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Friday, September 25, 2009

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.


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