POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 3:51 p.m. HST, Oct 31, 2010
Finally, after the hoopla of the Hawaii Bowl announcement, after coach Greg McMackin thanked everyone from the university president to the ushers.
Finally, 20 minutes after Hawaii's 45-10 dismantling of Idaho was completed, announcer Billy V shouted it so all of Halawa Valley could hear:
That will be the battle cry all week, now that UH has won its sixth game in a row and takes a 5-0 WAC record on the road, hoping to spoil the party at Boise State before it can even get started.
This could be Hawaii's final trip to the blue turf of Bronco Stadium, and all of college football will be watching — Boise State will have to take care of business within its own conference to maintain any dreams of playing for a national championship.
And the Warriors say they're up for the spoiler role. They attained some of their goals with last night's romp, guaranteeing a winning season and a Christmas Eve date.
They've already exceeded the expectations of many, but not themselves.
"Not finished," said Mana Silva, the safety whose weekly picks are much more reliable than those of any prognosticator. "We're not finished. We still have goals out there to achieve."
SO MUCH FOR trap games. Hawaii was ready to play against Idaho.
Maybe even too ready?
"I was excited," said quarterback Bryant Moniz, explaining why some of his passes early in the game were awry.
Wide receiver Rodney Bradley said he was pumped up, too. The Idaho game last year was when he broke his leg, and there was concern for his future as a football player.
"We came out too anxious and got out of our game plan," Bradley said.
"Definitely," he added, when asked if the team was in the here and now and not thinking thoughts of blue turf. "Game in and game out you can never underestimate your opponent. The task at hand was Idaho."
On a day of college football billed Roadblock Saturday by ESPN, the Warriors breezed by the checkpoint with flying colors despite the wobbly start.
Homecoming. Big crowd. "NFL" opposing quarterback. Revenge game. Super Bowl winner Ma'a Tanuvasa — a cornerstone of the last time Hawaii fielded such a surprisingly big winner — exhorting you to respond.
Plenty of reasons for the Warriors to put the Broncos on the back burner.
If UH didn't take the threat of Idaho seriously, why would ...
... the Warriors expose a trick play, with Royce Pollard tossing to Alex Green on the old hook and ladder, leading by 28 in the second half?
... Kealoha Pilares play the first half despite aggravating a hamstring in the first half, even returning punts?
... the defense be at its ball-hawking best once again, with Silva and Corey Paredes intercepting passes, and John Hardy-Tuliau (a freshman, but a star in the making) forcing a fumble that Richard Torres took to the house? The Warriors were plus-3 on turnovers, and they scored on all four that they forced. That's how you win football games.
... the special teams join the party, giving Idaho poor field position early on with some nifty kickoff coverage, and a field-goal block by Liko Satele?
THE 2010 WARRIORS know every game's a big one, and the only way to win any and all of them is through thorough preparation and relying on each other. Few of those who thought they'd win this many games thought they'd do it before November. Few other than themselves thought they'd be in contention for a championship at this point.
Now, this is finally the week they can think it, say it, and believe in themselves that they can do it.