McDonald’s pre-snap adjustments lead to ‘great game’ against Central Arkansas


As the Rainbow Warrior football team moves closer to their Mountain West Conference opening showdown at Nevada Saturday night, Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald aims to build off of his most efficient game of the season.

“I think the biggest thing was that I got a text from somebody on a Thursday night, which was you, and said hey, I think before the snap, he’s kind of changed how his hands are, and so, it’s something that we had talked about a little but in the off-season and I didn’t pay too much attention to it,” said passing game coordinator Craig Stutzmann to KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.

Following the team’s game up in Seattle against the University of Washington, Stutzmann brought up the topic to McDonald.

“So, just from your text on that night I talked to him the next morning, I said, ‘hey China, I think if your hands are where they are and your elbows are that wide, and it just seems like you’re a little bit more tense, why don’t we go back to what you did last year, and I think your elbows are going to get down, your shoulders are going to be down a little bit and I think you’re a little bit more relaxed in pre-snap.’”

Following his conversation with Stutzmann, McDonald listened to his advice at practice. And low and behold, the adjustments paid off immediately. 

“Instantly we did that in practice and he said, ‘Gosh, I feel so much more comfortable and relaxed.’ So, it’s like anything you do in life, how you start gives you a chance to either be successful or it’s going to be challenging for you,” Stutzmann said. “It starts in a relaxed way and that was part of the process the whole week. We kept telling him that you want to stay focused, you want to stay relaxed, so pre-snap if you’re relaxed and you’re focused, you’re going to have a good game and he had a really good game.”

McDonald will look to keep his pre-snap cadences in check as he looks to have a repeat performance this weekend against Nevada to open up conference play.

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