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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Atlanta Practice

A student from Georgia Tech has been posting photos of the Warriors practicing in Atlanta over the past couple days on the Rainbow Sports Network message board. Here's the first set.

And here's the second set, which includes video of the team doing the haka. Very cool of him to do that.

Pre-Emptive Excuse

This guy has a valid point about high-powered offenses facing great defenses, but he's such a smug bastard about it, I just want to scare that silly mustache off his face and shoo it back into the woods.

After talking crap about Hawaii's offense, he comes up with a ready-made excuse just in case Hawaii happens to score, oh say, 37 points against Alabama.
If Alabama gives up a bunch of points to Hawaii, it will say more about the Tide's defense than the Warriors' offense.
So I guess it's a win-win situation. For him anyway. "Just in case I'm wrong, I'll still be right." Oh well, game is less than two days away!

See The Game!

UPDATE: Info for the 2008 season can be viewed here.

If you're in Hawaii, it's pretty easy to see UH football games. Go to the stadium, which is hardly ever sold out, or watch it on pay-per-view or K5 at your house, your friend's house, in a sports bar, whereever.

If you're not in Hawaii, but you're a die-hard Hawaii Warrior fan, it's a little tougher. For one, it's probably too expensive to fly to Hawaii every weekend. So you have to make do with seeing the scores on the news. If you're lucky, every once in a while ESPN or some other network will pick up a game, so you can cheer on UH from your log cabin in Minnesota.

Recently though, it's gotten a little easier to watch games from out-of-state... if you're willing to dish out some money and have cable or satellite TV and broadband internet access. So if you have all those, below are some details on how you might be able to watch every single UH football game this season! Woo hoo!

First off, there's ESPN Gameplan. Check with your cable or satellite company to see if they have it. If they don't, ESPN also streams the games online. But be careful, you can't switch between the two -- if you order it from your cable company, you can't watch the games online without ordering the online version as well, and vice versa. So make sure you order the right one for you, especially since it's kind of expensive. For either version, the season package is $130, and for individual weekends it's $21.

Last year, Gameplan carried about 3 or 4 UH football games, and the good news is this Saturday they'll be showing the Hawaii vs Alabama game! Though I heard that Dish Network is blacking out the game in some areas, so check directly with them if you have it. There's also no promise that Gameplan will carry any other UH games this season, but I'm pretty sure this won't be the only one this year.

Another way to watch UH games is through Hawaiian Telcom Media. They debuted last year and streamed four UH home games. This year they're streaming seven home games! Each individual game is $9.95, but you can buy all seven games for $39.95. They also stream Wahine volleyball, Wahine soccer, men's basketball, men's volleyball games as well, so you can get your UH fix from any of these sports. It's about 60 UH games in all, and the package for all these games from all these sports is $69.95, which is a great deal. You'll need a broadband connection and the latest version of Windows Media Player for optimal viewing. Check here for more detailed specs.

And finally, there's WAC.TV, which just debuted this year. They're gonna be streaming 34 WAC football games this season, including all four Hawaii road games! So let's hope they do as good a job with it as Hawaiian Telcom. They haven't posted prices of any of the games yet, but I can't imagine it being more than $9.95. We'll see. Again you'll need a broadband connection and Windows Media.

So with all that info, here's a UH football schedule with the ways an out-of-state UH fan can watch them.

2006 Hawaii Warriors Football Viewing Schedule
DateTeam/RecordHow to Watch
09/02@ #24 Alabama (0-0)Gameplan
09/16UNLV (0-0)Hawaiian Telcom
09/23@ Boise St. (0-0)WAC.tv
09/30Eastern IllinoisHawaiian Telcom
10/07Nevada (0-0)Hawaiian Telcom
10/14@ Fresno St. (0-0)WAC.tv
10/21@ New Mexico St. (0-0)WAC.tv
10/28Idaho (0-0)Hawaiian Telcom
11/04@ Utah St. (0-0)WAC.tv
11/11Louisiana Tech (0-0)Hawaiian Telcom
11/18San Jose St. (0-0)Hawaiian Telcom
11/25Purdue (0-0)ESPN???
12/2Oregon St. (0-0)Hawaiian Telcom

The only game unaccounted for is Purdue, which I think ESPN will end up showing since they have it as an option on their schedule. Plus, Hawaiian Tel Media isn't showing it, so they must know something.

So I hope this helps some out-of-state UH football fans. Please e-mail or comment with any updates or corrections. This is gonna be a great season! Go Warriors!

Bama's Defense

The Montgomery Advertiser has an article about Alabama's defense and how they're preparing to face the Hawaii offense.
While the focus will be on the secondary, they'll need plenty of help from the Tide's defensive front.

"Their quarterback finds a lot of time to throw the ball," Robinson observed. "I know there were a couple of occasions we were watching tape when we counted 'one Mississippi , two Mississippi ,' me and Simeon Castille. We were getting up to '12 Mississippi,' that's how long he scrambled before completing a pass.

"I don't know too many people that can cover a guy for 12 Mississippis . I couldn't even do that playing in my backyard against my brothers and sisters. Hopefully, our D-line will do a good job and I won't have to stand out there that long."

Defensive end Wallace Gilberry said the Crimson Tide has a simple strategy to conquer Brennan.

"We just have to hit him hard," Gilberry said. "Hit him hard and hit him hard and eventually those licks will catch up with him."
Wallace doesn't sound very nice! Oh well, I think our O-line will be awesome as ever, and Brennan will get rid of the ball quicker than last year, plus we'll probably run more, so he should be fine... unless they try to get in some late hits, which certainly wouldn't be very nice at all. Not that I'm accusing them of that. Bama is a classy team with classy coaches. They're not Michigan State or anything. That's right, I said it. Hawaii vs MSU 2007 baby! Uno mas! But I get ahead of myself. It's all about Bama this week.

3-4 Defense

The Decatur Daily has an article talking about how Bama is preparing for Hawaii. Here's what they're saying about the UH defense.
Defensively, Hawaii runs a 3-4, a base set that's uncommon in the Southeastern Conference. All three defensive linemen return from last year, and two, ends Melila Purcell and Ikaika Alama-Francis, were second-team all-WAC selections.

That's unsettling for offensive line coach Bob Connelly, who'll be starting a true freshman at left tackle and four others who have started a combined 11 games at their respective positions. Connelly equated Hawaii's pass rush to a gambling style, saying they're "not gap sound every play."

Offensive coordinator Dave Rader was more blunt in assessing the defensive style of former NFL coach Jerry Glanville, who joined June Jones' staff at Hawaii last season and returns six starters.

"He brings so many opportunities at you," Rader said. "He just opens up the book and says here we are, here's all the things we're gonna do, and you've got to figure out how to block us. It's taken a summer's work activity to put together a game plan."

Tide head coach Mike Shula? Even more blunt.

"We've got, by far, our toughest opponent ever since we've been here in our regular season-opener," Shula said.
Even though it's unfamiliar to Bama, the Warriors 3-4 defense was ranked in the bottom 100 in the nation last year, so I can't imagine their coaches are too worried about it. Especially since all the game tape they've seen probably consists of a players missing assignments and freelancing, which might make it seem like UH is not "gap-sound". One can hope! This year, everybody on the UH D should know what their assignments are, and can react instead of think, which should make the overall defense quicker and smarter. We'll see!


Stephen Tsai reports from Atlanta that C.J. Allen-Jones and Tyson Kafentzis will be the starting OLBs, with Amani Purcell and Brashton Satele backing them up. Here's a few quotes about them.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said Allen-Jones "runs fast and hits hard. That's a good combination, don't you think?"
"What I like about Kafentzis is he's full blast every step," Glanville said. "He's an all-out, full-speed player, even when he's sick, and I think he's still a little bit sick."
Sounds like we'll be solid on the outside!

Former Warriors and current NFLers Chad Owens, Vince Manuwai and Kynan Forney dropped by practice to say hi. Here's what Chad had to say:
"That's a big game," Owens said. "It's an opportunity to show what Hawai'i is all about. Every time we play a big team, we tend to raise our level of play. I'm just as excited as they are. No matter where I go, I represent Hawai'i. These guys represent Hawai'i, too."
Chad and Vince are supposed to give the Warriors pre-game pep talks. I'm inspired already!


And Dave Reardon has a quote from Ikaika Alama-Francis regarding his match-up against Andre Smith:
Along those lines, Alama-Francis was surprised to learn Alabama plans to start true freshman Andre Smith opposite him at left tackle.

"Really? That's a change. I just got to be ready. If the coaches at Alabama think he's ready to start, I just have to play that much harder. I can't take anybody lightly," said Alama-Francis, who had five sacks last year. "He's probably a tremendous player who works hard and earned his spot on the starting roster, so I've got to come ready to play."
Like I wrote a couple days ago, this will be one of the more interesting match-ups to watch when UH is on defense. It's a battle of pure raw talent vs. someone who just a few years ago was a skinny basketball player, but through hard work and discipline has developed into something special.

