Three weeks away from its season opener at UCLA, the University of Hawaii football team held its first scrimmage of the fall at Clarence T.C. Ching Stadium.
After getting their feet wet for the first time in their new digs on Thursday, the Rainbow Warriors played three quarters on Saturday, with starters, backups and third-string players all receiving reps.
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“Very basic, stayed very, very under control. Did very little pressure. Just lined up and did old fashion football,” Hawaii head coach Todd Graham said. “The first week, I’ve been very, very impressed with our physicality. I’ve challenged them to get out of their comfort zone and push themselves forward and we’ve done that. One of the guys that really stood out to me is Penei (Pavihi), I think he’s had his best camp. Our linebackers have been – and they’re an impressive group anyway – but they’ve really taken the challenge of getting out of their comfort zone and taken it to a different level. If you guys watch on these scrimmages, one of the things I’m trying to demonstrate to them is the intensity from which you play this game.
“If you want to be a dominating team, and especially dominating in the trenches, I’ve talked to them all day about matching that intensity so very pleased with where we’re at today. Gave up two or three cheap touchdowns, obviously Calvin had one, we had a couple of big passes. It was very physical, very fundamental practice and so it’ll be a great one to evaluate. It was a big evaluator. We did about 25 plays with 3s (third-stringers on the depth chart), we probably won’t do that next Saturday. We played three quarters, probably a half with the 1s (starters), I think we played 50-something plays.”
In 2020, the Rainbow Warriors did not take the field in an official game until Oct. 24 and played nine total games due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Thirteen games are scheduled for the ‘Bows in 2021, starting at the Rose Bowl against the Bruins.
“It felt good to be back, having a good scrimmage today and just to be around the guys and just be live and do things like that because last time we did, it was spring ball, so it was just a good feeling to be out here with the guys and just going at it and competing,” standout running back Calvin Turner said. “We gotta be ready for UCLA … We gotta make sure we get everything we need to do. We can’t hold back now, we’re 20 days away from UCLA so we gotta prepare for them and get ready to beat them.”