MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been 269-days since the Warrior football team strapped up their pads and hit an opponent in a live game but all that built up tension will dissolve in less than 48-hours away when Hawaii opens up their season against 14th ranked USC Thursday.
Hawaii went through their final full practice Tuesday and have a walk-through scheduled for Wednesday morning.
This is the 2nd time in the last 3-seasons UH will open up against a top-25 opponent and despite being heavy underdogs the Warriors say there's no better way to see where they're at than against the nation's best.
"(I'm) definitely motivated." Explained quarterback Bryant Moniz, who said last year's opener versus D-I AA Central Arkansas didn't bring out the fire in the preseason the Trojans have inspired. "I think last year the tempo was not as high as it is now because we were going into a division two team to open the season. Now we know we're going against one of the top-20's and we've been practicing like we are."
Defensive tackle Vaughn Meotoga agrees that the pace has definitely accelerated their excitement about opening day. "USC comes to town and we get to play the best and test our skills you know what I mean. We get to go on the field and see all that work and how it pays off. It would be good to start off with a win. It would really get us going. When Thursday comes around we better be ready to play."
The last time UH upset a ranked team in a season opener was back in 1988 when they defeated 9th ranked Iowa 27-24.
Kickoff between UH and USC is scheduled for Thursday at 5pm and can be seen live on ESPN.