Advertiser Preview

The Honolulu Advertiser has released a UH football preview called In Their Own Words, which consists of a lot of interviews with players, coaches, fans, media, etc. They include interviews with Coach Jones, Coach Glanville, Davone Bess, REAGAN MAUIA, JIM LEAHEY, Norm Chow, Jason Elam, etc. Included with some of those interviews are videos of those interviews. Check it out. There are a bunch of other articles today, so I'll post those a little later. Two more days!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


The Warriors flew to Atlanta last night. Stephen Tsai writes about who went:
The Warriors took 24 players on offense, 33 on defense, and punter Kurt Milne, kicker Daniel Kelly and long-snapper Jake Ingram.

Thirteen defensive backs, 11 linebackers and nine defensive linemen made the trip.

All of the offensive players have spent at least a year in the program. On defense, there are seven first-year Warriors — defensive end David Veikune, inside linebacker Blaze Soares and defensive backs C.J. Hawthorne, Gerard Lewis, Myron Newberry, Jake Patek and Spencer Smith.
Again, there's no big list, but you can pretty much piece together who made the trip by reading the articles over the past few weeks, including this one, written by Jason Kaneshiro, that profiles freshman safety Spencer Smith:
Smith is among five freshman making their first road trips with the Warriors. He and linebacker Blaze Soares are the only true freshmen on the trip. Offensive lineman John Estes, backup quarterback Inoke Funaki, and linebacker Brashton Satele redshirted last year.

Cornerback C.J. Hawthorne and safety Jacob Patek, both junior-college transfers, are expected to start in their first Division I games this week.
Another Jason Kaneshiro article gives us some detail as to how tough it can be to be a walk-on, in an short profile on recent scholarship recipient Renolds Fruean. It also has a (thankfully) short injury update:
Offensive lineman Dane Uperesa was out for the second half of yesterday's practice. Jones said Uperesa had an injury to his toe that "he'll play through."

Kafentzis was sick and missed practice.

With Uperesa out, Keoni Steinhoff, a sophomore from Damien, and junior Larry Sauafea worked at right tackle in the team period yesterday.
And finally, here's an article from The Birmingham News about Bama defensive coordinator Joe Kines preparing for the Warrior run-and-shoot.
Kines knows better than to focus solely on the passing game.

"The first thing you've got to do is stop the run," Kines said. "The last time we were out there, they established the run early, and we were caught in a Catch-22 situation the rest of the game."

Hawaii beat Alabama 37-29 to end the Tide's 2003 regular season. The Warriors, surprisingly, rushed for 134 yards, averaging more than six yards a clip, to foul up the game plan.
This is Bama, so it'll be tough to establish the running game, but one must not discount the inertia, the momentum, the Nasty, The Juggernaut! Three more days!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Big Men

For me, one of the more interesting things to watch for during Saturday's game will be how Bama's heralded freshman offensive tackle Andre Smith does against Hawaii's 3-4 defense. On paper, it sounds like he should knock everybody down. Smith is 6'4", 348 pounds, and this article from the Decatur Daily says that he's quick and smart to boot. He sounds like a real football player and has understandably gotten a lot of hype.

But he'll be matched up against Hawaii senior captain Ikaika Alama-Francis along the front, and I think Alama-Francis is poised to have a breakout year, having bulked up over the off-season while retaining his quickness. It should be a good battle. If Ikaika causes problems, that'll free the linebackers to make plays, including blitzes, which I definitely want to see, especially from Amani Purcell! In general, this game is going to be a real test for the UH defense, and it's a chance to show how much they've improved from last year.

Four more days!

Auf Wiedersehen!

The Warriors leave for Atlanta tonight, and Stephen Tsai has a blog post sharing some funny stories about traveling with the team. It's a must!


Leonard Peters, Ikaika Alama-Francis and Samson Satele have been voted team captains by their fellow players. Here are some quotes from Stephen Tsai's article:
"The guys pick who they want to pick, so I guess I'm a captain," Peters said. "I'm honored. Hopefully, Ikaika is going to be the guy who yells at everybody."
Being named captain, Alama-Francis said, "is something special. When I came over from basketball, I never thought this would happen. The way I look at it, we've got great leaders on this team. Everybody is a captain in his own way."
"He's the king," Brennan said, a reference to Satele's nickname of S-King. "This isn't just his team. This is his monarchy."

Satele said: "It's an honor, and I accept it. It feels wonderful. It wasn't really a shock to me, because everyone has been telling me to be a leader since Day 1, so I'm a leader now."
Congratulations to all three.

Congratulations as well to Renolds Fruean and Tyson Kafentzis, who both earned scholarships.
"They're very deserving," Jones said. "They've worked hard, they've contributed to the team and they're good students."
Just reading articles about how hard they worked on and off the field this summer, this is good to hear!


There's been a debate on Sportshawaii.com and other places as to whether the UH players should do the haka, which they've been practicing recently, at the Alabama game. I think it would be a cool way to unite and fire up the team, but on the other hand, it could possibly be misinterpreted and be taken as an insult, and fire up the other team. In any case, it looks like the UH players won't be doing it. This is what the S-King had to say:
"Right now, we're not going to do it in Alabama. It's going to be very hot for us to do it," Satele said. "The haka is only for home games. If we do it there everybody's going to start yelling. And 93 thousand? Over our 60 guys that's going to be there? They're going to be louder."
Sounds like a good reason. Guess we'll see it at the UNLV game then!

Dave Reardon also writes that Keenan Jones won't be making the trip, but Ryan Keomaka and Patrick Olcholvy will. Neither Tsai nor Reardon compiled a complete travel roster, but maybe they will later in the week.


And finally, June, Jerry and Colt have much respek for Alabama.
“They don’t run the same scheme as Southern Cal, but they have the athletes just like SC," Brennan said. “Good football teams keep the tempo up and let their athletes play. They gang-tackle real well, and play with enthusiasm. They are simple in what they do. They love to blitz and bring pressure, and man up their receivers. Every game of theirs last year on tape was impressive."
And here's what June has to say:
“It will be very difficult for us, but at the same time a fantastic experience for my team," Jones said. “A good 30 percent of my team hasn’t been on an airplane and to the U.S. mainland before
Really? I would say it's more like 75%. We're all humble country bumpkins! What is this thing you call "airplanes"? Are you saying man can fly like a bird? And for that matter, what is this sport you call "football"? Is it anything like Capture the Chicken? It's all so new and frightening!

Monday, August 28, 2006

UH Press Release

Wow, check out this press release (PDF) from the UH Athletics Dept. It's for the Alabama game, but it's chock full of information about recent UH football history, this year's roster, possible starting line-ups, as well as trivia, stats, awards, all kinds of stuff. It's 16 pages in all, and it's keeping me from going to sleep!

Guess Who's on Another Watch List

That's right, it's Mr. Colt Brennan.
University of Hawai`i quarterback was selected today to the watch list for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback.


Celebrating 30 years, the O'Brien Award is the oldest and most prestigious award in the country for college quarterbacks and is named in honor of the late Davey O'Brien. O'Brien led the TCU Horned Frogs to the 1938 national championship and was the first player to win the Heisman, Walter Camp and Maxwell awards in one season.
This is getting ridiculous. I think I'm gonna put him on a watch list too. I'll need time to think of a name for my award though. In the meantime, congratulations to Colt! Yet again. Don't get too self-conscious with all these people watching you!


Looks like Alabama knows about the secret weapons!
The Warriors have a number of hefty backs, used mainly as blockers but capable of catching passes or running the football. That group includes three former linemen -- Reagan Mauai (sic) (285 pounds, down from 350 last season), Siave Seti (280, down from 320 a year ago) and junior-college transfer Jason Laumoli (264 pounds on a 5-foot-10 frame). Tailback Nate Ilaoa, the team’s leading rusher last season with 643 yards and six touchdowns, is stocky as well at 5-foot-9 and 230 pounds.


(Alabama linebacker Matt) Collins dismissed a suggestion that Hawaii wouldn’t use the backs often because of its proclivity for passing the football.

“Who knows?" Collins answered. “They might come out and try to run the ball down our throats. It’s the first game of the season, so we’ve got to be prepared for anything.
How dare they prepare for the run! Don't they know we're nothing but pass pass pass? Oh well, I still think Nasty and The Juggernaut will bust through the line like the Kool-Aid Man busts through walls. But it won't be a surprise when they do. Arrrgh!


Speaking of the backs, take a listen to the August 28th edition of The Tidecast Podcast, which is an internet radio show for Bama fans. Scott from Sportshawaii.com is interviewed for almost half an hour, providing the Hawaii fan perspective of the upcoming game, and I think he does a great job. But more importantly, he mentions that Nate and Reagan are referred to as Nasty and The Juggernaut! You should listen to the whole thing, but in case you're short on time, it's mentioned around the 15:30 mark. I'm hoping the Bama broadcasters will pick up on that and mention The Juggernaut during the game!


