Chow Time: UH Coach Recaps BYU, Previews SDSU
By Rodney S. Yap
University of Hawai’i Warrior football head coach Norm Chow recapped the team’s loss at Brigham Young and previewed this Saturday’s Mountain West contest at San Diego State at his weekly press conference earlier this week.
Opening Statement . . .
“Obviously we are very disappointed in what went on over the weekend. But we are determined to get back on track. We talked with the young men this morning. We lifted at 6:30. They are embarrassed, we’re all embarrassed. But there’s only one thing we can do and that’s to come back and fight, which I intend us to do. We got beat by a very good football team. We never expected the score to be that way, but it was. It is what it is so we just have to come back fighting. I don’t know what else to do. Our players feel pretty good about putting it in the past, starting from this morning. We are through pouting and we gotta get going.”
On UH’s upcoming opponent San Diego State . . .
“We play another very good football team, by the way. You can watch the tapes, they have outstanding speed. They have a very difficult defense with a lot of schemes we have to deal with. But we’re gonna go.”
On the injuries sustained in last week’s game at BYU . . .
“(Geordon) Hanohano is probably out for a couple weeks. He saw the neurosurgeon at 10 this morning. Siasau (Matagiese), Geordon, we have some other nagging injuries but I think everyone else will be back. Joey (Iosefa) might have a problem getting back. That foot is really causing him some problems. There’s something going on in there besides just the foot. He might have come back a bit too early, so we aren’t too sure about Joey. Marcus Malepeai will probably miss a couple weeks because of his knee. Thank goodness we got Jordan (Pu’u) Robinson back. He played awfully well for his limited amount of reps. One day he was a service team tight end, the next time he’s playing snaps at defensive tackle and doing a very nice job for us.”
“(Dave) Lefotu should be okay with a harness. He has an elbow strain with some thin muscles here. Kapua Sai, (Sean) Shigematsu and Blake Muir all have very similar injuries to the labrum or muscles in their shoulders. It’s a very common problem that offensive linemen have. It’s called a slap tear and you have to play through that. You have to play through some pain and most offensive linemen go through that because all the extensions they do. But three of them will hopefully be ready; you can’t hurt it any worse. We’re just gonna have to play through some pain. I tried to put a travel list together of 64 guys this morning which is what we’re allowed to take to a conference game. I’m not so sure we can find 64 healthy bodies but no excuses, none what so ever.”
On the back-up quarterback situation . . .
“(Cayman Shutter) brings some experience, some maturity. He hadn’t played for a while but he stayed up with it. He’s very studious, he studies a lot. We need David (Graves) outside. We are hurting out there, as well. With Daris Bright going down and Scott Harding all chipped up. We need David to spend some time outside.”
On personnel changes for upcoming game against San Diego State . . .
“Huge. We talked about that this morning. You’re so limited with the amount of practices getting ready for each game. Basically it’s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And again this flight really took the wind out of our sails. I’m not used to the way Hawai’i has traveled. So we need to make decisions now. We are gonna practice a little bit more this afternoon than we normally do. Not hard, but just getting guys in there. I’m very candid, I don’t believe in hiding. We are probably gonna bring (Benetton) Fonua out of a redshirt year. We are gonna look at him. You know we are not making decisions on Monday, we’re just gonna look at different things. We’re moving Mike Milovale to tackle in case Sean (Shigematsu) can’t go. These are just moves that we have to make. But it’s not definite moves, it’s just moves that we’re gonna try to see if they work or not.”
On possible tweaks in systematic schemes due to injuries . . .
“I think so. I think any good coach has to figure out what we’re capable of doing. Find out what we’re good at and try to do that. I’ve always felt like we could run the football but the last couple games we’ve fallen so far behind that you just have to be one dimensional. And when you get that way people can really wait back and come after us. We have to be more balanced; we have to keep the defense off the field. We had seven three and outs the other night; you can’t do that. But you’re behind so say you’re tossing it around and the pass rush is getting to you. It’s just one problem compounds another one.”
On UH’s defensive struggles . . .
“I don’t think it’s scheme…I don’t know if you saw the tapes but we come out and blitz the corner right into the play and we missed the tackle. I’m not blaming anybody, believe me, I don’t do that. I don’t think there’s a problem with schemes what so ever. I don’t know if there’s an offensive problem but I know defensively when you play tough bump and run coverage like we do; that’s a tough defense to play against because it allows nine guys to try and stick in the box and make some plays. So no, we’ll tweak some things but I believe in our schemes, I really do.”
On sticking with QB Sean Schroeder . . .
“I’ve always talked and subscribed that we’re a one quarterback team. You can’t play quarterback and look over your shoulder. It’s like you can’t play aggressive man-to-man bump coverage and look over your shoulder because things are gonna happen. Now, Sean didn’t play as well as he could have. But he was under siege for heaven sakes. We need to show up in a lot of other areas. That’s something I just believe in. I’ve been through some spring ball with a couple of different quarterbacks. I’m a firm believer… unless things go totally wrong, which they haven’t. Heck, we still got a long way to go.”
On defensive schemes . . .
“We’ve talked about that. We’ll figure out how we are with Siasau and Geordon. When you play an odd front you need more linebackers, obviously. And again, we have to find out where the strength of our team lies. We’d lie to have the ability to do both. Most good teams do that. BYU was jumping in on a 3-4 into an even front and all that kinda stuff. We want to have that ability to do that as well. Whether we go to that full time or not, we’ll just have to see. We are very hopeful. I am very hopeful that Siasau will be back.”