Saturday, September 03, 2005

UH & USC Football at Aloha Stadium

Today the #1 ranked college football team in the nation began their season with a game against the completely unranked University of Hawaii here in paradise.

The 8,000 or so USC fans who came across the ocean for the game seemed, for the most part, fairly meek and mild, as far as football fans go.

One exception sat three rows behind us. Big, boistrous and drinking plenty beer, he cheered for USC and kept spilling his brew on the UH fans sitting around him. Twice the police and security people were called to talk to him. After the second visit he seemed to calm down a bit. Most USC alumni seem to drive Mercedes, Volvos, Audis and BMWs. This particular guy looked as though he had been driving a tractor somewhere very far from a farm.

The real entertainment was on the field, of course. A very young and inexperienced Hawaii team was vastly overpowered by one of the really great football machines in recent history.

Before the game, UH Head Coach June Jones was quoted as saying that, "I hope they don't bring that horse with them, the one that runs around the stadium whenever they score. He'd be exhausted before the game ends."

An Assistant Coach added that, "We might have to add a third digit to the scoreboard to tally up all the scoring that USC might do."

They were joking of course....sort of. As it turned out, USC did not score in triple digits, but it did reach a very impressive 63 to UH's 17.

USC outplayed UH in every category. The UH defensive backfield appeared particulary vulnerable this afternoon. Fumbled balls and dropped passes and one really deadly interception (for a touchdown) on their first drive of the game, killed any hopes that Hawaii might have had to play even with the "big boys."

The bright spot for Hawaii was in their offense. Jones still has not chosen a new quarterback to start in place of Timmy Chang, who graduated last year after breaking the NCAA passing record.

Instead, two, perhaps three or more quarterbacks were rotated throughout the game. The two who played the most both seemed quick, athletic and accurate in their passing. They ran well, evaded the rush relatively well and got up when they were knocked down....which was not as often as I had predicted.

I think that this season will be a time for young players to mature into good...perhaps even great players. But the fruit of their labors will not likely be seen until next year. Before today's game I predicted a 3-win season for the Warriors. After seeing them play today, I will not be surprised if they wound up winning as many as 4!

Go 'Bows!