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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Inoke Funaki to Start

Inoke Funaki will start against Weber State.
Head coach Greg McMackin today announced that Inoke Funaki will be the starting quarterback for the University of Hawaii football team's home opener against Weber State Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
McMackin said the move gives Funaki a full week to prepare for Weber State.
More info from the Star-Bulletin:
UH head coach Greg McMackin said Funaki’s performance late in Hawaii’s 56-10 loss to Florida factored into the decision to elevate the junior to the top of the rotation. Greg Alexander started against the Gators and was followed by sophomore Brent Rausch.

P.S. Here's the results of yesterday's poll, Who should be UH's starting QB against Weber State?

Other College Football Scores

Chawan Cut has updated his gigantic spreadsheet of 2008 UH opponent records over at SportsHawaii.com.

Here are scores from some of those as well as other games of note from the first week of the season.

Rice 56, SMU 27 -- Rice spoiled June Jones' debut as SMU's head coach, but the Mustangs have a lot to look forward to and be proud of -- like this song:

Navy 41, Towson 13 -- Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo and offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper, both ex-UH players, had more successful debuts, though ex-Kapolei QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada sat out the game with a hamstring injury.

Georgia Tech 41, Jacksonville St. 14 -- Former UH and Navy head coach Paul Johnson had a successful debut as Georgia Tech's new head coach, bringing his triple-option to the ACC.

Portland State 31, W. Oregon 14 -- All four touchdowns by Portland State's Mouse Davis-led offense were rushing touchdowns.

LaTech 22, Mississippi St. 14 -- The WAC beats the SEC! Too bad it was Derek Dooley's Bulldogs upsetting Mississippi State in Ruston.

SJSU 13, UC-Davis 10 -- Dick Tomey's Spartans needed a last second touchdown to escape with a home win over I-AA UC Davis. Next week: @ Nebraska.

Boise State 49, Idaho State 7 -- Boise's freshman QB Kellen Moore had a good debut, passing for 274 yards and 2 TDs.

WitP: Timmy Chang Signs with Blue Bombers

Here's some good "Warriors in the Pros" news after Saturday's waiver spree. Two days after being released by the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Timmy Chang has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Timmy Chang has agreed to terms with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and is expected to join the team on Monday.

The Tiger-Cats released Chang on Friday.

"We've always liked him," Bombers general manager Brendan Taman told the Winnipeg Sun last week. "How we would fit him in is the question mark."

UH vs Florida News Videos

Chawan Cut compiled these half-asleep, but he compiled them!

Highlights and interviews with fans watching the game in Hawaii from KGMB, KITV and KHON:

More game video from KHON, and reports about UH fans tailgating in Gainesville along with post-game interviews from Greg McMackin, Greg Alexander and Adam Leonard from KGMB.

UH vs Florida Wrap-Ups

The UH website has a game summary along with links to notes, quotes and a box score.

Jason Kaneshiro has a wrap-up, along with some quotes.
"Speed wasn't the issue -- it was the fact that we didn't execute, defensively, special teams and offensively," UH linebacker Solomon Elimimian said.
"It's kind of the same feeling (as UH's 41-10 loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl)," UH center John Estes said. "But that was our last game and this is our first game. We still have the whole season to play and we have to clean it up."
Some notes and quotes from Stephen Tsai's wrap-up:
The Warriors devised a firewall plan for the Gators' aggressive pass rush. When the Gators aligned with three defensive linemen, the Warriors called for shovel passes, quick screens, draws, and stretch runs off trap blocks. Starting quarterback Greg Alexander varied the tempo of the silent count. Four times the Gators were assessed off-sides penalties.
"I don't have any excuses," McMackin said. "I'm responsible for everything. We lost contain on a (punt return) for a touchdown. We lost contain on a punter for a first down. We have one rule: Don't put the defense back on the field. Everybody has to do (his) job. If they don't do their job, then we get hurt for it. We, as coaches, have to work with them. I still believe in this football team. I believe in the coaches. The thing is, I was glad they didn't quit in the fourth quarter. They came back and scored 10 points."

After the game, McMackin emphasized he is not opening up the competition at quarterback.
So I guess the Gainesville Sun had it wrong. Or maybe half right, via UH Sports Extra:
Coach Greg McMackin “opened” the QB position after today’s 56-10 loss at Florida. Then he quickly pulled back, saying he had to look at the film first.
Even if the QB depth chart is unchanged, Dave Reardon writes that Inoke Funaki has the moxie to be a starter.
But Funaki has something special the others might develop with time or might not. He can get his Warriors teammates to overachieve, or at least not underachieve. He can pull this group together, out of the funk of being on the wrong end of 56-10.

That, and his ability to make something out of nothing, should qualify him as the starter Saturday against Weber State.

I'm usually not big on "he deserves it." That can mean anything, or nothing. In this case, though, it's clearly true. Funaki has done everything asked of him, including training the new guys to beat him out.

I tried to get him to say it himself yesterday, that he should start. No dice, he's too smart, too much of a team player.
This calls for a new word: Fu-moxie!

Ferd Lewis writes that receiver Greg Salas played most of the game with a fractured bone in his hand.
Salas would eventually learn just how bad: there was a fracture of the fourth metacarpal bone — the ring finger.
So he had the hand wrapped and played on, catching a game-high matching four passes, including the Warriors' only touchdown, a 13-yarder from Inoke Funaki in the fourth quarter.

"He showed some toughness," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "His hand was hurt but he played through it. He'll probably have to play like that the whole season."

Salas said: "I hurt it blocking in the first quarter, but it is fine, I can play with it for as long as it takes."
As reported yesterday, Daniel Libre and Laupepa Letuli may be out a few weeks with injuries. Also from the article, notes about the UH fans in Florida, The Iceman moving to 2nd on the all-time UH scoring list, Rick Taylor back home in Florida, and Jovonte Taylor having a good game.
Taylor, a JC transfer making his Division I debut, caught two passes for 38 yards in a backup role, including a 26-yarder for UH's longest gain from scrimmage. Taylor also ran back three kickoffs for 57 yards. His 30-yard kickoff return was Hawaii's longest play of the day.

"We made a lot of mistakes," Taylor said, showing more concern for the score than his stats. "It's going to be some intense practices this week. We have to get our minds right and put this behind us."
Jason Kaneshiro writes about the turnovers and errors UH made in the game.
"It was pretty much exactly what we saw on film," Alexander said of the Florida defense. "The coaches had us prepared, we pretty much saw what they'd been doing to every other team. So it just came down to execution. We knew what they were doing, we could see it, but we didn't execute and that starts with me."
Kaneshiro has an article about UH's rough start on offense.
The Warriors tried to play keep-away from Florida's offensive playmakers in the first quarter by feeding running backs Leon Wright-Jackson and Daniel Libre on handoffs and shovel passes.

But the passing game remains the identity of the Warriors' run-and-shoot offense, and downfield gains were few against the Florida defense.

"We have to throw the ball," UH offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "The running game was great, but we didn't make the big play in the passing game. We have to make some plays through the air, that's us."
Jessica Etter has a special to the Advertiser in which she writes about UH's inexperience on offense.

Ferd Lewis has a good column about it.
So if there were any illusions about a seamless transition of eras, offenses, quarterbacks and receivers, they vanished in a hail of six turnovers. No one should have expected the change over to be easy or swift but, even as 35-point underdogs, the Warriors made this harder than it needed to be with four interceptions and two fumbles.

