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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Video: LaTech 27, UH 6

Here's Chawan's Cut of tonight's reports from KHON, KFVE, KITV and KGMB. Even Stephanie Lum looks forlorn.

Louisiana Tech 27, UH 6

That was a really frustrating game. Offense couldn't get in gear, and defense looked overmatched and/or out of position. UH really needs to shore up their run defense by the time Fresno comes to town. And let's hope Greg Alexander is okay. Here's a post-game summary from Jason Kaneshiro.
Hawaii opened the Western Athletic Conference schedule with a 27-6 loss to Louisiana Tech today at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander, the nation’s leader in total offense entering the game, was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter with a sprained left knee and was replaced by Bryant Moniz. Alexander passed for 199 yards before suffering the injury.

LaTech running back Daniel Porter powered the LaTech ground game and scored two touchdowns as the Bulldogs improved to 2-2.
Here's a post-game summary from the Advertiser.
It was the first time the Warriors were held without a touchdown since a 69-3 loss to Boise State in 2004.
UPDATE: HawaiiAthletics has a post-game summary with links to game notes, quotes and a box score. Here are some of those quotes:
Hawai`i Head Coach Greg McMackin


“Give credit to LA Tech. The problem against the run was the worst exhibition of tackling in football. We were diving and not tackling the way we teach. We’re not that kind of football team.”
Hawaii linebacker Blaze Soares
“It was a big audience tonight. It was very embarrassing to perform like that on national television. This is not Hawaii defense. I don’t know what to say about our defense tonight.”

“You can’t do all your talking off the field; where it counts is on the field. We didn’t show up. A few players did, but other than that, no energy. There’s no excuses. We should have performed the way we perform every weekend.”
Stat of the night is Louisiana Tech's rushing totals: 57 carries for 352 yards.

Here's a wrap-up from LaTechSports.com.
"The sacks were just devastating," said Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "We had seven on the night. Coach (Tommy) Spangler had a great game plan. He was changing coverages and personnel. Everybody played with heart. I saw our entire team enjoy competing."

Ways to Follow the Hawaii at Louisiana Tech Game

Bumped. GO WARRIORS!!!!!



Streaming Video:



On Oahu, ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA in Hilo, KMWB in Kona. And via Chris Hart:
On Kauai folks can listen to the games on FM87.7 and ESPN Hawaii on Kona and Hilo this year.

Streaming Audio:

ESPN1420AM.com and via LaTechSports.com

Live Stats:

LaTechSports.com GameTracker

ESPN Scoreboard

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




References -- HawaiiAthletics.com, LaTechSports.com

Please comment with any corrections, additions, changes, etc. Thanks!

Game Day: Hawaii at Louisiana Tech

A big test and very important game as the Warriors begin their WAC schedule today. Let's hope the offense can keep rolling and the defense gets a boost with the return of Fonoti and Paipai. Cannot wait!

The Sports Network has a game preview.

Here's Jason Kaneshiro's preview.

Stephen Tsai's preview has breakdowns of the offense, defense and specialists for both teams. Here's an excerpt about the UH receivers:
Salas has an astonishing yards-after-catch (YAC) average of 22.3. Bradley's YAC is 14.23. What's more, Bradley has a yards-after-hit (YAH) average of 8.64. Part of their success can be traced to Pilares, who has earned the nickname "Decoy" for drawing the extra defensive back away from the left-side receivers. In the four-wide offense, Pilares is the rat-a-tat jab that sets up the knockout punches by Bradley and Salas. Pilares is a sure-handed receiver who has caught a team-best 83.8 percent of the passes when he is the primary receiver. He also is a dangerous post-catch runner, averaging 0.84 broken tackles per reception.
Tsai writes about UH preparing for the worst.
The Warriors worked on worst-case scenarios, such as hurrying the field-goal unit onto the field.

They also choreographed returns after recovering fumbles. In one drill, 300-pound defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea took an option pitch.

The drills were amusing to the 100 or so middle-school students who attended yesterday's 45-minute workout at Trinity High in a Dallas suburb. But for the Warriors, they served a purpose.

"We have to be ready for everything," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "We don't want any surprises."
Ferd Lewis writes about the importance of this game.
Get through this one, where they are 3 1/2-point underdogs on the Las Vegas betting line, and things will be looking up for the currently 2-1 Warriors, who return to Aloha Stadium next week for their first home game in 36 days.

But history tells us an opening loss in the eight-game conference schedule would be a severe, if not devastating, setback. In six of the past seven years a team has had to go unbeaten to win the WAC. In 2007, UH was one of them. And, only once in the last nine years has anybody taken the title with more than one loss.
Lewis writes about the potential recruiting benefits of the Warriors' stopover site.
The reason for the 34-hour stopover made more sense, however, when you saw where the Warriors practiced Monday and Tuesday: nearby Trinity (Texas) High School.

The Trojans, who won the Texas state large school championship in 2005 and '07, have a large Polynesian, mostly Tongan, enrollment, including some players with family ties in Hawai'i.

"We wanted to build a relationship here," UH head coach Greg McMackin said after yesterday's practice. "This is the biggest Polynesian school in Texas and it is right by the airport so you can fly in and get in and out easily."
While in Texas, Jason Kaneshiro caught up with June Jones.

Bobby Curran has a game preview.
“This is by far the best defensive front we’ve seen so far,” says offensive line coach Gordy Shaw. “We’ve gotten better each game and that has to be the case for this one.” Hawaii’s passing game is very good and could get better - only three receivers are really involved so far - and Greg Alexander has superb numbers, but he can improve his accuracy, particularly on long throws to speedy Rodney Bradley. What once looked like a certain loss now looks like a possible win, but only if Hawaii brings it’s A game.
Bob Hogue has been pleasantly surprised so far this season.
Compared to last year’s quarterback merry-go-round, conservative play-calling and overall uncertainty, this is very good news for fans!

Why is it happening, you ask? There are a few factors. One is maturity of the coaching staff. A year ago, despite their years spent in coaching, most of the coaches were in their first year in the position they had been elevated to. Anybody who has ever received a promotion knows that there’s a learning curve that goes on in your first few months on the job. The Hawaii coaching staff experienced that last year.
And finally, Bob Highfill of The Record profiles UH center John Estes.
Estes' work ethic, his ability to perform seamlessly at two positions - he was a guard his freshman season - under two head coaches and five different offensive line coaches, and his blocking skills especially in pass protection, have earned him the respect of his teamates and coaches.

Gordon Shaw, in his first season as the offensive line coach at Hawaii after spending 14 of the previous 15 years at Minnesota, said others on the team have followed their captain's lead.

"He's a very steadying force," Shaw said. "Younger players look at what he's achieved and they learn from that."

Estes has caught the attention of pro scouts, as well. Recently, 18 NFL teams had scouts at Hawaii's practices in Seattle prior to its game at Washington State, and 11 teams were represented two weeks ago before the UNLV game in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Game Day

Here are game notes and info from HawaiiAthletics.com and LaTechSports.com. A note from the latter:
While Louisiana Tech often is at the top of the nation in miles traveled, this is a week where the Bulldogs have no right to complain. LA Tech will be hosting its second consecutive home game while Hawai'i will be on the road for the third straight week. When the two teams kickoff on Wednesday night, LA Tech will have traveled 3,212 miles this season to date while Hawai'i will have traveled 19,624 miles, coming off the island for the third consecutive week.
2theadvocate.com has a game preview.