Stephen Tsai profiles Colt Brennan and details the many ways in which Colt is awesome. He also writes about how the coaches have given him some leeway in the offense because of his ability to scramble.
"He does have a certain ability to improvise," (QB coach Dan) Morrison said. "You want to be careful not to take that away from him. He's learning to stay within the system, because the system is very good, and it will help him. At the same time, we don't want to completely — and this is a bad way to phrase it — corral him. You want to utilize his strength. We want him to stay in (the pocket) longer, but we understand there will be times he's going to take off, and usually good things happen when he does."
It certainly was fun watching Brennan last year scramble around for 20 seconds, avoiding defender after defender, before completing a long pass to the sideline. I think he actually did that a few times, and it was always frickin exhilirating -- for the fans at least, not so much for the O-line. Despite the excitment factor, I hope he won't have to scramble as much this year, mainly because I'm hoping he'll be able to go through his reads a lot quicker. But it's a good option to have!


And Dave Reardon profiles the Warriors' two starting slotbacks, Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins, and talks about the disproportionate glory given to Bess despite very similar stats.
Bess caught 89 passes for 1,124 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, while Grice-Mullins grabbed 85 for 1,228 yards and 12 scores (plus one rushing).

At the end of the season, it was Bess who received more acclaim, as the Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year, and freshman All-America notice from two other entities. Grice-Mullins got some recognition, but mostly of the honorable-mention variety.

"Stuff like that you can't control. As long as my teammates, coaches and the local fans appreciate me, it's fine," Grice-Mullins said. "And all the hype could've gone either way. If we won more games, both of us would've got more, but it's hard to give two guys awards when you only win five games."
For various reasons, I think both Bess and Grice-Mullins will get comparable glory at the end of this season, but mostly because of all the Hawaii wins!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Keenan, Patek, Solomon, Hauula

Stephen Tsai writes that Keenan Jones might end up traveling to Alabama after all.
...he already has been placed on the tentative travel roster for Saturday's season-opener against Alabama. UH coach June Jones said a final decision will be made after tomorrow's morning practice.

"The thing is, he might not be able to contribute on defense this game, but he might be able to contribute on special teams."
Keenan has been down a long and complicated road, which is detailed in that Stephen Tsai article. Dave Reardon details how Jason Ferguson and Davone Bess helped Keenan out while he waited for the news. The players on this team are awesome. I'm sure everyone is glad it's over with and can now totally focus on football.

The Tsai article also has details of players who will probably go on the trip. The offense is mostly settled on, but since the defense has had so many injuries, a lot of it is up in the air.

And John Fonoti says he has learned a lesson in regards to academics, and will try to come back next year.
"I really messed up in the summer, even the spring time," Fonoti said. "Like the coaches say, 'It's a wake-up call.' I have to get better at it. I have to focus."

After this year, Fonoti will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

"I really want to thank coach Jones for giving me a second chance," Fonoti said. "I took things for granted last year. I'll be back."
Good to hear. Last year, he was a monster on special teams and should be able to contribute at linebacker.


Stephen Tsai has a Sunday interview with starting strong safety Jacob Patek. He talks about people getting adjusted to his name.
(Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville) calls me all kinds of stuff. He'll ask, 'What's your first name?' I'll say, 'Jacob,' and he'll say, 'Oh, no, we've got to change that. We can't have that.' He'll call me '31' or he'll call me 'Pak.' I'm not sure why he calls me 'Pak.' It sounds like he lost a few letters.

"Usually everybody calls me 'Jake.' Ikaika calls me 'Pater' instead of 'Patek.' I don't know why he does that. He's Ikaika.
That's pretty funny. Go read the entire interview to find out how hard a worker he is. Can't wait to see him on the field.


Kalani Simpson has a column about the defense learning Jerry Glanville's complicated schemes. Solomon Elimimian is the man when it comes to that.
Elimimian is the shining light. He's the prodigy. He's the brain.

There wouldn't be a worry if there were 11 41s.

It was Elimimian who passed every pop quiz last season, eventually starting 10 times as a true freshman, making 83 stops. A lot of kids on campus his age were still trying to find the library. Elimimian was reading Jerry Glanville's complicated pro playbook like it was "See Spot Run."

"Forty-one is not a freshman," Glanville would say again and again, always amazed. The kid had the brain of a third-year pro.
He's gonna be the leader of this defense in the next few years, if he isn't already.


Jason Kaneshiro writes about the Hauula connection between offensive tackles Dane Uperesa and Tala Esera. UH is gonna have an awesome offensive line this year. We usually do, but this one feels extra special. They're gonna provide a lot of opportunity for Colt to work his magic, as well as open big holes for the running backs, who will definitely get more rushes this year. I'm just guessing on the last part, but how can they not? Maybe that's the secret weapon. Okay, sssshhhhhh! I'll shut up about it. It'll be our little secret!


Okay, I can't shut up about the running backs. They're gonna be frickin awesome this year! We got The Nasty, we got The Juggernaut, we got The Farmer, we got The Jazen, we got The Siave, we got The Laumoli. And I really hope Khevin Peoples scores a touchdown this year so Jim Leahey can say, "You've been taken to the Peoples Court!"

Hooo, that would be awesome! It would be awesomer still if this was followed by a Reagan Mauia touchdown on the next series and Jim Leahey shouted, "The Juggernaut was most certainly a massive, inexorable force on that play! CAN. YOU. BELIEVE IT?!" If Jim Leahey said that, I would most certainly be raptured up to heaven then and there. I can totally picture him saying it too.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Keenan Jones Cleared

Finally, cornerback Keenan Jones has been cleared to play for UH. Probably too late for the Alabama game, but hopefully he can contribute by the time the UNLV game rolls around.


I didn't know The Juggernaut, aka "Reagan Mauia" had been injured.
Running back Reagan Mauia yesterday competed in contact drills for the first time since suffering a separated AC joint in his left shoulder two weeks ago.

"I'm good to go," Mauia said.

Jones agreed, adding: "He hasn't taken any reps in a while, but he'll be OK. It wasn't a dislocation. It was a separation. He's going to be OK by game time."
Good to hear he's back, though I don't think he was really hurt. He probably was just taking it easy on the UH defense so they could recover from their injuries. Muchas gracias, El Juggernauto Especial!

In the same article, Stephen Tsai writes that backup offensive lineman Marques Kaonohi has an injured finger, which I hope he can recover from. We also find out that kicker Daniel Kelly has been honing his mana.
The only number he is focusing on is the average length of his kickoffs. As a freshman last year, Kelly said, "my average kickoff was 57 yards, and it's 65 yards (from the tee) to the end zone."

Kelly said he spent the summer in California working on strengthening his leg and kicking off with greater force. He said his average kickoff now travels 70 yards.
Speaking of mana, the article also states that linebacker Mana Lolotai, who was supposed to go to Oregon State, may instead try to join the Warriors next year. When UH beats Oregon State this year, that should make the decision easier.


Dave Reardon has a profile of Ryan Keomaka, a starter last year at corner, but who wasn't invited to spring or fall camp due to academics. He's now contending to be on the 60-man travel roster on special teams as well as backup corner. His heart is in it!
"He's got great speed and he's a gutsy little guy," special teams coordinator Mouse Davis said of the 5-foot-10, 173-pound junior from Roosevelt. "When we got him on special teams two years ago he was one of our best cover kids on kickoffs. (Defensive backs coach and special teams assistant) Rich (Miano) is also using him some on covering punts this year. He should be excellent on kickoff cover again. And he's a good little athlete, so we're excited about getting him back."
Right on, hope he makes it to Bama.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Timmy Plays

Timmy Chang came in at the tail end of the 4th quarter and completed all one of his passes. He was 1 of 1 for 22 yards. The rest of the time he was handing off the ball or kneeling. Wish he got to play more.

Tomorrow, Chad Owens is on CBS. Be there!


Oooooooh, the Star-Bulletin has a "U.H. Football 2006 Road Atlas," which lays out the upcoming season in road atlas form. Lots and lots and lots of info for the Warrior fan! Be there!


Dave Reardon and Jason Kaneshiro write that the starting offensive line has been set. They are:

Left tackle... Tala Esera (Sr.)
Left guard.... Hercules Satele (Jr.)
Center........ Samson Satele (Sr.)
Right guard... John Estes (Fr.)
Right tackle.. Dane Uperesa (Sr.)

We got a very experienced line with a really good freshman. Glad Samson decided to wait another year before going to the NFL to be the leader of this line.


Stephen Tsai writes that injured starting nose tackle Michael Lafaele vows to play in the Bama game. I have no doubt he will!

In other injury news from that article, the outside linebackers continue to recover from injury, while there is good word for back-up offensive tackle Keith Ah Soon.
Ah Soon has suffered periodically from stringers — a nerve-pinch injury — on his right side of his neck.

A magnetic resonance imaging did not show any abnormalities. On Wednesday, he visited a specialist. Additional X-rays did not show any problems.

"Everything's normal," Ah Soon said. "The trainers were being more cautious about the situation. Everything is good. I'm cleared to play. Aloha."
Right on for Keith.

