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Thursday, September 03, 2009

O-Line, New Haka, Depth

Jason Kaneshiro takes a look at the UH offensive line.
For the most part, the Hawaii offensive line has turned the page on last year's stats. Still, some lingering memories remain, fueling the desire to pen a new chapter starting tomorrow.

"A lot of us have a chip on our shoulder because we had a bad rep last year," senior tackle Laupepa Letuli said. "Through the whole year, we had a bad taste in our mouth. We have to let that go.

"We worked extra hard (this summer). A lot of the guys came twice a day to run and really wanted to improve themselves. And as a unit I think we've grown mentally, physically, emotionally from last year."
Kaneshiro also has news and notes along with an injury update:
Fonoti didn't practice yesterday after suffering a bruised knee during Tuesday's practice. McMackin has said the senior is probable for the game. ... Defensive tackle Chris Leatigaga said the early prognosis for his return from a dislocated kneecap is four to six weeks.
And Kaneshiro has some notes from yesterday's practice.

Stephen Tsai writes about the Warriors' new haka.
"We've got a new haka," left tackle Aaron Kia said. "I want to leave it at that. We want to surprise the fans. If we over-media-ize it, it'll take away the surprise."

A week ago, the seniors agreed to bring back the haka, a Maori war chant, as a pregame ritual. But the past weekend, they decided to use a version different from the haka performed during the 2006 season. The Warriors performed the ha'a, a Hawaiian-influenced Polynesian chant, in 2007 and 2008.

The seniors turned to Gary Nagy, who recently transferred from Brigham Young. As Kahuku High students in 2005, Nagy and Javen Kaka created a haka for the Red Raider football team. Kaka, who is from New Zealand, had learned the haka from relatives.
Tsai also writes about Elliott Purcell and his family and has this note:
Aaron Brown has made the full move from safety to outside linebacker.
Dave Reardon writes that UH's lack of depth may end up hurting them.
One of the big keys to UH's success in 2006 and 2007 was depth on defense. The Sugar Bowl team had David Veikune, Keala Watson, Blaze Soares and Ryan Mouton -- COMING IN OFF THE BENCH.

Now that's depth, and a big reason UH went 12-1; the Warriors could survive despite injuries. It was true on offense, too; when Colt Brennan was hurt, Tyler Graunke won at Nevada.

HERE'S THE breakdown (sorry, pun intended). UH will start 5-5, but its lack of depth will hurt late in the season.

Wins: Central Arkansas, at Washington State, at Idaho, Utah State, New Mexico State.

Losses: At UNLV, at LaTech, Fresno State, Boise State, at Nevada, at San Jose State, Navy, Wisconsin.

That adds up to 5-8 and 3-5 in the WAC.
And Jason Kaneshiro previews Wisconsin.


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