Ethan Conley of The News Star writes that this game means a lot to LaTech. The article also has quotes from Derek Dooley on how he hopes to contain UH's offense.
“The key to defending these guys is you’ve got to do a lot of different stuff,” Dooley said. “At the end of the day you have to somehow find a way to get pressure. You have to do a great job of tackling in space, because they’re going to complete passes. You’ve got to be physical, disrupt the receivers, and try to affect the quarterback so the timing gets affected.

“All those things -- and there are so many elements -- and the red area is important. They’re going to make yards. They’re going to complete balls. It’s OK. But let’s hold them to field goals, let’s create some turnovers, let’s tackle, and make them earn it.”
Dooley relives going for the failed 2-point conversion in UH's 45-44 victory over LaTech in 2007.
Then as Dooley walked off the field he saw his son standing near the goal posts, so he went over to give him a hug.

“You always expect a little support from your family. The first thing out of his mouth, however, was ‘Dad, why’d you go for two?’ I just looked at him and said ‘not now, son.’ But as we walked up the hill, he said a little louder, ‘But I just don’t understand, why’d you go for two, dad.’ I knew then it was gonna be rough at home.”
The article has some quotes about UH from LaTech players Antonio Baker and Dustin Mitchell.
“They haven’t lost a beat. They have some real talented receivers and Alexander is getting into a groove. I can see a little Colt Brennan in him,” Baker said. “They hit you with a short pass here and a short pass there, then they throw one deep. And they can run the ball, which they did on us last year. We just have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
“I expect another shootout because their offense is explosive,” Tech tight end Dustin Mitchell said. “I believe our defense can step up and stop them enough to give our offense the chance to put some points on the board.”
The Shreveport Times has more about the matchup between the Warrior offense and the Bulldog defense.
Hawaii is coming to town at 7 p.m. on Wednesday with its one-of-a-kind air show that is far different from the two option attacks the Bulldogs faced against Navy and Nicholls State.

"We have to say that everything we've done for the first three weeks forget about it ... it doesn't work anymore. We have to switch our personnel around ... change who's in the game," Tech coach Derek Dooley said. "We have a base defense, but everything's different because it's four wides. It's throwing it every down ... it's doing some one-back screens and runs. It's how you pass rush. What are your keys are up front?"
And apparently the cast of a reality show will be signing autographs before the game.
The cast of the top-rated show on A&E, The Exterminators, will be at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, La. Wednesday night signing autographs before kickoff of the Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii "Red out" football game.

WitP: Pisa, Sopoaga, McBriar

Pisa Tinoisamoa may be able to play this weekend against Detroit.
Middle linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer has a rib injury, and strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa is working his way back from a sprained right knee. There is a chance one or both will be available for Sunday's game vs. Detroit.
Isaac Sopoaga played well against Minnesota's rushing attack.
The Vikings wanted to test the left side of the 49ers defensive line and the combination of Lawson and Isaac Sopoaga shut them down nearly every time.
And Mat McBriar is one of the Cowboys all-time greatest punters.
Mat McBriar had five punts downed inside the 20-yard line Monday night to give him 102 for his career to make him the fourth punter in team history to have over 100 punts downed inside the 20. He joins Mike Saxon (166), Danny White (144) and Toby Gowin (106) as the only punters to accomplish the feat.
McBriar's five punts downed inside the 20-yard line Monday night was the second time McBriar accomplished that feat and ties the club record for punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Danny Villanueva, Duane Carrell and Toby Gowin (three times) share the record.

I'm back!

Sorry! No more technical difficulties. The Cut is back.
(and its just by chance that Liz Chun is on the freeze frame for both vids)
Here's Monday's news

and tonights:

In Texas, Livas, Dooley

Stephen Tsai writes the Coach Mack has been more vocal in recent practices.
The master of halftime shows — in the past, he has thrown a projector, computer and water jug to emphasize points — has jolted the Warriors with blistering speeches the past few days.

"It's time to get down to business," McMackin said.

In preparation for tomorrow's nationally televised game against Louisiana Tech, the Warriors have been placed on a strict schedule: Meetings, practices, study sessions, meals and rest. Show up late, feel the wrath.

He even made sure to separate the offensive and defensive players on the bus rides between the hotel and Trinity High football field.

"This is an important ball game for us," McMackin said of the Western Athletic Conference opener. "The whole nation has a chance to see what Warrior football is all about. I feel a big responsibility for us to represent the team, our staff and the people of Hawai'i."
Tsai also has notes about NFL scouts being interested in Laupepa Letuli, John Estes, Aaron Kia, Fetaiagogo Fonoti and Blaze Soares.

Jason Kaneshiro has a report from Texas, and highlights LaTech's Phillip Livas.
Livas is the leading receiver for the Bulldogs, and is a threat on special teams. He ranked seventh in the country in punt returns last season and returned a kick 85 yards for a touchdown against Navy. He has a total of five returns for touchdowns in his career and was named first-team All-WAC as a kick returner last year.

"We just hope to contain him," UH special teams coordinator Chris Tormey said. "We hope to get good hang time on our kicks, good placement, run down the field and diagnose schemes, blocks and make plays. He's a great player.

"He's a tremendous open-field runner. Tremendous initial quickness, and really good top-end speed."
And Ferd Lewis takes a look at the competitiveness of LaTech coach Derek Dooley.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Video: Coach Mack Show, Greg Salas, LaTech

KGMB has this week's Coach Mack Show up on their website. The Call of the Warrior segment is a profile of receiver Greg Salas.

Chawan's Cuts are on hiatus for a short while as C_C is experiencing some technical difficulties. Luckily KGMB is on it with Liz Chun's report from Dallas.

WitP: Mouton, Colt, Bess

Ryan Mouton spoke to the Tennessee press after Sunday's game and owned up to his mistakes.
After a day filled with rookie mistakes, Ryan Mouton made a veteran move.

Speaking with reporters after the Titans' 24-17 loss to the Jets on Sunday, Mouton took responsibility for two gaffes in the return game that set up a pair of touchdowns.

"They were big mistakes and I've got to own up to it," he said. "When you fumble like that, it changes the momentum really fast."
Titans Online has video of Mouton speaking to the press.

Dave Reardon remembers the sacrifice Colt Brennan made to come back to UH for his senior season.

And Brian Biggane of the Daily Dolphin writes how Davone Bess has become the Dolphins' most reliable receiver.
While Bess had yet another solid game as slot receiver, catching seven passes for 54 yards and fighting for every extra inch, Ginn once again was a letdown.

Bess has clearly passed the struggling Greg Camarillo to become Miami’s top possession receiver, and the same elusiveness he has shown on punt returns makes him dangerous once he gets his hands on the ball.

Healthier, D-Line, Etc.

Work sucks. Here's the late news links.

Stephen Tsai has injury updates.
After yesterday's 2-hour practice on the school's grass practice field, defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, defensive ends Fetaiagogo Fonoti and Paipai Falemalu, and punt returner Ryan Henry declared themselves physically fit for Wednesday's road game against Louisiana Tech.
Tsai also writes about Brett Leonard traveling with the team even though he may still redshirt, and Andrew Fauumu being elevated to backup long snapper.

Brian McInnis takes a look at the UH defensive line. He also has notes about Royce Pollard and Ryan Henry.

The News Star has excerpts from Greg McMackin's latest WAC teleconference.

And Ferd Lewis writes about the desperate foes UH faces in the next couple games.
Desperation is a powerful motivator and the schedule has them playing two at-risk teams, Tech and Fresno State, back-to-back in circumstances that have forced them to become Bulldogs in more than nickname.

Tech's Bulldogs are 1-2 and Fresno State's are 1-3. For both, Hawai'i is, at once, the next chance to get well and the last opportunity to stay in the WAC race.

