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Monday, November 30, 2009

Video: Blaze, Navy, Wisconsin

Tonight's Chawan's Cut of news from KHON, KGMB and KITV got lots of quotes from Blaze Soares, reviews of the Navy game, and previews of the Wisconsin game.

$100K, Coach Mack Show

Mmmm, beer.
Anheuser-Busch Sales of Hawaii has announced that it has raised $100,000 for the University of Hawai`i Athletics Department through its "Get in the Game" promotion, which concluded today (Nov. 30). This is the second year that Anheuser-Busch has provided UH Athletics with $100,000 in support through this promotion.

Anheuser-Busch Sales of Hawaii donated 25 cents from every case of Budweiser, Bud Light, Budweiser Select, and Bud Light Lime products sold across the state of Hawai`I during the course of the promotion, which started prior to the UH football season.
And KGMB, or HawaiiNewsNow.com, has this week's Coach Mack Show up on their website. This week's Call of the Warrior segment is a profile of Jon Medeiros.

Monday Press Conference

HawaiiAthletics.com has excerpts from Greg McMackin's Monday press conference. Here's a couple:
On the play of the defense…
But what I’m so proud of is how well the players handled the cut-block, because that was my main concern. Richard Torres, I think they had 68 plays, didn’t get cut one time. He was using his wrestling moves. Our theme on defense was to “stay alive.” Don’t get cut, or if you get cut, get back up because if you’re not on your feet then you can’t make plays. They did a great job of that. The front really played front and stout. Overall I’m really happy. Special teams, offense, defense, it was a team victory.

On the team’s focus…
Just like at San Jose State we learned how to focus. We were really focused the entire game. We have to take that into this (week’s) game because this is the most important game we will play.

Travaun Nixon Commits to UH (w/UPDATE)

Bumped with update.

Stephen Tsai writes that JC cornerback Travaun Nixon will become a Warrior.
A day after defeating Navy for their fourth victory in a row, the Warriors yesterday secured a verbal commitment from one of the most productive junior college cornerbacks in California.

"I'm going to be a Warrior," said Travaun Nixon, a sophomore from Ventura College.

Nixon said he is 6 feet and 190 pounds. www.JCfootball.com lists his 40-yard dash at 4.42 seconds.

Last year, as a safety, Nixon made eight interceptions.

In 2009, he had six interceptions in seven games. His average of 0.86 picks per game was fourth best in the California Community College Athletic Association, which fields 71 football teams.

Nixon recently was named to the Southern California Football Association's all-star first team.
By committing to UH, Nixon is turning down scholarship offers from Arizona and Texas-El Paso. He said he is canceling next week's scheduled trip to UTEP.
Congrats to Travaun!

UPDATE: Via goodfaith and letsgobows in this SportsHawaii.com thread, here's a great profile of Nixon from the Ventura County Star, as well as some video highlights.

Navy Review, Wisconsin Preview

Dave Reardon reviews five big plays from UH's 24-17 victory over Navy in this week's Warrior Replay article.

Bill Wagner of HometownAnnapolis.com has some quotes from Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo regarding the game.
"We are never going to review this tape with the team. I want this game to be over with," Niumatalolo said. "We played bad. Obviously, I did a bad job of getting us ready. We have to forget about this game and move on."
"I'm not sure our players realized how fired up this team would be. We didn't match their intensity," Niumatalolo said.

A crowd of 40,643 at Aloha Stadium was equally fired up and the Midship-men did not respond well to the noise, which Niumatalolo said was more deafening than Ohio Stadium or Notre Dame Stadium.

"It was louder than any of us expected. It was certainly a lot louder than I remember," said Niumatalolo, who played and coached at Hawaii. "We got rattled and mentally we were not sharp. Offensively, I thought we were frazzled. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes."
Dave Reardon writes about Greg McMackin's decision to go for it on 4th and inches instead of attempting a field goal in the 4th quarter.
The Mids can shower and shave in 2 minutes, but going the length of a football field quickly -- especially with no timeouts -- is a bit more challenging for their spread option offense.

