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Thursday, September 18, 2014         

FURTHER REVIEW


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Give Schroeder a break from the constant beatings

By Dave Reardon

POSTED:



It's time. It's actually past time. Some would say way overdue.

But even those of us who know it is important to give Norm Chow plenty of latitude to build a program his way from the bottom up see it clearly.

Sean Schroeder needs a break. We need a break from Sean Schroeder.

Not necessarily an entire game. It doesn't technically have to be a "benching."

Schroeder has taken every meaningful snap at quarterback this season for a University of Hawaii football team that is dangerously close to becoming meaningless to many of its fans if it doesn't stop losing games it can win.

Unfortunately, it's starting to look like those opportunities are running out for this season. These past three games were a soft stretch, and Hawaii gave them all away. They were games UH, even in this transition phase, could have won.

Make that "should have won" for the 42-27 loss at Colorado State on Saturday. The Warriors had the Rams on the ropes in the third quarter.

A suddenly ballhawking UH defense and sloppy CSU offense conspired to give Hawaii the ball in Rams territory FOUR times in the third. But the Warriors managed only two field goals, 11/2 points per golden opportunity. Chow was right when he said that cost his team the game.

Even then, Hawaii did still have a chance. But Schroeder got picked off twice for CSU touchdowns in the late going, and that's that.

Chow took himself to task for some of his play-calling, and questioned Schroeder's decision-making.

And Schroeder, as a quarterback and captain should do, manned up and accepted accountability once again.

But it's a tiresome refrain for the Hawaii fans. As my friend Nelson Kotaka says, "I bleed green, but I hope I have enough blood to last the season!"

The Warriors open as 32-point underdogs at Fresno State, and then host nationally ranked Boise State. That means Hawaii is probably on its way to its longest losing streak since the winless 1998 season.

It's obvious that 19-for-46 with three interceptions against a 1-6 team is not good. And failing to get into the end zone four times in a row on a short field is also a signal for a change, at least situationally.

Could it hurt to mix it up and give Cayman Shutter, Jeremy Higgins and/or David Graves some playing time and experience in the coming weeks? Some direct snaps to Joey Iosefa?

I understand the sentiment against using more than one quarterback. But it can work; Notre Dame is 8-0 with two quarterbacks playing major roles.

Hawaii beat Alabama in 2003 (yes, a lousy Alabama team, but Alabama nonetheless). The UH quarterback? Jason Whieldon, off the bench for a struggling Timmy Chang, who was being booed mercilessly at Aloha Stadium.

A month later, Chang was back in the saddle and MVP in the triple-overtime Hawaii Bowl win against Houston. He was still coach June Jones' guy.

I admire Sean Schroeder for his toughness in a tough situation. Of course it isn't all on him, but a lot of it is.

Considering all the whacks he has taken, it's to his credit he's made it this far without getting injured.

Considering the six losses and his role in them, it's time for a break.

Reach Dave Reardon at dreardon@staradvertiser.com or 529-4783.






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