Wednesday the Warriors, who left yesterday for Dallas, play a Louisiana Tech team that, in coming off an 8-5 season and its first bowl victory in 30 years, seemed destined for big things this year. The promise of the Bulldogs as a WAC contender was a major reason ESPN asked the conference for the midweek TV pairing back in January.

A 1-2 start wasn't supposed to be part of it, however.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Video: Off to Louisiana, Mouton, Bess

Tonight's Cut of Chawan has news from KITV, KGMB and KHON of the Warriors taking off for Ruston, along with some video of Ryan Mouton's bad day and Davone Bess' better day in the NFL.

WitP: Mouton, Bess, Sopoaga, Ulbrich, Elam, Ingram, Veikune, RGM

Ryan Mouton had a hell of game today, but not in a good way.
Titans kickoff returner Javon Ringer was supposed to be the bearer of gifts for the Jets special teams, but he was ineffective in the first two games of the season and Tennessee switched to rookie Ryan Mouton Sunday.

Bad move.

Mouton, who worked with the starters for the first time last week in practice, fumbled his first kickoff return following the Jets’ opening drive score and then coughed up the ball midway through the third quarter on a punt.

Both fumbles, which were forced by linebacker Jason Trusnick and wide receiver Brad Smith, respectively, led to touchdowns and were the difference in the Jets’ 24-17 victory Sunday over the winless Titans at Giants Stadium.
On the bright side, Mouton had 3 tackles on defense.

Davone Bess led Miami with 7 catches for 54 yards, and had 1 rush for 11 yards along with 1 punt return for 9 yards, but the Dolphins lost to San Diego 23-13.

Isaac Sopoaga had 3 solo tackles vs Minnesota. Jeff Ulbrich suffered a right quad contusion.

Jason Elam kicked 1 field goal for 26 yards in the Falcons loss to the Patriots.

New England long snapper Jake Ingram was profiled in EnterpriseNews.com on Friday.

Earlier in the week, Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had some good things to say about David Veikune.
(On David Veikune and Kaluka Maiava)- “I tell you, it’s exciting. It is exciting. These kids are coming on. Those two young men you mentioned right there, they’re going to be good players. They really are. You can see them growing. It’s like all of a sudden now they have beards. It’s like, ‘Gosh, they’re men now.’ They’re just waiting for their opportunity. They really are and they’re going to be good when they get in there, they really are. Here are guys, probably used to playing every snap they’ve ever played, now they’re backups. Usually you see a little lull in the action, it takes a while, but now, they’re growing. They’re coming on fast. Both those kids, they’re coming on fast and they’re going to be good players. It’s really exciting to see those guys every day, because they work hard and they’re getting better.”
Over in the CFL, Ryan Grice-Mullen caught 1 pass for 21 yards, returned 5 kicks for 115 yards and returned 2 punts for 25 yards in BC's loss to Calgary. He was also profiled by Canwest News Service last week.
Grice-Mullen may have fallen short of advance billing with just nine catches on offence, but coach Wally Buono understood the value of a player with 4.3- second speed and stuck with the 23-year-old despite some punt drops in practice.

Now it’s starting to pay off directly in wins, which goes a long way to hide the fact Grice-Mullen’s teammates on the specialty units had a whopping nine penalties against Toronto.

Grice-Mullen’s 11.6-yard punt return average is second in the CFL, and if the Lions can get fellow returner Ian Smart activated they could have potentially the best tandem in the league.

The Gregs

Short news clips from KHNL and KGMB profiling Alexander and Salas

Adrian Thomas, GDL, National TV

Stephen Tsai profiles Adrian Thomas, who will get the start at right tackle in place of Laupepa Letuli.
"He's really our sixth-best offensive lineman right now," line coach Gordy Shaw said.

Thomas, who is 6 feet 6 and 306 pounds, has remained fit through an intensive conditioning program. In Australia, he trained by running sand dunes. He is capable of bench pressing 385 pounds. His vertical jump is 29 inches.

Thomas has displayed agility and good footwork. But because he has worked with the first team for only three practices, Shaw said, "he's been a little rusty. But he's getting settled pretty quickly."
Tsai also writes that Royce Pollard is expected to start at right wideout and return kicks.

Kaneshiro also profiles Adrian Thomas.
"He's one of those guys who can play inside or outside. He's big enough to play inside, but moves well enough to be outside and play tackle."

After three years of patience and preparation, his first true test comes Wednesday in Ruston.

"It's not exactly the best way," Thomas said of moving into the lineup due to an injury, "but any chance I get, I'm excited to take it and take up the challenge."
Kaneshiro also talks to George Daily-Lyles about forgoing his redshirt year.
Earlier this week, the freshman linebacker was content to redshirt. Now he's on the travel list and ready to contribute against Louisiana Tech.

Aaron Brown's hamstring injury will keep him out of action, opening a spot for Daily-Lyles, who will play on special teams, along with providing depth at outside linebacker.

"I was thinking about taking it slow," Daily-Lyles said. "Right now it's 'all in.' Get this stuff under my belt and when game time comes I'll be ready.

"I've changed it up from taking it slow to hitting it hard."
Ferd Lewis writes about the sacrifices UH and Louisiana Tech are making to help out the WAC and be on national TV.

Even so, Dave Reardon thinks that the sacrifice UH is making is ridiculous.
TO ME, mostly it highlights once again how ridiculous it is that UH and LaTech are in the same conference. It remains to be seen how two "half" byes affect the team one way or the other, but Warriors coach Greg McMackin is rightfully not thrilled with the lack of an actual week-long bye.

Hawaii should never make a special trip all the way to Ruston, La., just for the one game against the Bulldogs. It's too expensive not to combine it with another road game, such as two years ago when the game at LaTech was followed by one at UNLV on the way back to Hawaii. Anything east of the Rockies should be paired, and Hawaii has the right idea in following up next year's game at West Point with one at Colorado since the Warriors are on the mainland anyway.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Laupepa Out, Tank, Bradley, Salas

Jason Kaneshiro writes that Laupepa Letuli and Aaron Brown will not make the trip to Louisiana.
Letuli, a senior, injured his left knee during a weight training session this week. It was initially thought he'd play against the Bulldogs (1-2), but McMackin said yesterday that Letuli will miss the game. He's hopeful Letuli will be back for UH's meeting with Fresno State on Oct. 10 at Aloha Stadium.
Brown, who began the season as a safety, has been bothered by a hamstring injury since fall camp. He played through it and recorded 10 tackles, including a sack.

"It's just continuing to get worse," McMackin said. "We're going to have to make some decisions because he can't perform that way."
Kaneshiro also has injury updates for Ryan Henry, Jovonte Taylor, Paipai Falemalu, Vaughn Meatoga and John Fonoti.

Stephen Tsai profiles cornerback Tank Hopkins.
Yesterday, Hopkins said, "(Payne) just made a good play. I have to get better when it comes to my side. I have to make a play, just like he did. He got the best of me that time. I have to learn from it, and move on."

Wideout Rodney Bradley, Hopkins' roommate at Navarro Junior College and UH, said: "He was dwelling on it. After a while, you realize you can only do what you can control. He did what he could to make the play. The other dude had the advantage and made the play. That's part of being a corner. You have to bounce back. You can't make every play. That's the thing about Tank. If somebody does make a play on him, he's going to go even harder the next time to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Tsai also notes that George Daily-Lyles will not redshirt after all, and will make the trip to LaTech.

Kaneshiro profiles Rodney Bradley.
"He's got that speed and he's smart and very coachable. He's going to get better," UH offensive coordinator and receivers coach Ron Lee said.

