For the Hawaii football team, the sting of Friday's 37-24 loss to Stanford was eased with the revelation that cornerback /returner Cam Stone did not suffer a significant injury.
Stone appeared to sustain a leg injury during a kickoff return with 5 :22 to play. Paramedics were summoned and then waved away. On Saturday, Stone posted on X (formerly known as Twitter ) that his knee was "hyper extended, nothing crazy." Stone is a UH co-captain who was named to the Mountain West's preseason all-league team.
At most, Stone would be iffy for Saturday's game against Albany. A quick and full recovery is expected.
JoJo Forest, who transferred from Oregon State last year, and Caleb Brown, who played at Butler Community College in 2022, are Stone's immediate understudies at cornerback. Running back Tylan Hines and wideout Chuuky Hines are options on kickoff returns.
The UH coaches also are awaiting test results on running back Landon Sims, who caught two passes for 20 yards against Stanford.
Tylan Hines is the starting running back, and converted guard Solo Vaipulu is used as a big back, fullback or H-back in specific packages. Running back Nasjzae "Mojo " Bryant-Lelei, who suffered a leg injury in training camp, might return to the rotation this week. Jordan Johnson, who resolved an eligibility issue, also should be available against the Great Danes.
Safety Meki Pei and middle linebacker Isaiah Tufaga were ejected because of targeting penalties. Because Tufaga's infraction was in the second half, he will miss the first two quarters against Albany. Noah Kema, who had five tackles and a breakup, is the leading candidate to open at the mike position.
Coach Timmy Chang conceded the Rainbow Warriors did not quickly adjust to Stanford's new play-callers on offense (head coach Troy Taylor ) and defense (Bobby April, who coached Wisconsin's outside linebackers the previous five years ). Because it was Stanford's season opener, there was no game footage for UH to review. In contrast, the Warriors lost to Vanderbilt 35-28 a week earlier.
"Their offense was tough to deal with, " Chang said of the Cardinal. "New offense, new personnel, trying to get the personnel groups down, see what they were going to do out of it."
The Warriors had multiple self-inflicted problems, including three holding penalties, six drops, six sacks allowed, and two third-down defensive penalties on the same drive.
"You can't do those things against good teams, " Chang said.
Two freshmen played well. Slotback Pofele Ashlock secured eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Ashlock missed his senior year at Trinity High in Texas because of a knee injury. He redshirted as a UH freshman in 2022. He opened this season with consecutive games of 100-plus receiving yards.
Nickelback Elijah Palmer, one of three freshmen from Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High, made seven tackles—all solo stops—in his first UH start.
"It's an accomplishment and I have gratitude, " Palmer said. "At the same time, it's still business. At the end of the day, I need to handle what I need to handle. If not, (the starting job ) is gone."