Continued from page 1

“You play hard when you go to USC,” Chow said. “That’s the only thing that matters. Hopefully it’s the kind of culture that we’ll have one day.”

Although Chow jumped at the chance to return to his native islands to land his first head coaching job after four decades in the profession, he still has strong ties to Los Angeles, where he was UCLA’s offensive coordinator until moving to his alma mater, Utah, last season. Chow and his wife still live in Manhattan Beach in the offseason, and two of their children graduated from USC.

And though Chow isn’t intimidated by the prospect of facing the nation’s top-ranked team in its historic stadium, he realizes his players don’t exactly have his range of experience.

He even thought about taking the Warriors to the Coliseum one day early to get used to the atmosphere, but decided against it.

“We just hope they’re not overwhelmed,” Chow said. “We tried to talk to them about it. They understand. They read the paper. They know. You don’t fool kids. I don’t think you ever fool the players. … We certainly understand and respect who they are. We just have to go out and perform.”

Hawaii has never beaten USC in seven previous tries, and USC has won 14 consecutive season openers, including three against the Warriors. Kiffin’s first game as USC’s head coach was at Aloha Stadium in 2010.

With just four defensive starters returning, Chow readily acknowledges he isn’t sure how the Warriors will slow down Barkley and the Trojans’ offensive talent. Hawaii will attempt to score enough points to keep up, debuting Chow’s pro-style offense after 13 years of Warriors football in the run-and-shoot schemes that regularly produced entertaining, high-scoring games.

“You know that’s always an entertaining team to watch,” said USC safety T.J. McDonald, who also passed on early NFL entry to chase a championship. “We’re going to have to play hard to shut them down, no matter who the coach is or what offense they’re running.”