Wideout Royce Pollard misses the whole second half with an injury and will have an MRI today
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 6, 2011
The disappointment cut deep for Royce Pollard.
The frustration was thick in the Hawaii locker room after a 21-point lead evaporated in the second half of a stunning 35-31 loss to Utah State on Saturday.
Being relegated to watching most of the game due to injuries to his left ankle and knee compounded the angst for the Warriors' leading receiver.
"It was really hard for me," Pollard said. "I just really let them down.
"I'm disappointed in myself because I'm playing for them," he said, nodding toward his teammates, "and not being out there with them and celebrating with them is frustrating."
Pollard suffered the injury late in the first quarter when his left foot rolled under him while he was going for a pass in the end zone. He walked off the field on his own, but spent the second half on the sideline on crutches as Utah State made its comeback.
"It was definitely hard for me to sit down and watch, and with Utah State playing hard like they did," said Pollard, who is scheduled to have an MRI on his knee today. "They were out there playing tough and hard-nosed football and I just wanted to be out there to back my guys up."
Pollard's injury necessitated the first of a series of adjustments in the UH receiver corps.
Justin Clapp started at slotback and caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter. But he moved to right wideout in Pollard's place and later made an appearance at left wideout in the second quarter.
"I know the offense. I just tried to help the team the best I could, and at that point in time it was me moving outside. It's not a problem for me," Clapp said.
But Clapp was also sidelined in the second quarter when he suffered a fractured rib on the last of his five receptions, triggering another series of shifts.
Billy Ray Stutzmann, UH's starting left slotback, returned to wideout for the first time this season in the third quarter. Slotback Corey Paclebar and Charles Clay also saw their most extensive playing time of the season.
Miah Ostrowski, who battled through injuries of his own early this season, ended up as UH's most productive receiver with eight catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. But the Warriors struggled to get into a groove in the second half.
"Everyone who plays knows the offense and knows what to do," Stutzmann said. "But you start switching guys in and out it's tough to get in rhythm."
UH managed just one first down in the fourth quarter, and some missed opportunities earlier in the game hurt as well. UH came up short on fourth down at the Utah State 3 in the first quarter and got a field goal out of two drives deep in Utah State territory in the third quarter.
"We had chances in the red zone to put more points up, but just didn't do it," offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said.