"When he first got here you could tell that he didn't have a heavy background in receiving compared to what we do. But he worked hard and he worked on his conditioning with the amount of running we do."

Bradley had been a fan of Hawaii's offense from afar, but never considered playing for the Warriors as an option. That was until Navarro assistant coach Kevin Curtis pulled him aside for a chat.

"He asked me, 'Rodney would you mind playing for Hawaii?' " Bradley recalled. "I was like, are you serious?"
And via the Shreveport Times, the AP profiles Greg Salas.
"He's got pro hands," Warriors coach Greg McMackin said. "But by moving him inside, there's more chances of him getting the football. They can't double him. He's strong enough to hold up inside, and he has the quickness of a little slot back."

Nine of Salas' 20 receptions have been for 20 yards or more. In each of the first three games, he has a reception longer than 50 yards.

"He creates a lot of good mismatches for us," said Alexander, who has thrown for 1,234 yards and nine TDs in the first three games. "He just keeps working on plays. I think he's got two or three touchdowns just off scramble drills this year. He just stays alive."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday news

Injuries, Blaze, Dooley, Red Out, Great Name

Stephen Tsai has good news and bad news on the injury front.
• Defensive ends Fetaiagogo Fonoti and Paipai Falemalu resumed workouts after missing games because of injuries.

• Linebacker/nickelback Aaron Brown will miss Wednesday's road game against Louisiana Tech — and possibly several more — because of an injured right hamstring.

• Right tackle Laupepa Letuli, who was wearing a large brace on his left knee, did not work out. He reportedly suffered an ailment during a jumping exercise Wednesday.
Tsai indicates that if the injury persists, Brown may get a medical redshirt this season. He also notes that George Daily-Lyles and offensive lineman Brett Leonard are in line to redshirt. He also has updates on injuries to Jovonte Taylor and Brent Rausch.

Jason Kaneshiro has injury news and writes about Blaze Soares playing in the middle.
An outside linebacker throughout his UH career, he's played in the middle in certain packages recently. He spent much of last Saturday's game at UNLV at that spot, switching with R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane.

"We're looking at combinations. It gives us a little flexibility," McMackin said. "He's got good size and instincts. He's a leader and has a lot of football IQ."

Soares played middle linebacker at Castle High School and has a team-high 25 tackles in the Warriors' first three games, one more than Kiesel-Kauhane. Depending on the scheme and matchup, either can move into the middle.

"As a linebacker unit, we always call the strength and we always echo everything," Soares said. "Our communication between the linebackers is awesome, so the burden is never on one person."
Ethan Conley of The News-Star has some quotes from Louisiana Tech coach and haka enthusiast Derek Dooley about the upcoming game.
"It's the same Hawaii, and even better," Louisiana Tech head coach Derek Dooley said. "Everybody thought they'd be a little down this year, but they're actually the opposite. They actually look better -- as good as I've ever seen them."

Alexander has been on fire as a passer, completing 67 percent of his passes, and he has just two interceptions to nine touchdowns. He's spreading the ball around to a talented corps of receivers, led by Kealoha Pilares, Greg Salas, and Rodney Bradley.

"They're throwing it as well as they did two years ago -- just piercing everybody," Dooley said.
One of Tech's most important off-season tasks was improving its pass defense, which was one of the worst in the nation last season. The Hawaii game will truly reveal how far the Bulldogs have come in that department.

"Everything we've been doing for three weeks, we just say, 'Forget about it. It doesn't work anymore,'" Dooley said. "Now we have to switch our personnel around, switch who is in the game, and change the whole scheme. You have a base way of doing things that you always built off of -- it's not like they're having to learn a whole new defense -- but everything's different. It's four-wide, it's throwing it every down."
Jason Jones of HereCometheDawgs.com previews the game.
While Tech hasn't beat Hawaii since the 2005 meeting in Ruston, certain trends are in the Bulldogs favor. Louisiana Tech has won seven of the last games in Joe Aillet Stadium. Hawaii is playing their third straight game on the mainland. They beat Washington State two weeks ago and lost by one to UNLV last week.

Both Louisiana Tech and Hawaii made it to bowl games last year and both teams really need a big win to start the WAC portion of their schedule. It is another chance for the two teams to showcase themselves on national television and two establish themselves as serious competition to Boise State in the WAC race.
Speaking of Boise State, Ferd Lewis writes that national pundits should hold off on the Broncos' coronation.
The view, apparently widely held, is that nobody on the Broncos' schedule, outside of previous victims Oregon and Fresno State, had a prayer of upsetting Boise State. Conventional wisdom is nobody in the WAC is going to lay a hand on the Broncos, much less threaten their reign.

But glancing at Boise State's schedule a couple of potential trapdoor games, both road tests, jump out at you: Oct 24 at Aloha Stadium and Nov. 6 at Louisiana Tech. They are challenges that should be at least as stern as that of Fresno State.
Jimmy Watson of the Shreveport Times writes about LaTech's efforts to get fans out to a mid-week game with a late start and ESPN2 broadcast.

The official Louisiana Tech website has more info.
One lucky Louisiana Tech student will win $1,000 in cash when the Bulldogs host Hawaii on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 at Joe Aillet Stadium.

The LA Tech Athletic Department is holding a"$1,000 Red Out Student Sweepstakes" as every current Tech student who attends the game and wears red is eligible to win the cash prize which will be given away at halftime of the game.

As part of the promotions for the game - it will be the first nationally televised mid-week football game ever played in Ruston - all fans are being encouraged to wear red as the Bulldogs will be sporting their red jerseys.
And I kinda like the title of LaTech's tailgaiting theme for the game.
It will be an old fashioned Hawaiian Luau next Wednesday when the Bulldogs host the Hawaii Warriors at 7 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium before a national television audience on ESPN2.

All Bulldog tailgaters are encouraged to prepare their best roast pork, glazed ham or pineapple chicken dishes as the theme for the day is Bulldog Luau.
Ohhh yeah. The article also has ticket and parking info for the fans making the trek out to the game.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Video: Back to Practice, Paipai, Fonoti, Paredes

Corey Paredes rocks the "pitbull mullet." That's all you need to know for tonight's edition of Chawan's Cut.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Video: Offense is Rolling

Tonight's Chawan's Cut is Kanoa Leahey's story on the UH offense.

Speaking of Leahey, PBS Hawaii has an archive of Leahey & Leahey video interviews. Recent guests include Greg McMackin, Jim Donovan, Stephen Tsai, Dave Reardon, Colt Brennan, etc.

Road Notes, Corey Paredes

Bobby Curran has a "Curran Events" article with notes from the road and a short profile of linebacker Corey Paredes.
Paredes is one of the great stories of the 2009 Warrior team.

A talented but undersized player at Castle High School, Paredes was late getting out recruiting tapes, and got some interest but no firm scholarship offers. “I heard from Tennessee and Washington,” said Paredes, “but they wanted me to walk on. UH seemed as interested as anybody so I walked on here.”

Paredes worked hard while paying his own way, and one day after practice Coach Mac announced that he and Kahuku alum Richard Torres were being rewarded with scholarships. That was greeted with heartfelt cheers from their teammates who knew how hard they had worked.

Siaki Cravens Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that defensive end Siaki Cravens will become a Warrior.
The Hawai'i football team filled a pressing need yesterday, securing a commitment from a highly regarded defensive end.

The Warriors were undermanned at that position in the past game.

When jokingly asked if he would be ready for the Warriors' next game, Siaki Cravens said: "No, not this weekend. But I'm definitely going to be a Warrior next season."

Cravens, who said he is 6 feet 3 and 240 pounds, signed with Utah in February 2008. He redshirted last season.