Many perceived Bill Belichick's choice to go for it with the lead and time running down a vote of no confidence against his defense. McMackin's was the opposite. If the Warriors failed to get the first down (which is what happened), McMackin was fairly certain his defense could stop Navy from going 84 yards in 5 minutes and change.

He had good reason to be.
Jason Kaneshiro previews the Wisconsin game.
This year's Badgers feature sophomore running back John Clay, named the Big Ten's offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,251 yards and 13 touchdowns through 11 games. Wisconsin had a bye week to regroup following a loss at Northwestern that knocked the Badgers out of the polls.

This week's scenario is similar to 2004, when the Warriors beat Northwestern and Michigan State in the final two weeks to become bowl eligible.

"Since I've been involved with Hawaii football, the end of the year, something special happens on this island," UH quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said. "Especially when teams come from far away. I don't think they can take it very lightly. I think they understand what this team and field can do, especially come December."
Mike Lucas of The Capital Times previews the game.
While the Hawaii Warriors were in the midst of a six-game losing streak, dropping their overall record to an unsightly 2-6, this looked like a ''laugher'' at the end of the University of Wisconsin' regular season schedule. A trip to the islands. Aloha-ha-ha-ha.

Think again.
And Ferd Lewis writes why this could be the last Big-10 team to play in Hawaii for a long time.
Though the game has been scheduled for Aloha Stadium since the contract was first signed in 2004, the Badgers this spring dangled a $1 million payday if UH would move it to 80,321-seat Camp Randall Stadium in December instead.

It had to have been an enticing offer for UH, which has been running an accumulated net deficit of more than $5 million for several years now. But athletic director Jim Donovan turned down the Badgers' proposal and, eight months later, time has underlined the wisdom of his decision for several reasons.
Donovan said Big Ten teams, once willing to book end-of-season games here are still happy to play UH on the continent, but not on the one-here-and-one-there basis the Warriors seek.

Since the advent of the 13th game by the NCAA, a number of teams have been reluctant to come to Hawai'i and give up one of two possible open dates. Witness not only Michigan State of the Big Ten buying out a 2007 agreement, but Pac-10 member Washington State paying $350,000 to cancel its 2011 game here.

Additionally, as travel costs have risen, several schools have come back to UH demanding new terms or else. Indications are UH sweetened some deals, including the Wisconsin contract.

Blaze Soares: WACDPOTW!

Congrats to Blaze Soares, who is the WAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Soares, a senior from Kane'ohe, O'ahu (Castle HS), tied his career-high with 12 tackles (11 solo) in Hawai'i's 24-17 win over Navy. Soares helped hold Navy's rushing offense to 248 yards, well below its season average, and shut out the Midshipmen in the second half for the first time all season. Soares' last tackle was a sack for a nine-yard loss on the game's final play.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday News

UH vs Navy Wrap-Ups

Warriors have shot at Hawai‘i Bowl after fourth win in row, by Stephen Tsai
The Warriors, 2-6 a month ago, need to defeat Wisconsin this Saturday to finish the 13-game regular season with a winning record and earn the accompanying berth in the Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.

"Still alive, baby," UH safety Mana Silva said. "This is 'Survivor,' the Hawai'i edition."

"We are survivors," said linebacker Blaze Soares, who made the game-ending sack. "When you believe in one another, when everybody is on the same page, great things can be done. Everybody thought we were dead. We have one more game to go. It's balls to the walls. Let's go."
Bowl bid within Warriors' grasp, by Jason Kaneshiro
"I knew I got the sack and I just blacked out," Soares said of the last of his game-high 12 tackles. "The game's on the line and you make a big play and the adrenaline's rushing and everything goes silent, but you see everybody just raging."
"I was yelling so loud I'm surprised I didn't lose my voice," Moniz said. "It's something I'll remember forever. The crowd was so loud. I hope to hear that sound next week."
UH's Mighty Mo excels, by Brian McInnis
"Mo leads the team every day," said Rolovich, the Hawaii quarterbacks coach. "They love him. They love who Bryant Moniz is. I don't think it was something unexpected tonight. They know what they're going to get from him. He fills them up. These guys really love that guy. I think the fans do too. I know I do. He's a hell of a quarterback."
Moniz in comfort zone as leader of UH offense, by Kalani Takase
Bryant Moniz may give off a pleasant friendliness upon first glance, but don't be fooled, the sophomore quarterback has a killer instinct.

