The difficult season for the Warriors has turned to one of despair for Hawaii supporters. Now with a record of 1-8, Norm Chow's team has dropped seven straight after a 49-14 loss to Boise State at Aloha Stadium on Saturday.
After the Broncos took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, Hawaii responded when dynamic returner Mike Edwards took the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards to tie the game 7-7.
But that was a close as the Warriors would come, as the Broncos imposed their will on Hawaii in all phases of the game. By the end of the third quarter, Boise State had a commanding 42-7 lead, due in large part to the three touchdown passes thrown by quarterback Joe Southwick (17-of-29, 209 yards).
As has been the case all season, the lack of a running game put the Warriors in a difficult spot, as Joey Iosefa (29 yards) and John Lister (16 yards, 1 TD) were held in check all game. The Warriors, who were without the services of RB Will Gregory for most of the game, had minus-14 yards rushing for the contest.
Starting quarterback Sean Schroeder fumbled once when sacked and also threw an interception, accounting for two of the Warriors' five turnovers in the game. Schroeder (10-of-19, 100 yards) was largely ineffective in the game, and was pulled in the third quarter for backup QB Jeremy Higgins (11-of-17, 154 yards).
While Higgins had some success in the game against the Broncos' defense, Chow cautioned in the post-game press conference (per the UH Athletics Channel on YouTube.com), "You always have to remember that he’s probably playing against the second group of guys. But nevertheless, he did play well and we need to look at the tapes and make some decisions, make some hard, tough decisions.”
Regardless of which Hawaii QB was slinging the ball, only seven different receivers caught passes in the game. Ryan Hall (five receptions for 70 yards) and Clark Evans (four receptions for 67 yards) led the Warriors' receiving corps.
Clearly it has been a long and rocky first year for head coach Norm Chow, but evidence of the frustration of both the team and the fans is becoming increasingly apparent. Whether it was the 29,471 in attendance that applauded and cheered when Sean Schroeder was pulled, or the fact that RB Will Gregory was ejected for punching an opposing player, it is clear that the stress of a difficult season is weighing upon the team and its supporters.
The loss to Boise State dropped Hawaii to 0-6 in conference play, and marked the sixth time this season that the Warriors have lost by 35 points or more. With three more games left to play, Hawaii will try to salvage the balance of the schedule against Air Force, UNLV and South Alabama in the coming weeks.