Down time paid off for Alexander, UH


POSTED: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some guys learn better by watching, some by doing.

After a less than stellar Division I debut at Florida, Greg Alexander didn't have a choice.

Good thing for him he knew from experience how to handle idle time.

“;When I redshirted my first year of JC, that's when I learned the most about football. I got to see how things develop, how things work. And coming here, this offense is so sophisticated, you almost have to sit back and watch to learn it. I probably wasn't ready for the Florida game.”;

He got himself ready, though. Last night he engineered Hawaii to its second win in the three games since he regained the starting quarterback spot—plus there was that relief victory against Nevada that earned him back the job.

So the question remains: Would the Warriors be better than 6-5 right now if the coaches had let Alexander battle his way through the learning process in the early going?

“;I think we would've gotten through, but you never know,”; quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said. “;We needed to get a couple of wins to get in position for a bowl game.”;

Rolovich called the quarterback carousel “;unorthodox,”; but it was what the team needed early in the season until someone stepped up to make the job his permanently.

And that's what Alexander has done, his streak of passes without an interception now up to 116, heading to Colt Brennan territory.

“;He's a run-and-shoot quarterback,”; said coach Greg McMackin, stating what's obvious now, but was very much open for debate a few weeks ago.

Alexander isn't as outgoing as was Brennan, but he's emerged as a leader. His patience and quiet confidence are just what this team needed to ride out some rough spots in the middle of the season, including that loss that shouldn't have happened at Utah State.

“;It's a tribute to him that he was still learning (after getting benched following the opener),”; Rolovich said. “;It's a tribute to his character. When Inoke and Tyler were getting the reps, every time I looked at him he was paying attention, taking mental notes.”;

So the personality is different, and, yeah, this was Idaho, not Boise State.

But the swagger is back, warts and all. Just like old times, a 15-yard personal foul penalty, much easier to take in a blowout win.

The backup quarterback and the other second-stringers getting into the game with plenty of time to try to do something.

Defense setting up the offense with turnovers, and the offense converting.

A sequence late in the third quarter was especially reminiscent of the June Jones era.

Game's pretty much over, but Idaho takes 7 minutes and 33 seconds off the clock to drive 79 yards in 14 plays for a TD.

Then the Vandals' failed onside kick gives UH the ball at the Idaho 4.

One play, 4 yards, 7 seconds. Daniel Libre, touchdown.

Time of possession? Overrated.

Just like the old days.