After the spring semester, he decided to transfer. He currently is enrolled at Long Beach City College.

He will join the Warriors in January, and have three years to play two seasons.

"I can't wait," Cravens said. "I made my decisions, and I told (the UH coaches) that."
Here's a highlight video:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Video: UNLV, LaTech

Here's tonight's Chawan's Cut.

Video: Coach Mack, Warrior Beat Show

KGMB has this week's Coach Mack Show up on their website.

And Alex Green and Lametrius Davis dropped by the Tsai & Wai Warrior Beat Mid-day Show today. Watch the replay here.

Healing, Offensive Line, UNLV Tailgate Vid

Jason Kaneshiro has some injury updates.
"I think we're going to have Paipai (Falemalu) back, I think we're going to have (John) Fonoti back, which is really going to help us," UH head coach Greg McMackin said during his press conference yesterday.
Defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga is also expected to be ready for the Louisiana Tech game after suffering a sprained right ankle late in Saturday's game.

"It's getting better. I've just been trying to get rehab three times a day and icing it," Meatoga said. "If (the game) was on Saturday it would be a close call. But since it's next week Wednesday it gives me a little longer."
Dave Reardon has a column about how the UH offensive line has gelled.
From left to right it's Aaron Kia, Ray Hisatake, John Estes, Raphael Ieru and Laupepa Letuli. And they were excellent Saturday night. UH allowed just two sacks for 10 yards. For most of the game, quarterback Greg Alexander had plenty of time to find his receivers, even in routes that took lots of time to develop. Running backs Leon Wright-Jackson and Alex Green also succeeded picking up blitzers.

These are the same guys who couldn't block their defensive teammates in fall camp. It's the same group that had so much trouble with Central Arkansas that UH's most-used play in its season opener was the quarterback scramble.

Something has clicked for them. Five fingers have balled into a fist.
And ESPN 1420 has a video highlights of last week's tailgate and other fan festivities in Las Vegas. It includes cameos by the Sports Animals, Amy Hanaialiʻi, John McNamara, Leonard Peters, Gary Allen, Riley Wallace, Jim Donovan, etc. along with a bunch of UH fans.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Video: Post-UNLV, Davone Bess

Tonight's Chawan's Cut of news from KGMB, KITV, KHON and KFVE has video from Coach Mack's press conference as well as the same Davone Bess highlight over and over again. Bess had 3 catches for 29 yards and returned a punt for 8 yards in Miami's loss to Indianapolis.

Coach Mack Presser

HawaiiAthletics.com has excerpts from Coach Greg McMackin's press conference today. Here's one:
On missed opportunities…
In my mind, when you analyze the UNLV game, it really didn’t come down to that last play. We had our opportunities to win that game, the last play just happened to be the last play. The problems we faced in winning this game, number one, was in the red zone. We had opportunities to score, dropped the ball in the end zone. We got three points when we should have gotten 14. We were late coming on to the field to kick a field goal and missed it. It’s not the kickers fault. We’ve got to finish.

UNLV Review

Dave Reardon reviews five key plays from UH's 34-33 loss to UNLV in this week's Warrior Replay article.

Stephen Tsai writes that UH must regroup, regain health.
The Warriors are hopeful of replenishing an active roster that has been peppered with injuries.

Fetaiagogo Fonoti, who started every game at defensive right end last season, has not played this season while recovering from a hyper-extended left kneecap. Fonoti can run straight ahead but has difficulty making cuts. He was on the past trip's 66-player travel roster. Because the Louisiana Tech game is a Western Athletic Conference event, the travel roster is reduced by two. Even if his availability is in question, Fonoti is expected to make that trip.

Defensive end Paipai Falemalu also is hopeful of being available for the Louisiana Tech game.
Jason Kaneshiro writes that the Warriors shall not lament!
The Warriors' travel-heavy September schedule continues next week with a trek to Louisiana Tech to open the Western Athletic Conference season in a Wednesday night game on Sept. 30. The nationally televised game ends a stretch of three straight road games.

"We'll get back, rest up, get back to work and get back to watching film, and move on to our next opponent," receiver Greg Salas said. "You're only allowed to mourn a little bit, so once we get back it should be out of our mind and we've got to move on to LaTech."
Here are game reviews from the Las Vegas Review Journal and the Las Vegas Sun.

Dave Reardon reviews the game in his Further Review column.
MAKE NO mistake, though. While this game was won by the Rebels in the second half, it was lost by the Warriors in the first.

Maybe it wasn't a wild prediction that at least one game would be squandered by kicking -- but there it is. In fairness to Scott Enos, he did hit a 47-yarder at the end of the half, and the disorganized rush job that resulted in a miss from 31 might not be his fault.

The larger point is that the way the Warriors offense was humming at that point, they shouldn't have been kicking anything other than extra points.
And Ferd Lewis reviews the game and looks ahead to the WAC schedule.
So, there is plenty of work to be done for the 2-1 Warriors in both shoring up their defensive secondary and ratcheting up the pass rush. It is a twinfold proposition because UH's inability to get to virtuoso UNLV quarterback Omar Clayton more than once (the lowering of the boom by converted defensive end Jake Heun) with a three-man rush helped put the secondary at risk for extended periods.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

WitP: Mouton, Sopoaga, McBriar, Bess, RGM, Colt

In his first NFL regular-season game and first action since suffering a high ankle sprain on August 18th, Ryan Mouton returned four punts for an average of six yards and a long of 15 in Tennessee's loss to the Texans. However he did muff two of those punts, but was able to recover both of them.

Isaac Sopoaga recorded two tackles in the 49ers victory over the Seahawks.

Mat McBriar had 4 punts for an average of 43.5 yards in the Cowboys' loss to the Giants.

Don't forget that Davone Bess and the Miami Dolphins play the Indianapolis Colts in a Monday Night Football game on ESPN tomorrow.

Over in the CFL, Ryan Grice-Mullen had two big punt returns in the 4th quarter of the BC Lions 23-17 victory over the Toronto Argonauts.
With the game in dire need of some excitement, Ryan Grice-Mullen put together a pair of big back-to-back punt returns early in the fourth quarter. The University of Hawaii grad had returns of 54 and 45 yards to set up field goal attempts on each occasion. Whyte missed from 37-yards, but was good from 32 one his second chance to put the Lions up 20-17 with a little more than 10 minutes left in regulation.
Ryan finished with 4 punt returns for 104 yards, 2 kick returns for 42 yards and 1 catch for 7 yards.

Here's a Q&A with RGM from 24 Hours Vancouver.

And finally John Franz of the Lariat writes that Colt Brennan visited his old college recently. His old junior college!
The Saddleback College football crowd gave a warm welcome to one of its own, Colt Brennan, when the injured Washington Redskins quarterback came back to town recently to watch the Gauchos play.

Brennan led Saddleback to the 2004 Mission Conference Title and went on to a stellar career at the University of Hawaii. Brennan was selected 186th overall in the 15th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He saw some action in last year's preseason, but is out for the 2009 season following a preseason injury.

Brennan spent the night watching the Gauchos while standing on the sidelines in crutches.

Sunday's news

UH at UNLV Wrap-Ups

Very late, but here are the links to the articles.

High rollers, by Stephen Tsai
"No excuses," UH defensive end Jake Heun said. "The scoreboard shows what happened. This was preseason stuff going into the (Western Athletic Conference) season. We're going to use this (loss) as a driving force."
Quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich, who called the offensive plays for the second consecutive game, lamented the ones that got away.