You understand now how easy Colt Brennan made it look when you saw how arduous it seemed yesterday.
Lewis also has some notes about Tim Tebow, the UH fans at the game and Dan Kelly.

Reardon writes about Florida's speed.

In another special to the Advertiser, Patrick Carney highlights the Florida running game.
"They (Hawai'i's defense) brought a few nice blitzes," Tebow said. "They're coached up pretty well and they did some nice odd blitzes. For the most part it's six men in the box and you should be able to run it every play and we were able to. We pretty much knew the different things they were going to come into the game with."
Check out Garret's Warrior Quotes blog for more excerpted quotes from the local papers as well as the Florida media.

And finally, the Advertiser puts the 56-10 loss to Florida in perspective.

Fans' Thoughts and Observations on UH vs UF

Thanks for those who commented with some great observations about yesterday's game. Here are links to some others posts/threads about the game and the team.

On SportsHawaii.com, CoachKen has a great analysis titled "Florida after the storm"

XKamaaina has a Pros and Cons of the game thread.

On WSN, HawaiiWarriors808 has "My View of the Game"

Chawan Cut, who was at the game, shares his thoughts.
the one thing that impressed the florida fans was that our D line was holding their own against the big boys of Florida. they liked the way some of our guys were hitting hard and tackling. they all were "ooohed" by brashton's hit on the guy near the endzone and all clapped when he walked back to the bench and being stunned shortly.

the one that surprised me was that when Dan Kelly was finally able to kick off, they were surprised he was able to kick it out of the endzone. they said they can't remember the last time a Gator kicker was able to kick it that far. they wanted to trade kickers. they kept making fun of their kicker when he kicked it to the 25 or short. they said his best kick was that squib kick.
He also shares a bunch of photos he took on the trip.

On the Tsai-ko Lifeboat, LizKauai posted pictures, shared some thoughts, and uploaded video of the new haʻa.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

QB Competition Open Again

From the Gainesville Sun:
McMackin declared his quarterback position as "open" following the game, saying that Funaki performed best. He did not put a specific timetable on the return of Tyler Graunke, the projected preseason starting quarterback. Graunke recently returned to the team after he resolved some undisclosed issues.
UPDATE (8/31/08): The Gainesville Sun didn't get it completely right.
Coach Greg McMackin “opened” the QB position after today’s 56-10 loss at Florida. Then he quickly pulled back, saying he had to look at the film first.
In any case...

So who will start against Weber State? Will it be Funaki? Is Graunke back in the mix? I'll steal this poll from SportsHawaii.com, and ask:

Ex-UH Players Cut

Five Six more ex-UH players were waived by NFL teams today as rosters got trimmed down to 53 players.

The Miami Dolphins waived Reagan Mauia.

The Colts waived Tala Esera.

The Falcons waived Kynan Forney.

The 49ers waived Ashley Lelie.

The Browns waived Melila Purcell.

The Bengals waived Dane Uperesa.

This is in addition to Leonard Peters, who was released by the Bears yesterday.

All the best to them as they try to catch on with other teams or get signed to practice squads.

To end it with some good news, 6th round pick Colt Brennan made the Redskins' final roster, and rookie free agent Davone Bess made the Dolphins' final roster.

Final Score: Florida 56, Hawaii 10

That was a tough game. Quarterback controversy! Nah, I dunno, but Inoke Funaki looked good in garbage time, escaping from pressure, improvising, hitting open receivers (besides the one INT). Six or seven turnovers, some dropped passes, but I think the team played okay under the circumstances. Lots to learn from this game. Any other observations? News to follow a little later...

UPDATE: Here's an AP wrap-up from Mark Long.
Even without injured speedster Percy Harvin (heel) and linebacker Brandon Spikes (toe), the Gators dominated every aspect of this one and handed Greg McMackin a lopsided loss in his debut as Hawaii's head coach.

It looked very much like the Warriors' last game, a 41-10 drubbing against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. The biggest difference was Florida didn't face Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan.

Instead, the Gators faced backup Greg Alexander. And it showed.

Starting in place of Brent Rausch, Alexander threw two early interceptions that Florida turned into touchdowns and fumbled twice.

The Gators were much more efficient on offense.
UPDATE 2: Wrap-up from the Advertiser.
Hawai'i's offense got off to rough start in Greg McMackin's debut as UH head coach with 181 yards passing and 60 rushing for 241 total yards, most of it with the game out of reach. Florida finished with 406 yards total offense, including 255 rushing.

UH gave up four interceptions, two fumbles and UH quarterbacks were sacked four times.
UPDATE 3: Here's an article from the Star-Bulletin.
"I have no excuses," said Greg McMackin, after his debut game as UH coach. "We were outplayed in every phase. I give them full credit. I do believe we made some crucial mistakes."
UPDATE 4: The Star-Bulletin updates their article with some injury news:
UH senior running back Daniel Libre rushed for a team-high 35 yards on four carries, despite suffering a high right ankle sprain.

Also, starting left tackle Laupepa Letuli has a left AC joint injury.

Both could be out for several weeks.


What Elliott said.

Halftime - Florida 28, Hawaii 0

Some observations and thoughts:

The UH offense looked pretty good in the first quarter running the ball and throwing short shovel passes.

Daniel Libre looks really good.

Leon Wright-Jackson had a slow start, but he looks great as well.

The defense has given up two touchdowns, but they are holding their own. Nice plays by Adam Leonard, Ryan Mouton and Keao Monteilh.

Maybe the off-and-on rain will help UH in the proverbial 4th quarter.

The four turnovers by UH's offense -- painful!

Bloody Marys for breakfast -- not a good idea!

Onto the second half...

GameDay: Florida

Less than two hours! Excitement!

Jason Kaneshiro writes about the long trip to Florida, and previews the game.
On the field, the Warriors - who ended last season in the Sugar Bowl but enter today's game as 35-point underdogs - went through their final preparations yesterday and McMackin confirmed that junior Greg Alexander would start at quarterback against the Gators.
...McMackin said he will seek out the 3,000 or so Hawaii fans expected to attend the game, including those who made the trip from the islands and mainland supporters.

"I think it's awesome that they made the trip here to show their support and it'll mean a lot to the players and coaches," Donovan said.
Stephen Tsai writes about UH's preparations for the game.
After training for two days in Atlanta, they arrived in Ocala, Fla., Thursday afternoon.

McMackin wanted a walk-through practice in The Swamp, but knew there would be distractions. UH's road practices are open to the Hawai'i media, family members and close friends.

As a compromise, the Warriors worked out for an hour on the lawn next to the hotel pool.

After that, they boarded two buses. A sheriff and several police officers on motorcycles led the buses on the 40-mile drive to the Gators' campus.

In The Swamp, the Warriors went through their usual scoring drill. After that, they practiced their new ha'a. They will perform it at the end of pre-game warmups today.
Ferd Lewis is already preparing us for a loss. No, Ferd! No!

And Dave Reardon reminisces about his time working in Florida and how he misses the fun Steve Spurrier brought to the Florida program.

GameDay: SportsHawaii Tailgate

It's about 10:20am in Gainesville, a little over two hours away from kickoff. Chawan Cut has a report from the SportsHawaii tailgate. Here are a few pics from his post:


Friday, August 29, 2008

Ways to Follow the Hawaii at Florida Game (repost)

Note: Posting this info again. Let me know if there needs to be any corrections, additions, etc., or if a link doesn't work. Thanks.


