Spending time on the islands during football season is not Washington coach Chris Petersen’s idea of a vacation.
He learned the difficulty of taking a team to Hawaii when he was the head coach at Boise State and a trip to Oahu to face the Rainbow Warriors was a part of conference play.
He’s a fan of Hawaii, but not necessarily playing there.
“Get off that plane and get that nice ocean air and it feels like vacation,” Petersen said. “So it’s very easy to lose that mental edge and not be in tune to how it’s going to be and how it’s going to feel.
“Then to play the game, little bit of time change, certainly the weather is different. Usually a little more humidity, sometimes some rain, always some sort of wind. After the game you have to get on that plane and get back here about eight in the morning, get ready for the next week, so there’s nothing easy about this trip at all.”
Petersen made the trip with Boise State three times and went 2-1. So his debut at Washington comes in familiar territory when the No. 25 Huskies face Hawaii on Saturday night.
This trip comes with the added intrigue of Petersen finally taking the jump and leaving the comfort he had with the Broncos to take on the challenge of coaching in the Pac-12. And while his first conference game is still a month away, the tenor for what’s to come can be set by how the Huskies play.
Hawaii is looking for any kind of positive buzz after last season’s 1-11 stumble, a lack of interest around the program and concerns that budget shortfalls could eventually spell an end to the Warriors program. Hawaii is expecting a crowd of less than 30,000 for the opener.
“It’s a fun opportunity for us,” Hawaii coach Norm Chow said. “It’s a challenge for us and we would hope the fans would enjoy that.”