Alexander gets off to quick start, keeps Warriors' offense on a roll
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Kalani Takase
Greg Alexander's first start at Aloha Stadium was a night to remember for the junior quarterback.
The transfer from Santa Rosa College made his third consecutive start — his two previous starts on the road — and led Hawai'i to a 49-17 romp of Idaho last night. Alexander completed 14 of 24 passes for 264 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
"I think he did a very good job," UH quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said. "He probably should have been a little more accurate on the big throws, but as far as decision-making, he's very mature and his game awareness has been, and is, great."
After Idaho scored on its opening drive, Alexander led the Warriors downfield on their first possession. He opened the drive with a 12-yard pass to Royce Pollard and threw other first down-gaining passes of 25 and 11 yards to Michael Washington to give Hawai'i goal-to-go from the Vandals' 3. Alexander tied the game on a 1-yard run.
"Offensively, I think we are getting better and better," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "Greg is really coming along, and you can see it in practice. He is really confident and the whole offense is starting to have a swagger."
On the first play of UH's next possession, Alexander lofted a pass high, down the right sideline and into the hands of Malcolm Lane for an 82-yard touchdown.
"(Greg) saw that I had my man beat by about five yards, he just put it right there on the money and let me outrun the cornerback," Lane said. "Greg did an unbelievable job."
The touchdown pass was the longest play of the season for the Warriors and the eighth-longest in program history.
Alexander and the offense made the most of Desmond Thomas' third-career interception late in the second quarter.
He completed an 11-yard pass to Aaron Bain, followed by a 15-yard pitch-and-catch to Greg Salas and three plays later he hit Bain for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Warriors up, 28-10.
"I think the main thing is that we are all communicating well on offense and we are getting on the same page," Alexander said. "I'm feeling a lot more comfortable. I don't know if I'm seeing the whole offense but I think overall, everyone is feeling more comfortable."
Lane caught his second TD pass on the Warriors' first possession of the second half, on a 36-yard pass. Alexander threaded the needle on the play, delivering the ball just past the outstretched hands of Vandals safety Virdell Larkins.
"That was very good," Rolovich said. "He checked the safety, he liked the read — he did everything right — and as he has success, he's seeing how things are working and things that we talk about are starting to work and I think he's going to be on a roll for the rest of the year."
Lane said he and Alexander stayed after practice Friday tossing wet footballs in preparation for last night's game.
"We came out here today and it wasn't even raining, so I knew today — without the rain — we were definitely going to have a good day today and he played his (butt) off."
Reach Kalani Takase at firstname.lastname@example.org.