In Hawaii, via Oceanic Cable pay-per-view. Oceanic has a list of bars and restaurants that will be showing UH PPV games this season. Be sure to call your favorite establishment to see if they'll actually be open at 6:30am this Saturday.

Outside of Hawaii, via ESPN Gameplan and Raycom Sports' SEC Football affiliates.

Online Video:

Yahoo! Sports will stream the video for free. Via the Tsai-ko Lifeboat, here's a direct link to where it'll be.

If your ISP supports it, ESPN360.com will have it as well.


On Oahu, AM 1420. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA in Hilo, KMWB in Kona.

In Florida, on one of the many stations on the Gator Network.

Online Audio:

Streaming audio via ESPN1420AM.com.

Streaming audio via Yahoo! Sports.

Live Stats:

ESPN Scoreboard

Yahoo! Sports


Sites like CBS Sportsline, Fox Sports, etc should have stats as well.

Other references: HawaiiAthletics.com, Gatorzone.com, Mattsarz44017 CFB TV Schedules

Game Week: Florida - The Night Before

Game starts in about 9 hours! Here are some articles from Florida media. Sorry to disappoint, but no video compilation from Chawan Cut tonight. He'll be driving from Orlando to Gainesville in a few hours and I don't think he's gone to sleep yet.

Up above, Robbie Andreu and Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun have a pretty good game preview, even if they are a little condescending and dismissive of Hawaii. But that's to be expected if you've been reading and hearing some of the commentary this week. Plus, UH is five-touchdown underdogs going into the Swamp, in the heat and humidity, playing the #5 team in the country lead by returning Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, and on and on. So their dismissiveness is understandable. At least they're not obnoxious...

Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald's "Gator Clause" blog has some info and gameday notes. Some excerpts:
This Saturday is all about witnessing carnage the good ole fashioned way. And by old fashioned we mean Roman Coliseum style. Hawaii at Florida will be the north-central Florida version of Charleston Southern at Miami.
So, as an informed Gators fan, what should you be looking for amid Hawaii's cries for help? Gator Clause is here to help you slosh through the bloodbath.
Why does ESPN and others insist on spelling Hawaii like this, Hawai'i? That accent mark between the 'ii' (or whatever it is) is silly and borderline self-righteous, if you ask me.
In the comments, "i_mua" helps him out:
In response to your "Random Annoyance", the mark in Hawai`i is called an `okina (glottal stop). All diacritical marks are very important in the Hawaiian language; therefore, that is the proper spelling. The correct pronunciation is "Havai i"...the "w" is pronounced as a "v". I suggest you do some research before calling this silly and borderline self-righteous. Mahalo!

Posted by: i_mua

NewsHerald.com has an article titled, "UF ready for tuneup"

The Orlando Sentinel has some game notes in an article titled, "Gators could score lots of points today"

Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun highlights Greg McMackin's debut as head coach.

Andreu writes how this game is a test for the UF defense.
“Definitely, this is going to be a very good first test for us when you look at the things they do on offense,” defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said. “Hawaii usually throws a lot of short passes and screens. But I’m sure after looking at our tape from last year, they’re going to take their shots down the field and see what happens.”

Last season, the Gators gave opponents an open invitation to chuck it downfield — usually to open receivers. UF had a deadly combination going: no inside pass rush (and as a result, no outside pass rush), no experience at cornerback and an overall lack of speed at safety. The results were pretty devastating.
David Jones of Florida Today writes about what the Gators did in the offseason to improve their overall defense.
Florida safety Major Wright said he spent all summer, while working out, going over and over in his head the mistakes he made last season as a freshman.

"We watch film, we learned different offenses . . . we have a lot of chemistry back there in the back line," Wright insists. Florida must show that improvement with star linebacker Brandon Spikes hobbled by a foot injury. Likewise on offense, Harvin hasn't come all the way back from offseason heel surgery.

The Gators' defense has a lot to be hopeful about, however. There is much more depth on its defensive front, which could be a major difference by being able to keep fresh players on the field.

"The ability to rotate linemen and pressure the quarterback is going to be a key in this game," Meyer said.
Talal Emalsry writes how Tim Tebow is trying to improve.
UF’s coaches have worked with Tebow on managing Florida’s offense in crunch time.

“He’s getting a lot of reps (in two-minute drills),” Mullen said. “We had a two-minute situation (Wednesday) at the end of practice. “He’s just got to do it over and over and get comfortable. He has to understand exactly what we’re trying to get accomplished and manage the time situations like when to throw it down the field, when to check it down, when to take our timeouts, when to get out of bounds.”

Tebow has also gotten help gaining the sixth sense that alerts quarterbacks of an oncoming pass rush.

“His pocket presence, we’ve worked extremely hard on that,” Meyer said. “Tim’s pocket presence is something we’ll continue to work on.”
The Palm Beach Post focuses on the Florida running backs helping take the pressure off Tebow.

And Antonya English of the St. Petersburg Times has an article about Florida's speed, and includes a few quotes from UH linebacker Adam Leonard.
"Just from what you can see on film, you can definitely tell in the open field they are the most dangerous players we ever played against," said Leonard, a senior from Seattle. "It's just a matter of trying our best to contain that speed, not letting them break loose in the open field and secure the tackle.

"That's where (speed) shows the most. When they get in that open field and they break one tackle and they get the opportunity to go at that speed, they are unstoppable."

WitP: LP, TC, Lelie, Ulbrich, LaBoy

Not a good news day for some ex-UH players. Though not yet formally announced, the Chicago Tribune confirms that Leonard Peters has been released by the Bears.

Timmy Chang has been released by the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Ashley Lelie did not catch a pass in tonight's 49ers-Chargers game.

49ers teammate Jeff Ulbrich had 3 tackles and 1 assist.

And Travis LaBoy had a tackle in tonight's Cardinals-Broncos matchup.

Greg Alexander to Start

Coach Greg McMackin says Greg Alexander will be tomorrow's starting quarterback.
Junior Greg Alexander will start at quarterback tomorrow at Florida, Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said on the Leahey & Leahey radio show today.
Alexander has taken the majority of the snaps at practice since previous No. 1 quarterback Brent Rausch, a sophomore, was shut down with a sore arm last week. Rausch returned to limited duty Monday, and McMackin said Wednesday the starting quarterback choice might be a "game-time decision."

Game Week: Florida - Friday News

Hawaii Media:

Adam Leonard talks about tomorrow's game.
"I'm excited to don that uniform and, like Coach said, he put 'Hawaii' on the front for a reason," said linebacker Adam Leonard, among the four captains announced yesterday. "We're playing not only for our families and ourselves but the people of Hawaii."
Stephen Tsai has a game preview, with a breakdown of offense, defense and specialists for both teams.

Jason Kaneshiro has a game preview, taking a look at both teams and highlighting this key matchup:
Hawaii offensive line vs. Florida front seven
"For the last five, six, seven years, the O-line has been the strongest point of those teams and we just have to bring that back this year. We were good last year and the Sugar Bowl we didn't play well at all. We have to bring that swagger back to the O-line."

Two other UH linemen started in the Sugar Bowl, guard Keith AhSoon and tackle Keoni Steinhoff. The other two spots were decided this week when senior Lafu Tuioti-Mariner and junior Laupepa Letuli nailed down the starting assignments at right guard and left tackle.

