UH coach Chang not panicking despite homecoming debacle

Hawaii coach Timmy Chang walks on the field Saturday, before the team’s game against San Jose State in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU — The Hawaii football team’s third-floor offices do not have a panic room.

“I’m never going to panic, never, ” head coach Timmy Chang said a day after the Rainbow Warriors’ 35-0 loss to San Jose State at the Ching Complex. “You can’t panic. You’ve just got to go back to business. I believe in what we’re doing. Now we have to get better in what we’re doing.”

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The homecoming game setback marked the first time the Warriors were held scoreless since 2017 and the first shutout at home since 1998. After video reviews and during meetings, the Warriors addressed these breakdowns from Saturday night :

Pass-catch connection In the past two games, the Warriors were intercepted three times—twice by San Jose State—because of miscommunication. Chang, who calls the offensive plays, is emphasizing “the rules ” of the run-and-shoot offense : “Who are you reading ? Why are you doing this ? When do you sit (on a route )? When do you run ?”

After the game, Chang reaffirmed Brayden Schager’s status as No. 1 quarterback. Jake Farrell ran the offense on UH’s final drive. Chang said it was beneficial for Schager to get a sideline view of the offense. It was a tactic then UH head coach June Jones used with quarterbacks Nick Rolovich in 2000 and Chang in 2001.

Running game For the fifth time, Tylan Hines did not play because of an ankle ailment. Hines was counted on as dual threat this season. Nasjzae “Mojo ” Bryant-Lelei also was unavailable while recovering from a foot ailment. Jordan Johnson entered the transfer portal last week.

Solo Vaipulu, a converted guard /center, and Landon Sims, a standout back in high school who was used as a H-back /tight end in spring training, split the carries against SJSU. The Warriors are considering converting another position player to boost the running attack. On Saturday, Matthew Shipley was UH’s leading rusher, gaining 17 yards on a fake punt.

Third-down battle The Warrior’ pedestrian 33 % conversions on third down paled in comparison to the Spartans’ success. After a red-zone incompletion and then a 15-yard penalty for taunting on the next drive, the Spartans converted on the next nine third-down situations.

Former UH quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who transferred to SJSU in January 2022, was 8-for-9 for 140 yards on third down in the first half.

“I thought our boys did really good on first and second down, ” UH linebackers coach Chris Brown said. “It was on third down that the Chevan magic came out.”

Cordeiro was able to extend plays with his scrambling. On Saturday, he was allowed a season-high 3.57 seconds from snap to release. “Chevan made some nice plays, ” Brown said. “You have to give him credit. He was able to elude our defensive rush. Some things he did, that’s not a play, that’s a will to make something happen. He hit his target when he needed to. If we were a step slow, he found that little hole and made it work.”

Cordeiro was 0-for-3 on third-down passes after the intermission.

The Warriors were short-handed in the secondary. Cornerback Cam Stone was injured on the opening kickoff return. Stone, who is the Warriors’ best cover defender, also can play nickelback. Cornerback JoJo Forest also was not available.

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