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USC beats Hawaii in season opener

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 09:26 p.m. HST, Aug 29, 2013

A woeful performance by the University of Hawaii offense gave No. 24-ranked Southern California all the opening it needed as the Trojans won tonight's nonconference football game 30-13 before a crowd of 34,495 at Aloha Stadium.

Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham threw four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in an inauspicious start for the transfer from Ohio State. He completed only 16 of 41 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown. In his defense, a half-dozen passes were dropped.

Part of the problem is the offensive line couldn't block; the running backs gained only 40 yards on 23 carries, Graham was sacked seven times and his receivers couldn't get open quickly enough for him to get the ball out.

The first two offensive series for UH were typical of the entire game and resulted in a punt and an interception, giving the Trojans excellent field position both times. But thanks to a questionable fourth-down call that resulted in an incompletion for USC on the first drive and a nice defensive stand by UH on the second, USC led only 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The eight-play scoring drive for USC stalled at the Warriors' 3 when UH held Tre Madden to 1 yard on a pitch play, resulting in the 20-yard field goal by the Trojans' Andre Heidari.

Hawaii scored its first points of the year on a safety by linebacker Art Laurel as he sacked USC quarterback Cody Kessler deep in his end zone on a first-and-10 play at the USC 1 to make it 3-2 USC with 14:06 remaining in the second quarter.

Hawaii came back with a 42-yard field goal by Tyler Hadden with 11:43 remaining in the half to give UH a 5-3 advantage.

But a second interception by Graham later in the quarter gave the Trojans the ball at the UH 30. They would only need five plays to score their opening touchdown of the year; a 19-yard strike from Kessler to Nelson Agholor, who beat UH cornerback Ne'Quan Phillps on the play.

Hawaii turned the ball over again on the next series. Graham's pass to Marcus Kemp was dropped and snagged in midair by USC defensive back Josh Shaw, who returned it 35 yards for the score as USC opened its advantage to 17-5 with 2:49 left in the half.

The Trojans added three points late on a 52-yard field goal by Heidari as time ran out in the second quarter and managed another three by the USC kicker with 13:10 remaining in the game from 22 yards out to make it 23-5 USC.

The Trojans scored a touchdown with 42 seconds remaining on a 3-yard run by freshman Justin Davis to make it 30-5. They scored 27 unanswered points before Graham finally got in the end zone with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood, who dropped a long pass earlier in the game. The Rainbows converted the 2-point conversion to cut the margin to 30-13 with 30 seconds left.