With an inexperienced quarterback at the controls, Hawaii's hopes of sustaining drives against the Gators depend on the line holding off the Gator front.
Tsai talks to the new team captains, Adam Leonard, Solomon Elimimian, John Estes and Keala Watson.
"The few and the proud," Watson said, smiling. "It's an honor to join them as a captain. One of the best things is we have so many good leaders on our team. All of the positions have leaders. Every position has people who will step up and take charge and get everybody motivated."
Ka Leo's Russell Tolentino profiles Solomon Elimimian.

Dave Reardon looks at the debuts of past UH head football coaches and wonders whether this game should be treated as a dress rehearsal.

Ferd Lewis has some notes from Florida.
Despite all the talk about tomorrow's expected high temperatures (90s) and humidity for the 12:30 p.m. (Eastern time) for the season opener, Florida coach Urban Meyer played down the Gators' advantage.

"It is football, they're used to that," Meyer said. "They have heat. It is just a matter of execution."

But Joe Colorio, a UF fan, said, "you have to feel it to believe it. There are no (ocean) breezes. The heat is bad, really bad. With a 12:30 p.m. game it is almost dangerous for the fans sitting there and the sun. I saw people fall out last year."
And Lewis writes about the UF fans getting ready to party.
School has just started and folks are ready to, well, party at UH's expense.

The cheesy blue plastic lei are three for $1 at Gator Fever stores and blue and orange T-shirts that proclaim, "Football and a lei, now that's a game day" go for $16.95.

And the talk isn't who will win — it is a foregone conclusion in these parts the 35-point favorite Gators will clobber Hawai'i — but how early to begin tailgating for the rare 12:30 p.m. East Coast (6:30 a.m. Hawai'i) kickoff.
UPDATE: And UH fans in Florida are getting ready to party too. Check here for details of a SportsHawaii.com tailgate in Gainesville.

Florida Media:

The Independent Florida Alligator has a game preview. Here's an excerpt about Florida's defense:
The defense as a whole has plenty to prove coming off a season where it finished last in the Southeastern Conference in pass defense.

A big part of the problem was the lack of pass rush, something defensive end Carlos Dunlap says will change come Saturday.

“The defensive line is going to show out,” Dunlap said. “It’s going to show everybody what we’ve got, so everybody knows what we have. Ain’t going to hide nothing. Right now we’re just hiding it. First game, you’re going to see for yourself. Ya’ll can judge us.”
Brian Steele of the Alligator has a Hawaii overview.

Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel takes a look at UH.
"The whole team has rallied behind [McMackin]," Elimimian said. "Coach Jones was more laid-back and mellow, but McMackin is going to motivate you and get the best out of you."
Elimimian also gives a scouting report on Florida's offense to the Sentinel.
1) GET AT TEBOW EARLY: "Stopping Tebow is stopping their entire offense, so we're going to try to stop him. They have so many weapons, but 90 percent of their offense goes through them. You have to try to stop the Heisman Trophy winner before anybody else. Make other people beat you."
The Gainesville Sun has some news and notes. Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes are definitely out.

Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun welcomes UH fans visiting Florida, and gives a quick primer.
Yes, we live in this humidity year round. No, we never get used to it. Yes, that squirrel is sweating.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Video: Team Captains, Colt, Bess

Props to CC for another remote compilation. KITV's Rob Demello has news about the UH team captains and some highlights of Colt Brennan and Davone Bess playing in their preseason games. KFVE and KHON also has some CB highlights.

KGMB's Liz Chun also reports in from practice in Atlanta.

"Signs" of things to come???

Looky what I saw driving here in Florida...(chawan_cut)

Tombo will post my news vid later.

Warriors in the Pros: Colt, Bess, LP, Ikaika

Colt Brennan had a pretty good game tonight, in the Redskins final preseason game.
Given the poor performance of the Redskins starting offense, one of the biggest cheers of the night came when rookie Colt Brennan entered the game in the second quarter. Brennan, though still very raw for NFL, has excited fans by putting up good numbers against other teams' backups all preseason and did so again, going 13-for-18 for 119 yards.
Davone Bess returned 5 punts for an average of 10 yards, including a 22-yarder. However he did fumble out of bounds on a return. Bess also returned a kick for 15 yards, and caught one pass for 20 yards.

Leonard Peters had a tackle and recovered a fumble against the Browns. UPDATE: Woops, the play leading to the fumble was reversed.

And Ikaika Alama-Francis had a tackle against the Bills.

KapoleiCoug's UH Highlight Video

Kapoleicoug has a new video of UH highlights from recent history to get everyone ready for the new season. Awww yeah, two more days!

Game Week: Florida - Thursday News

Greg McMackin announced the UH team captains have been chosen.
Linebackers Adam Leonard and Solomon Elimimian, defensive tackle Keala Watson and center John Estes have been elected season captains by their Hawaii football teammates, coach Greg McMackin said after today's practice at Georgia Tech.
Jason Kaneshiro writes about yesterday's practices.
"The team is in good spirits, everybody felt good and I think they adjusted very well," UH coach Greg McMackin said after the evening workout at the Yellow Jackets' practice field. "Practice was sharp and I thought the trip was good.

"We lifted weights here today and (Georgia Tech head coach and former UH offensive coordinator) Paul Johnson has opened up everything for us, so it's worked out really good for us."
Stephen Tsai writes that it's looking more and more like Greg Alexander will be starting QB on Saturday.
Alexander yesterday took 45 of the 57 snaps during 7-on-7 and team drills.
Of Alexander, McMackin said: "He's mature. He's got a strong arm. He has great size (6 feet 4, 225 pounds). He has 22 college games under his belt. I believe he can go out there and not get intimidated by their fans."

Alexander said: "It's the coaches' decision, but I have to be prepared like I'm going to be the guy. ... No sense in stressing myself out about it. I can only control what I do. The decision is going to happen one way or the other. I can't stress about it."
At the end of the article, Tsai lists some of the players who are expected to redshirt, including Ryan Henry and...
...Miah Ostrowski and Dustin Blount, wideout Mike Tinoco, quarterback Steele Jantz, defensive linemen Geordon Hanohano and Haku Correa, linebacker Paipai Falemalu, and cornerbacks Steven Christian and Lewis Walker.
Jason Kaneshiro writes how UH will try to contend with Tim Tebow and Florida's team speed.
"We're going to trust in the system we've got and I feel we have good speed on our team. I don't feel we're totally outmatched," linebacker Adam Leonard said. "They've got some speedsters, but I'm just thankful we're not running track, we're playing football."
Dave Reardon has a column about how the Warriors will draw on past experience and not be star-struck on this trip.
In 2006 the Warriors performed like themselves in Atlanta, as they did last night, with a crisp, efficient practice. But at Bryant-Denny Stadium the day before the game, it was more like 10-year-olds on a field trip to a toy factory than a college football practice.
This time, the Warriors need complete focus just to have a chance. You don't want them uptight, but you don't want them Sugar Bowl-loose either. A week in New Orleans softened UH, and the team spent just a few minutes in the Superdome on the eve of the game. Georgia practiced there every day.
Ferd Lewis writes that Florida coach Urban Meyer has completely ruled out a return trip to Hawaii.
Meyer said he loves the idea of the Warriors as a season-opening opponent in The Swamp but said you won't catch him in Hawai'i unless it is on vacation.