"STK ... shoot to kill," said Moniz to a passing Shane Austin after last night's 24-17 win over Navy at Aloha Stadium.

"That's kind of our motto between the quarterbacks," said Moniz, who passed for 366 yards and three touchdowns without an interception to keep the Warriors' bowl hopes alive.
"He's picked things up a lot quicker than I did, but I don't believe that it's because I'm any dumber than he is or he's smarter than I am, but because he's put the effort in way more than I did," Rolovich said. "Me, as a player, I didn't (put in the effort), and I was lucky to get my second chance. Mo came in and has put forth his best effort ever since he's got here and that's the reason why he is where he is."
Takase also has a bunch of news and notes about the largest crowd of the year, Military Night, the third quarter and Kealoha Pilares:
"It felt awesome. This whole time I've been at wideout, I haven't been myself." Pilares said. "I'm really proud of the fact that I just kept my head in it, because it can be easy to get discouraged, but this week coach talked about how good things will happen if I just keep playing and I just really started believing that and I knew that my time would come and I'm glad it came tonight and that I was able to help my team win."
Short snaps: UH vs. Navy, from the Star-Bulletin has news and notes about the crowd, Navy slotback Aaron Santiago, Jovonte Taylor's kick return, and Blaze Soares giving props to the scout team:
"I have to thank our scout players," Soares said. "They simulated their offense just like how we saw it in the game. It was an unbelievable thing. They don't really get credit, but if it wasn't for them making us be responsible for our technique, we wouldn't have gotten this win."
Bitter loss for Navy, by Paul Honda
Navy (8-4) already had a berth in the Texas Bowl locked up, but was surprised in more ways than one. UH's defense, playing smart and disciplined, allowed only two runs of more than 16 yards, including a 53-yard midline keeper by the elusive Dobbs on the final play of the first quarter. But Hawaii's punishing, swarming defense took a toll.

"They were maybe like Temple or Delaware," Dobbs said of UH's defense. Temple ended Navy's five-game win streak four weeks ago.

"Hawaii's a hard-hitting team. After the pitch, I definitely felt the hits. I know I'll feel it tomorrow," he said.
Niumatalolo falls short in return, by Stacy Kaneshiro
"Very emotional game," Niumatalolo continued. "To come back here to the stadium, it was different for me. I love these kids that I coach. Our guys on our team, I love them. It's unfortunate we came up short. I give Hawai'i all the credit in the world."
Cool quote from Ken's son, Va'a
"It's a lot louder than I thought it would be," he said. "Inside the stadium, it was as loud as Notre Dame and Ohio State. It got pretty loud. I was impressed."
Warriors holding on to bowl hopes by holding on to the ball, by Ferd Lewis
What the Mids have done to their opponents in an 8-4 season UH did unto them with its own superb time-consuming ball control and a save-the-day defense for a fourth consecutive victory.

"That was kind of our plan, just take their game strategy and flip it on them; try and keep their offense off the field," said UH quarterback Bryant Moniz, who accomplished it blending a monopolistic passing game and a change-of-pace running attack.
Warriors defense caused Navy to run out of options, by Dave Reardon
BUT IT also seemed a given that Navy's spread option would hurt the Warriors and hurt them bad. We'd seen too many long marches by other teams with lesser running games. Heck, even Washington State ran the ball on UH.

