Highlights of Hawaii football coach Norm Chow’s Q and A with media covering the team at the Monday, Nov. 12 press conference following 49-14 loss to Boise State and leading into Friday’s game at Air Force.
Q: Who’s your starting quarterback?
A: Jeremy and Sean (will) take an equal amount of reps this week and we will make a determination. Jeremy certainly deserves a chance but Sean doesn’t deserve all the criticism.
Q: Do you foresee a situation where you play them both extensively?
A: I don’t know if extensively, there’s only so many reps. Whoever we go with we’ll stay with as long as we feel like we have a chance. Those decisions are, I call them battlefield decisions. You make them on the fly and go with our instinct and go with our gut and see where we go.
I’m not into having a quarterback look over his shoulder. Jeremy deserves a shot. He played well, made some nice decisions, against the backups. But Sean doesn’t deserve the criticism he’s getting. He takes a shot in the head because the back misses a block. … We need to play better offensively.
Q: If you play Jeremy does that mean he’s your starter for the rest of the season?
Q: (Two questions about playing Air Force and service academy teams in general)
A: I coached against them 20 years. It’s a tough, tough team to prepare for. This (option offense is) totally different. They’re tough guys, obviously tough guys. They’re going to represent our country when they graduate. We have to be prepared offensively to stay on the field with them. We can’t expect our defense to hold up all afternoon.
Kenny Niumatalolo, a good friend of mine told me that their time with the kids is the easiest time for the kids all day long. They look forward to practice. I had a brother who was a fighter pilot. He told me the academy guys, the pilots who came out of the academy were the cockiest and best fighters he’d ever seen.
Q: As you look at game film over the week and try to right the ship is the first thing you address the 28 turnovers and the 31 sacks?
A: No question. We make such a big deal … when we got here our philosophical base was I brought out a ball and said we take care of this ball. We haven’t done a good job of that.
The encouraging part is our guys continue to play hard. The discouraging part is we’re not fixing it. Everyone makes mistakes in life, fix the dang thing, we’re struggling doing that. We need to shore up protection, we need to shore up a lot of things. You’re down 28-7 everyone in the world knows you’re passing.
Q: When Mike Edwards takes it for a touchdown is it more him being a playmaker?
A: It’s never one guy. That’s what makes football fun. It’s 11 guys no matter how good Mike is and Mike’s awfully good.
Q: Have you made a decision on Will Gregory?
A: Will Gregory will not be with us this week. Wanted to wait until I saw the tape myself and I saw it and he won’t be with us this week. I won’t condone those activities.
Q: (Regarding the quarterback competition)
A: Probably today and tomorrow. Today’s more of a learning day. Probably today and tomorrow give them the same amount of reps. Jeremy will take them first.
Q: What are you looking for?
A: Leadership. Command of the huddle and making the right decisions. Be a leader.
Q: Is it fair to say Jeremy’s a little more mobile.
A: I don’t know if you had them in a race who would win but I think he’s a little more active in the pocket. That doesn’t necessarily mean mobile. It means he can move his feet and step up. (Referring to a study …) 70 percent of the passes completed are not the way they’re designed. The way they are in the book is not the way they happen. He has to move his feet, slide one way or the other and make a play after that. Jeremy did a nice job of that.
Q: Is that something you see more in a game than practice?
A: Sure you do. You can’t simulate it. We practice … quarterback breaks the pocket and where does he go. But awfully hard to simulate that.
Q: (About Higgins arm strength)
A: Jeremy’s not a real strong-armed guy. He knows that. But Ty Detmer was not strong-armed. They make up for it with the anticipation. Jeremy did a nice job when he hit Chris Gant on the skinny post. He really had to spin that one.
Q: The stadium didn’t have as many folks as usual. Any concern?
A: Of course I am (concerned). …
Q: Is there anything new on the Temple game today?
A: I probably should know by the end of the day.”