"(There's) no chance the University of Florida will ever go to Hawai'i and play... as long as I'm here," Meyer said yesterday.
Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes will most likely not be playing on Saturday.

Ferd Lewis writes about Tim Tebow and how Steele Jantz had been trying to be his doppelganger in fall camp.

And finally, the Star-Bulletin has a massive 2008 UH football preview called "Times Are a Changing". Lots of articles, breakdowns, stats, etc.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Video: UH in Atlanta, Getting Ready

The unstoppable Mr. Cut compiles tonight's news. KGMB's Liz Chun has a report from Warrior practice in Atlanta, KITV has a game preview, and KHON takes a look at Tim Tebow.

Game Preview, Taylor, Mack

On SportsHawaii.com, CoachKen has a great overview of both Florida and UH. Here's an excerpt:
Passing game: Tebow has worked all summer correcting some throwing motion problems and he has accomplished his mission. Numerous weapons. Percy Harvin most likely will not play. Of all the Gator receivers however the one I like the most is 6'5" Riley Cooper. Size, speed, hands and heart....a great combination. Lots of short passes early until they feel like they have discovered something. If they catch you in man coverage they will try to out run you deep. If they catch Hawaii in any kind of three deep, look for double fades on the outside and crossing patterns up the seam to freeze the safety.
From the thread, turns out receiver Rick Taylor is making the trip even though he was left off the travel roster due to injury. Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun has the details.
Taylor, a teammate of Tim Tebow and James Wilson at Nease, wasn't going to miss out on a chance to come back to his home state.

"Right after practice (Tuesday) and right before they left I told Coach McMackin that I would do whatever it took to make the trip. He knows how much it means to me."

So he told Taylor he could make the trip, but only if he paid his own way because he'd have to take a later flight.

"We had to check with compliance and make sure everything was OK," Taylor told me from the airport in Los Angeles. "They had to make sure how many could suit up for a road game.

"I'm excited. I think my parents might be more excited than I am. I used to go to a bunch of games there. I was a Seminole so I saw Florida-FSU there a bunch. I loved it. Nothing beats The Swamp."
Right on.

And this week's MidWeek cover story is a profile of Greg McMackin.

Silly Poll of the Day


Stephen Tsai has a report from today's practice.
While maintaining that the starting quarterback will be a game-time decision, University of Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin said that if the season -opener against Florida were to be played today, Greg Alexander would get the nod.

Alexander again took the majority of the snaps during today's two-hour practice at Georgia Tech's facility.
And Dave Reardon writes that Alexander looked good today.
Greg McMackin did not name a starter for Saturday, but today is Wednesday and Greg Alexander took most of the quarterback reps — and he looked good doing it.

Game Week: Florida - Wednesday News

Dave Reardon writes that the team is in Atlanta.
Just checked in at the airport Hilton in Atlanta. … No visual sign of the team, but they are here — likely all crashed out in their rooms since their flight arrived from LAX at 5 a.m. It’s now 10:30 a.m. here. … Practice at 6 p.m.
Jason Kaneshiro writes about the UH QB situation.
Now with Rausch working his way back, Alexander had a chance to prove himself in running the bulk of the plays in yesterday's practice.

"I've still got a ways to go, but watching the films I can see some progress coming," Alexander said of his growth in the run-and-shoot system.

"The more reps you're able to take, the more you can get into a rhythm and get a feel for things. It's like anything else, the more you do it, the better you're going to get at it."
Dave Reardon has a column about one way the QB situation may be helping UH, at least a little.
Brent Rausch's sore arm and the fact that Greg Alexander took the first-team reps yesterday mean the Gators need to prepare for two very different quarterbacks.

Three, if you count Tyler Graunke. Urban Meyer's a good coach, so he won't discount UH's most experienced QB until he sees a picture of Graunke waving aloha as the wheels of Warrior Air leave the tarmac.
Stephen Tsai writes about the QB situation and has some news and notes, including:
  • Defensive right tackle Josh Leonard will get the start over Fale Laeli, though Laeli will play 20 to 30 snaps.

  • Grad assistant Craig Stutzmann won't make the trip due to an illness.
Jason Kaneshiro highlights Malcolm Lane's and Khevin Peoples' Florida homecoming, and writes that backup QB Jake Santos made the travel roster.
"This isn't charity for him, he's a good player and he's coming up there to help us," quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said.

"I look at Jake kind of like my (graduate assistant). He has a nice calming effect. He knows when to speak up and he's just such a good role model. The effort he puts in knowing he probably won't get a chance to play is a tribute to his character and he's going to be successful in life."
The Advertiser has a whole bunch of UH football articles, info, schedules, etc. in today's sports section to kickoff the season. Here are links to some of the articles:
Here's a Florida Today article about how the Gators' success hinges on the defense.

Several Florida players have staph infections, with at least one of them possibly out for Saturday's game.

Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes, still nursing injuries, may or may not play this Saturday.

Florida coach Urban Meyer wants Gator fans to wear white on Saturday to raise awareness about cancer, and keep cool.

From the St. Petersburg Times, an analysis of the Gators.

The Sports Network has a UH vs UF game preview.

The AP has a game preview as well.

Gatorzone.com has a list of ways Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will help fans combat the heat.

HawaiiAthletics.com has some game info, which includes a link to a PDF press release for the game, and GatorZone.com has some broadcast info, which I used to update the Ways to Follow the Hawaii at Florida Game post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Video: Florida, QBs, Haʻa

Chawan is in Florida, but you can't stop the Cut. He compiles news from KITV, KHON, KGMB and KFVE. News about Brent Rausch's sore arm and the QB situation, some previews of the Florida game, and Kekaula has a short bit on the new haʻa.

Warriors in the Pros: C.J., Lelie, Colt, Bess

Third straight day of bad "WitP" news with the Buffalo Bills releasing C.J. Hawthorne.

Ashley Lelie returned to 49ers practice after being out for several weeks with a calf injury, and he has a very important preseason game on Friday.
Lelie, 28, returned to practice for the first time since suffering a torn calf muscle during the first week of training camp. Nolan said Lelie and Arnaz Battle (hamstring) will both make their preseason debuts Friday at Candlestick Park, barring setbacks.

It's Lelie's first and last chance to make an impression before the rosters are trimmed from 75 to the final 53 on Saturday. Asked if he was leaning toward keeping five or six receivers on the team, Nolan said "I'm on the fence." That means Lelie is on the bubble.
After a rough outing yesterday, Colt Brennan returned with a good practice today.
Brennan looked much better today, with a couple of terrific passes to Fred Davis (one off his hands, the other a touchdown in the back of the endzone). I’ll be honest: I hope to see Brennan play well tomorrow and then not take another snap until next August, but that shouldn’t be taken as a referendum on him as a player. Nice to see him back in form.
Colt also updated his blog.
I know I'm going to get a lot of playing time on Thursday. I'm going to be in the game quite a bit, so I know I need to be prepared. I want to end this preseason on a good note.
One of the best things that happened the past week is that I've really started to become healthy again. It's really encouraging. I'm really starting to run well again.

Going through hip surgery was real frustrating and scary. I didn't know how scary it was until I went through it.

Early in camp, I wasn't able to use all of the muscles that were affected in the injury and the surgery. Then I had to just jump right into camp with no rest--it was real tough.

