Analyzing UH’s Football Schedule
Friday - April 28, 2010
Last week the University of Hawaii 2010 football schedule was released, and it will present a significant challenge for this year’s Warriors. The non-conference opener is with USC on Sept. 2, a Thursday nighter. The Trojans will debut their new head coach Lane Kiffin. On talent alone, expect USC to be a preseason top 5 team.
You think Kiffin won’t pull out all the stops in his nationally televised opener? You know he’d score 100 points if he could, so Hawaii best bring its A game to Aloha Stadium.
Then the Warriors embark on a two-game road trip, first to New York to tackle Army on Sept. 11. Head coach Rich Ellerson is a former UH defensive coordinator who runs the triple option. Hawaii played its best defensive game last year against Navy’s triple option, and Ellerson will have his West Pointers sky high for the Warriors.
UH will stay on the road and practice in Las Vegas before heading to Boulder to play the University of Colorado Sept. 18. Former Boise State head coach Dan Hawkins is on the hot seat with the Buffaloes, and anything less than a significant bowl game and his tenure will likely come to an end. CU needs this game.
Hawaii then returns home to what may be the softest two-game stretch of the year. FCS opponent Charleston Southern is in on Sept 25, followed by Louisiana Tech Oct 2 for Hawaii’s conference opener. The Warriors should overmatch Charleston Southern on talent and numbers, and La Tech always struggles on the long trip across the water. The Bulldogs also feature new coach Sonny Dykes, who replaces Derek Dooley, who is now at Tennessee replacing Lane Kiffin of USC. Small world, no?
Then comes a brutal stretch, one that will dictate whether UH can regain bowl eligibility. On Oct 9, Hawaii visits Pat Hill and Fresno State. The Warriors have had some success in Fresno, which is why the game is typically a near sellout and Coach Hill begins to resemble the bulldog mascot. On Oct. 16, UH is home against Nevada, who return dual threat QB Colin Kaepernick, and are still having nightmares about the last time they were at Aloha Stadium, when SMU humiliated them on national TV in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
Oct. 23 means back on the road against Utah State, a much-improved team under coach Gary Anderson. Homecoming is Oct. 30 at Aloha Stadium against Idaho. Remember when playing the Vandals meant you could practically pick the final score? Not anymore. The Vandals were a fabulous turnaround team last year and had the most exciting finish of any bowl game.
Then, on Nov. 6 in the culmination of the brutality, UH goes on the road to Boise State. The Broncos have almost everybody back from an undefeated season and have a real chance to (gulp) run the table again.
If the Warriors survive this stretch, the final piece gets easier. First a bye, then Nov. 20 brings San Jose State and a first-year head coach to Honolulu. Truthfully, no one expects a whole lot from the Spartans this year.
Nov. 27 represents the final road game in Las Cruces against New Mexico State, and that has generally proved manageable.
The regular season ends Dec. 4 at home with UNLV and yet another first-year head coach.
The schedule is difficult, but not impossible, and UH will have to be ready right from the jump. If they are, it could mean a play date on Christmas Eve.
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