It’s the day after, here is what we learned:
> Remember the final fight scene in “Rocky III” when Rocky, using the rope-a-dope technique, goaded Clubber Lang to keep swinging away? Last night, running back Joey Iosefa was Rocky. He absorbed — and delivered — shots on each of his 30 carries. After the game, Iosefa dismissed the effects of his workload. “I wasn’t tired,” he said, insisting it was Washington’s defenders who were “gassed” trying to keep pace on a muggy night. There are those who wonder whether Iosefa should be on football’s version of a pitch count. But if anybody can do 30 carries a game, it’s probably Iosefa.
> Whatever Sunday Morning Quarterbacks want to say about Washington’s talent level, the Huskies had bigger linemen than UH’s counterparts. Yet, for most of the game, UH dominated the trenches. “Body weight doesn’t mean as much as heart and as much as effort,” defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said.
> Defensive lineman Marcus Malepeai had a terrific game. He always had under-rated quickness; last night, he showed brute strength.
> The past couple years, the blitzing, frenetic style of defense in practice did not always transfer from the practice field to Aloha Stadium. For one night, at least, Clune had the Warriors attacking nearly every play. It actually was the safest coverage — the four-deep zone — that hurt them. The defense didn’t create a turnover, but it shut out the Huskies in the second half.
> There is now proof Ikaika Woolsey was the right choice to lead the offense. Woolsey stayed in the pocket to go through his progressions and ran when needed.
> The Warriors don’t have any burners at receivers — certainly nobody like Washington’s John Ross and his 4.29 speed — but, as the season progresses, they’ll find ways to break routes to help Woolsey.
> Credit o-line coach Chris Naeole for the decision to go with Benden Urban when center Kody Afusia left with what was announced as a hand injury. Moving Ben Clarke from left tackle to the position he played for two UH seasons would have been most people’s initial thought. But it would have involved multiples moves. It also would have required Clarke to un-tape his hands with little prep time. Besides, Clarke was playing well as an edge blocker. Naeole trusted Urban, who had rejoined the team a week earlier and had limited practice time. Urban’s smart, had surprising stamina and, except for a snapper infraction, played a solid game against one of the nation’s top nose tackles.
> This past week, UH did a good job of rallying fans to attend the game. There was a Facebook Q&A with Iosefa on Thursday; coaches’ appearances all week, and a rally featuring several players on Friday. And fans did turn out to buy tickets … only to wait in long, long lines at the stadium box office, even after the game started. That’s unacceptable, and many of those fans aren’t coming back. It was like the USC opener several years ago when poor traffic direction jammed the roads in the Salt Lake area. That problem was fixed immediately, but many of those fans stuck in the traffic never forgot — and never returned.