And finally, from the same article, slotback Marquez Jackson might play for the UH basketball team.
Jackson said he has had discussions with Jones and the basketball coaches. He said he would like to finish the football season before moving over, but it depends on "whenever they need me."
That's pretty cool. Prime time, prime time! But let's focus on the football right now! One can start by reading the Star-Bulletin UH football road atlas compendium.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Jason Ferguson

Keane Santos of Ka Leo O Hawaii has a good article on Jason Ferguson as he recovers from his torn ACL.
“Pretty much where I stand right now, I’m not fully recovered, but since it is my second one, I know exactly where I’m at as far as recovery,” Ferguson said. “I’m just taking my time right now. Man, I’ve been working though, it’s been 11 months since I hurt it, but I’m still trying to stay positive and do my rehab.”

When asked how he was doing, Ferguson replied, “I’d say around 80 or 85 percent back to where I need to be. It’s not my speed, because I have my quickness back. It’s that cut going up to full speed and stopping on the dime; it’s a little iffy right now. I got to take my time, make sure I do this right because if I hurt it again it’s going to set me far back.” He added, “I’m a sophomore status this season, so I still got three seasons left.”
Good luck to Jason. What a fighter.


I hope the UH defensive coaches are putting in a lot of preparation to cover the Bama tight ends.
In addition to having four wide receivers 6-foot-2 or taller, the Crimson Tide’s top three tight ends look like they could be a pretty good frontcourt in basketball.

“It sounds like a pretty good idea," sophomore Charles Hoke said after Wednesday’s practice. “I wouldn’t be opposed to it."

Hoke tops the group at 6-7, followed by sophomore Nick Walker (6-5) and sophomore Travis McCall (6-2) -- and that doesn’t include 6-2 true freshman Preston Dial.

“Throw it up and make them go get it over a linebacker," sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson said. “It’s really unfair."
Man, they got some tall ones. Maybe UH should consider dropping Ikaika Alama-Francis or Dane Uperesa back into coverage! Nah, we'll be alright. Let's hope Leonard Peters will be healthy for the game.


After reading this article, it seems like Timmy Chang might have his chances of making the team complicated by the fact that Koy Detmer is a good holder. And if Koy's the holder, Jeff Garcia might be the third string QB. Here's what Garcia says:
"That's a situation that's going to be left up to the coaching staff. Obviously, our kicking game is important. If David is more comfortable with Koy, because I know that he's worked with him a number of years, and that is an important element to this game and what we have to do from a kicking standpoint, then that's going to be a decision the coaches have to make."

Special teams coordinator John Harbaugh said yesterday that the holding competition "is going to come down to other factors," meaning Detmer's viability as the No. 2 QB.
Gotta read it to get the full gist of it. Let's just hope Timmy changes or makes up some minds this Friday on ESPN.


Dave Reardon and Jason Kaneshiro have an article about the nagging injuries that are keeping a lot of the players out of practice. But some of the back-ups are stepping up, like Micah Lau.
Lau worked extensively with the first unit yesterday. The 5-foot-9, 207-pound junior had seen limited action on special teams prior to this season, but he's earned the praise of his coaches and some action with the first-teamers with his effort in camp.

"Probably our most improved outside 'backer, maybe our most improved player from last year, is (No.) 26," Glanville said.
At nose tackle, first stringer Michael Lafaele was out for a second straight day, but his back-up Lawrence Wilson was back to practice, though he is still limited due to his injury.

Stephen Tsai has an article about a charity that benefits HUGS and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawai'i for severely ill children, through the June Jones Foundation. The charity's website, www.warriorsrespond.com sells products emblazoned with the chant "eo na toa, eo na toa e".
The UH football chant, played before and during games, originated from a discussion between Jones, the Warriors' head coach, and Emmy Award-winning composer Mike Post, who crafted the themes for such television shows as "L.A. Law," "Hill Street Blues," "Law & Order" and "NYPD Blue."

During a dinner at the Waialae Country Club three years ago, Post told Jones: "You've got to find something that is so Polynesian that it relates to your football team. You need a slogan, words to live by, whose meaning is hyper specific to Hawai'i."

Post called Kanalu Young, an associate professor at the Kamakakakuolani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

Young suggested this phrase, eo na toa, eo na toa e, which, according to the Web site, translates to: "Respond fellow Warriors, respond with one's heart to the challenges that lie ahead of us."

"I passed the phone to June," Post recalled. "His eyes got big. He said, 'I'll never have to give another speech in my life.' "
That's pretty cool. Go support the charity and get a cool t-shirt out of it. I'm getting this one:

And be sure to chant "eo na toa, eo na toa e" when you're wearing it at Foodland. I would get a green one too, but they don't have one yet. Anyways, go visit!

The rest of Stephen Tsai's article has some injury updates and a short profile on Micah Lau as well. Micah is famous today.
Lau, who earned a scholarship because of his play on special teams last year, is becoming the guest who won't go away. At 5 feet 9 and 215 pounds, Lau is athletic (35-inch vertical jump), strong (bench presses 385 pounds) and a sure tackler.

"He's our best run-stopper," Kafentzis said. "He takes on the fullback the best out of anybody. This guy is a sleeper."
Good to hear we got depth there, especially with all the injuries, and I would guess there should be a lot of rotation going on in the Bama heat.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Colt on the Watch Again

Colt Brennan has been named to the watch list of the Manning Award.
The Manning Award was created in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning and will be presented to the recipient following the holiday bowl season. It is the only quarterback award which takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
Way to go, Colt. Again!

UPDATE: Stephen Tsai's article has Colt's reaction.
"It's cool," Brennan said. "I watch Peyton a lot. I like the way he takes control of the game. It's a different style of quarterback. I like his commercials, too. He has some of the best commercials."

Punt Returner

In addition to being a starter at corner, C.J. Hawthorne will play several special teams positions, which now includes including punt returner.
(June) Jones is impressed with Hawthorne's calmness in fielding punts, and his ability to elude would-be tacklers.

"C.J. Hawthorne is our guy," Jones said.

Hawthorne, who enrolled at UH in January after transferring from a junior college, said he thrives on challenges.

"Everything is pressure, and I love pressure," Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne is the Warriors' top right cornerback and kick-blocker. He also will be used as the gunner on kickoffs.
Can't wait to see him on the field. The rest of Stephen Tsai's article, as well as today's Dave Reardon article, is mostly info about injuries. Here's a quick summary.
  • OL Keith Ah Soon has been suffering from stingers and is currently being restricted from practice until team doctors clear him.

  • OLB Amani Purcell has a strained left in-step and did not finish practice.

  • OLB Brashton Satele suffered a stinger and couldn't finish practice.

  • NT Michael Lafaele was out with a sprained ankle.

  • NT Lawrence Wilson was out with an ankle injury.

  • DL Renolds Fruean has a foot injury.

  • OLB Tyson Kafentzis was out sick.

  • SS Brad Kalilimoku is out with a sore hamstring.
The good news is that most of the injuries don't appear too serious, and most if not all the players should be back in time for the season opener. Also, Leonard Peters is back to practice, along with C.J. Allen-Jones. So it's not all bad.

And finally, here's a Star-Bulletin article on how to fry your own shrimp chips.
Shrimp chips in the raw resemble tiddly-winks -- hard, thin discs, but unevenly shaped and in translucent shades of green, pink, white and yellow. To make them edible, heat a small pot of vegetable oil to 325 to 350 degrees and carefully lower in a chip or two. Don't do too much at once or you might have trouble fishing them all out in time.
I always thought shrimp chips were pieces of styrofoam seasoned with saimin packets. Either way, they're still delicious.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lelie Traded (Finally)

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that Ashley Lelie has been traded to the Atlanta Falcons as part of a three-way trade between Atlanta, Denver and Washington.
In exchange for (T.J) Duckett, 25, the Redskins sent a third- or fourth-round pick to Denver, who, in turn, shipped Lelie, 26, to the Falcons.
It doesn't sound like an official announcement, but I'm sure that should come soon. Lelie's reason for wanting to be traded is that he was going to relegated as third receiver in Denver. According to the article...
Lelie will be the Falcons' No. 3 wide receiver behind Michael Jenkins and Roddy White. Coach Jim Mora has said it would be made clear that any receiver the team acquired would not leapfrog White and Jenkins and that disruption over the pecking order would not be tolerated.
Well, let's hope Lelie moves up the depth chart early in the season. Good luck to him and thank goodness the speculation is over. Most likely.

UPDATE: Here's the ESPN article.


I had to change the banner again. As you can see, it's looking much more awesome.

Keenan Jones

Argh, I feel really bad for Keenan Jones after reading today's blog post by Stephen Tsai.
Two weeks ago, Jones, who played for Compton College last season, passed the final class at another California community college needed to earn an associate degree, his eligibility requirement to play for the Warriors this season.

Jones received a copy of the final grade before arriving in Honolulu on Aug. 12. All that was needed was a quick signoff, and Jones could practice with the team and receive his football scholarship.

Through late yesterday, Jones was still waiting.
Click on the link to Stephen's blog for the reason. He also writes that several UH administrators and "high-rollers" are coming along for the Alabama game, while the UH football travel roster is being limited to 60 players... by UH adminstrators. Let's hope those high-rollers are paying their own way, or are giving UH a gigantic donation. And if they are, why can't more players come on the trip? We're gonna need as much help on the field as we can get.

