Monday, May 23, 2022 |
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It’s still something of a mystery how Hawaii sits at 0-1 after last week’s tilt against Washington. The Huskies came into Aloha Stadium ranked 25th in the nation but were outgained 424 to 336, had the ball for fewer than 26 minutes compared to UH’s more than 34, picked up seven fewer first downs and converted just five of 16 third downs. But they somehow exited Honolulu with a 17-16 victory and probably felt like they had just pulled a bank heist while on the plane back to the Mainland.
Now Hawaii remains on its home campus, likely contemplating what went wrong and what it can do to right the ship this week against visiting Oregon State. While it was anything but a classic ‘Bows performance offensively, UH still managed to do what it wanted. Quarterback Ikaika Woosley wasn’t spectacular, but he limited mistakes and managed the game, going 23 for 42 for 207 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Joey Iosefa picked up where he left off last season, carrying the ball 30 times for 143 yards and a touchdown, while Quinton Pedroza looked like he may be Woosley’s go-to guy with nine catches for 90 yards.
The 174 rush yards his defense gave up are probably a little high for coach Norm Chow’s liking, but limiting the Huskies to 336 total yards was a nice start to the 2014 campaign. That unit typically got off the field when it could, but the offense had some opportunities slip through its fingers, specifically towards the end of the first half.
But as nice as it would have been to start 1-0 after such a disappointing 2013 season, the ‘Bows now need to be looking squarely at the next opponent.
The Beavers of Oregon State are coming off a 29-14 win over Portland State in Week 1. The game was only that close because of Oregon State’s mental mistakes, committing 13 penalties for 119 yards. The Beavers also converted just three of 14 third downs but still eclipsed 500 total yards on the day.
Quarterback Sean Mannion spread the ball around for 328 yards and a touchdown with no picks. Running back Storm Woods totaled 148 yards of offense and caught a 23-yard touchdown pass. It was a mostly dominant effort, but certainly not a “clean sheet,” to steal a soccer term.
So both teams will enter Saturday’s matchup with a lot of positives from their openers, but knowing they could have capitalized much better on their efforts. The problem for UH is that the mental aspect of still being winless may play in their heads. For a team that was 1-11 last year, playing as well as it did against a quality opponent and coming away empty could be reaffirm some negativity.
Or the ‘Bows could forget the result, look at the film and recognize what they did correctly, understanding that against a lesser opponent the effort would have been more than enough. Like so many UH games from 2013, the start to the new season was both encouraging and heartbreaking. But unlike last year, UH didn’t dig themselves into a hole against Washington. They just failed to dig deep enough when victory was in their grasp.
David Simon can be reached at email@example.com.
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