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wizard417 wrote:
on August 29,2013 | 05:48PM
berrygood wrote:
Defense A even though they were out there way too long..Offense?..D- and that's generous..In the heat of battle it appears college coaches forget the simple things..When the rush is coming hot and heavy throw a few screens to make them play honest..otherwise you get what we saw..A never ending rsuh and blitz package..Even a long throw now and then would have stretched the defense out to possibly give the underneath routes some room..That is if the O line could give him enough time to find someone..All in all..I gotta say, UH stood tall and that defense was something to be proud of..I expect great things outta them this year..Well done
on August 29,2013 | 10:05PM
ISCREAM wrote:
USC budgets over $100 million dollars annually for athletics...Hawaiil, let's just say it isn't even close...I would say that tonight was a win for the State of Hawaii...and warrior fans.
on August 29,2013 | 10:51PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
That defense was awesome! Offense needs some major tweaking. Agree with the need to keep the other guy honest with some screen plays.
on August 29,2013 | 11:51PM
CriticalReader wrote:
0-1. Now, the Hawaii Bowl is the only attainable bowl bid.
on August 29,2013 | 10:14PM
meat wrote:
Toilet Bowl seems right.
on August 29,2013 | 10:45PM
goodday wrote:
colt didn't look very good when he first started playing
on August 29,2013 | 10:25PM
meat wrote:
Colt didn't look this BAD either.
on August 29,2013 | 10:45PM
Bumby wrote:
The strength coach has done a good job on making the players stronger. They were not man handled by USC. If the offense can start playing and be more productive, UH will be competitive and win more games than expected. Chow if your offense can not produce the numbers this year and continue to have sacks and turnover you may need to consider giving up the reins as the offense coordinator and be the head coach only. Bring Rolo back and you will be successful because of how you are showing what can be done in bringing in better athletes.
on August 30,2013 | 12:39AM
niimi wrote:
...and UH gets Ohio State's reject for a QB.
on August 29,2013 | 06:57PM
frontman wrote:
It's the red hair...............
on August 29,2013 | 08:42PM
SandBar wrote:
Offensive line couldn't block. Even the running backs had no success.
on August 29,2013 | 09:41PM
TaiBow wrote:
O-line can't block and QB too slow. . . . Oh - Oh!
on August 29,2013 | 07:11PM
meat wrote:
Play calling and high school QB = dizzzassssster. Chow Time is Down Time. Bring back spread O...now.
on August 29,2013 | 10:43PM
808warriorfan wrote:
on August 29,2013 | 11:20PM
dlum003 wrote:
Offensive scheme still very bland, but defense is doing well despite the score. Only so long you can stay on the field and stop USC from scoring. Offense must possess the ball longer ... and score.
on August 29,2013 | 07:40PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on August 29,2013 | 07:59PM
localguy wrote:
Wanna bet the person reviewing the comments is a USC fan?
on August 29,2013 | 08:49PM
rayhawaii wrote:
ZzzzzZzZzzzzzzzzzz same ol story same ol song and dance my friend. Was hoping for some chachachachanges. Just hope touch down Tuesdays at least at McD's. Now dats a winnah.
on August 29,2013 | 08:15PM
frontman wrote:
UH defense played well against a poor USC offense. UH offense really needs work. I can't wait to read how UH played USC tough...........what a joke.
on August 29,2013 | 08:40PM
frontman wrote:
Beating the spread is a WIN.............................. NOT
on August 29,2013 | 08:50PM
frontman wrote:
Beating the spread is a win ......NOT
on August 29,2013 | 08:50PM
tiki886 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on August 29,2013 | 09:31PM
BH90210 wrote:
Gaabage TD to da rescue!
on August 29,2013 | 10:10PM
entrkn wrote:
Defense looked really good... offense...?
on August 29,2013 | 08:54PM
64hoo wrote:
offense can be corrected they did a little better this year than last year other teams would sack are QB with just 3 or 4 man front this USC brought house at times and blitzed 7 or 8 players at a time, what they really got to correct is when Hawaii has an empty backfield usc would come with nine players, but when Hawaii had the running backs back there with the QB he did not get sacked so hawaiis O line is improving and could get better down the road. looks good.
on August 29,2013 | 09:43PM
meat wrote:
'looks good'?... What game were u watching?. Offense, one word, TRAGIC! If thats the best Norm could do, Another VonnOpehnn like year. 2 years and gone.
on August 29,2013 | 10:36PM
64hoo wrote:
give the offense sometime remember this quarterback last played in high school. that long TD pass was excellent,, fans should be happy with that last pass for a touchdown because Hawaii covered the spread, yahoo GO WARRIORS
on August 29,2013 | 09:01PM
meat wrote:
"give the O sometime"? Why are we starting a HIGH SCHOOLER?
on August 29,2013 | 10:39PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Good effort by the defense but the O-line needs a lot of work.
on August 29,2013 | 09:06PM
meat wrote:
The whole O needs work.
on August 29,2013 | 10:40PM
clan4irish wrote:
Get ready, here come the cry babies. If Hawaii fans don't set the right expectations, it will be along frustrating season. Up to you.
on August 29,2013 | 09:06PM
popa wrote:
