GREENBELT, Md. » For the University of Hawaii football team, the rallying cry is: Wait ’til next week.
Winless in nine games this season, the Rainbow Warriors have watched nearly all of their 2013 on-field goals go unfulfilled. When a reporter suggested the Warriors might want to focus on next season and use more developing players against San Diego State this Saturday, coach Norm Chow defiantly disagreed, insisting he will play the best available players.
"We owe it to these kids, we owe it to the seniors, we owe it to the fans, to do the best we can now and not worry about next year," Chow said. "We’re trying to win now."
» Next: Hawaii vs. San Diego State, 5:30 p.m., Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
» TV: CBS Sports Network
» Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM
That means waiting, for now, to reopen the quarterback competition.
Taylor Graham and Jeremy Higgins will be seniors in 2014, and Ikaika Woolsey will be a third-year sophomore. Punahou quarterback Larry "Tui" Tuileta has made an oral pledge to play football and volleyball for the Warriors next academic year.
Chow reiterated that Sean Schroeder, a sixth-year senior, is the No. 1 quarterback.
"At least for this go-around," Chow said.
In a 42-28 loss to Navy this past weekend, Schroeder had the most efficient performance of his 21-game UH career, completing 29 of 33 passes. His 88-percent accuracy is a school record based on a minimum 30 attempts. Colt Brennan was 35 of 40 (85 percent) against Northern Colorado in 2007.
The Warriors, meanwhile, will learn today the severity of nose tackle Moses Samia’s high-ankle sprain. He suffered the injury when he was cut-blocked in the third quarter of the Navy game. Navy issued an apology for the injury and will address the matter.
The Warriors already were understaffed because of defensive tackle Saui Matagiese’s MCL injury suffered against Utah State on Nov. 2. Matagiese’s knee will not require surgery, and there is a possibility he will be available for the San Diego State game.
The Warriors’ interior defensive line was depleted because of injuries last year. The Warriors can absorb more health-related losses since going to mostly a three-man front this season. Marcus Malepeai, Kennedy Tulimasealii and Calen Friel can play nose tackle or defensive tackle if Samia and Matagiese are not available.
The Warriors were scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday night from a 10-day, five-city trip in which they went 0-2. Chow said the Warriors were fresh for the Navy game, reinforcing the decision to remain on the mainland after the Utah State game.
The Warriors also used the trip to recruit, heading to Utah, New Orleans and the East Coast. The wish list includes cornerbacks, defensive ends and offensive linemen.
Read Stephen Tsai’s Warrior Beat at staradvertiser.com/warriorbeat