HONOLULU (AP) - Mike Edwards feels the University of Hawaii football team has come together despite things falling apart last week on national television.
"We're more family-oriented, more together, we understand each other a little bit more," the UH cornerback said. "When you go through trials and tribulations like that you can do one of two things: You can get down as a team or get up as a team."
The Warriors (3-3, 1-1 Western Athletic Conference) face New Mexico State (3-3, 1-1) tonight at Aloha Stadium, eight days after UH suffered a 28-27 loss at San Jose State. Against the Spartans, the Warriors forced six turnovers, but committed six of their own, had a field goal and extra-point blocked - the latter returned for two points - and allowed San Jose State to drive 87 yards on six plays for the game-winning score with 36 seconds left.
UH cornerback Mike Edwards
Hawaii receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann said he doesn't expect any hangover after last week's tough loss.
"We're just the type of team where we're just one snap and clear," he said. "We learned from our mistakes, but at the same time we just take it forward and just do our thing."
As for last week's turnovers, Stutzmann said: "We had a couple of days to go over it and put it behind us. After that we don't really think about it too much. We just go out, practice, execute and then it's game time."
College Football on TV
6 a.m.-N. Carolina at Clemson, ESPN
6 a.m.-Illinois at Purdue, ESPN2
6 a.m.-Arkansas at Mississippi, KFVE
6 a.m.-Jacksonville St. at Kentucky,
6 a.m.-Kansas St. at Kansas, FSW
6 a.m.-Oklahoma St. at Missouri, FX
6 a.m.-Yale at Pennsylvania, VERS
9 a.m.-Boston College at Virginia Tech, FSWP
9:30 a.m.-Nebraska at Minnesota, ABC
9:30 a.m.-Auburn at LSU, CBS
9:30 a.m.-Georgia Tech at Miami, ESPN
9:30 a.m.-Maryland at Florida St.,
9:30 a.m.-N.C. State at Virginia, ESPNU
9:30 a.m.-Oregon at Colorado, FSW
9:30 a.m.-Air Force at Boise St., VERS
9:30 a.m.-E. Carolina at Navy, CBSSN
10 a.m.-Fresno St. at Nevada, KFVE
1 p.m.-Army at Vanderbilt, ESPNU
1 p.m.-Tulsa at Rice, FSWP
1:15 p.m.-Tennessee at Alabama,
1:30 p.m.-Southern Cal at Notre Dame, NBC
2 p.m.-Washington at Stanford, ABC
2 p.m.-Wisconsin at Michigan St., ESPN
2 p.m.-SMU at S. Mississippi, CBSSN
4:30 p.m.-Florida A&M at S. Carolina St., ESPNU
4:30 p.m.-Oregon St. vs. Washington St., FSWP
6 p.m.-New Mexico St. at Hawaii, PPV255
The Warriors, led by quarterback Bryant Moniz, rank ninth in the nation with 336.7 passing yards per game. The Aggies rank 30th in the with 271.3, and New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker said senior Matt Christian and freshman Travaughn Colwell will see time at quarterback today.
Hawaii's Royce Pollard, averaging a team-best 106.2 receiving yards per game, suffered a strained right hamstring against San Jose State and is questionable for today.
The Aggies' Kenny Turner has rushed for at least 109 yards in each of his last three games, averaging 146.3 during that span.
"They have a good run game and they incorporate that with the play-action, and they like to throw it deep and make plays, so we need to stop that," said UH safety John Hardy-Tuliau.
New Mexico State has won two straight, including a 31-24 victory over Idaho last week, but the Aggies haven't beaten the Warriors in seven meetings, including a 59-24 loss last year in Las Cruces in which Alex Green rushed for a school-record 327 yards.
Green, drafted by the Green Bay Packers, is gone. The memories, however, of the lopsided loss are not, and the Aggies are using last year's game as motivation as they arrive on the islands.
"Hawaii's tough. I talked with the players and coaches about all the distractions up until the game and all the travel, and all the administrators are happy because it's a vacation for them, but it's business for us," Walker said.
The Warriors have played four of their games on the road, losing three.
"Our fans haven't seen us in 28 days (since a victory over UC Davis on Sept. 24)," said UH coach Greg McMackin. "Believe me, it feels good to be home. It makes a big difference. Everybody's attitude is really good. We're looking forward to this ballgame."
New Mexico State has five players from Hawaii, all graduates of Oahu high schools.
"(We are) trying to manage family and big baskets of food and all that stuff, so it's a challenge from that standpoint," Walker said. "But I gave them a tongue-lashing just to set the tempo for the week and for the game."
Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23
Louisville 16, Rutgers 14