And now, to be having success after that rehabilitation, it's a great feeling.
And things continue to look good for Davone Bess.
Beyond Ted Ginn Jr., Derek Hagan and Wilford, Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo are favorites for the other jobs, though Miami will have options on waivers. One Dolphins official said the staff sees Wes Welker-type potential in Bess.

Game Week: Florida - QB Battle Re-Opens

Brent Rausch's arm was still bothering him today, meaning the starting QB for the Florida game is up in the air.

From the Advertiser:
The University of Hawaii head football coach Greg McMackin has reopened the quarterback competition, saying, it "could be a game time decision," between Brent Rausch and Greg Alexander.

McMackin said Rausch, who was named the No. 1 quarterback two week , still has tenderness in his right (throwing) arm. Rausch prcticed today but it ws Alexander who took the major of snaps with the No. 1 offense.

McMackin said he will evaluate the situation when Rausch is able to throw without discomfort for long periods of time.
And the Star-Bulletin:
Junior Greg Alexander took the vast majority of the practice snaps today, and Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said he could be the starting quarterback when UH opens at Florida on Saturday.
Brent Rausch, also a junior, was designated the No. 1 quarterback two weeks ago, but rested a sore throwing arm over the weekend, with Alexander taking over as the starter in practice.

"I gotta see if his arm's OK,' McMackin said of Rausch, who threw a few passes today. "If both are playing good, it could be a game-time decision."

McMackin said he doesn't expect to rotate quarterbacks.

"The first guy in will be the quarterback," he said. "I don't want him looking behind."

McMackin said junior Inoke Funaki is the No. 3 quarterback.

Game Week: Florida - Tuesday News

Hawaii Media:

The UH football team takes off for Atlanta after this morning's practice.
"Just getting there is going to be a big accomplishment," UH coach Greg McMackin quipped yesterday after the Warriors held a light practice to begin game-week preparations for Saturday's opener at No. 5 Florida.

The Warriors were to have their final practice at home this morning and depart for Atlanta this afternoon. They'll work out at Georgia Tech tomorrow and Thursday before heading down to Florida.
Jason Kaneshiro also writes about the return of Tyler Graunke and Brent Rausch. And Solomon Elimimian spoke about remaining at outside linebacker in his return to practice, with Brashton Satele taking the starting spot at middle linebacker.
"Brashton's been doing a great job in the middle and coach thought it would be best for me to play outside," said Elimimian, who has a streak of 24 consecutive starts. "It's been good and Coach Cal's doing a great job in helping me come along and make the transition."
Stephen Tsai writes about the coaches setting the 66-player travel roster.
And head coach Greg McMackin finalized a travel roster that includes four quarterbacks, five running backs, nine receivers, 12 offensive linemen, 11 defensive linemen, eight linebackers, 14 defensive backs and three specialists.
Dave Reardon has a couple notes about the depth chart:
Erik Robinson and Mana Silva are listed tied at strong safety, but Jason has it on good authority that E-Rob is the No. 1 at this point. … Jeramy Bryant is a mild surprise at No. 2 corner behind Jameel Dowling, but not too much of one because Bryant had a great camp.
Brian McInnis and Jason Kaneshiro's Sports Notebook has a quote from coach Brian Smith about the offensive line rotation going into the Florida game.
Expect a seven-man rotation at the minimum.

"That's the group I'm planning on going with," Smith said. "Kia's going to play a bunch left, and some right, too. I'm planning on Ray getting in and playing. And we'll see from there."
Also from the article: Erik Robinson's ascendancy to first team strong safety, and Bryce Kalau'oka'a'ea's move from QB to running back.
Kalau'oka'a'ea, who rejoined the team on the first day of the fall semester, was informed that he'd be changing positions by quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich just before the team took to the grass practice field.

"There's too many quarterbacks, so they put me there," the Castle graduate said. "That was by surprise, there was some talk that I would go to defense. Oh, it was a big change."
HawaiiAthletics.com has quotes about the Florida game from Ron Lee, Adam Leonard, Brent Rausch and Greg McMackin:
“It’s important for us to play our hearts out. We’re playing for the state of Hawai`i. We wear Hawai`i on our jerseys. I told the players today that they have two names on their jersey. Their name on their back is theirs and their family’s. They play for their family and we play for the state of Hawai`i. These guys know that and they are going to give every effort they possibly have because they know they are playing for the people of Hawai`i. I heard a lot of people are going to go to the Florida game. The loyalty is unbelievable and the team feels responsible to play for them.”
Ferd Lewis asks, Why is UH playing at Florida? He lists reasons why this trip doesn't make much sense.

Shuttles to and from Aloha Stadium on game days will no longer be handled by TheBus. Instead, private companies will be offering rides at an increased price.
The change comes as a result of a new Federal Transit Administration regulation, under which federally funded public agencies such as the city's cannot operate charter services in competition with private operators. So goodbye, $3 one-way fares and $6 round-trip fares.
Five private charter companies will offer islandwide service, charging $13 for round trips and $8 one way to or from the stadium for each game. Season passes are $60 to $70, depending on the time of purchase. Without reservations, service is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The article includes a list of companies and pickup locations.

Dave Reardon takes a look at NMSU.

In a Maui News article from a couple of days ago, former UH and 49er great Jesse Sapolu talks about keeping tabs on the Warriors.
''I keep up, I really do,'' he said. ''I went with June (Jones, Hawaii's previous coach) and coach (Greg) McMackin to do a clinic in Samoa last month. It is good that they are all friends and help each other out. I was at the Sugar Bowl. I flew in from Cleveland, where the 49ers were playing. We were all excited. People talk about the result of the (Sugar Bowl) game, but I think it was a major step forward - for the budget, for June, for McMackin - to steal one of those BCS bids. It is a miracle to go up against schools with those kinds of budgets and that kind of backing.

Florida Media:

A smooth transition from Hawaii to Florida media as Dave Reardon introduces UH to UF fans in a special article for the Gainesville Sun.

FloridaToday.com has a quote from Adam Leonard about the early start time:
"Right now, I'm happy that we've been practicing at 7 a.m. for the last four years," senior linebacker Adam Leonard said. "It's cool. It's something that your body definitely has to get adjusted to. . . . You always get excited to play football, any chance you get during the day. If it's at seven in the morning or 12 at night, any time you've got an opportunity to get out on the field it's a blessing, and I always get my juices flowing."
The article also includes quotes from Greg McMackin and other notes.

With star UH linebacker Blaze Soares out for this Saturday's game, Florida will also be without one of their defensive playmakers.
The latest victim is All-Southeastern Conference LB Brandon Spikes, who will be a game-time decision for Saturday's opener against Hawaii thanks to a right foot injury.

Spikes planted wrong and twisted his foot during a practice last week. He practiced sparingly Monday.
This is in addition to five Gators that suffered torn ACLs in training camp and others, including crazy-fast receiver Percy Harvin, out with nagging injuries. The article also includes this quote from sophomore corner Joe Haden:
"It's going to be a really good test for us," sophomore CB Joe Haden said. "They're going to come out and throw the ball at least 40 times. This is a chance for the secondary to make a name for ourselves."
UF coach Urban Meyer talks about preparing to face Hawaii.
"It's the same system," Meyer said Monday. "It's much harder to prepare for a team where the coach was thrown out of there because they weren't very good and then they change everything up.

"We're playing as if there's no changes in their offense, defense and special teams."

