fine, but - as the Florida loss showed - it doesn't matter if you make too many mistakes. And that's precisely what the Warriors must avoid this week.
"It wasn't the most beautiful game we've played," Lee said of the win over Weber State.
It will be infinitely more difficult to win ugly this Saturday.