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Wednesday, July 30, 2014         

FURTHER REVIEW


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No trap for UH to fear in this slap game

By Dave Reardon

POSTED:



You've heard of trap games. Well, this was something completely different ... a slap game.

Hawaii could pretty much do what it wanted — put into the game who it wanted, run what plays it wanted — and it was still going to give Charleston Southern plenty of slaps. The talent and depth difference was so immense there was no other possible outcome.

There are underdogs you've got to worry about and those you don't. There was no trap here for UH to fear.

The Buccaneers — god bless their big hearts — they and their coach Jay Mills are a great example of what is good about college sports. Play hard, be humble, use the sport as an educational tool, etc., etc.

It's great unless they're playing a team a level above them and they can't compete. No matter what happy face people try to put on it, losing 66-7 is no fun. If the Bucs had managed another touchdown or two and to stop Hawaii once or twice more, then it could've been a moral victory, like the way Hawaii felt after the USC loss to open the season.

But the right end of 66-7 was a beautiful thing for the Warriors and their fans.

Football became fun again.

Sure, it wasn't much of a game ... it was more like a scrimmage. And that's what UH needed headed into conference play next week.

That just-completed two-week "business trip," well, the Warriors came back from it with what many expected: a win at Army and a loss at Colorado. But because it was in that order — and because UH blew a lead and narrowly escaped at West Point and didn't recover from doing the same at Boulder — there was a great sense of missed opportunity.

There was talk of soft defense and an offense that couldn't score from close range, and a continual curse of being outscored in the third quarter. After last night's domination, that could be forgotten for a while.

YES, IF there were any traps last night, UH was setting them.

How about that flea-flicker? Pretty much your garden variety trick play; teams have been using it forever. Offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich installed it on Friday, and the Warriors ran it to perfection last night, with Bryant Moniz hitting a wide-open Greg Salas for a TD.

Plays like that you usually save for a key situation in a big game, not when you're clearly dominating a much weaker opponent.

"We call it 'Bum-bye, you learn,' " Moniz said.

Rough translation for non "bird" speakers: "You cheated on the run one too many times, free safety."

At first I was thinking, "Why show a trick play in this game? Maybe you want to bust it out next week against LaTech, or later at Boise State."

But then, heck, why not? Give the students who used their "free" tickets for the first time something exciting and different. Let the players play. Football's supposed to be fun, right?

Need a trick play for LaTech? Rolo can just draw up another one on Friday.

The business trip is over.

WE HALF-EXPECTED the UH starters to come out after halftime dressed in their street clothes after building a 49-7 lead, like they did in 2007 when Colt and crew put away Northern Colorado in the first 30 minutes. But this edition doesn't have the kind of swagger that goes with a national ranking and unbeaten record.

Yeah, this was going to be one of those AYSO everybody-plays games, but there was still work to do. The Warriors still had to prove they could win the third quarter, win the second half.

They did it 7-0, 17-0.

Is the whole thing translatable to next week, against LaTech? A team with more talent, more scholarship athletes?

"It doesn't matter what they do," Salas said "We know they're a better team (than Charleston Southern). But on offense, we think no one can stop us."

"It was a breakout game," linebacker Corey Paredes said.

Good. Confidence isn't just important in football, it's imperative. The Warriors just have to remember next week's opponent will be better equipped to slap back than last night's.

Reach Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon at dreardon@staradvertiser.com, his "Quick Reads" blog at staradvertiser.com and twitter.com/davereardon.






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