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Sunday, September 07, 2008

UH vs Weber State Wrap-Ups

HawaiiAthletics.com has a game summary, with links to post-game notes and quotes, along with a box score.

Here are some stats, scoring summaries, and a short game summary from Jason Kaneshiro.

Some quotes about Tyler Graunke, from Malcolm Lane, Greg McMackin and Graunke himself, in Stephen Tsai's wrap-up of the game.
"I'm damn sure he won the team's respect with that effort," Lane said.
"I'm so proud of him," said Greg McMackin, who earned his first victory as UH's head coach.

Told of McMackin's comments, Graunke said: "That means a lot to me. Obviously, I lost a lot of people's trust. To earn back the coaches' and players' trust means a lot to me. I love everybody that I play for and everybody that I play with. That's what it's all about — chemistry. We showed that out there. I feel like a new man."
Also from the article, Inoke Funaki talks about being diagnosed with a concussion:
"I thought I was OK," Funaki would say later, "but the doctors didn't think I was OK. It's a good thing, fortunately, we had Tyler. He was ready."
And Keao Monteilh talks about his interception on a pass tipped by Calvin Roberts:
"They wanted me on 'Dancing With the Stars' but I told them I have to play this year," Monteilh said, smiling. "Calvin did a good job. He's been practicing volleyball. It was a perfect set. That was a Kamanao set."

More from Graunke and Mack in another Jason Kaneshiro article.
"I think I've really matured as a person, not just as a football player. I've learned a lot of valuable life lessons and I credit a lot of that to Coach Mack. He's made me a better person and I thank him for that. I've been waiting for that opportunity for a long time."

After the game, McMackin wasted little time in declaring Graunke the starter for Saturday's game at Oregon State.

"It's a no-brainer, right?," McMackin said. "I'd have to be a dumb, stupid coach not to play him next week, because he looked pretty good to me."
Receivers Mike Washington and Aaron Bain had this to say:
"When T.G. came in, that was like a big, inspirational uplifter," said Washington, who more than doubled his receiving total from all of last year with career highs of five catches for 109 yards. "Everybody was waiting -- it's like, man!"
"Most definitely, soon as he came in he connected with Malcolm, once he got that in we were rolling," said Bain. "It's good to have him back. ... I'm proud of him now that he's back, we were getting the ball moving, got that fire in our eyes back. You hear the crowd chanting his name. You feel proud, and I'm glad to be in the huddle with this guy."
Dave Reardon has a column about the spark Graunke brought to the team.
This wasn't supposed to happen until after the bye week, so it was somewhat of an eyebrow-raiser, seeing Tyler Graunke trot out to the huddle last night to start the second half. But how he performed, sparking the Hawaii offense, and in turn the defense and the crowd? No surprise at all.

With four years of experience in the run-and-shoot, Graunke is capable of exploits like the CPR job he performed last night, coming off the bench and bringing life to a listless team that looked like it was on its way to an embarrassing loss to Weber State.
Ferd Lewis writes about Graunke's return.
Graunke would be the one holding the match. With each play and every pass, the guy who had missed much of spring practice and the first weeks of the fall with the now infamous "academic issues" found his touch and gave the Warriors their confidence.

"He knew all the reads; he made a huge difference," Wildcats coach Ron McBride said.

"The guys know he's a winner and that means a lot," UH quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said.

Indeed, the turn of the tide was both perceptible and swift. Receivers made bigger plays, the defense rebooted its effort and even placekicker Dan Kelly seemed to have more power in his end zone-clearing kickoffs.
Stacy Kaneshiro writes about the UH defense coming alive after a shaky first half.
When it was over, the Wildcats never crossed midfield in the second half. The only time they got into UH territory was when the Warriors lost a fumble at their own 15. Still, the defense gave up no yards in the series to keep the Wildcats scoreless in the second half.

"We just told ourselves to buckle down and do our own assignments," said UH linebacker Brashton Satele, who led his team with nine tackles. "Coach was talking about it the whole week, doing our own assignments. Don't do more than you have to. Just do what you have to do.

"They had a good first half, driving the ball and stuff. Second half, we came out and stopped them."
Billy Hull talks to Weber State QB Cameron Higgins about his homecoming game.
Higgins finished 14-for-18 for 145 yards in the half as the Wildcats maintained the 10-point lead going into the break, leaving Hawaii running off the field to a chorus of boos from the hometown crowd.

"We were catching them off guard, mixing it up, five wide, four wide, a lot of play-action here and there," Higgins said. "We were able to catch them on their toes."
Michael Tsai profiles Cameron and Zach Higgins, who have had to deal with being away from their sick father.
As he took the field for the first time yesterday, Cameron said his eyes immediately scanned the crowd for his family and, in particular, for his father.

"I looked around and there he was," Cameron said. "It was just nice to see him there."

Cameron said he translated whatever inspiration he could squeeze from the moment into one of his best efforts on the field.

In fact, for one half at least, Higgins made a strong argument for being the most effective quarterback in the game.
Leila Wai has some news and notes from the game about Erik Robinson's first sack, Dan Kelly moving up the UH all-time scoring leaders charts, Fale Laeli's leaving the game due to injury, etc. She also spoke to Aaron Bain:
"Every game is important to me, but starting for the first time, in front of the home crowd, that was really big for me," Bain said. "I was kind of nervous in the beginning, but once you get the first couple of series out of the way, everything is all good.

"Now that we got all of the jitters out of the way, hopefully we can have a good season."
The Star-Bulletin Sports Notebook includes notes about a key video review from the game, injuries to Faeli Laeli and two Weber State players, Brashton Satele's big night, UH's first interception of the season, and running back Jayson Rego making a case for more playing time.
He took all but one of his nine handoffs as the game wound to a close in the fourth quarter, and despite Weber State knowing exactly where the ball was going as the Warriors chewed up clock, Rego still managed a game-high 54 yards. He hadn't taken a handoff in a game before this season.

"It felt really good, I'm thankful the coaches gave me the opportunity," the Kamehameha graduate said. He paused. "It felt real good," he repeated, and grinned.
And Leila Wai talked to some UH fans about the start of the Greg McMackin era.
UH students Kent Salcedo, 21, Kyle Nagatori, 21, and Bell Chiragul, 20, were tailgating before the game.

"I think it's going to be a great season because I have faith in them," said Chiragul, an elementary education major.

All three noticed that "Manoa Maniac" student tickets were far harder to obtain this year than in previous years.

"Two sections were already sold out by the first Friday (of school)," Nagatori said. "Last year, it wasn't like that. There's a lot of people here for a I-AA game."


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