It was nearly 16 months ago when University of Hawaii football coach Nick Rolovich posted on Twitter his thoughts about Oregon State sending recruiting material and invitations for the Beavers’ spring game that were addressed to some players who at the time were on Hawaii’s roster.
“My apologies for our players not being able to attend your Spring game,” Rolovich posted on Twitter. “Ours was the same day, bad timing. Quick question, in the 203 years of coaching, none of you realized you couldn’t actively recruit another school’s players? Sent to campus?”
Rolovich made sure the word got out by tagging the Twitter accounts of the NCAA, Oregon State compliance, the Pac-12 Conference compliance, two news organizations and, for some reason, LaVar Ball (remember him?).
After a little more than a month, the NCAA handed out a secondary violation.
It was an inauspicious start to Jonathan Smith’s time as the Beavers’ coach, but he and the staff addressed the mistake immediately.
“We just looked into our protocol a ton in exactly how we’re getting things out and we actually implemented some things so that thing didn’t take place again,” Smith said Monday afternoon. “So we’ve got a fail safe of about two or three checks. It was a total data issue but we got it remedied."
Rolovich, who is still the head coach, may also have been upset that Smith looked to the Hawaii program to find a couple of his assistants. Wide receiver coach Kefense Hynson and defensive line coach Legi Suiaunoa both left Hawaii after two years to join Smith's staff after he was hired in December.
Saturday night Smith and Rolovich will face off on the field when the Beavers head to Hawaii for a 9 p.m. kickoff against the Rainbow Warriors (1-0).
Former Beaver Isaiah Tufaga, who is from Hawaii, transferred to Hawaii a few weeks ago and will get the chance to see some of his former teammates.
Tufaga, who played in nine games as a true freshman last season and made three starts, said the decision to transfer had nothing to do with football.
“It had to do with things off the field,” he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “I figured coming back home is the best for me and my happiness. Playing in front of my family and friends is also another bonus. I figured it’s the best thing for me to do.”
Tufaga was around for most of training camp and knows enough to share some information with his new teammates.
"He's going to know some calls, we're not changing the defensive calls," Smith said. "We're probably going to have to implement some things to keep some away from them. But there's some value anytime someone goes through a month of daily practice, daily install, I'm sure he's got some things."
With three new starters, one of the big questions entering the season was how the offensive line would cone together.
Smith said they did just fine on Friday night. The Beavers rushed for 167 yards and passed for 251 while allowing just one sack.
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"As a group I thought those guys were really solid, I really did," he said. "All of them graded out pretty well. I thought our pass pro (protection) was good and we had some time to throw and Jake didn’t get hit a ton. ... We felt solid about the O-line."
Irish makes impact
Redshirt freshman Jesiah Irish had a strong game on special teams. He sprinted down on a punt and made a tackle. He also caused a penalty on another return.
"He’s running down making some plays," Smith said. "He got the tackle but also the block in the back he created because he’s beating the guy so that was nice to see."
Irish didn't have am much of an impact on offense in the opener.
"We did call a couple where he was going down the field the ball didn’t go his way." Smith said. "And we’ve got some good options on offense. … But we definitely want to keep him involved."
The Beavers scored a touchdown with 1 minute, 19 seconds left on Friday to make it a 16-point deficit. But Smith chose not to try an onside kick.
“We feel like we’ve got a pretty decent onside kick scheme and weren’t ready to show it with where the score was and so late in the game,” Smith said.
Senior safety Jalen Moore has been dealing with a hamstring the past few weeks and missed Friday’s opener. Smith said Moore did move around “decent” on Monday but is likely questionable for Saturday’s game at Hawaii.
"It would have definitely been nice to have him,” Smith said. “Just because he’s so veteran and a good player. … It will definitely be nice to have him back (when he is able).”
Senior receiver Trevon Bradford, who has been sidelined all camp and missed the opener, will not play Saturday, Smith said.
Junior receiver Isaiah Hodgins had a big game with nine receptions for 170 yards and two scores against the Cowboys. He now has 99 career receptions for 1,321 yards, good for 20th on the Beavers career yardage list. Next up is Tim Euhus at 1,346.
A couple firsts
Quarterback Tristan Gebbia and receiver Kolby Taylor hooked up for a 5-yard touchdown late in the loss to Oklahoma State. It was the first career touchdown for both. It was also the first career start for Taylor.