And lets hope they clear Keenan Jones for practice soon. Sheesh.


Stephen Tsai writes that Leonard Peters has been bothered by a sore ankle throughout most of fall practice, which is worrying the coaches.
"He's not showing what he does on two (healthy) ankles," Glanville said. "What he has done on two good ankles, he's as quick as a hiccup. You can't stop him. On one good ankle, he's just quick. Against Alabama, we need the hiccup."
Let's hope he can recover in time fore the big game. The article quotes Leonard saying that he should practice today.

Now that Amani Purcell has joined the team, he has not only moved up to the top of the depth chart at outside linebacker, he's also getting a lot of work on special teams. This is from the Advertiser article:
But he also practiced at left outside linebacker, and has been assigned to play on four special teams — punt (right guard), kickoff return (wedge), punt return (wedge) and kickoff.

"They're giving me the whole deal," Purcell said. "They're trying to kill me out there on special teams. I guess I have to do what I have to do."
UH needs to improve on special teams from last year, so hopefully Amani can contribute there as well.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Timmy Chang Update

Looks like Timmy is still in the running to make the Eagles roster. He hasn't been outstanding in the preseason, but his competition, Koy Detmer, hasn't been doing too well. This article has a few quotes from Timmy.
Chang didn't do much his first two preseason appearances, but on Thursday night in Baltimore he showed some flashes.

Although the final numbers weren't impressive, Chang was victimized by two drops, both by tight end Andy Thorn, one of them negating a potential 25-yard gain.

“I could have done a lot better,” Chang said. “When I grade myself, I'm pretty hard. I'm thinking about some throw that I could have made. Simple throws across the middle, putting them in front of the receiver. A simple thing like stepping up in the pocket and not giving up a sack. There are a couple of things that I didn't do well. Those are the things that will stick in my mind.

“I'm pretty critical. I'm just trying to do better every day.”

But there were some positives — completions of 17 and 14 yards to Bill Sampy, 18 yards to Jabar Gaffney and 11 yards to Justin Jenkins. There was a seven-yard strike to Jenkins on fourth-and-6 and another fourth-down conversion on a Ravens penalty.
Although, as the article says, he's had flashes of the old Timmy brilliance, he has to show some consistency and have a really good game this Friday. Here are the dates when roster cuts are made:

Aug. 29 : Roster cut to 65 players
Sept. 2: Roster cut to 53 players
Sept. 7: Regular season begins

And this is a good weekend for fans to root for Timmy Chang as well as Chad Owens since the Eagles-Steelers game and the Jaguars-Bucs game are both on national television. Here's the schedule:

Fri., Aug. 25 Pittsburgh at Philadelphia ESPN (8 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. HST)

Sat., Aug. 26 Tampa Bay at Jacksonville CBS (8 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. HST)

Here's to hoping both Chang and Owens have awesome games.

In current Warrior news, Dave Reardon reports that Amani Purcell and Brashton Satele have both moved up the depth chart to become the first team outside linebackers. These two are supposed to be studs on the field, so I can't wait to see them play. Glad to hear the UH players are pushing each other. It can only help the team.


Keane Santos of Ka Leo O Hawaii has a rundown of the Warrior offense. Here's a quote from wide receiver Ross Dickerson:
“We haven’t done nothing yet. We have to produce in the game to be the best,” Dickerson said. “[But] our offense will be one of the best in the nation; you can quote me on that.”
I think he's just being modest. If the Warriors remain healthy, I think they'll have the number one offense in the nation this season, both in scoring and yardage. And if we can have a decent defense to go along with it, this team will be unstoppable!

Rosters Expand

It's the first day of school at UH, so the football roster can now expand beyond the 105 player fall camp limit.
At least eight players will join UH today — a ninth if cornerback Keenan Jones is cleared — and all but two are defensive players.

"I won't believe it until I see it," defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville told a reporter. "Talk to me after practice."

The additions are cornerbacks Ryan Keomaka, Keao Monteilh and Ryan Perry; linebackers Chris Williams and Sebastian Siaki; defensive lineman Nate Russell; and running backs Jazen Anderson and Alonzo Chopp.
The article says UH still has not certified Keenan Jones' summer school grades. He's been waiting for nearly two weeks.

Dave Reardon profiles incoming cornerback Ryan Perry, who is transferring from Sacramento State. He'll have to sit out this year.
"I didn't take my recruiting trip out here (two years ago). If I would've taken my recruiting trip, I couldn't have said no," Perry added. "I was supposed to come out here with (high school teammate) Andrew Pearman."
Dave Reardon also has an overview of Hawaii's first opponent, Alabama, which held a scrimmage this past Saturday.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Title Change

I was gonna try to write a 2006 Warriors preview this weekend, but instead I changed the title of this blog and redesigned the banner. Style over substance!

So the blog is now called "The Warriors Will Throw"

I figure it's better than "University of Hawaii Football," which is a title I've had for a while because it's generic, but I now realize could be confused for an official UH football blog, which could in turn get me in trouble. Especially when I start swearing and insulting people.

As for "The Warriors Will Throw", I chose it because the Warriors throw the ball a lot... It's also a take-off on those "June Would Throw" bumper stickers that came out a few years ago. And it allows me to add "You Off the Pali" next to it in small print. I just hope no one actually gets thrown off the Pali anytime soon.

As for the banner, the little Colt Brennan and Davone Bess are from two photographs taken by Scott Morifuji of the Honolulu Advertiser during last year's Boise State game. UPDATE: The little Colt Brennan and Davone Bess are drawn by a master artist I commissioned to capture the beauty that is football in motion. It was a long, arduous task, but I think it turned out better than expected.

And I took the football stitching design from a T-Shirt I bought at the UH Rainbowtique. Gotta give props!

Anyway, that's enough about the blog, back to UH football news from here on out. The Bama game is less than two weeks away!

Interview with Dane

Stephen Tsai has a Sunday interview with offensive lineman Dane Uperesa. Here's a quote on when he first started playing football, trying out for the team at Punahou.
"They told me to line up at defensive end. I ran 20 yards away from the coach. He was yelling: 'What are you doing?' I didn't really know anything about football. If I ever watched a game, it would be to see who would score a touchdown, because I knew what that was.

"I've been a project the day I first put on that helmet. Football never came naturally for me. In basketball, if you throw me the ball, it feels right. You put me in pads across from a guy just as big as me, I have to adjust."
And now he's one of the strongest guys on the UH team, and a pro prospect to boot.

Tsai also has a good breakdown of the depth at each offensive and defensive position, who's injured, who's making strides, etc.

Dave Reardon has a good breakdown as a well, along with an injury report on freshman free safety Spencer Smith.
"It felt good today, but coach (defensive coordinator Jerry) Glanville wanted me to give it one more day so I could have Sunday (today's off day), too. The main part is I'm happy it just wasn't too serious. I heard it pop and that scared me. After a couple minutes it felt fine, but it swelled up. Been icing it, rehabbing it, ready to go Monday.
All these injuries are starting to add up, but reading the articles you find out most of them are minor and everybody should be ready to play on opening day. Plus, seems like UH got a lot of depth this year.

And Jason Kaneshiro has an article profiling the Warriors' gigantic running backs, lead by the one, the only, The Juggernaut, aka "Reagan Mauia", who talks about his focus.
"I had to discipline myself," Mauia said. "It was hard trying to get out to the track, but it's the discipline that gets you to get out there. Just did a lot of running, a lot of weight-room work."

"Reagan is used to carrying a 380-pound body. His leg strength is good and he's able to move around real well," Suan said.
As you can see, with The Juggernaut's leg strength, it will be no problem for him if a linebacker or two decides to hang onto him as he makes his way into the end zone. He'll just be saying, "That's funny, I feel like I've put on a few pounds. Oh well, I better go score this touchdown." And then, still not recognizing his own strength, he'll send Vili the Warrior crashing into his own drums with a celebratory chest bump. But Vili will be okay. He'll just learn to be prepared the next time. But being prepared for The Juggernaut does not prepare you at all, as Vili will realize when he flies into the stands on the next touchdown.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Visit from Marvin

In today's Advertiser blog post, Stephen Tsai talks about boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler visiting the Warriors after practice to give a pep talk. Here's what he had to say:
“I told them to stay tough, man,” said Hagler, who now lives in Italy. “That’s the secret of success.”

Hagler, still looking in fighting shape, and Rich Miano, UH’s defensive secondary coach, were childhood buddies.

“He’s a really good friend,” Hagler said of Miano.
That's cool. Seems like the UH coaching staff knows everybody. Here's Colt Brennan's reaction, which I found kinda funny:
“You see these guys on ESPN Classic, and you wonder what they’re doing now. It’s nice to see the guy’s out and about and doing really well with life. It was cool to meet him.”
Speaking of Colt, he was named to another pre-season watch list.
Warrior quarterback Colt Brennan is one of 35 "players to watch" for the Walter Camp Football Foundation's prestigious Player of the Year award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.