That, however, was in September. The rookies on the UH defense aren't rookies anymore. After last night, we can officially say the Warriors defense has arrived. And in grand style; the Warriors stymied the Midshipmen.

Video: UH 24, Navy 17

Chawan Cut compiles the news highlights of UH's 24-17 victory over Navy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hawaii 24, Navy 17

That was a beautiful game. Great stops by the defense throughout the game, and especially at the very end. What a huge victory!

Here are post-game summaries from the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin.
Hawaii kept its bowl hopes alive another week as a fourth-quarter defensive stand sealed a 24-17 win over Navy tonight at Aloha Stadium.

The Warriors won their fourth straight to even their record at 6-6. They can earn a berth in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl with a win over Wisconsin next week.
Some stats:

Bryant Moniz was 32 of 44 for 366 yards and 3 TDs

Greg Salas had 10 catches for 147 yards

Kealoha Pilares had 8 catches for 102 yards and 2 TDs

Blaze Soares has 12 tackles, including the game-ending sack!

R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane had 10 tackles, including the sack before the game-ending sack

UPDATE: HawaiiAthletics.com has a game summary, which includes links to a box score and post-game notes and quotes.

UPDATE 2: ESPN.com has the AP-wrap-up.
McMackin said his team is excited for next week because Wisconsin is a strong team and because the bowl game is at stake.

"I'm jacked up already. I'm not even going to be able to sleep tonight," McMackin said.

Moniz said Warrior morale is high after their string of victories.

"Our team has just gelled so much, and come even closer every week," Moniz said. "We're on this streak and this roll and our fans are behind us. It's a great feeling and it's awesome."

Ways to Follow the Hawaii vs Navy Game

Being There:

Buy tickets through HawaiiAthletics.com, or at Aloha Stadium. Game starts at 5:30 pm.

HawaiiAthletics.com has info on fan promotions and ticket discounts.

The Aloha Stadium website has directions, parking, shuttle bus and other info.



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:

SideArmStats.com, via HawaiiAthletics.com

ESPN Scoreboard




References -- HawaiiAthletics.com and NavySports.com.

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

Game Day: Hawaii vs Navy

Stephen Tsai has some keys to the game, including:
• Score on the opening drive. It might be another 8 minutes before the Warriors get the ball back. Navy is fourth nationally in time of possession, averaging 33 minutes, 38 seconds. UH is 73rd.

• Need big games from Spencer Smith and Mana Silva. They're patrolling the perimeters.
Jason Kaneshiro has a game preview.
After 11 straight weeks of action, the Mids had a bye last week to regroup and prepare for their trip to Hawaii.

"I just hope the rust is gone," Niumatalolo said. "You're always concerned when you're off a week, will you come back as sharp. Hopefully our timing will be there."

Rust and timing were also issues for Hawaii this week as quarterback Bryant Moniz returned to practice. Moniz missed last week's game against San Jose State with sore ribs, but was sharp in practice on Thursday and is expected to return to the starting lineup today.

The game will feature a matchup of opposing offensive philosophies. Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense averages more than 44 passes per game, while Navy's spread option runs the ball on 89 percent of its plays.

"It might be good for the fans to see the contrast between the old and the new, what it used to be like here and what it is now," said Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper, a UH quarterback and slotback when the Rainbow Warriors ran the option in the early 1990s.
That's gonna be fun to watch.

Bill Wagner of HometownAnnapolis.com has a game preview.

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

Here's a game preview from the AP.
Navy ranks third in the country in yards rushing per game (282.6). The option has propelled Navy to wins over Wake Forest and Notre Dame this season.

"I don't think anybody stops that offense," McMackin said. "We're not going to stop them. We need to just do the little things and try to get our breaks when we can."
Mike Wise of the Washington Post has a great profile of fellow local boy Ken Niumatalolo.

The Washington Post has some game notes.

