comscore Warriors head into bye with last lopsided loss behind them | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Further Review | Sports

Warriors head into bye with last lopsided loss behind them

[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

BOISE, IDAHO » That bandwagon sure emptied out fast, a lot quicker than it took to fill.

Hawaii’s six-game winning streak is over, its conference championship dreams crushed in machine-like fashion by Boise State.

On the surface, many of the Warriors appeared unemotional after Saturday’s 42-7 loss to the Broncos. Maybe it’s because it was such a thorough and methodical dismantling. Maybe it’s because the players and coaches had plenty of time to deal with the defeat while the game was still going on — UH trailed 21-0 at halftime, but it felt like 210-0 after the Broncos took the third-quarter kickoff and scored on the first possession, and the rout was on.

Someone asked me a few minutes before the game if it had a Sugar Bowl feel to it. I think he meant if it had the same level of big-game vibe. It didn’t, because we were outdoors and there were not thousands of Hawaii fans on the scene, and it wasn’t a BCS bowl game.

But it didn’t take long once it started to sense a resemblance to the New Year’s Day Massacre in New Orleans. Even though the Warriors dodged two bullets in the first couple of minutes, it was apparent which team had arrived ready to win.

Boise State could have named the score, could’ve made it worse than the 69-3 pasting the Broncos put on the Warriors in 2004 — when UH went into the game lauding the possibility of Timmy Chang breaking the Division I career touchdowns record, and instead he got the one for interceptions.

Maybe this wasn’t the most embarrassing occurrence for Hawaii here. And it’s very likely the last, at least for a while, because the Broncos are headed for the Mountain West Conference.

The Warriors also were blasted 70-14 at Fresno State in 2004. But they bounced back to win their last four games, including the Hawaii Bowl. This team is poised to do the same thing, but finish with a better record. San Jose State, New Mexico State and UNLV are three of the worst teams in the FBS, and UH will enter the Hawaii Bowl at 10-3.

FORTUNATELY FOR the Warriors, they have a bye this week. What? It’s just San Jose State, you say, at home, no week off necessary.

Well, you might be surprised what can happen to a football team after a tough loss. Remember Virginia Tech and James Madison, after Boise State beat the Hokies?

Or what Pacific did to UH, the Saturday after BYU ended the Rainbows’ unbeaten run in 1981?

One of the good things about this year’s Warriors is they don’t get too high after wins, nor too low after losses. Still, the week off now is good. Key players like Kealoha Pilares and Jeramy Bryant can get healthy for the stretch run, everyone can regroup.

AS NOTED, UH has suffered more lopsided losses (at least on the scoreboard), and fairly recently. But this is one that, like the Sugar Bowl, could stick to the program like gum on a shoe when it comes to national perception. And that could hurt future possibilities — for example, there’s speculation that if TCU leaves the Mountain West, Hawaii could have a shot at being invited as a football-only member. "There’s" is more likely "there was" than "there is" now.

A 42-7 loss on national TV — regardless to whom — won’t make the MWC decision-makers think of Hawaii as a program anywhere near the prominence of TCU, which on the same day pounded Pac-10-bound Utah.

Finishing with 10 or more victories — nearly a lock — will be a great achievement for a Hawaii team that many had predicted would lose more than it won.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s happenings at Bronco Stadium could have more lasting impact on UH football’s national profile.

Reach Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon at dreardon@staradvertiser.com, his "Quick Reads" blog at staradvertiser.com and twitter.com/davereardon.

 

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up