"We left too many points on the field in the first half," Rolovich said. "It really shouldn't have been that close at halftime (when UH led 20-14). We did a lot of good things."
Warriors run out of gas on the road, by Jason Kaneshiro
Protecting a five-point lead and 15 yards with less than a minute left, the Warriors took a calculated gamble in blitzing UNLV quarterback Omar Clayton.

Drop Clayton to the Sam Boyd Stadium turf -- as they had done a play earlier -- and the Warriors' odds of escaping town victorious shoot north.

But as he'd done numerous times earlier, Clayton got the throw off before the rush could reach him. And it was UNLV that came out the big winner when Phillip Payne pulled in the lob just inside the boundary with 36 seconds left to send the Rebels to a dramatic 34-33 victory.

"We blitzed and put them back (with a sack) and blitzed again and maybe we went to the well one too many times," UH head coach Greg McMackin said.
Payne turns to pleasure as Rebels click twice on key play, by Adam Hill in a special to the Advertiser.

Late heroics lift Rebels, in the Las Vegas Review Journal is basically the same Adam Hill article with additional news news and notes.

Payne leaps, lands with thrilling Rebels victory, by Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review Journal
But so many plays went against UNLV, in some ways it was amazing the Rebels were in the game.

Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander completed 31 of 48 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns, and three Warriors receivers broke 100 yards. Plus, Clayton threw two interceptions, including one near Hawaii's goal line.

UNLV had another drive stall in the red zone, and kicker Kyle Watson missed a 24-yard field goal.

That same drive, however, opened the second half by taking almost nine minutes off the clock. It not only kept Hawaii's offense off the field, but gave the Rebels confidence they could move the ball.

And they did. Their next -- and final -- three drives ended with touchdowns.
Comin’ up clutch: UNLV prevails late to edge Hawaii, 34-33, by Ryan Greene of the Las Vegas Sun

Hawaii defense gives UNLV credit for pivotal drive, by Rob Meich of the Las Vegas Sun
“Definitely, the energy was back,” Heun said of the moments that followed his sack of Rebels quarterback Omar Clayton in the game’s final minute. “We just couldn’t get it on the next snap. It happens.

“We’ll break down film, look at this and use it as a learning experience. They’re a great team. It’ll help us a lot in WAC play. We’ll bust our (backsides) back in Honolulu. No way this happens again.”
Hawaii coach Greg McMackin might have made a tactical error early in the fourth quarter when the Warriors took a 26-21 lead on Alexander’s 23-yard touchdown strike to wide-open junior receiver Greg Salas.

Instead of attempting a 2-point conversion, junior kicker Scott Enos booted the extra point through the uprights as Warriors coaches tried to call a timeout.

McMackin wasn’t watching because he was busy giving instructions to his defensive players.

“We definitely had some problems,” McMackin said of his defense. “We had to adjust. We could have gone for two. Who knows? We might have missed it … That didn’t really have a difference in the game. It could have gone a bunch of different ways.”
That definitely needs to be ironed out.

UH's Enos kicking it up a notch, by Ferd Lewis has Coach Mack's response to aforementioned extra point situation.
McMackin said, "We could have gone for two (points), who knows, we might have missed it."

McMackin said, "that really didn't have any difference in the game because the game could have gone down a bunch of different ways. We went for two later on so we went right back ahead. (Some) might think that was a big mistake. But, as it turned out, we were in the ballgame. As it ended up, we lost by one.

"Coulda shoulda, we had two chances to (intercept UNLV) at the end of the game and nobody would have ever worried about it."
Well... I'm sure they'll still look into it. Something like that could wind up having a huge impact in a game. If Mack is handling the defense, then another coach should be responsible for whether the team goes for two or not. Just my opinion of course.

Defense does just enough in UNLV victory, by Case Keefer of the Las Vegas Sun
The UNLV defense made enough plays and emerged in key situations to halt Hawaii from leaving Sam Boyd Stadium with a victory.

“We didn’t have the best defensive game,” senior linebacker Jason Beauchamp said. “But we did what we needed to win.”
Instant analysis: What goes around, comes around, by Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun

Notebook: Victory sweet for UNLV’s Polynesian contingent
"That pride factor that Hawaii plays with every game is a huge advantage that they have, and I just wanted us to have that pride, too, and play with it," said senior long snapper Kamu Kapanui, one of five Rebels who call the Hawaiian islands home. "A lot of the other guys on our team fed off of it from the Polynesian guys. We finally finished. Coach was talking about finishing. It's something coach has talked about for years now, and it feels amazing."
Hawaii slots start strong, by Jason Kaneshiro
Salas entered the game as the nation's leader in receiving yards, and scored the Warriors' first touchdown of the night with a 54-yard reception in the first quarter. He also had a 23-yard scoring reception to ignite a fourth-quarter shootout.

Pilares established career highs in the first half with 12 receptions for 143 yards. His previous best came on the back end of last year's two-game road trip when he had 10 receptions for 90 yards at New Mexico State.
Salas remains the nation's leading receiver, while Greg Alexander leads the nation in total offense. Pilares is fourth in the nation with nine receptions per game. Speaking of which:

Alexander, Pilares in synch against Rebels, by Ferd Lewis. The article also has news and notes about the attendance, UNLV students from Hawaii rooting for UH, and some injury updates:
Wide receiver Jovonte Taylor left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his left ankle.

He said he expects to play in the Louisiana Tech game.

Defensive lineman Vaughn Meatoga also suffered an ankle injury and said he expects to be ready.

Head coach Greg McMackin said he also expects to have defensive ends Fetaiagogo "John" Fonoti and Paipai Falemalu back for Louisiana Tech also.
The stats are nice, however...

Warriors fail to cash in on early chances, by Ferd Lewis
"We're not here to break records; we're here to put points on the board," Rolovich said. "We did a lot of good things and we have a chance to be a very good offense but we need to convert our chances into points, not just yards."

The statistical numbers were particularly lopsided at halftime — 361 yards total offense for UH to UNLV's 196 and 341 UH passing yards to UNLV's 119.

But the story was that UH led just 20-14.
UNLV kept the ball away from UH's run-and-shoot
Alexander said all that waiting around might have hurt the offense's rhythm. But he also pointed back to early in the game.

"We missed a lot of red zone in the first half. We can't be good from 20 to 20. We've got to finish drives."

Field goals are great, but not as the reward for first and goal from the 3. That's like having a hamburger because they're out of ribeye. That's called settling.

"The game shouldn't have been close in the first place," Pilares said. "We've got to be a lot more hungry for (the end zone).
Short snaps: UH vs. UNLV, from the Star-Bulletin

Game highlights

Warriors end up a lil short in the loss.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

UNLV 34, Hawaii 33

Frustrating and oh-so-close. Both teams fought hard and this could've easily gone the other way, but in the end UH could not contain UNLV's offense. Hope there's a lot to learn from this game, including having a plan to go for one or two before scoring a touchdown. Sorry, I just had to mention it. Seeing practically every UH fan in the stadium holding up two fingers and screaming for the two-point conversion after UH took a 33-28 lead is seared into my brain. Lots more reflection tomorrow, but here's a post-game summary, box score, notes and quotes from HawaiiAthletics.com
For the second straight game the Warrior offense was on full cylinder. UH piled up more than 500 yards of total offense with Greg Alexander passing for a career-high 477 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second straight game the senior threw for more than 400 yards.

Three different receivers caught for more than 100 yards—Rodney Bradley (189), Kealoha Pilares (146) and Greg Salas (104). Pilares snared 13 catches to become one of just five players in school history to reach that mark.
And here summaries from the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin.

UPDATE: Just to clarify, the coaches were trying to call a timeout after the kicking team was out on the field ready to kick the extra point after UH took a 26-21 lead in the fourth quarter. That's why all the UH fans were screaming and holding up two fingers after UH took a 33-28 lead.