And Stephen Tsai writes about the Navy football team's visit to Pearl Harbor.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Hope all your Black Friday shopping excursions are successful. UH-Navy game tomorrow. Getting butterflies already. Or perhaps that's just Thanksgiving indigestion. In any case, today I will be watching the Boise State-Nevada game with great interest.

Jason Kaneshiro writes that Bryant Moniz did well in yesterday's practice.
Bryant Moniz's performance throughout the morning solidified his return to the starting lineup.

The Hawaii quarterback's last throw of yesterday's practice just confirmed the decision.

Facing a fourth and 9 during a 2-minute drill, Moniz drilled a throw deep down the middle that hit receiver Kealoha Pilares in stride for a touchdown.

"That ball's where it's supposed to be. He made a great throw in a tough situation, no hesitation and showed he's pretty much ready," UH quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said.

Warriors head coach Greg McMackin was convinced as well.

"He'll be our starter," McMackin said after the Warriors' final full practice before taking on Navy (8-3) tomorrow at Aloha Stadium.
Kaneshiro profiles Fetaiagogo Fonoti.
For all of the ground Fetaiagogo Fonoti has covered over the past five years, it's the few remaining steps that hold his attention.

"Time's running out and I still have a lot to do," Fonoti said as Hawaii approaches its pivotal final homestand.
Stephen Tsai writes that defensive end Elliott Purcell will have an important role in tomorrow's game.
But now Purcell is relatively healthy, and his run-stopping ability is needed against Navy's triple-option attack. The Midshipmen are third nationally in rushing (282.55 yards per game), and they run 89 percent of the time.

"Elliott has shown himself to be a real effective run defender," defensive line coach Dave Aranda said of the 6-foot-3, 255-pound junior. "The weeks we've asked him to play the run, he's done well for us. I think this will be a big week for him."
Tsai also talks to former UH QB and current Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper.

Dave Reardon profiles Jasper.
Niumatalolo's ascent to the Navy helm is well documented. Jasper is the less-publicized wingman, but has also played a crucial role in the Midshipmen's success of the past two seasons and prior, when Niumatalolo held Jasper's current job. Navy is always at the top or close to it in rushing yardage, and Jasper's expertise and ability to teach is one of the biggest reasons.

"I think he's the best option quarterback coach in the country," Niumatalolo says. "He was my No. 1 recruit."
Bill Wagner of HometownAnnapolis.com profiles former Navy defensive coordinator Greg McMackin.
Although his stay was short, McMackin enjoyed his time in Annapolis. "I absolutely loved it there. The town is beautiful and the academy is an incredible place. Of course, the players were very special people. I still get phone calls and e-mails from some of them," said McMackin, who particularly recalled linebacker Javier Zuluaga and defensive tackle Bob Kuberski.
Ferd Lewis talks to Navy's dangerous and ambitious QB, Ricky Dobbs.
Sometime this season, and perhaps as soon as tomorrow night against the University of Hawai'i, Navy's Ricky Dobbs will power his way into the end zone and tie, then break, the NCAA record for single-season rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

But he has much loftier, longer range ambitions than just hitting No. 24 to surpass Tim Tebow.

"I want to be president in 2040," Dobbs said with a focused, straight-ahead look and affirmative nod that brook no incredulity.
And finally, I hope no one is dropping the ball regarding Brashton Satele's petition for a medical hardship.
Here's the dilemma: Satele is set to earn his bachelor's degree next month. UH has not even started the process of pursuing an exemption that would allow him to play as a sixth-year senior.

If he has a strong case, he needs to enroll as a graduate student for the spring semester. If not, it would benefit UH if he ceded his scholarship, allowing the team to give it to a mid-year transfer. While many believe he has a strong case, his family hasn't received any indication either way.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving news


Here are today's articles.

Moniz says he'll play, by Stephen Tsai
After resuming football practice, quarterback Bryant Moniz yesterday declared himself relatively physically fit and vowed to play in Saturday's game against Navy.

"Of course," said Moniz, whose bruised right ribs kept him sidelined for the past Saturday's 17-10 overtime victory over San Jose State.