Coach: How about stretching the USC defense by throwing long. The secondary was waiting for the short ones and that's why Graham had so many passes intercepted. At least you keep the defense honest. Surprise! Look what happened late in the game. Too little, too late.
on August 29,2013 | 09:10PM
pjb wrote:
Same story as last season. Stubborn coach sticks with a quarterback that doesn't give you a good chance to win. When the defense goes all out and plays as well as they did the coach needs to recognize you need to give your players a chance to win. You do that by changing things up if needed. It's going to be another long stubbornly coached season. Too bad. Defense did a 180 from last season. Coach needs to do a 180 too he's a broken record.
on August 29,2013 | 09:13PM
meat wrote:
on August 29,2013 | 10:48PM
ISCREAM wrote:
Hawaii was much better than advertised...offense was ok considering the QB hasn't played in three years. Fans were dismal...When people say that they are UH fans except when they play USC ... They are really USC fans who cheer for UH when it is convenient. Reardon better redo his evaluation...he is way off.
on August 29,2013 | 09:29PM
meat wrote:
"O was ok"? What were u smoking?
on August 29,2013 | 10:49PM
usahwn wrote:
Great game . I think Hawaii will compete with a lot of teams . Defense did all they can do ; super job including safety. I like the QB Graham; has size and poise. Only needs time to execute and receivers hopeless and too many drops creating int. OL either will have to step up or same show as last year. I can't believe how they can so pitiful . Young RB impressive w/o fumbles; see great show if OT can create blocks.Overall I still think much improvement over last year. I was even thinking upset.
on August 29,2013 | 09:35PM
meat wrote:
Wake up from ur dream yet? This has NIGHTMARE all over it.
on August 29,2013 | 10:51PM
Kailuafolks wrote:
This story does not do justice to the great UH offense tonight. Thanks to the AM 1420 commentators for doing it right.
on August 29,2013 | 09:39PM
meat wrote:
Are u for real?
on August 29,2013 | 10:52PM
Kailuafolks wrote:
OOOPPPS.. Great defense !!!
on August 29,2013 | 09:40PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Frankly, I thought it was a credible effort. Look, all of the players on the USC team, including the ones who never played, were superior athletes. Better athletes than ours. Norm's boys did a hell of an opening day job against a tough national team.
on August 29,2013 | 10:09PM
meat wrote:
USC is highly OVERRATED like last year.
on August 29,2013 | 10:55PM
CriticalReader wrote:
UH was better than last year. USC is not that good a team (mostly good players, but terrible coach.- unless he was using the game to evaluate his players. No, terrible coach. How many illegal substitutions?). Even when UH was IN the game. It seemed pretty boring, because they were only IN due to the poor play of USC. Attendance will suffer this year, badly.
on August 29,2013 | 10:13PM
ISCREAM wrote:
Critical...USC is top 25...
on August 29,2013 | 10:45PM
jussayin wrote:
Not sure if the UH defense played very well for the most part, or if the USC offense is pretty bad. I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the UH defense. Having said this, I wouldn't be surprised to see USC lose 4 or so games this year. The UH offense sucks. O line is poor. QB takes too long. Chow isn't innovative in using the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of his players. Same story as last year. Hopefully things will improve on offense.
on August 29,2013 | 10:30PM
Rok888 wrote:
Hawaii covered the spread...won alot of $$..that's the only thing that matters...
on August 29,2013 | 10:51PM
808warriorfan wrote:
on August 29,2013 | 11:19PM
blackmurano wrote:
USC Trojans defensive line, front four or seven was rated Number one this year in the PAC-12 conference. So you see our "not tested" Warrior offensive line was up against. Sure Taylor Graham was sacked six more times. Some say he held the ball too long (that's good news for our OL, who held these Top Trojans DLs), but Graham started off bad. This was the night our Warriors could have upset the USC Trojans. This was not the best Trojan team ever to come to Aloha stadium. If our Offensive unit played like the Defensive unit tonight, we had a chance of an upset. In the fourth quarter, Taylor Graham started to click. So will see some improvement next week, but unfortunately our Warriors are on the road against the Oregon State Beavers. Our Warriors of the past never did beat the beavers on their home turf. Almost all the road games were close to a blow-out. In other words, if our Defensive unit don't play as tough as they did tonight against Oregon State next week, it'll be the first blowout of 2013 for our Warriors. But I can say with confidence, this year's Warrior football team will not seat in the MWC cellter as some football analysis predicted.
on August 29,2013 | 11:34PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Nice defensive effort, pathetic playcalling from a pathetic head coach.
on August 30,2013 | 12:45AM
tsushimama wrote:
Defense was outstanding! Too bad the offense left them out there so long. Special teams did pretty well. Offense was both predictable and poor. Lack of protection, decisions to continually throw into double coverage, throws no where near receivers, and those that were accurate sometimes dropped. It may be Chow Time, but certainly not Chow Fun time (except for the defense who played with strength and heart!)
on August 30,2013 | 01:26AM
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