2010 Hawaii Football: Faltered Defense Led to Loss Against USC 49-36

Heneli IongiAnalyst ISeptember 3, 2010

HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 2:  Kealoha Pilares #21of the University of Hawaii Warriors  tries to avoid the USC defense during second half action at Aloha Stadium September 2, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

It was expected for the Hawaii Warriors to lose this game to the USC Trojans.  

You add in the fact that they were 0-6 against against the Trojans before the game even started would almost make anyone cringe to think the Warriors had a chance to beat the Trojans.  Guess what, the Warriors had their chance and they didn't take the bull by the horns in this game.

Let's just get the bad things that went on during the game out of the way first that cost the Warriors the game.  The defense was horrible.  Utterly horrible.  I saw this coming as I pointed out in my previous article that the biggest weakness to the Warriors defense was the run defense.  

I also pointed out that the Trojans were going to test and expose the Warriors run defense and boy was I proven right as the Trojans steamrolled from 246 rushing years. The key for the Warriors to winning the game didn't depend on the Warrior offense as they are able to pass the ball on any team.  

The Warriors didn't do much to force three and outs or turnovers.  When you play a team like the Trojans, one forced turnover isn't enough to put them out.  Due to the Trojans having the ability to move the chains on the ground, it made it easier on QB Matt Barkley to throw the ball against single coverage nearly all night as the Warriors struggled to stop the run with eight-to-nine men in the box for majority of the game.  

All it took for the Warriors to make Trojan QB Barkley's night a terrible one is to force him to beat them through the air, only if the running game was shut down.  They just couldn't get it done. 

This is what I believed gave the Warriors a shot at beating the Trojans, the passing attack of Bryant Moniz and the "pistol" run and shoot offense.  The Warriors pretty much beat up the hell out of the Trojans secondary.  There is no way to deny it.  The Warriors put up 459 yards through the air.  What impress me the most is the fact that the Warriors offense also put up 129 yards rushing on the ground.  That offensive total came out to 588 yards against a USC Trojan defense.  

The surprise of the evening was how well the offensive line for the Warriors were playing.  You also add into the fact that the often mobile Warrior QB Bryant Moniz got yardage on the ground if no one was open and often kept plays alive.  

All in all, the Warriors have nothing to be ashamed of.  

They gave USC everything they had and then some.  The final score was 49-36.  You consider all the talk of the Western Athletic Conference being weak, I believe that Lane Kiffin will think twice on ever believing Hawaii or any of the teams in the WAC are weak.  

The Warriors did well and I think they'll do great this season, especially preparing to spoil Boise State chances of going for a BCS Championship Game.  I'd love nothing more for the Warriors to send Nevada, Fresno State, and Boise State a lovely Hawaiian beat down as they make their way out of the WAC.