Chow Tells Warriors, ‘Adversity Reveals Character’

September 25, 2012, 11:37 AM HST · Updated September 25, 11:38 AM
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Hawaii’s defense is an area that needs improvement. Photo by UH Athletics.

By Rodney S. Yap

University of Hawai’i Warrior football head coach Norm Chow conducted his weekly press conference Monday, recapping last week’s Mountain West opener against Nevada and previewing this week’s non-conference road game at Brigham Young.

Opening Statement …

“Needless to say, we are very disappointed. We were in it 20-17 and we knew we were gonna have to match it if we weren’t playing well defensively, then the wheels came off. We looked at the tape and there were a lot of good things that we can grow from. I think we played a very good football team. I think it’s a team that will challenge for the Mountain West championship. We don’t make excuses, so we came back yesterday and told our kids we’re gonna learn from it, we’re gonna grow and we’re gonna play another one. It’s coming up very quickly, we leave town in two days so we had to practice yesterday, which we don’t like to do. We got another one today too, which is normally a day where we get our legs back and that kind of thing. No time to wait, we have to get ready to go for the next one.”

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On Nevada’s potent offense …

“The team that makes the least mistakes is gonna win. NFL football is the same way. It’s an offense that is very difficult to defend, especially when the quarterback can run. You have to play assignment football and when one guy misses, you’re in trouble. Maybe we paid a little too much attention to the quarterback, but he was an awfully good runner, as well. Not having Moses (Samia) in there hurt us a lot because we can’t replace Moses with a Moses 2 like other teams can. But there are no excuses, it is a nice offense. It’s something that they perfected. I’m very familiar with it because I spent time with Chris (Ault) in my previous job trying to learn about it. And it didn’t all happen at once. It’s been nine or 10 years in the making and we still should have been able to stop them more than we did.”

On the team’s attitude dealing with the tough loss …

It’s hard. We kept encouraging them to play which I think they did. But it’s not easy, this is a tough business. The problem is business goes this way or this way, there’s no in between. And our guys were hurting pretty good. Our guys were hurting and we couldn’t stop them but we kept encouraging them and they kept playing hard. I can tell myself that we are going to have our day, our day will come but it wasn’t that night.

On the team’s short week and the first of back-to-back road games …

“We knew what we were getting into, I guess. The Mountain West is a whole different deal from what’s happening before. It’s a rough schedule, I can say that this next team coming up (BYU) is a sturdy bunch now. They are tough, hard nosed guys. We all know what BYU brings to the table. Then we have to fly back to San Diego State. So it is what it is, I hate to use coach-talk but it’s the truth, we’ll just have to play them. The thing that’s important to me, and I told our players, is that it’s going to be about us. It’s always about us and how we’re gonna react to this type of adversity and how we’re gonna react to the tough schedule that we have ahead of us. We’ll have to wait and see. I feel confident that our guys will do that, but do we have enough fire power?  We’ll just have to wait and see.”

On the team’s preparation for the upcoming games …

“We just have to get to work. I was telling the guys that in the NFL when we lose a game on Sunday, on Monday at about 3:00 in the afternoon the head coach would blow a blowhorn and it went through the whole office building. And what it was telling us was to quit pouting and to move on to the next one. So we did that yesterday. We (the team) met and since I’m the oldest guy there, I’m offically declaring Reno (UNR) over with. They got us, now we have to get ready for BYU. We spent yesterday afternoon getting ready for BYU, last night as coaches. We just have to do it, there’s no easy way. It hurts, this is a tough business. And it hurts our players, I could see the hurt in their eyes when it was all over. We just come back, it’s all we can do. I tell them one of my favorite sayings in all of football is that “adversity reveals character.” And we are gonna find out the character of our kids real soon.”

On BYU’s defense …

“They do a lot of different things. They play very good defense. They held Boise State scoreless. Boise only scored on a defensive touchdown. Utah got 24 on them but got lucky on a couple shots, going over the quarterbacks head and that kind of thing. Their nothing fancy. They play an even front. They bounce around pretty good and play a lot of zone coverage. But they do it very well. They know the type of athletes that they have and they make very good use of them.

On running back Joey Iosefa’s injury status …

We could have had Joey the other night, probably at about 80%. But we just felt like it’s such a long haul and Will (Gregory) was running the ball well. Obviously we had to get out of our rhythm because of what was going on with the game. I just saw this morning that Will is averaging 6.3 yards per carry. So we need to feed him the ball. We need to close that game down and get ourselves in the fourth quarter, which we did not do the other night.”

On his return to BYU and his relationship with former BYU coach LaVell Edwards …

“Well a lot has gone on since then. This is the fourth team I’m going back with so really that part doesn’t mean much. LaVell’s a guy who really made his mark in Provo. I was fortunate to be with him for a lot of years. Not only LaVell, he had some other coaches that were terrific that I got a chance to learn from. LaVell gave me a chance. I was a grad assistant when he offered me a full-time job. My children were raised there and all that kind of stuff. But that part is over with, I know very few people there. I was from a different era if you will. There was a different AD (athletic director), different president, the whole bit. It’s just a game that we have to get back on track. It’s a very hostile environment, you guys have been there. It’s a beautiful place to play, loud. We are gonna have to work on some silent counts and all that kind of thing. It’s about them (our players), it’s nothing to do with me.”

On the addition of two more team captains …

“We just felt like we needed a better group effort, as far as the entire team. Miah (Ostrowski) is not a vocal guy by his personality but Sean (Schroeder) is and Mike (Edwards) is. So we just felt like it would help us come even closer together than we already are.”

On the team’s dropped passes against Nevada …

“Well, we gotta just keep working. They’re not out there trying to drop the pass, that’s what makes it tough. Miah (Ostrowski) had a tough day. He turns once on a first down and falls . . . he was just having a tough time. You can’t keep dwelling on it, I mean, just move on and keep practicing. I told him he needs to be on that Jug machine, 100 balls after practice every day. We just need to get better. But you can’t fault the young guys, they feel as bad as anybody.”

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