The one thing Meyer said he expects to see is a lot of short, quick passes. Last year's defensive back unit might have been wary of Hawaii's pass-heavy offense, but his year could be different, as Meyer has raved about the improvement and maturity of his secondary during training camp.
Also from the article, Tim Tebow is upset that UH receiver Rick Taylor isn't making the trip.
Tebow looked devastated at the news.

"That's terrible," he said.

Tebow had hoped to be reunited Saturday with one of his former Nease receivers Rick Taylor. Taylor plays for Hawaii but has been hampered by a pulled groin in practice. Because Hawaii has a limited roster coming to Gainesville, Taylor won't make the trip.

"It's a real shame because Rick is close to Timmy and James Wilson," said Ken Taylor, Rick's father and a coach at Nease.
The Sun also has a breakdown of UH.
The Warriors must learn from last year's Sugar Bowl and find a way to block faster, more athletic defensive ends they normally don't see in the WAC. If they can't, they'll be in for a long, loud afternoon in The Swamp. Hawaii also must hope they can attack Florida's defense in the same way teams like Georgia, Michigan and Auburn did last year. The Warriors' best chance to stop Tim Tebow might be to keep him off the field.
Brady Ackerman of Gator Country has a UH-UF game preview titled, "Same old look for Hawaii".
Florida will counter Hawaii with a nickel and dime package. I expect UF to play a lot of three-man lines, daring Hawaii to run up the middle. UF’s advantage will be with its edge pressure and speed of its defensive ends. Florida will also start in bump coverage, even if it’s a disguised zone. It is important for the corners to recognize the combination route coming to them and pass off the receivers in zone. Hawaii wants you to run man-to-man because they will pick apart the flats. Florida’s outside linebackers/nickel backs will have to really close and be active in any blitz packages for the Gators.
David Jones of News-Press.com discusses UH's 5000 mile trip to play Florida, using it as a jumping off point to discuss how high fuel prices are affecting athletic departments around the country.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Video: Rausch, Graunke, O-Line

Chawan Cut will be boarding a flight to Florida soon. Unfortunately for his fellow passengers, he ate some kim chee and a big bowl of chili for dinner. Fortunately for the rest of us, he ate his dinner while compiling tonight's news from KHON, KITV and KGMB.

From the vids, Brent Rausch says his arm is rested and 100%, Tyler Graunke returned to the practice field, and the O-line is set.

Call the Coach Notes

Some stuff I wrote down listening to Call the Coach:

Coach Greg McMackin says that David Farmer may be out a few weeks due to his knee injury.

If Brent Rausch’s arm is still bothering him, it may be a gametime decision as to who will start at QB. They’ll play the guy that gives UH the best chance to win.

Starting receivers are Greg Salas, Malcolm Lane, Aaron Bain and Mike Washington. Jon Medeiros and Kealoha Pilares will also play. “Pilares is a big-time player in the making.”

UH fans who will be at the Florida game should wear green.

Bobby Curran mentioned that in June Jones' nine years as head coach, UH never blocked a punt. But Mack said he believes in attacking on special teams, just like on offense and defense.

Keao Monteilh is "gold" in the secondary.

Mack talked about the importance of hydration, teaching the players from the first day of camp to keep hydrated, as they get ready for the heat and humidity of the Swamp. Talks about how he consulted a hydration expert to get players ready.

Ways to Follow the Hawaii at Florida Game


In Hawaii, via Oceanic Cable pay-per-view. Oceanic has a list of bars and restaurants that will be showing UH PPV games this season. Be sure to call your favorite establishment to see if they'll actually be open at 6:30am this Saturday.

Outside of Hawaii, via ESPN Gameplan and Raycom Sports' SEC Football affiliates.

Online Video:

Yahoo! Sports will stream the video for free. Via the Tsai-ko Lifeboat, here's a direct link to where it'll be.

If your ISP supports it, ESPN360.com will have it as well.


On Oahu, AM 1420. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA in Hilo, KMWB in Kona.

In Florida, on one of the many stations on the Gator Network.

Online Audio:

Streaming audio via ESPN1420AM.com.

Streaming audio via Yahoo! Sports.

Live Stats:

ESPN Scoreboard

Yahoo! Sports


Sites like CBS Sportsline, Fox Sports, etc should have stats as well.

Other references: HawaiiAthletics.com, Gatorzone.com, Mattsarz44017 CFB TV Schedules

Note: Please e-mail or comment with any corrections, additions or changes. I'll update this post with any other info as gameday approaches. Thanks.

WitP: Hercules, Kynan, Sopoaga, Bess

More bad news today as Hercules Satele was waived by the Arizona Cardinals.

Steve Wyche of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Kynan Forney's roster spot on the Atlanta Falcons may be in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, veteran Kynan Forney seems to be in big trouble of making the roster. He didn’t play against the Titans, a game in which he seemingly needed to do well to stay in contention.

Though Forney’s $2.95 million salary could be a factor in him getting released - that’s a high price to pay a backup - so is his lack of versatility. Forney is solely a guard.
In brighter news, Isaac Sopoaga has a great "two-minute drill" Q&A on the 49ers website. Some excerpts:
Q: What word best describes you?
A: Chief.
Q: What are you most afraid of?
A: I’m not afraid of anything but my dad.
Q: What was the best birthday gift you ever received?
A: Life.
And Ethan Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel found an interview with Davone Bess from one of the Dolphins minicamps.
Q: How good was your conditioning, when Colt Brennan was throwing 60 or 70 times per game?

A: Oh man, unbelievable. We worked hard a lot. Our coaches and strength coaches did a good job of keeping us in shape.

Q: Are you concerned about going from spread offense to pro-style?

A: Not necessarily, because when I was at Hawaii, we had plays where there were set routes and you had to run routes.
UPDATE: Dolphins coach Tony Sparano had some good things to say about Bess after Monday's practice.
"I think that Bess, he's been a guy that's quietly grown on me during the course of training camp here. There was one point where we obviously wanted to see him up with the first group so we put him in there. I think it was Jacksonville game; we put him in there with the first group, as the third receiver in that group. He had a couple penalties, but again when you take the penalties out he really played pretty well in there at the end of that. In the game this week, we looked at (Greg) Camarillo there and moved him (Bess) back and he came back into the game and right away, I think it was the first play of the half he made a play. The guy gets his hands on balls and makes a lot of plays."

Game Week: Florida - Monday Reports

The Star-Bulletin reports that Tyler Graunke was back to practice today.

The Advertiser reports that the starting offensive line has been set.
Laupepa Letuli has won the starting job at left tackle, completing the starting lineup for the University of Hawaii football team's opening game against fifth-ranked Florida Saturday.

The coaches confirmed today that Letuli will open as the backside blocker, beating out Aaron Kia in a competition that lasted five months.

It also was announced that Clarence "Lafu" Tuioti-Mariner will start at right guard. He had missed more than two weeks of practice. Ray Hisatake was the No. 1 right guard during that period. But Tuioti-Mariner, who is one of the strongest Warriors, worked with the No. 1 team today.

Offensive line coach Brian Smith said the starting blockers will be Letuli at left tackle, Keith AhSoon at left guard, John Estes at center, Tuioti-Mariner at right guard and Keoni Steinhoff at right tackle.
Starting quarterback Brent Rausch also resumed throwing today after resting his sore right arm for the past couple practices.

In other news, Bryce Kalauokaaea is now a running back.

