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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UNLV, Corey, Greg, Safeties, Etc.

Jason Kaneshiro profiles WAC Defensive Player of the Week, Corey Paredes.
Paredes finished with eight tackles, including his second sack of the season, in his first career start at "buck" linebacker.

It's been quite an ascent for the Castle graduate since the start of fall camp. Over the last month or so, Paredes' efforts have been rewarded with a scholarship, a starting job and yesterday's conference award.

"I'm very thankful to the coaches that they put their trust in me to play," said Paredes, who toiled as a walk-on his first two years and was primarily a special teams player last season. "All I have to do is work as hard as I can, and play as hard as I can."
Stephen Tsai writes that the Warriors mean business.
After a nearly 2-hour video review of Saturday's 38-20 victory over Washington State, the Warriors worked out for about 2 1/2 hours at Palo Verde High, a 10-minute drive from Summerlin, a Las Vegas suburb where the Warriors are being sequestered.

A tight schedule — which includes meetings and study sessions — and a strict pinkie-swear honor system have kept the Warriors focused.

"We're not going to the Strip or doing anything else," Estes said. "We're trying to win a football game."
Tsai also has notes about Greg Alexander, Corey Paredes, Brent Rausch and Shane Austin.

Ferd Lewis has some news and notes about Jim Donovan hoping that Sam Boyd Stadium will be a 50-50 split between UH and UNLV fans. And in completely unrelated news, the stadium will have more ushers and security for the game, and beer sales will be cut off after halftime.

Lewis has a column about how the UH quarterback torch has been passed to Greg Alexander.
In his first season, one that saw him yo-yo from starter to the bench and back, Alexander won games for the Warriors, led them to a bowl and put up some good statistics. But not what Colt Brennan, Tim Chang, Nick Rolovich and Dan Robinson taught us to think of as UH numbers. And, there was a difference, as Alexander knew better than most.

So when Alexander left Qwest Field Saturday with not only a huge hand in the 38-20 victory over Washington State but also a career-high 453 passing yards and three touchdowns, you could sense the relief of a personal milestone met as well as a team corner turned. There wasn't giddiness but a well-earned satisfaction that said Alexander grasps the whole package.
Dave Reardon writes about UH safeties Mana Silva and Spencer Smith silencing the doubters.
THERE WAS no magic potion, no secret to what looks to some like instant success for Silva and Smith. Both never started before, but both project the swagger of veteran leaders.

"Our chemistry is good," Silva said. "We're able to communicate, and that was earned with extra time on the practice field. Being the first to get there, and the last to leave."

Smith said he and Silva and cornerbacks Jeramy Bryant and Tank Hopkins, as well as the rest of the defense, are motivated by doubters.

"It's preparation. Both of us know what we're supposed to do, what has to be called. Both of us make sure we're on the same page. A lot of reps during fall camp. We're getting better each game. We're raising the bar. One of the biggest questions going into the season was our secondary. We've responded to the questions."
The Las Vegas Sun has lots of quotes from UNLV coach Mike Sanford. Here's what he has to say about the upcoming game.
"I think there's a lot of interest in this game in a lot of ways," Sanford said. "We recruit the Hawaiian islands and Polynesian players very aggressively, and that's one of the main things we do from a recruiting standpoint. There's a lot of interest. There's a lot of Polynesian people in Southern Nevada. It's gonna be an exciting atmosphere on Saturday night."

UNLV has five players who call Hawaii home — defensive tackle Ramsey Feagai, long snapper Kamu Kapanui, defensive end Malo Taumua, guard Sean Tesoro and offensive lineman Daniel Kaanana.

"Just in general, I think it helps us, No. 1 to play them, No. 2 to beat them — it helps recruiting," Sanford added, regarding the game's significance. "I can't quantify it or be real specific, but I would say it's definitely a big help.

"This is gonna be an emotional game for a lot of guys, and that's gonna be an important thing, to play with passion but be under control."
And the Las Vegas Review Journal has a Q&A with UNLV defensive end Malo Taumua, who hails from Hawaii.


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