Dave Reardon: Except for the result, Hawaii AD Angelos pleased with home opener

Sep. 3—It is said college football teams improve the most between their first and second games. If that is true, what are we to make of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors ?

It is said college football teams improve the most between their first and second games.

If that is true, what are we to make of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors ?

Losses to Vanderbilt and Stanford to start the season were expected. Then, after UH returned from Nashville with just a one-score defeat, hopes were high for Friday's home opener.

But the Warriors seemed to regress in some key areas. The advantage of having played a game was negated by a short week of preparation, the Cardinal seeing that game, and UH possessing little data on what Stanford's new coaching staff might do.

For example, Ben Yurosek was a known threat as one of the best tight ends in the nation ; but what would coach Troy Taylor do to maximize that talent ? And which among several starting quarterback candidates would throw him the ball ?

Yurosek was relatively quiet early in the game but finished with nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown in Stanford's 37-24 win.

The quarterback, sophomore Ashton Daniels, didn't play like it was his first start. He was spectacular at times, and efficient throughout.

As he did in the Vanderbilt game, Hawaii QB Brayden Schager looked great at times, completing 30 of 53 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Several of those incompletions were drops, and several were balls intentionally thrown away.

The throw-aways and the six sacks indicate Stanford's defense is great, or Schager and his receivers are still learning the finer points of the run-and-shoot offense.

The Cardinal deserve some credit, but it's largely the latter.

The more they play together, the more confident Schager and the receivers will be with the mid-play route adjustments that can make the run-and-shoot so hard to stop.

The Cardinal win wasn't the biggest Stanford sports story Friday. If anyone with the football travel party was distracted by word the school is moving to the ACC, they didn't perform like it.

Stanford and Cal bolting leaves just Oregon State and Washington State in what used to be the Pac-12. Conventional wisdom, if there is such a thing in conference realigment, says the Beavers and Cougars will end up in the Mountain West.

But who knows ? Maybe it won't happen, because it makes too much sense.

UH athletic director Craig Angelos said he doesn't think adding Oregon State and Washington State would negatively affect Hawaii's standing since 2012 as a football-only member of the Mountain West.

"I think we're a proud member of the Mountain West and they're excited to have us in there, " Angelos said. "I think we're in a good position, and our conference came out very strong after the dust settled. We'll have to see what Oregon State and Washington State will do, but I think we're in a good spot."

Angelos said he was generally pleased with how things went with UH's first home game since the Ching Complex stands were renovated to accommodate 15, 000 fans (and his first home football game as UH AD ).

"The Maui tribute, I thought that went very well, " Angelos said. "Other than not winning the game, I thought it all went well."

UH announced 13, 739 tickets issued and 12, 547 in actual attendance. But those numbers might be adjusted after a recount ; Angelos said he decided to speed up entry for students by showing their IDs instead of having them scanned, which takes more time. This may or may not have resulted in a lower count than the actual attendance.

Regardless, the eyeball test of empty seats showed it was clearly the largest gathering for a single sports event at UH (the Stan Sheriff Center has had sellouts of 10, 300 ). There were some lines, and some long walks from and to parking, but that was expected.

The team and the athletic department have a full week to prepare for the next opponent and home game, Albany on Saturday. The Great Danes (1-1 ) are an FCS team that beat Fordham 34-13 on Aug. 26, and lost 21-17 at Marshall on Saturday.