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Saturday, October 25, 2008

GameDay: UH vs Nevada

Stephen Tsai's gameday preview has breakdowns of the offense, defense and special teams of both UH and Nevada. You could say that the Warriors' offense is breaking in new underwear this week, having to make a lot of secret adjustments. Here are some hints from the article:
The new modifications, implemented during closed-to-the-public practices this past week, will feature personnel changes and schemes borrowed from successful programs at different competition levels.
The Warriors are making some personnel changes at the receiver positions, as well as implementing some new schemes that they test drove during training camp but have yet to use in games. The plans won't include running back/slotback Kealoha Pilares, who yesterday was wearing a walking boot to protect a sprained right foot. There will be some surprise replacements.

While quarterback Funaki, 3-2 as a starter, will be in the opening lineup, there are packages ready for what McMackin describes as a "pure passer."
Tsai writes about the tough week adjusting on the practice field and the tough week off it.
Special teams coordinator Ikaika Malloe underwent an emergency appendectomy. Freshman offensive lineman Tuiatua Tuiasosopo underwent surgery after suffering side effects from an infection. Wideout Jovonte Taylor withdrew from school after losing more than 20 pounds from a viral infection.
Jason Kaneshiro's gameday preview has stats, breakdowns and this key matchup:
Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick vs. UH LB Solomon Elimimian
Containing Kaepernick was a central theme for the Warriors defense last year, when it held the freshman to 23 yards rushing and 134 passing in a 28-26 win.

Elimimian played a big part in that scheme and will be in the middle of the action again tonight.

"As a middle linebacker you're pretty keyed into the quarterback," UH coach Greg McMackin said. "He's pretty important in controlling any running game."
Kaepernick averages 87 rushing yards per game, and keeping the 6-foot-6 sophomore from turning the corner on the option will be among the tasks facing the Warrior defense.
The Hunt for the Cyborg Gazelle, coming soon to a theater near you!

Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal has a game preview.
Clearly, this game is important for both teams -- so much so that neither team wants to look too far into the future and fail to take care of the present.

"It's good pressure," Pack running back Vai Taua said. "We've got to go into every game wanting to win anyways, but now we're going into every game, we have to win now. It's pressure, but there's always pressure to win."
Darrell Moody of the Nevada Appeal has a game preview as well.
“Their defense is one of the best in the conference,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “Look at the Boise game (UH trailed 10-7 at the half).”
Kaepernick, who is expected to start after being benched for a quarter last week against Utah State for not being properly prepared prior to the game, is impressed with Hawaii’s defense.
“Their defense is solid,” Kaepernick said. “Them (Hawaii) and Missouri do a lot of things defensively that do/can make it tough for us.”
Ferd Lewis writes that the Warriors need to throw everything at Nevada tonight.
To be sure the season has reached a point for both teams where it behooves them to go to the far corners of the playbook to stay in the bowl picture. Throwing in the kitchen sink would not be unexpected this week. What would be strange is if, in a pinch, they didn't resort to extraordinary measures.

And pinch and squirm time has clearly arrived. UH is 3-4 (2-2 WAC) and, needing four wins in the final six games to become bowl eligible and earn a place in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. There aren't a whole lot of tomorrows if the Warriors lose tonight.
Can we expect some up-the-sleeve surprises tonight? Some new wrinkles and well-applied trickeration? Probably.
And Dave Reardon writes about last year's game, with Nevada not knowing whether Colt Brennan would play, and UH coming out with three QBs in the first series to mix things up. Could this game be similar?
Those of us allowed at this week's "closed" practices are sworn to secrecy on major alterations, and there are a few. But since Mack let it out of the bag on his radio show, we can confirm that Graunke, judged by the coach "physically unable to play" on Monday is stronger and throwing in practice.

Isn't QB subterfuge fun? But the real thing to remember is none of it matters if the UH O-line doesn't block better.
Interesting reading this morning. It'll definitely be fun watching what UH busts out on offense.



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