Norm Chow stepped out for his weekly press conference and—after his team had suffered its fourth straight loss—the normally open and affable head coach of Hawaii had noticeably shorter answers to questions that, in past weeks, would have elicited lengthy, thoughtful replies.
Chow enumerated (on UH Athletics YouTube channel) the shortcomings and mistakes made by the Warriors during their 35-23 loss to New Mexico, and concluded in summation, "We need to be technically better." Better needs to include stopping the run, as the Lobos cut through the Warriors' defense for 332 yards in the game, going 9-for17 on third down conversions and 3-for-4 on fourth down.
While the loss was closer than the blowout defeats that Hawaii fans have endured in the past three weeks, the dominance by New Mexico included an overwhelming 17-minute time of possession advantage, fewer penalty yards, a higher pass completion percentage, more yards per pass and plus-3 in turnovers. The Lobos staked themselves to a 21-0 lead before the Warriors finally got on the board when quarterback Sean Schroeder hit Scott Harding with a 51-yard touchdown pass with just 5:55 left in the first half.
During his press conference, Chow had been asked about making a change in quarterback to possibly spark the team. The head coach dismissed the question out-of-hand and left no doubt regarding his loyalty to the junior quarterback.
“Sean Schroeder’s my quarterback," Chow said simply in response (on UH Athletics YouTube channel). "Sean Schroeder’s my quarterback.”
Schroeder went 20-for-42 in the game for 272 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions, but Hawaii did not get its second touchdown until junior cornerback Mike Edwards ran back a third quarter kickoff 100 yards to close the score to 28-17. A final 1-yard touchdown run by running back John Lister brought the score to 28-23 with 9:49 left to play, but the Hawaii defense could not keep the Lobos out of the end zone and surrendered the touchdown that sealed the victory for New Mexico with 3:49 left to play.
“We need to fight some more," Chow said, at the weekly press conference (on UH Athletics YouTube channel). "We really need to fight some more.”
The Warriors had notable performances from running back Will Gregory (13 carries for 99 yards) and receiver Billy Ray Stutzman (six receptions for 73 yards), but will need more such performances when they travel to Colorado to face the Rams on Oct. 27. Currently, the Colorado State Rams are 1-6 on the season, averaging 15.7 points per game. The Rams have lost their last five games.