Ways to Follow the Hawaii at UNLV Game

Bumped. GO WARRIORS!!!!


In Hawaii, on CBS College Sports Network, Oceanic digital channels 247, 255 and 1255. Here's more info from the Advertiser:
Viewers who have the University of Hawai'i Pay-Per-View season ticket will be able to watch Saturday's 5 p.m. Hawai'i-UNLV football game on channels 247, 255 and 1255 (though the game won't be in hi-definition).

UH PPV games usually are on channel 254.

However, for this game only, a single-game pay-per-view purchase will not be available unless the Oceanic sports package or UH PPV season ticket is purchased.
There will also be no free re-broadcast of the game on Sunday.

Outside of Hawaii, on CBS College Sports Network/The Mtn.

Streaming Video:



On Oahu: at Consolidated's Ko'olau Theatre
On Maui: at Consolidated's Kaahumanu Theatre


On Oahu, ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA in Hilo, KMWB in Kona. And via Chris Hart:
On Kauai folks can listen to the games on FM87.7 and ESPN Hawaii on Kona and Hilo this year.

Streaming Audio:

Via ESPN1420AM.com.

Live Stats:

There should be a link during the game at UNLVRebels.com

ESPN Scoreboard

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




References -- HawaiiAthletics.com, UNLVRebels.com

Please comment with any corrections, additions, changes, etc. Thanks!

GameDay: UH at UNLV

Stephen Tsai's gameday preview has breakdowns of the offense, defense and specialists for both teams.

Here's Jason Kaneshiro's preview.

Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has a preview.

Steve Guiremand of Rebel Nation writes that this is an important game for UNLV.
The Rebels (1-1) have made no secret that finishing with a winning record and advancing to a bowl game for the first time since 2000 rank at the top of the team’s goals for this year. And with a favorable schedule that included three straight home games to start the season, a bowl game seemed like a very real possibility.

But a loss to the Warriors (2-0) could send the season skidding in the wrong direction for Mike Sanford’s squad.
Ferd Lewis has more on why it's so important to UNLV.
The Rebels are 12-37 under Sanford, who has yet to achieve a .500 season, and the perception here is that he needs a winning year — preferably with a bowl appearance attached — to finish out his current contract.

This is supposed to be the much-awaited payoff year on all that Sanford and UNLV have invested in resurrecting the Rebels. It has been no easy task to be sure for the man who was Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator during the transformation of Utah's fortunes.
Ryan Greene of the Las Vegas Sun reviews five aspects of the UH football team. Here's an excerpt from number five:
5) One more name to remember ...

That would be senior linebacker Blaze Soares.

Aside from having maybe one of the coolest names in the FBS ranks, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Soares seems to have finally found his rhythm with the Warriors.
Stephen Tsai writes about two UNLV starters that once took recruiting trips to UH, Ryan Wolfe and Malo Taumua. Tsai also writes about Tua Mahaley replacing Paipai Falemalu on the road roster.
Antwan "Tua" Mahaley arrived late Thursday as an injury replacement for defensive end Paipai Falemalu, who has a high sprain of his right ankle.

Mahaley, who plays defensive end, is counted on mostly for special teams. At 6 feet 4, he is a skilled kick blocker.
Ferd Lewis has some news and notes about both teams recruiting in each other's back yards, tonight's expected attendance, etc.

And Dave Reardon writes about some of the extra-curricular activities that have happened in the stands during past UH vs UNLV matchups.

Warriors in the Pros: Colt, Bess, Ulbrich

The surgery to repair Colt Brennan's labrum is a success.
Former University of Hawai'i and current Washington Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan has had successful surgery in Colorado on the torn labrum in his left hip.

Brennan, who is on injured reserve and out for the year, had a similar operation on his right hip last year.

He's expected to need three months of rehabilitation before resuming football activities.

"He's kind of a gym rat, so he's going to be around (Redskins practices)," coach Jim Zorn told the Washington Post.

"It's not like, 'OK, see you guys in the summer.' He'll be around."
According to this Roto Arcade fantasy football profile, Davone Bess secretes Krazy Glue naturally.
Shake Davone Bess' hand and chances are local firefighters would need to use the jaws-of-life to pry the grip apart.

Unquestionably one of the league's premiere possession receivers, the sure-handed wideout is arguably fantasy's most glanced-over consistency king.
Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel writes why Bess is a favorite target of Chad Pennington.
I can see why Bess continues to serve as Chad Pennington's favorite target, a distinction he'd held since the second-half of last season. Bess, who caught all seven of the passes thrown his way against the Falcons (producing 57 receiving yards) is a heat seeking missile when it comes to the first down marker. He sets himself down right in front of it, making him very Pennington friendly. Not only are his in-game reads good, but when his quarterback is scrambling Bess quickly comes back to the ball. The problem is, Pennington had little else to lean on, and in order for this offense to work the other offensive weapons must do more.
Takeo Spikes and Jeff Ulbrich co-host Spikes TV, a series of locker room interviews with fellow 49er teammates. Even when Ulbrich is being funny, he's still intense!

Friday night news

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Day Before UNLV

Rob Miech of The Las Vegas Sun has an excellent profile of Greg Alexander.
But Alexander’s maturation with Hawaii’s run-and-shoot offense is a major factor why the Warriors have fared well out of the gate this season.

“Obviously, when you start off, you’re lost,” he said of the complex passing schemes and reads. “It takes a lot of repetitions until, as an offense, you’re able to execute and be comfortable and perform at a high level.

“People have said it’s almost a two-year system. You’re gonna struggle your first year as a quarterback. The second year is when you’ll start seeing things and picking it up.”
Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review Journal has an article on Greg Alexander as well.
"We've got to be able to slow them down and contain them and rush the passer," Sanford said. "I think we're better than we were a year ago, we're better than we were two years ago, but how much better, I don't know yet."

Whether it's a traditional drop-back passer such as Alexander or the gun-slinging Brennan, the Warriors' philosophy hasn't changed. They prefer quick passes that make establishing a pass rush difficult.

"The thing about that offense is it's a timing deal," UNLV defensive coordinator Dennis Therrell said. "You can blitz him, and they'll turn a guy loose. It comes out of there so quick, you can't get to him. We've got to come up with a way to try to affect him somehow somewhere."
On the right of this profile of UNLV linebacker Starr Fuimaono, there's a video of the UNLV coaches and players talking about tomorrow's game.

Stephen Tsai writes about the thinning depth at defensive end and how the coaches and players have kept this trip all business.

Jason Kaneshiro has more about the defensive ends.
Sophomore Liko Satele has drawn praise from coaches and teammates since taking over on the right side. Senior Bo Montgomery rises into a backup role, and could see action in pass-rushing situations.

Victor Clore recovered from a concussion in time to contribute to the rotation against Washington State and has been working on both sides of the line this week.

"We've got a lot of guys that can step up and play," said Montgomery, primarily a special-teams player since transferring from Weber State. "We don't have as much depth as we hoped, but I think it's good if we can throw guys in and keep guys fresh."
Dave Reardon profiles starting defensive end Jake Heun.
THIS BRINGS us to Jake Heun. Actually, injuries to starting defensive ends John Fonoti and Paipai Falemalu bring us to Jake Heun. Coach Greg McMackin said Heun, a backup linebacker a couple of weeks ago, will start tomorrow at defensive end.

If you had to draw a picture of a football player, it might look like this swaggering strongman from Alaska. Bulging super-hero muscles. Mohawk. Big tattoo on his chest. And black-and-pink toenail polish.

Black-and-pink toenail polish?

