Here’s most of what Hawaii football coach Norm Chow had to say to the assembled media at today’s gathering
Opening remarks: Frustration continues. If you’re a stat guy which I’m not you can see the numbers were all in our favor. … but the dad gum turnovers killed us. We got 5 on them, they got 5 back.
No panic involved. Not going to change quarterbacks. I have a quarterback and I intend to stay with this quarterback. (No matter) what anyone says.
Q: More happy with the defense or frustrated with the offense?
A: As an offensive coordinator I would be upset. But as a head coach I think our defense really bought in to what Tom them are teaching. Murrell Jackson, Brendan Daley played very well. We need to shore that up, we can’t be just one half. We’ve got to play the whole game. Certainly we have a challenge this week. Certainly in a different manner. They’re gonna throw it around pretty good. So we’re gonna have to see. But right now we’re still pleased with the effort. We just need to get better. We need to find some guys that will make some plays for us.
Q: You have seen some progression?
A: Obviously the second half was a pretty good deal. I think they were 1 for 6, we got them off the field. Three straight turnovers. And couldn’t capitalize. That hurt us. We should’ve. Again, maybe it’s some of the play calls. I’m cursing myself as well.
Q: Did the offense get tired?
A: That’s the problem with the no huddle. You worry about your own guys. I thought we tired them out a little bit. 93 plays is very unusual. Usually between 60 and 70. 75 you’re doing a nice job. We didn’t seem tired. It might have affected us but we kept rotating backs. We ran Will, we ran Joey, we ran Lister. We had to change at offensive guard twice. David sprained an ankle. And Chauncey sprained an ankle. So we did change some. We changed our receivers pretty regularly. I think our guys are in good shape. Our guys work hard. I love their effort.
Q: Joey, is he healthy?
A: He did give us a hundred yards. When you get on a plane, these poor kids, what bothers me the most is I see the hurt in their eyes and the limps they have getting on that airplane and you forget they’re just 19, 20 year old kids. Joey’s hurt a little bit. That’s part of the deal. The foot itself (is OK). Now it’s a little bit of a knee.
Q: The nature of things with football, the quarterback is questioned. Can you talk about that, standing behind Sean Schroeder?
A: People talk about the quarterback. My first question would be, well, the coverage. Tell me which play you writers decided he couldn’t play. If you tell me the coverage, tell me the receiver route then I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you what happened. He got hit 20 times. Twenty times after he threw the ball. I counted. I looked at the tape. Receivers didn’t always run right routes. Yeah, he made some bad decisions. But you can never blame the quarterback. It’s too easy. It’s too easy to give him a lot of credit. Right now he gives us the best opportunity. No one’s hurting more than Sean Schroeder. I hear some of the criticism, actually it pisses me off. Any other questions?
Q: Fresno. Derek Carr’s a slinger.
A: He’s a gunslinger. My son worked for the Houston Texans back when his brother was a quarterback and I went down there and saw this little kid running around. I reminded Derek about that. He was a little kid running around the practice field watching the older brother play. They have such good talent they’re not necessarily an over the top team. They’ll throw some intermediate balls and then break tackles. They’re so talented they make good plays and they present a real problem. The offensive coordinator and I were coaching together at Utah last year. Dave Schramm, a wonderful, wonderful fellow. Very good football coach. He loves to spread people out. Last year he liked to spread them out and I liked to pack them in so we combined them both. He’s a very good football coach and presents some real tough problems.
Q: This is an offense your defense matches up with, playing man to man?
A: That’s a good thought. If we can put heat on him. If you can’t put heat on the quarterback and give him time to throw … any good quarterback if you give him enough time. They have good concepts. Good schemes. We’ll have to mix it up. We can’t stay strictly in man coverage.
Q: How much does Jackson’s emergence help the secondary against this type of offense?
A: It’s huge. I think Murrell has the chance to be an outstanding player. And the really good thing is we’ve got him three more years. There’s some problems, especially the option against New Mexico. The safety has the quarterback and he has to come downhill Murrell wasn’t doing that, he’s doing that now. That outside run stopped after awhile.
Q. We saw some frustration after the pick six, what happened?
A: That one, Sean checked. We may have given away the check. Couple times checked we checked to throws. The slant guy, they jumped the slant. (Receiver’s) job if they jump the slant you become a defender. Even if you get pass interference. Our guy stopped. Flatout stopped. Continue on, cause a collision. Even if it’s a pass interference. The guy read it very nicely. Our kid stopped. He should not have done that. The check was done properly. Maybe it was a bad check, and that’s me, that’s coaching. It’s not all Sean and that’s what irritates me, the concerns about Sean. Sean gives us the best chance to win. And no one felt worse after that ballgame than Sean Schroeder.
Q: How good is it that this is the last two in a row road game?
A: Whoever set the schedule. … It’s tough. I really feel for these young people. I’m not used to it. I’m used to getting on a bus, get on a charter with a first-class seat. They’re crammed in the back, 6-5 guys crammed next to a grandma going to Disneyland with her grandkids, sitting like this (scrunched up) for five hours. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. You gotta give them credit, they hang in. They don’t complain. We get a good night’s rest in LA and get on another plane. The second plane’s OK, it’s a charter. But that first flight is hard and I feel for them. Not one guy complains. They literally sit like this (scrunched up) and play with those crazy machines. You all do the same. I do the same. I’m sitting right next to them.
Q: Same thing this week, but drive to Fresno Friday?
A: Decided to save some money and do some bonding. When I took the job we were promised a charter to Fresno but somehow that got lost in the shuffle. We did get the best charter bus available. Three to four hours. Four busses. Tried to stop halfway at Bakersfield for Inn-And-Out Burgers, but they won’t serve us. They’re too busy.