Injuries Part 2

Okay, so there are quite a few injuries on offense:

Dane Uperesa (OL) - knee
Laupepa Letuli (OL) - broken hand
Michael Washington (SB) - toe, shin splints, ankle
Dylan Linkner (WR) - pulled hamstring
Ross Dickerson (WR) - ankle
Ian Sample (WR) - groin

So there goes yesterday's fear that all the injuries are on defense. That makes me feel better. Actually, no it doesn't, that's horrible. I don't want anybody injured. But as June explains, all this is normal:
Jones said the growing list of nagging injuries is neither unusual nor a concern.

"You go back and look, and it's the same every year," Jones said. "It's football. It's because we're playing football, and they haven't been playing football for a while. It's different out here than when you're working out in the summer. Out here, you have guys leaning on you. It's just a different deal."
I also didn't list Nate Ilaoa and Samson Satele, who were hurt earlier in camp. And one more injury on defense, Victor "Bully" Fergestrom (LB) went down with an injured back.

But it's not just the Warriors who are racking up the injuries. Bama has had their share.
...the team has also been hampered by a variety of injuries and other absences all week long. (John Parker) Wilson himself has been healthy but running backs Kenneth Darby and Glen Coffee, wide receiver Keith Brown, offensive linemen Kyle Tatum, Justin Britt and David Ross, among others, have all missed practice time.

“The offensive line definitely took a hit," Wilson said after Friday’s practice. “But we’ve had some other guys step in and play, so we will be all right."
Here's hoping for two healthy teams to play on September 2nd.

Dave Reardon has more on Amani Purcell joining the team and how the Warriors are pretty much all related.
Melila Purcell said he and his brother are related to Brashton, Hercules and Samson Satele, Raphael Ieru, Nate Ilaoa, Fale Laeli, Reagan Mauia and Lawrence Wilson.

"Some of them, I meet the parents and they go through the family line and we find out we're related," Melila Purcell said. "There's blood in the system. It seems like it's more than half the team.
That's great, it's like every day it's a party at uncle June's house. Except he yells at you and makes you run drills.

And Duane Shimogawa Jr. of The Garden Island has a profile on Kauai-born defensive lineman Keala Watson, who has a message:
“Be ready to see something good happen,” he said after a morning practice session. “We’re really going to make this an exciting season for the entire state.”
Word to your mutha.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Outside linebacker Amani Purcell, Mel Purcell's brother and a transfer from Penn State, has been cleared to practice. Finally! He's supposed to be awesome, and now we have a little more depth.


There haven't been major injuries so far, but all these minor injuries are adding up and getting in the way of practice. Here's a list of players affected by injury.

Leonard Peters (FS) - ankle
Spencer Smith (FS) - ankle
Blaze Soares (ILB) - hamstring
Adam Leonard (ILB) - quad
Brad Kalilimoku (SS) - hamstring
A.J. Martinez (CB) - groin and hip
Brashton Satele (OLB) - thigh
Lawrence Wilson (NT) - ankle
Fale Laeli (NT) - concussion

I'm sure I'm missing some, but notice how they're all on defense? That's not good. But the good news is that some of them are already back to practice and June Jones says they could all play if they had to.

And kicker Dan Kelly was the hero yesterday as he made a 46-yard field goal to end practice and give his teammates a pool party.
Kelly said he received some "motivational speeches" from some of his larger teammates before the kick.

"But they were joking, all smiles after they say it," Kelly said. "There's definitely some of that 'We love you, but we won't love you if you miss it' kind of comments. All tough love, brotherly love kind of thing."
Here's what everyone was treated to at the pool:
With University of Hawai'i football teammates chanting — "Three Plus! ... Three Plus!" — 6-foot-6 1/2, 360-pound Kavan Bannigan stepped to the edge of the 10-meter-high board.

Then Three Plus jumped.

Only his teammates' collective roar drowned out the sound of the splat.

"I was surprised there was still water left in the pool after that," senior safety Leonard Peters said.

"That," UH coach June Jones, "was something you don't see everyday."
Man, I think we just found a new running back!

And June talks to the Alabama Press-Register about the Bama running game versus the Hawaii defense.
"We had to tackle Reggie Bush and Lendale White in the first game last year, and I'm not so sure (Alabama's) guys aren't as good as those two," Jones said Thursday.

"Alabama is going to run the football, we know, and we have to be able to tackle those backs."


"We've been practicing hard, but we're just not quite where we're going to need to be to play Alabama," said Jones, whose team split two games with the Tide in 2002 and 2003 at Aloha Stadium.
I have a feeling it won't be as bad as June is making it out to be, even with the injuries we have on defense. I like the way June is talking though, showing a lot of respect to Bama and acknowledging the status of the Warrior defense. Of course, on game day, this will all be moot! Let's hope UH is healthy and ready to go!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Eric Shaffer, a wide receiver from Arkansas who is joining the Warriors next year, is really really fast.
Shaffer is the AAA state champion in the 100-meter run and posted the fastest 100-meter time in the state this year. He was also electronically timed in the 40-yard-dash at 4.31.
My goodness.

In current Warrior news, Stephen Tsai has a great profile of slotback Jason Ferguson, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL. He's someone with a lot of strength and desire, and you can't help rooting for him.
"As of right now, because of the two surgeries, the arthritis I'll have in my knee will be substantial," Ferguson said. "I'll deal with the risk. It's something I want that bad. I'm going to have to tell my (future) kids: 'I love you, but I'm going to have throw you the ball, and you're going to have to bring it back to me.' I'm fine with that.

"I'm so close. I can't walk away now. Until I can't run anymore, until my brain can't comprehend this offense, that's what it will take for me to give it up. I don't want to be an old man asking: 'Why did I quit? Why did I quit when I was so close?' I'll be limping around when I'm an old man, but I'll worry about that then."
Let's hope Jason can come back and give defenders nightmares.

In the meantime, Dave Reardon and Jason Kaneshiro write that UH is incredibly deep at receiver and may rotate more than they did in the past. Luckily, it doesn't appear that there's a selfish one in the bunch. Colt can distribute to anybody without worry because they're all team players, they all have talent, and they'll be everywhere on the field! The defenses can't key on anyone! There's Bess, Rivers, RGM, Bain, Mock, Sample, Washington, Dickerson, and later on Ferguson along with others waiting in the wings. This offense is gonna be awesome! And when everybody's worried about covering the receivers, BOOM! Nasty and the Juggernaut will be there to rumble over some unsuspecting fools! Cannot wait! Can you tell I'm drinking coffee?!?!

Speaking of the Hawaii offense, Alabama is looking for people to pressure the QB as they get ready for the Warriors.
"One of our goals will be to try to get us about 10 guys who can rush the passer that first game," Tide defensive coordinator Joe Kines said. "You can break down our schedule at the first three or four games, and if we can't find some pass rushers, it'll be a long get-go here."

Maybe, just maybe, Kines is giving Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas, foes Nos. 2 through 4 for the Crimson Tide, a little too much credit. But no one doubts the propensity for the pass that Hawaii has, making the unique challenge of the season-opener worth dissecting even as the Tide isn't even halfway through with preseason practice.
The Warriors have an amazing offensive line, so Bama may have to blitz to get to Colt, which will just free up more receivers. And Colt can scramble too, which will make it a little tougher. Should be a good battle to watch.

And finally, this article by Jason Kaneshiro has an injury update, which I won't post since there's a lot of news. It doesn't appear that any of the injuries are too serious, which is good. Just bumps and bruises and strains you expect to get in training camp. But that article also mentions how the offensive line celebrated Colt Brennan's birthday.
Brennan turned 23 yesterday, and was hoping his birthday would pass without much fuss.

"I wanted to keep it low-key so I don't get beat up too much," the Warrior quarterback said after practice.

So much for that idea.

Seconds after the words left his mouth, offensive linemen Samson Satele and Dane Uperesa snuck behind Brennan and doused him with a bucket brimming with ice water.
That just means they like him! It's all good. Happy birthday to Colt.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

C.J. Hawthorne

Stephen Tsai with the wrap-up of C.J. Tausaga and Stephen Lei departing and Jazen Anderson returning.

And as one C.J. leaves, another C.J ascends the depth chart in ten different positions.
"We're looking at him everywhere. He's a special guy," said defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville. The pun was intended, since Hawthorne, who is No. 1 on the depth chart at right cornerback, will likely play on several special teams as well.


"My first game my senior year (at St. Martin High School in Owen Springs, Miss.), I didn't come off the field a single play," Hawthorne said after the Warriors practice yesterday. "Safety and cornerback, running back, receiver, running back kicks, covering kicks."

He's displayed a propensity for blocking kicks. Problem is, Jones would also like him to return kicks. As they say in track and field, that's a tough double.
It's a good problem to have. He sounds like an awesome utility player. Let's hope he doesn't get injured or we'll be out in a lot of areas. He'll be the Chone Figgins of the Warriors.

