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Monday, August 28, 2006


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!


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