Humble & Hungry, Expanded Roster, Medeiros, Gator Talk, Call the Coach, Tsai-kos

KGMB has put their hour-long Liz Chun-hosted UH football preview, "Warrior Football: Humble & Hungry" up on their website.

Stephen Tsai writes about Greg McMackin's plans for this week. Tyler Graunke is among 20 players who will be added to the team's roster today, but none of them will practice until next Monday.
UH head coach Greg McMackin said the Warriors are in full "game mode" for Saturday's season opener against Florida in the Swamp.

McMackin said there would be no benefit to allowing the add-ons to practice this week.
Other details from Tsai's article:
  • Mario Cox, who is no longer on scholarship, is invited to rejoin the team, though is name doesn't appear on the list of additions.

  • Kiran Kepo'o is not on the add-on list, and his number 12 was given to Greg Alexander.

  • The coaches have crafted a 66-player travel roster.

Jason Kaneshiro profiles slotback Jon Medeiros.
"First of all, he's smart," UH offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "I liked what he did (last Wednesday) when we went live, caught the ball in a crowd, found the open areas. He knows the system.

"Kealoha and Jon are coming, they're right there. I wouldn't be afraid to have them play. We're going to have to use them, so they're coming along nicely."
Dave Reardon takes a look at WAC foe Utah State.

Here's a sampling of what Florida writers are thinking about the UH-UF game...

Orlando Sentinel:
A year ago, this game would have meant something ... a battle between two Heisman quarterback candidates ... two mastermind offensive gurus. But alas, gone are Colt Brennan and June Jones, so this one becomes a laugher. To pass the time, try this drinking game: Every time someone mentions how great Tim Tebow is ... consume. Just make sure you have a ride home afterward because you'll need it.
What you should expect? Florida’s Offensive LIne to protect, Tebow AND Harvin to have HUGE games …..you should expect Hawai’i to get no more than 21 points (if they get that lucky) and then see that Hawai’i is nothing close to what they were a year ago.
David Wunderlich on Bleacher Report:
For whatever it’s worth, Florida is a 34-and-a-half-point favorite over Hawai’i. I don’t gamble, but personally I’d take the over. The Gators put up 59 on Troy, Tennessee, and FAU last season. This year’s offense (which will be even better) should be able to put up 60 or 70 on Hawai’i if they want to, and the defense isn’t going to let the Warriors get to 30 points.
See, this is why the makers of thumbtacks and push pins will never go out of business.

And don't forget, at 6pm HST is Call the Coach at the Willows. Listen to 1420 AM or the streaming audio at espn1420am.com.

P.S. Stephen Tsai will be taking a hiatus from the Warrior Beat to support the Advertiser employee unions. In the meantime, visit the Tsai-ko Lifeboat to keep up with Tsai-ko chat and news.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Warriors in the Pros: RGM, Lelie, Ulbrich, Purcell

Some bad news for Ryan Grice-Mullen, who was waived by the Bears today.

49ers Ashley Lelie, who's been out for several weeks with a calf injury, and Jeff Ulbrich, who suffered a back strain in Thursday's preseason game against the Bears, are both expected back to practice on Monday.

Brent Sobleski of the Orange & Brown Reports discusses what Melila Purcell may need to improve on, and highlights some good things he did in the preseason game against the Giants.
Against the New York Giants, Purcell was very active especially moving laterally against the run, while maintaining the line of scrimmage, standing up offensive linemen, and getting under their pads. Overall, the young defender was much stronger at the point of attack.
Note: Thanks to Chawan Cut for posting links and vids when I was away. Still catching up, so I'll have more tomorrow.

Team Previews, Game week!,

Stephen Tsai previews our team by position.

and Ferd compares this week's mighty challenge to the game vs Nebraska in 1955.

Meanwhile, we've waited for this for 9 months. Its Game Week! by Jason Kaneshiro

He also profiles Ryan Mouton, who will be relied on heavily this year to anchor our defense.

Dave Reardon profiles Chris Ault's Nevada Wolfpack. This year they come to our house.

So much news! You know its game week! 6 more days!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Ha'a, NFL Warriors

A new season, a new ha'a by Ke'ao Monteilh and friends.

Colt & Redskins: Washington was already getting blown out by the time Colt came in the 4th. He ended up 6 for 12 for 53 yards.

Davone & Miami: Bess caught 2 passes for 14 yards in a 24-0 win over the Chiefs.

Travis & Cardinals: Laboy had 2 tackles, 1 solo in a 24 - 0 shutout of the hapless Raiders.

Mel & Browns vs Ikaika & Lions: Purcell tied for the lead in tackles with 5 while Alama-Francis had 1 for his team as Detroit wins 26-6!

Ok, sleep time.

Alexander getting more reps; Boise, Gator previews

2nd string QB, Greg Alexander gets more reps while Rausch takes a breather.

Dave Reardon scouts the Boise State Broncos.

The Star Bulletin also has a Georgia Bulldog vs Florida Gator comparison.
and the 'Tiser has a Gator RB review.

One more week and Game Time!!!

Rausch resting, Warriors in the Pros: Elam, Colt

chawan_cut here. somehow trying to fill in for tombo. i'll just link to links as i don't paraphrase too well.

Rausch is resting his arm for today. Alexander and Funaki are getting more reps.

Here's Stephen Tsai's report on it.

as well as the Star Bulletin's.

and here's the local tv coverage.

oh, and for your NFL Warriors, Atlanta's Elam(that just doesn't sound right) was 1 for 2 with a 49 FG in the Falcons' 17-3 win.

and here's a nice write up by the Washington Post's Mike Wise, on Colt and his first 3 games of his NFL career.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pigskin Pigout, Graunke, Haʻa, Etc.

Note: I'm going to Vegas to win enough money to buy June Jones' Harley, so I won't be around the computer too much until Sunday or Monday. In the meantime, Chawan Cut should be posting his compilations and other news when he has a chance. Thanks to CC and thanks to everyone for visiting.

CC has a compilation with news from KGMB, KHON, KFVE and KITVE about Tyler Graunke's reinstatement, Murphy's Pigskin Pigout, injuries to Brent Rausch and David Farmer, an abbreviated profile of the offensive line, etc.

Jason Kaneshiro writes about Tyler Graunke's reinstatement.
"I'm happy for Tyler because he gets to compete his senior year," Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin said last night.
Stephen Tsai writes about Graunke, yesterday's practice, the battle at the left tackle spot, injuries to David Farmer and Joey Cadiz, and the unveiling of a new haʻa.
Two of safety Keao Monteilh's friends, Aka and Keala, offered late-night lessons to the players.

"They went to Hawaiian immersion (schools) since they were small," Monteilh said.

This ha'a is more dramatic than the one the Warriors performed last year.

Monteilh said this ha'a is about Kuali'i, a Hawaiian chief.

"The reason he would always win was because he would psych up his warriors," Monteilh said. "They taught it to us because we're the Warriors."
Jason Kaneshiro recaps yesterday's practice.
"The defense did well, we just kind of struggled," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "It's good because this is game-type stuff."

Lee said the offense's struggles weren't solely the quarterbacks' responsibility and saw some bright spots as the offense pieced together two scoring drives at the end of practice, but consistency in execution remains a focal point for the offense.
And Kaneshiro has a Sports Notebook with some injury news and a reminder that the kickoff rally that was supposed to be held at Tamarind Park today has been cancelled.
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