Ferd Lewis has a profile of GA offensive line coach Dennis McKnight and his colorful vocabulary.
"He (McKnight) reminds me a lot of Coach Cav because he had a lot of his own sayings, too," said Dane Uperesa, a starting fifth-year senior tackle. "If we had a normal offensive line coach, we probably wouldn't respond as well as we need to. Us big guys need somebody yelling at us to motivate us. Everything in our system is repetition and it is good to have a coach lighten it up a little. He makes you laugh and makes you focus."
At the end of this Dave Reardon article, there's a profile on freshman free safety Spencer Smith, who has been playing with the first and second teams.
"I am a little surprised actually," he said. "Leonard gave me a couple of his reps since he's the expert on it and he's just been taking me under his wing and helping me out and telling me what to do. He's been a great mentor since I've been here."
Leonard is such a cool guy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

And Finally... (Let's Hope)

Walk-on freshman defensive back Stephen Lei has quit the UH football team to focus on academics and work.

Good luck to Mr. Lei. Maybe one day he'll be back.

Tausaga Quits

Oh well, we regain one, lose another. Stephen Tsai reports that cornerback CJ Tausaga is leaving the team.
Cornerback C.J. Tausaga has decided to quit the University of Hawai'i football team to focus on working with his church.


"He's one of the better people you would want to work with," said Rich Miano, who coaches defensive backs at UH.

"He's a loss to the program, more so as a person than a player."
Dave Reardon has more details.
"I actually made the decision a while ago," Tausaga said. "But I wanted to make sure I told all the coaches. I didn't want to walk out without going to them face-to-face."


The 5-foot-7, 187-pound freshman was No. 2 at cornerback on the depth chart after spring practice. But Tausaga was unable to hold that spot or move up in fall camp and was assigned to the scout team.
Good luck to C.J.

Change of Heart

Stephen Tsai reports that running back Jazen Anderson, who quit the team last week, has changed his mind and will rejoin the Warriors. Right on. I'm glad he's coming back. Now he can take part in what is shaping up to be a season full of awesomeness.

Heir Apparent

Stephen Tsai with the story of another lineman turned running back:
"That short guy did a great job," Glanville said of 5-foot-11, 272-pound Laumoli. "He was excellent. We were supposed to pound him, and he ended up pounding us. I'm going to find his name, and recommend June move him to running back today."

UH head coach June Jones was a step ahead, declaring Laumoli as "my next Reagan Mauia."
Whoa there. Such high praise shouldn't be tossed around so lightly! El Juggernauto Especial cannot be replaced that easily. But I like the potential. Ohhh yeah!

Dave Reardon has an article on future star QB Inoke Funaki's penchant for the roller skates, with a quote from the one, the only:
"The first time I saw that I almost ordered a cheeseburger from him. I thought he was from one of those restaurants," UH running back Reagan Mauia said. "Maybe he should play that sport, where they skate around in a circle. What is it? Yeah, roller derby."
And here's an injury/eligibility report from the Reardon and Tsai articles.

  • Nate Ilaoa was out of practice because someone stepped on his toe and/or hand on Saturday, but it doesn't appear to be serious.

  • Both Keenan Jones and Amani Purcell should join camp this week. They're still waiting for paperwork to clear

  • Defensive lineman Fale Laeli has been out four practices with a concussion

  • Samson Satele is back to practicing as he recovers from an Achilles injury

  • Cornerback AJ Martinez was out again with a groin injury
  • Monday, August 14, 2006

    Styling, Profiling

    Jason Kaneshiro of the Star-Bulletin has a profile on linebacker Adam Leonard, who feels fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered two years ago as a high school senior. Now he's ready to make some hits!
    "All the schools that were recruiting me before basically dropped me," he said. "Cal tried to talk me into going to junior college, Duke tried to talk me into going to military school. I knew in my heart that shouldn't be the route I should have to go. I was academically eligible and I had the ability, so I wanted to find a D-I (school) and thankfully the Lord put it on (Jones') heart to say, 'I'm going to take a chance on him.'"
    And Stephen Tsai has a profile on The Juggernaut, aka "Reagan Mauia" who as June Jones says, has lost the equivalent of a 12 year old kid in weight since last season, and is fit and ready to bowl over some unsuspecting fools.
    Mauia said he has always been naturally strong.

    "When we were growing up, we didn't have forklifts, we used each other," he said. "My mom used to always tell me I don't know my own strength."

    Like other teen-aged boys, Mauia said, "I had chores around the house. But I took it to another level. I picked up couches. I moved refrigerators by myself, things like that. I learned the power of leverage. If you have leverage, anything is possible."
    He's gonna bust through lines like the Kool Aid Man busts through walls. Ohhhh yeah.

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Interview with Samson

    Stephen Tsai has a Sunday interview with Samson Satele.
    On Dennis McKnight, who will help Wes Suan coach the offensive line this season:

    "He's like a bigger version of Cav. You can't get away with anything because he's always watching the films. He's learning, too, while he's coaching. He's watching every little detail, from your footwork to your hands and head. He knows what to do and what not to do at a certain time or play. He's very strict on technique. If you're bad on technique, he's going to correct you, no matter if it takes five minutes or 10 minutes or how many minutes.

    "He's intimidating to look at. He's a very big guy. The first time I saw him was in the spring. It was like, 'Who is this guy?' He was a beast. I found out he was the special teams coach back in '99. When I found out he was coming, I was very scared of him and what he was going to do to us. He's very intense. Very loud. Very intimidating. I trust him, just like I trust coach Cav. I can go into his office at any time. I can tell him anything. I like the guy."
    The whole interview is good, so go read it!

    In the battle for starting strong safety, it looks like Jacob Patek is slightly ahead of Brad Kalilimoku right now, despite missing a few practices due to food poisoning. But that could change before the start of the season. I'll post a post-fall camp depth chart when it's announced. In this Dave Reardon article, Jacob Patek talks about his respect for a former UH player.
    When defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold recruited Patek out of Blinn Junior College in Texas, he raved about David Maeva, a former UH linebacker he coached in the CFL.

    Maeva was known for his intensity, speed and hard hitting.

    "I saw him (play) on tape and met him and I thought would be a great honor to wear his number," Patek said. "I love the way he played and I want to model the way I play after him. I asked him and he gave me the right to wear his number.

    Reinebold said he told Patek that his style of play reminded him of Maeva, whom he considers "the best football player I've ever coached."

    "I also told him, 'Don't you dare put on that shirt unless you plan to bring it every play," Reinebold said.
    If he's half as intense as Maeva was, that should be something to see!

    Kalani Simpson has a column on UH kickers and punters, and how they're perceived to be slacking at practice, but really they're not.
    "Actually," UH kicker Dan Kelly says, "yesterday, Kenny Patton, one of the DBs, said something that I thought was kind of interesting. He said, 'In a game of hitting, kickers are playing golf.'

    "Which is very true," Kelly says. "We're very technical. We work very hard on our technique, our tactical aspect. But I mean, we are golfers. We don't do hitting. That's not in our contract. Kicking is a very technical thing. So even though it doesn't look like we're sweating, our minds are doing the sweating."
    Stephen Tsai reports that Keenan Jones and Amani Purcell are academically qualified to play, but are just waiting for paperwork to clear. Good to hear that they'll be practicing soon. He also has more on Maeva and Patek. Jeff Reinebold is awesome by the way. And here's an injury update:

  • Back-up nose tackle Lawrence Wilson is still out with a tweaked ankle.

  • Both AJ Martinez and Michael Lafaele are back to practice.

  • Samson Satele is back in a limited capacity as he recovers from a sore Achilles tendon.

  • And finally, I've made most of the names bold, like a sports magazine, so it's easier to find. I'll try it out for the forseeable future.

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    In Defense of the D-fence

    I think the defense is gonna be vastly improved this year. UH has some great players who have had time to absorb Jerry Glanville's system. They're bigger, stronger and there's more competition. Kalani Simpson has a great column highlighting the D.
    "He knew the problem," Glanville said of June Jones. "He said, 'We will fix that problem. That problem will get fixed right now.' And because of his commitment and he being the head coach, that's what we were doing. I got in the car and started driving."

    And before you knew it, Hawaii was bringing in 37 cornerbacks.

    (Dear Reader: Obviously that last statement is untrue. It's a joke, an exaggeration to make a point. That number is obviously too high. Everyone knows with Chris Camacho leaving the team it's actually 36 cornerbacks.)
    You should definitely read the whole column. It's good.

    Dave Reardon profiles sophomore Khevin Peoples, who's making the switch from linebacker to running back.
    Peoples played running back four years in high school, two as a fullback at Blake High School in Tampa, Fla.

    "I know all about blocking, I know that's the most important part of playing running back in this offense," he said.

    Coach June Jones said the 5-foot-11, 202-pound Peoples' combination of speed and strength will be an asset at his new position. He was gridlocked among several other solid young players at outside linebacker.
    Glad to hear he has no problem with blocking. He's the future!

    Stephen Tsai has more on Jazen Anderson's decision to leave.
    "He felt there were a lot of bodies back there, and we're a one-back system," UH coach June Jones said. "He came and talked to me. You have to fight through adversity, but I guess he wanted to make this decision."

    Mouse Davis, who coaches the running backs, acknowledged "we've got so many guys at running back, it didn't look like he was going to get any reps. If he's not going to get any reps, he wanted to try somewhere else. You can't blame a kid. That's fine."