Head coach Greg McMackin reiterated that if Moniz is available, he will start against Navy.

"From what I saw, he was throwing pretty good," said McMackin, who spent most of the practice working with the defense.
Practice first, Turkey later, by Jason Kaneshiro
"We can be thankful for a lot, the fact that we're playing for a cause," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "To me, we are really blessed, after what we've been through, that we're playing not just for pride and everything else, but also we can give the seniors something special."
Hit Men, by Jason Kaneshiro, is a preview of the UH-Navy game
Maintaining discipline and simply staying on their feet figure to be keys for the Warriors, as the option relies heavily on cut blocks to clear the way for the second and third options to develop.

"They run it pretty much to perfection," senior defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea said. "You really have to be fundamentally sound because that one little crease you give them, or that one little assignment breakdown you give them, they're going to take advantage of it.

"We know they're going to do what they do, which is cut blocking. As a D-lineman you want to make plays, but you can't be selfish. We understand our jobs and responsibility. We just have to be fundamentally sound and execute our assignments."
Coming home, by Billy Hull, is a profile of Ken Niumatalolo as well as another game preview.

For Niumatalolo, Aloha Always Means Hello and Never Goodbye, by Bob Socci of NavySports.com is another profile of Niumatalolo.

UPDATE: Via the Advertiser, Camille Powell of the Washington post has an excellent profile of former UH QB and current Navy QB coach Ivin Jasper.
Jasper is excited to return to Hawaii this week. His wife — whom he met in an acting class on the first day of the fall semester in 1991 — is meeting him in Honolulu; their three kids — a daughter and two sons, ranging in age from 6 to 14 — are spending Thanksgiving with their grandparents in California. Donna wants to rent mopeds and drive up to Diamond Head, like they used to do when they were students. Ivin wants to eat a chicken katsu plate lunch.

At some point, Jasper will probably think back to that first flight he took to Hawaii, and how it wound up changing his life.

Moniz practices

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Navy Preview, Jon Medeiros, Ken Niumatalolo

The Sports Network has a preview of the UH-Navy game.
Even though he has started just four of 11 games this season, Corey Paredes is still the top man on the team with his four sacks and has been credited with three forced fumbles. Silva is now up to six INTs on the year and combines that with 60 tackles to make him one of the more feared players on the Hawaii defense this season.

Navy already knows where it is heading next month, but the Warriors are still in limbo so the incentive should be on the side of Hawaii. However, as one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to stopping the run, the Warriors are setting themselves up for disappointment this weekend.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Navy 31, Hawaii 17
HawaiiAthletics.com and NavySports.com have game info and notes.

Stephen Tsai and Jason Kaneshiro profile slotback Jon Medeiros.
"We're starting to get that consistency and we're starting to build that confidence back up and everybody's just believing that we can do it," Medeiros said. "We've overcome so much adversity and we just have to keep going and rise to the occasion."
There are also injury updates on Bryant Moniz, Greg Salas and Jeramy Bryant.

And Bill Wagner of HometownAnnapolis.com profiles Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo.
As a senior at Radford High, Niumatalolo was the starting quarterback for a team that captured the annual Prep Bowl at Aloha Stadium. The left-handed thrower accepted a scholarship to the University of Hawaii and played many more games in the multi-purpose facility that has hosted everything from concerts to car shows to state fairs.

"That stadium holds a lot of great memories for me. In high school, my team won the state championship there. I played and coach there when I was at Hawaii," Niumatalolo said. "As a young boy, I used to sell newspapers there. I remember rooting for the Warriors and hanging out by the locker room hoping someone would throw you up a wristband."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday news

WitP: Ikaika Alama-Francis Signs with Miami

Via Stephen Tsai, Ikaika Alama-Francis signed with the Miami Dolphins today, reuniting with former UH teammate Davone Bess.
The Dolphins signed veteran cornerback Evan Oglesby to take his place, and defensive lineman Ikaika Alama-Francis, a former Hawaii standout, who was a 2008 second-round selection by the Detroit Lions, was also added to the roster.
Alama-Francis played four games for the Lions, contributing 12 tackles in 2008, but was released at the end of training camp this year and didn't catch on with another team.

