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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Game Day: Hawaii at Idaho, last night's tv news

Today is another important test for the Warriors, and it's a must-win game. Idaho is at home in the Kibbie Dome riding a 5-1 record and just one win away from being bowl eligible for the first time in ages. So sure, Idaho has the momentum coming into this game, but so does a potato rolling down a hill. UH just needs to be the potato catcher.

The UH defense has not had a chance to gel all season with injuries and inexperience hindering their progress, but they need to make a giant leap forward today. Idaho will try to do what Louisiana Tech and Fresno did: run the ball, run time off the clock, and keep UH's offense off the field. The Warrior D needs to make critical 3rd down stops, force a couple of turnovers and keep the crowd out of the game.

The UH offense will hinge on the play of Bryant Moniz and the timing he's developed with his receivers. He got important game experience against Fresno and has had several weeks of practice as the #1 QB. However, it will be his first road game as a starter and it'll be against a loud, hostile and hungry crowd, so he'll need to keep that calm and cool which he's known for and make smart decisions. Hopefully he'll get some help from Leon Wright-Jackson and the rushing game that showed so much promise in the first quarter of last week's game.

Here are the game previews:

UH hopes to end skid, by Stephen Tsai
"We've had an excellent week of practice," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "Now we have to take it to the field, and get a win."

This week, the Warriors tightened the pass routes, and quarterback Bryant Moniz worked on building a better connection with his receivers. Moniz will make his second NCAA start, in place of Greg Alexander, who will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery three weeks ago.

"I thought he did a great job against Fresno," slotback Greg Salas said of Moniz. "As receivers, we're going to do a better job of helping him out."

The Warriors also adjusted their base 4-3 defense. Mana Lolotai will start at middle linebacker, with Blaze Soares moving to the outside, and nickelback Richard Torres will open at free safety. Torres will move to nickelback when the Warriors use schemes employing five defensive backs.
UH hopes to quiet Vandals, by Stephen Tsai has lineups and breakdowns of both teams' offense, defense and specialists. An interesting excerpt:
Salas, Bradley and Pilares have been able to ease Moniz's transition to starting quarterback. During halftime last week, Rolovich drew up several new plays. Without practicing them, Moniz and the receivers nailed the routines (although a drop and two holding penalties nullified the work).
Warriors wary of Kibbie Dome, by Jason Kaneshiro
"It's going to be really noisy. It'll be the most hostile environment we'll play in this year," said Tormey, a member of the Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame and now a Warriors assistant.

"The fans are right on top of you and they're really intense about Vandal football and enthusiastic about the direction of the program. When you go into a hostile environment you have to embrace it and use that energy. Let's not be afraid of it, let's get excited about it. That's why you play."
Hawaii coaches know Moscow, by Ferd Lewis

Warriors, Vandals seek validation, by Ferd Lewis
After years of being the Warriors' pinata, Idaho sees this as an opportunity to strike back on history. Here it is well remembered that UH lit up Idaho, 52-21, in the Vandals' final game of 2004, their last meeting before joining the WAC. Then, in their WAC debut, UH walked into the Kibbie Dome and laid down a 24-0 beating.

Since then, UH has followed it up with 68-10, 48-20 and 47-17 thumpings. Not even Boise State, the Vandals' most bitter in-state rival, has been able to duplicate the severity of that string of losses.

"We know what we're walking into," said UH head coach Greg McMackin.
Better Know a Foe: Hawaii, from Vandal Nation is a Q&A with Ferd Lewis
"Hawaii, which went seven quarters without a touchdown until the 4th quarter last week when the game was no longer in doubt, is going to have to regain a passing touch it hasn’t seen since Wazoo or early in the UNLV game to pull this one out."
Idaho can become bowl-eligible with victory over UH, from the AP via Maui News

Idaho football: Vandals' Hawaiian natives eager to face hometown team, by Nick Jezierny of the Idaho Statesman
An Idaho win would make the Vandals bowl eligible and give five Hawaii natives on the roster some bragging rights. Running back/kick returner Kama Bailey, reserve linebacker Conrad Scheidt and reserve defensive lineman Isaiah Lavea are the other Hawaii natives.

"They kind of overlooked us coming out of high school and we both ended up over here," Dickson said. "That's the home team where everyone from Hawaii wants to play."
Idaho/Hawaii Prediction, by Jesse Baumgartner of the Lewiston Tribune
Prediction: If Greg Alexander was in this game, it’d be a lot different. The shaky Idaho secondary would be going up against one of the country’s top passers, and that’s not a gimme win. But with a fresh pup behind center and a run defense that showed last week it can’t stop a physical runner, it’s hard to see the Warriors winning. If Idaho struggles defending the pass early and gets in a rut, things could get interesting. But if they play the way they have this season and avoid giving up big plays, this is a should-win game. Prediction: Idaho 28, Hawaii 20
The magic number, by Jennifer Schlake of The Argonaut

Vandals gear up for Hawaii, from GoVandals.com

Last night's news from the local stations, KGMB, KHNL, KITV, KHON.


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