    Anderson said he does not have any immediate football plans.

    Anderson, who will return to Los Angeles on Tuesday, has only one season of NCAA Division I eligibility remaining.
    Good luck to Jazen. And updating yesterday's entry, even though he's a junior, I think he only has one year to play D-I because he would have to sit out a year if he transfers to another D-I school, but wouldn't if it was D-II. Of course, he could have played two years of D-I if he stayed a Warrior. If any of that's wrong, blame Wikipedia. Incidentally, every time I hear the word "Wikipedia" I think of Rap Reiplinger's Puka Shell Tour Guide. Not really sure why. Anyway, I need to get me an NCAA rulebook.

    Dave Reardon has an injury report, and so does Stephen Tsai.

  • Nose tackle Michael Lafaele has a neck strain.

  • Back-up nose tackle Lawrence Wilson has an ankle sprain.

  • Cornerback A.J. Martinez has a pulled groin.

  • Wideout Malcolm Lane also has a pulled groin.

  • Samson Satele has a sore Achilles tendon.

  • Luckily, none of these injuries appear to be serious.
    "Sometimes we're a little more cautious than we should be," Jones said. "But if we had to play a game, every one of them would play."
    And finally, Kenny Patton plans on having a great no-holds barred senior year at corner after experimenting at wideout this spring.
    Patton said he does not regret the wideout experiment.

    "Never, because I learned so much," he said. "There's always something good you can take from every situation. When I played receiver, I learned so much about the defense. Now that I'm back on defense, I know what the receivers are trying to exploit. I see (pass) routes, and I recognize what they're trying to do. It helps out a lot."

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Geez Louise

    Another player, running back Jazen Anderson, has quit the football team.
    Anderson said the decision was based partly on expected playing time — he was listed tied for No. 3 on the depth chart, behind seniors Nate Ilaoa and Reagan Mauia — and partly because "the run-and-shoot (offense) doesn't fit my running style. It's more blocking than running."


    "I still love the team," Anderson said. "That's the worst part of it. Those are my boys. I forged a bond with those guys in the spring. And I still think coach Jones is a great coach. I wish the Warriors the best."
    Apparently he only has one year of D-1A eligibility left, although he's listed as a junior. That probably led to his decision to leave, since Nate and Reagan are graduating this year. UPDATE: Read next post (above) for update. Best of luck to Jazen. I'll just look on the bright side and take this as another sign that the Warriors are loaded with talent this year.

    Freshman Estes

    Jason Kaneshiro has a profile of freshman offensive lineman John Estes, who's competing to be a starter along the very experienced offensive line.
    "He's mature and smart and he's a good student so that probably carries over into learning things," said graduate-assistant Dennis McKnight, who works with the offensive line. "So once you learn and pick up things, now whatever physical abilities you have can just come naturally and faster. For him, he's a fast learner, smart kid.

    "He's as good a young guy as I've seen. His leverage, his balance, his recover-ability, he's pretty darn impressive."
    Watch out Dane Uperesa, you got competition. And I don't mean along the O-line, wink wink.

    Kaneshiro also has more on Chris Camacho's departure. Here's what June Jones had to say:
    "You're always surprised when a guy doesn't fight through adversity, but guys have to what they have to do," Jones said.

    "I thought he looked pretty good," he added. "He's competitive, and I thought that he was going to be competitive for a job. But obviously he thought maybe the other guys were doing a little bit better and he wanted to play football. Like I said, no matter where you go you're going to have competition. ... He's a good kid, I liked him and thought he had what it takes to be successful."
    Stephen Tsai also has more from June.
    "I'm disappointed kids make decisions to give up," Jones said. "It's their call. We had a good talk with (Camacho) to make sure that's what he wanted to do, and that's what he wanted to do. ... You try to advise them, try to tell them what's best, but they have to make their own decisions."
    Oh well, maybe it's a good sign that he's leaving. Maybe there's so many good players at corner this year, he feels he wouldn't get a chance play. Let's hope that's the case. Again, good luck to Pac-Man.

    And cornerback CJ Hawthorne, who FYI, is not leaving the team, will have special teams roles to play with the Warriors.
    C.J. Hawthorne is emerging as one of the Warriors' top kick-blockers. Yesterday, he blocked one kick and tipped another.


    On kickoffs and punts, Hawthorne will be used as the gunner — the player aligned wide who is the first to reach the returner.
    Sounds like a really quick guy. Can't wait to see him play. Stephen Tsai's article has a bunch of news and notes on the bottom of the page. There don't seem to be any major injuries, which is good. Jacob Patek is recovering from his dehydration hospitalization, which is also good.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Chris Camacho Leaves

    Cornerback Chris Camacho is leaving the team.
    "It had nothing to do with homesickness," said Camacho, who played at Citrus College last season. "It has to be something to make me leave. I was working hard. The dedication wasn't returned to me. It's as simple as that. I don't want to say anything more. UH has something good right now. I think they'll do well without me. I wish them the best — coach (June) Jones and all of them."
    Well, it's a good thing UH recruited a whole bunch of DBs since Geoff Hayth and now Chris Camacho have left... with BJ Fruean redshirting... Lucious Henderson going to a JC... others with academic/miscellaneous issues. Though, reading the article, it almost sounds like the amount of competition is the reason why Camacho is leaving, like he felt he wasn't getting a fair shake. Wish he would've stuck it out since it's only the start of fall camp and he would've had some time to distinguish himself. I'm just speculating of course. In any case, good luck to Pac-Man. Go out and strive for that ultimate power pellet.

    More Fall Camp

    Keane Santos, who writes for Ka Leo O Hawaii, the UH student newspaper, has a good article regarding the start of fall camp. Here's a nice passage on Colt Brennan:
    Brennan, who also struggled last season to learn Hawai‘i’s complicated pass offense, now has a year of experience under his belt, and it shows. In offensive drills, Brennan threw the most accurate balls of the four quarterbacks in camp and also consistently hit his receivers with the deep ball, an area the other quarterbacks struggled with.

    “Right now I’m on the verge of taking this offense and knowing it as a whole,” Brennan said. “I want to be able to run it and create my own style of running it. At the end of last year, I really felt like I was beginning to get it, and now I get it. I want to become a solid efficient quarterback and eliminate my mistakes.”
    Just makes you all the more excited to see them on the field. Only a few more weeks! To quote Bob Costas in BASEketball -- "You're excited?! Feel these nipples!"

    Now there's something I'd pay to hear Jim Leahey say if we beat Alabama.

    Knock You Out

    Stephen Tsai has another great blog entry today.
    It’s a different image from three or four years ago, when the Warriors had their share of snarling, crazed players. That was when a linebacker used to inhale smelling salts before a game. That was when an offensive lineman was nicknamed “The Terrorist” for his raging mood swings. And that was when a veteran defensive tackle, serving as a host, knocked out a recruit for bragging too much. The recruit ended up signing with UH, anyway.
    I wonder what he was bragging about? That's hilarious. In retrospect anyway.

    Offense and Defense

    The Star-Bulletin's Jason Kaneshiro has news from fall camp. The offense matched up against the defense for the first time, and it sounds like it went well.
    Overall, UH coach June Jones came away with a positive outlook on the team's first test of the fall.

    "We looked faster on both sides of the ball," Jones said. "The kids really worked out hard, we looked faster and quicker, and I think some of that comes with knowing what to do.

    "There's always good competition. The defense understands what (defensive coordinator) Jerry (Glanville) expects of them and they have a year in the system."
    And good to hear about Jason Rivers, back from last year's moped injury and academic issues.
    "Physically, I think I'm a little better than I was, but I'm more focused on the mental part of it," said Rivers, who missed all of last season after posting 973 yards and seven touchdowns in 2004. "The faster you are mentally, the faster you move on the field.

    "I'm seeing what my legs are ready to do, how good my legs feel, and they felt pretty good."
    Stephen Tsai also has news from camp, including Tala Esera talking about his match-up against a beefed up, yet still quick, Ikaika Alama-Francis.
    "Everybody loves to watch the one-on-ones," Esera said. "I love to be in them, and I love to go against Ikaika. He's so tough. He has so many moves. Now he's bigger. I used to hate to go against him because he would use his speed to run upfield. Now he's bulked up. Now he can engage. He can do all kinds of stuff. It makes me better. He provides a good challenge."
    I think Ikaika is gonna dominate this year.

    Tsai also notes the makings of a tentative depth chart as he watched the first teams practice against one another. Read the article for the details. I'll post an official depth chart when it's released. He also has the scoops on incoming cornerback Keenan Jones, who will join the Warriors tomorrow or Saturday after getting the required JC credits.

    And finally an injury report from both articles:

  • Solomon Elimimian and Jacob Patek did not practice due to dehydration. Patek apparently was hospitalized, so hope he's okay.

  • Brashton Satele is still recovering from a thigh bruise and did not practice.

  • Jason Ferguson tweaked his knee and will be out until Monday.

  • Erik Peterson has a hamstring injury and also won't practice until next week.
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