HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Sunday, UCLA got the world of college football buzzing after erasing a 34-point deficit against Texas A&M with less than four minutes left in the third quarter of their season opener.
Among those closely watching their epic comeback was Nick Rolovich, who says he knows in order to compete with the PAC-12 power on Saturday, his team needs to improve on what they've done so far this season.
"I'm sure the penalty thing is going to be a topic," said Rolovich, for who a second week was unhappy with the Rainbow Warriors performance in that area. "20 penalties on the season already, for 200-yards. Yards are hard to come by. Until they realize it's more important to win the football game than it is to lose control of their emotions then we won't be as good as we can be."
Off the top of his head, Rolovich wasn't far off the actual numbers. The Rainbow Warriors have racked-up 20 penalties for 192-yards.
But, cleaning things up isn't his only thing he's focused this week. His other emphasis is on offensive balance.
In back-to-back weeks Rolovich has seen historic performances from key offensive players. Week one against UMass, quarterback Dru Brown threw for a career-high 391-yards, while wide receiver John Ursua accumulated 272 receiving yards, the most in a decade by any Rainbow Warrior.
Last weekend against Western Carolina, Diocemy Saint Juste racked up 202-yards on the ground despite missing the entire fourth quarter. With that, he became the first 'Bow in program history to record two 200-yard rushing performances.
While Rolovich commended each individual performance, he says he hopes going forward his team can become more dynamic by integrated the two styles.
"I'd like to put together both areas - where we can run the ball and throw the ball," said Rolovich. "We've kind of been one-dimensional the first two games. I'd like to be a little more balanced in terms of execution. But, the guys did some good things. Offensive line, D [Diocemy], Ryan [Tuiasoa], Freddy [Holly].
"It was good to get those guys some carries. But, we can always be better."
"Better" was another word frequently used by Hawaii defensive coordinator, Legi Suiaunoa during Tuesday morning's practice.
After appearing unhappy with the defensive unit's efforts during the team period, Suiaunoa stopped his players during their UCLA preps to do up-downs, telling them to clean-up their mistakes.
According to Suiaunoa, it's those kinds of mistakes that allowed Western Carolina to rack-up 482-yards of total offense last Saturday. They're mistakes he also knows Hawaii can't make against UCLA.
"There were a lot of missed opportunities," said Suiaunoa. "A lot of extended plays. A lot of second-chance yards. For us, those are not ok. We want to be able to give ourselves the best chance to win football games. Obviously, in some of those cases, we didn't give our team the best chance to win the game."