Rainbow Warriors open season against No. 24 USC - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rainbow Warriors open season against No. 24 USC

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Rainbow Warriors – in name and in team – are making their return to Aloha Stadium tonight as the University of Hawaii opens their 2013 football season against the Trojans of the University of Southern California.

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UH is hopeful that the change in name, made official by first-year athletics director Ben Jay last month, symbolizes a change in fortune for a team that struggled to a 3-9 record in 2012.

Their first opponent is unlikely to be an easy one: USC enters the season as the 24th ranked team in the country and travels to Hawaii with one of the top offensive players in college football in receiver Marquise Lee, who finished fourth in last year's Heisman Trophy balloting.

The Rainbow Warriors enter coach Norm Chow's second season with Ohio State transfer Taylor Graham at quarterback. Graham, who will inherit an offense that averaged 21 points and nearly 300 yards of offense in 2012, says the group's focus is on the future, not the past.

"We can watch the game tape from last year for personnel and studying players themselves," said Graham. "But the defensive schemes they run now are different. Every year, every team has the chance to go up against something like that, and that first game is difficult."

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Coach Norm Chow says his attention during training camp has been on his own team and not on the Trojans, who will feature sophomore quarterbacks Max Wittek and Cody Kessler in an audition of sorts for USC's starting job.

"It's never about our opponent. We spend time on scouting opponents, but we always bring it back to us," said Chow. "It's about us, it's about our team. Even after that ball game is over, we'll judge our team and where we're at."

USC is favored by more than three touchdowns against Hawaii, which received the fewest votes in the Mountain West conference preseason poll and was picked to finish last in its West Division. The Trojans, though, will be without star running back Silas Redd, who failed to travel to Honolulu as he recovers from an injury.

Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.

We will have live scoring updates on HawaiiNewsNow.com throughout the game.

The game will air live on the CBS Sports Network.

Oceanic Cable: Channel 247 and 1247(HD) 

Hawaiian Telcom: Channel 83 and 1083(HD)

DirecTV: Channel 221

Dish Network: Channel 158 and 158(HD)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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