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Like most blind dates, today's football game between host Hawaii and 25th-ranked Washington could be defined early. "The first 10 minutes will be interesting," UH defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said this week.

The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will open the 2014-15 season against the University of Washington Huskies. Here is how they match up.

Every morning during football season, Norm Chow awakens at 3:30. There is no alarm clock, no early-rising rooster. "It's just a habit," Chow said. Chow has time to shower, gather his thoughts, and prepare for the 6:30 a.m. quarterbacks meeting.

Rick Blangiardi appreciates sports reporters. As general manager of Hawaii News Now, he even employs them. But when it comes to trusting their ability to pick football outcomes …

Whenever quarterback Ikaika Woolsey needs a break, he will put on his headphones, hit the iPhone play button and listen to Bay Area music. "It's a different type of sound," said Woolsey, who was raised in Rodeo, Calif.

Three years ago, Scott Harding couldn't even put on football pads correctly. Now, he might be Hawaii's most dependable player. Following the path of former Hawaii punter Alex Dunnachie, Harding gave up his career playing Australian football to try his hand with the American version.

An average-sized textbook probably weighs about 2 pounds, or 0.7 percent of the weight of an NCAA football offensive lineman. Now hold the book over your head, as if making the "A" sign in the "YMCA" dance -- for an hour, starting at 5 in the morning.

Some coaches shy away from allowing full-time starters to risk injury playing on special teams. Hawaii special teams coach Chris Demarest isn't one of them.

Ben Clarke is the University of Hawaii football's best offensive lineman. Heck, in 2012, he was named the Rainbow Warriors' best player on offense.

As 16 1/2-point underdog, the University of Hawaii football team faces a daunting challenge in Saturday's opener against 25th-ranked Washington. Before the start of Wednesday's practice, former UH safety Kent Kafentzis stood in the Rainbow Warriors' huddle, a living and defiant testament to battling long odds.

University of Hawaii football receiver Marcus Kemp is the sort who takes his work home. Kemp clutches a football in his house, while he's watching television, and when he cooks.

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