"Because I can," Heun told reporters when they noticed.

Who's going to argue with this confessed former street brawler and MMA prospect? He must have won most of his fights, because I noticed no scars. He says he's mellowed out, but who wants to find out for sure?
I bet the toenail polish is to bait people into calling him out.

Ferd Lewis profiles receiver Rodney Bradley.
For all the receivers the Warriors counsel to be patient and things will happen eventually, Bradley is the overnight success story. For all the JC transfers that need the benefits of a red shirt year just to know where to find the ball, the 6-foot, 190-pound Bradley has been the Readers Digest quick read to the end zone.
And Brian McInnis has a great article on "Uncle 'Noke"
Gather 'round, youngins, and listen to Uncle 'Noke's wisdom.

Hawaii senior Inoke Funaki has been playing for the Warriors for what seems like a lifetime, and at 26, is one of the oldest players on the team.

But more than his age, Uncle 'Noke earned that nickname because of his second-nature as a caretaker.

"A lot of the younger boys call me that," said Funaki with a grin. "I always do my best to keep them in line, make sure they go to class. It's something I enjoy."

Thursday local news

sorry so late. Injured Warriors & our O-line

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Falemalu and Fonoti, Option, Rivalry, Etc.

Via the Warrior Beat and Star-Bulletin, Paipai Falemalu and John Fonoti are likely out for the UNLV game.
Freshman Paipai Falemalu is out and senior John Fonoti is unlikely to play Saturday against UNLV, Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin said today after practice as the Warriors continue to be plagued by injuries at defensive end.

At left end, junior Jake Heun will make his first Division I start, and Liko Satele will start on the right, the coach said. Elliott Purcell and Bo Montgomery are now No. 2 on the depth chart.
UNLV Rebel Yell has a game preview and a column about how UNLV can beat Hawaii.
If UNLV wants to win on Saturday, they can not fall into Hawaii’s style and try to out-score them. Despite UNLV’s potential to score like they did against Sacramento State, they lacked consistency against Oregon State. With an offense like Hawaii’s, you cannot get suckered into playing their style because they are simply better at it than most of the teams they play.

Instead, UNLV has to focus on two key factors to slow them down:
Defensively, UNLV’s secondary has to bring its best. Don’t be surprised if UNLV uses nickel coverage for most of the night.

Hawaii has three receivers who have at least one touchdown and more than 100 yards receiving through their first two games. Typically, the best way to disrupt a good receiver is to play press coverage. If Hawaii gets off to a fast start, don’t be surprised to see the UNLV defense using this tactic.

The other component to slowing down a potent offense like Hawaii’s is to keep them out of rhythm. An offense like Hawaii’s thrives on being able to get its quarterback in-sync with his receivers. The best way to do this, other than putting pressure on him with blitzes, is to keep him on the bench.
Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review Journal writes about a lack of "aloha spirit" between the two teams.

Ferd Lewis takes a look at the budding rivalry.

Jason Kaneshiro takes a look at the UH defense preparing for UNLV's option.

Stephen Tsai has news and notes about Lametrius Davis reclaiming a starting position, injuries to the defensive ends, and Viliami Nauahi switching to defensive end.

Kaneshiro talks to some of the guys from Hawaii playing for UNLV.

Dave Reardon highlights the young UH special teams players.

And the link to yesterday's story about Alex Green is now working.

Wed news

from Vegas

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UNLV Previews, Bryant Moniz, Keith Uperesa, Samson Anguay, Etc.

HawaiiAthletics.com and UNLVRebels.com have official game information and notes.

Via the Macon Telegraph, the Sports Network has a game preview.

UNLV linebacker Jason Beauchamp reviews last week's disappointing loss to Oregon State and looks ahead to Saturday's matchup to UH. He has some interesting comments:
Looking at Hawaii, the passing game stands out to me. Their veteran quarterback, Greg Alexander, he's pretty consistent. What they do is very unique, with the shovel pass and how they disguise play-action pass pretty well. What Hawaii does doesn't change. How the offensive linemen set, what they do hasn't changed. Really, it's effective.

I think more so, this game's different than any other game.

In the past, we've been disrespected. They've run up the score on us, we've got a lot of guys from the Hawaiian islands, and it means a lot to them. This game is about pride, being physical, and who wants it more.
Speaking of which, the Las Vegas Sun profiles UNLV defensive end Malo Taumua, who talks about playing for bragging rights.
More than anything, UNLV junior defensive end Malo Taumua would just like a more pleasant trip home on his next voyage to the Hawaiian islands.

"It's for bragging rights," he said of the Rebels upcoming showdown with 2-0 Hawaii at 8 p.m. Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium. "The last two times we lost to them, I went back home, I got nothing but trash talk."

Taumua's heard it from Hawaii senior linebacker R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane and senior defensive lineman Rocky Savaiigaea, both of whom he went to school with at Aiea High in O'ahu. The Rebels were thumped by the Warriors during each of Taumua's first two seasons on campus, losing 42-13 on the road in 2006, then 49-14 in Vegas a year later.
In Kalani Takase's profile of Taumua, he has more to say about his UH frenemies.
When the Rebels and Warriors clash Saturday, Taumua will be reunited with several old acquaintances, including Na Ali'i classmates Rocky Savaiigaea and R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane.

"I heard that they're team captains, so I was real proud to hear that," Taumua said. "They've been through so much over there and those guys have meant so much to me. I can't wait to see those guys."

Taumua also has ties to both Hawai'i offensive tackles.

"I played against (left tackle) Aaron Kia when he was at Mililani and (right tackle) Laupepa (Letuli) and I were roommates on our recruiting trip to UNLV," Taumua said.
Stephen Tsai profiles UH #2 quarterback Bryant Moniz.
UH head coach Greg McMackin said Moniz is deserving of consideration for a football scholarship.

"Look at all of the (walk-ons) we've put on scholarship," McMackin said. "If a player can help us win, why not scholarship him? Where are we going to go out and find a better quarterback than him?"
"We have a lot of respect for Bryant," McMackin said. "He has such a great feel for the game, and he looks really smooth. I think he's an outstanding quarterback."

Alexander noted that Moniz is so calm in the pass pocket "he almost looks like he's bored in there."

Moniz said: "That's pretty funny. I guess playing football, you know you're going to get hit. There's no sense being worried about it. If you worry, then you're in the wrong sport. I have a lot of trust in the o-line."
Tsai also has news and notes about practice, injuries and recruiting.

The Star-Bulletin has an article titled "UH running game goes Green" which I assume is a story about Alex Green, but as of right now there's no content there. Let me know when it pops up.

Both Dave Reardon and Ferd Lewis have columns about UNLV coach Keith Uperesa and his battle against cancer.

Brian McInnis profiles Campbell receiver/returner and future UH Warrior Samson Anguay.
He's already fulfilled one of his lifelong ambitions by verbally committing to Hawaii after the UH skills camp over the summer. Now he wants to live up to another by drawing comparisons there to his childhood idol, Chad Owens, and starring in front of his parents and grandparents.
And the Star-Bulletin has a profile of former UH coach and current Army head coach Rich Ellerson.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video: Vegas, Stats, Rolo, Alexander

Here's tonight's Chawan's Cut of news from KHON, KITV and KGMB.

Video: Coach Mack Show, H-Files

KGMB has this week's Coach Mack Show up on their website. There's a Wazzu review and a UNLV preview, and this week's Call of the Warrior segment is a profile of offensive line coach Gordy Shaw.

HawaiiAthletics.com has a video interview with Leon Wright-Jackson, otherwise known as L-Dub-J(?).

And here's anoteher H-Files video interview with Greg Salas.

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