The Warriors arrived n town this morning after taking the 2 a.m. flight out of Las Vegas. The coaches will meet today, review videos of the loss to Colorado, and it’s back to business tomorrow morning in preparation for Saturday’s game against Charleston Southern.
In the grand scheme for the Warriors, the loss has little impact in their two-tier quest: 1) Win the WAC. 2) Qualify for the Hawaii Bowl. Their first WAC game is not until Oct. 2. And with 10 games remaining, with six being at home, the Warriors should have a good shot of finishing with a winning record, their only requirement for the Hawaii Bowl.
Then again, in the grand scheme, the loss does have a significant impact. With the secession of the big three — Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada — UH should be the WAC’s marquee team in 2011 or 2012.. As such, the Warriors need to take advantage of sputtering BCS opponents, such as Colorado. Sure, everybody knows the Warriors were dominant, at least for a half. But the NCAA still only recognizes final scores. Or, as coach Greg McMackin said: “Should’ve beens, could’ve beens …”
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In today’s Denver Post, columnist Woody Paige wrote: “As (quarterback Tyler) Hansen said, ‘When the oxygen tanks were brought on the field’ (for the Hawaii players — and 35 players on the traveling squad grew up in Hawaii), “we knew they were gassed.”
So, yes, it appears the thin air of high altitude was breathtaking for the Warriors. After all, this was the team that appeared to be in better second-half condition than USC in the opener two weeks ago. And, maybe, it was asking a lot for a team to spend 12 consecutive days on the road. But remember this: UH scheduled these non-conference games. There can be no arguments about conditions when home-and-home series are scheduled against high-altitude schools.
Two-game road trips and tough venues (BYU?) will be part of the landscape if the Warriors choose to go independent in football.
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No significant injuries were reported. What’s more, the Warriors should receive medical clearance for offensive linemen Matagisila Lefiiti and Brett Leonard and linebacker Aulola Tonga.