Perhaps schedule-makers will remember the impact of opening with five non-conference games in a row when planning future schedules.
In days of yore, the Warriors would have a so-called marquee opponent at the end of the season. With league title games, including the MWC’s, occupying early December weekends, UH is forced to fill its non-conference schedule on the front side. That is why the Warriors are playing their third Pac-12 opponent in four weeks, and traveling to Houston for a game against Rice in two weeks.
For the Warriors, it can be costly strategically. With the Warriors averaging 89 plays per game, there’s a lot of offensive information on video for MWC opponents.
The Warriors also have been losing a lot of key players in games that have no bearing on the league race. Here’s a partial list of players who have missed significant playing time: Running backs Joey Iosefa and Dominique Small; center Kody Afusia; tight end Jordan Pu‘u-Robinson; defensive lineman Marcus Malepeai; linebackers Jerrol Garcia-Williams and Tevita Lataimua; nickel-corner Nick Nelson, and safety Trayvon Henderson.