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Bobby Curran

Positives From The USC Loss

Baltimore Orioles’ Mark Reynolds (12) celebrates his tworun home run with Matt Wieters against the New York Yankees Sept. 6 in Baltimore. The O’s won 10-6.

Baltimore Orioles’ Mark Reynolds (12) celebrates his tworun home run with Matt Wieters against the New York Yankees Sept. 6 in Baltimore. The O’s won 10-6.

The UH football team is over the opener, and now the hard work begins. No more top-ranked teams, no crowds north of 90,000 and nary a Heisman candidate in sight. Yet these next months are when this program will be built.

Yeah, it’s a grind, but it’s the process by which all excellent programs are made. It’s the week-to-week improvement, the cohesion of a young and inexperienced offensive line, the adjustments and refinements with the defense that will make this team better at the end of the season than it was in the beginning.

And it all starts with the Lamar game on Saturday.

There were many hopeful signs in the USC loss. The defensive line looked as strong as USC’s offensive line, and surrendered just 82 rushing yards. It looks like there are five serviceable linebackers with Kendrick Van Ackeren and Kamalani Alo joining starters Art Laurel, T.J. Taumatuia and George Daily-Lyles. And playing man-to-man in the secondary will never be as tough as it was at the Coliseum.

On offense, the third quarter saw Hawaii find a rhythm that led to a touchdown. Quarterback Sean Schroeder proved to be tough and composed, running backs Joey Iosefa and Will Gregory look like what you need, and the receiving corps shows promise.

Nobody on that team is content with a 49-10 loss, but there are grounds for optimism. And nobody could fault the effort, which lasted the full 60 minutes.

You get the feeling this team will be satisfying to watch.

By the time you read this, expect the NFL to be back at the negotiating table with its officials. It continues to boggle the mind that the NFL is willing in this safety-conscious environment to go with replacement refs who proved in the preseason that they are not equal to the task.

Former Warrior receiver Greg Salas might just find a long-term home in New England. The Patriots love versatility, and Salas can play inside and out. When inside, he becomes one of the biggest slot receivers in the league. His familiarity with offensive co-coordinator Josh McDaniels, who held that same job with St. Louis last year, should help as he is well versed with Salas’ skill set.

The New York Yankees once held a 10-game lead in the AL East, but injuries and free swinging have taken their toll. The biggest lead any previous Yankee team has blown is six games

But, as surprising as some find the Bronx Bombers’ slide, equally amazing is resurgent Baltimore – who at press time had pulled into a tie with the Yanks atop the AL East standings.

The Orioles could well end up as a playoff team. That should make Buck Showalter a mortal cinch for AL manager of the year.

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