Hawaii vs. San Diego State: Struggling Warriors Look to Find Answers

Mark BatorAnalyst IIOctober 3, 2012

September 28, 2012; Provo, UT, USA; Hawaii Warriors quarterback Sean Schroeder (19) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Brigham Young Cougars at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

To his credit, Norm Chow enters his press conference every Monday, faces the press under sometimes difficult circumstances and provides some of the most honest and poignant answers that one will ever hear coming from a head coach.

As quoted from his October 1 press conference on the University of Hawaii YouTube Channel, he admitted "They're embarrassed." Chow, referencing his team following the 47-0 defeat at the hands of BYU, added: "We're all embarrassed."

The Warriors could not get their running game started against BYU, and their failure to put together sustained drives caused the Hawaii defense to spend an excessive amount of time on the field. Once the Warriors got behind, the necessity to abandon the run gave way to the Cougars teeing off on quarterback Sean Schroeder.

“We have to be more balanced," Chow explained (UH YouTube channel). "We have to keep the defense off the field.”

Unfortunately for the Warriors, the schedule does not provide a breather this week. They are back on the road and facing another high-powered offense that currently averages 35 points per game. The San Diego State Aztecs (2-3) also average nearly 234 yards per game on the ground and 191 through the air.

Led by Adam Muema (529 yards, six TDs) and Walter Kazee (362 yards and five TDs) the rushing attack is potent, and the passing game is sound behind quarterback Ryan Katz (65-of-108 for 957 yards and 9 TDs).

Katz spreads the ball around, having utilized 12 different receivers so far this season. However only Gavin Escobar (15 receptions) and Colin Lockett (11 catches) have double-digit receptions through five games.

If there's a place that they Warriors can attack against the Aztecs, it may well be through the air. In their loss against Fresno State last week, San Diego State surrendered 536 yards and five touchdowns via the pass alone.

"Over the last three weeks, we have been absolutely terrible in pass defense," stated Aztecs head coach Rocky Long (GoAztecs.cstv.com) at his October 2 press conference. "Special teams haven't been very good either."

So far this season, Warriors quarterback Sean Schroeder is 73-for-129 for 700 yards and six TDs. He has also thrown five interceptions. Against BYU last week, Schroeder was under constant pressure from the Cougars defensive line, going just 12-for-27, a mere 108 yards in the game with no TDs and one interception.

"We're through pouting, we're through brooding," Chow told the reporters at this week's press conference (UH YouTube channel).

At 1-3, the Warriors need a win to turn the tide of an injury-plagued season, which would help build momentum as they head home to host the New Mexico Lobos on October 14.

“There’s only one thing we [can] do," said Chow defiantly (UH YouTube channel), "and that’s come back fighting.”


Game Time: 8:00pm ET; 5:00pm PT, Saturday October 6.
Television: CBS Sports Network