He'll likely be called on help fill the void created by the season-ending quadriceps injury Jason Ferguson suffered in last week's 24-17 win over Carolina.

WitP: RGM, Bess, C.J., Elam

Ryan Grice-Mullen is certainly a fine player, if not the finest.
The Canadian Football League announced today that BC Lions kick returner Ryan Grice-Mullen is the unanimous selection as the Gibson's Finest Special Teams Player of the Week following his record-setting performance in the East Final.

The speedy return man silenced the crowd at Olympic Stadium, returning a punt 106 yards for a touchdown – the longest punt return for a TD in CFL playoff history.

Grice-Mullen rounded out Sunday’s game with 208 return yards, including 104 yards on six kick returns and 104 yards on two punt returns. The second-year Lion also added three receptions for 45 yards.
RGM was also profiled by Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun.
Grice-Mullen's scintillating sprint, in the third quarter, cut the Alouettes' lead to 31-18 and briefly gave the Lions life. Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo quickly extinguished the spark, however, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Brian Bratton on the home team's next offensive series. The Als went on to crush the Lions, 56-18.

"I've been close to breaking one for some time," Grice-Mullen said. "I probably should have had six already. I was always one move, some little something away. It was good to get that at the time because it really sparked us. It got us within two scores. It was a real big boost."

Grice-Mullen, much like his team, has been in and out this season. As both a returner and wide receiver, he experienced handling problems early on and was parked for two games so that his confidence wouldn't be totally shattered. He isn't completely there yet. Although he caught three passes for 45 passes against the Alouettes, he dropped another.
Both Davone Bess and C.J. Hawthorne joined with their respective teams in handing out Thanksgiving meals to the less fortunate.

And in ominous news for Jason Elam, the Atlanta Falcons brought in four kickers for tryouts.
Veteran kicker Jason Elam’s struggles have him on thin ice with the Falcons, who brought in four kickers Tuesday for a workout.

Recently released Ravens kicker Steven Hauschka, as well as Brandon Coutu, Sam Swank and Shane Andrus were in Flowery Branch, Ga., for a chance to possibly replace Elam, who has made just 10 of 16 field-goal attempts this season and missed four in the Falcons’ last four games. His most recent errant attempt came in a 34-31 loss to the Giants on Sunday.

Navy, Mana Silva, Ken Niumatalolo

Jason Kaneshiro writes about the UH defense prepping for the Navy offense.
"It's the execution of the option," Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin said. "You might have people in the right place, but these guys really execute their technique. The academies are very disciplined, they're full-speed players. I coached at the Naval Academy; I know what kind of players we're playing (against). So we're in for a big challenge."
In the Warriors' preparation this week, freshman quarterback David Graves will be squarely in their sights as he plays the role of Navy playmaker Ricky Dobbs on the scout team.

"I ran a lot of option through high school, so I'm going to try to give the defense the best look I can," Graves said. "It's just quickness and precision. The best (option) offenses, the quarterbacks run it clean."
Stephen Tsai writes about defending against the cut block.
Unlike more traditional offenses, the triple-option features cut blocks, in which a slotback or receiver dives toward the feet or ankles of a defensive back or linebacker.

The technique is legal if it is done in the open field and the defender is not engaged in a block. Still, the blocking technique has drawn criticism, most famously from Notre Dame coaches, who claim it is dangerous.

"Cutting is tough," said UH associate head coach Rich Miano, who coaches the defensive secondary. "You have to be prepared."

The keys are quick feet and strong hands. This week, the Warrior defenders will be coached to shove away feet-seeking blockers.

"We have to watch our legs so they don't get cut-blocked," safety Spencer Smith said. "We have to use our hands really well."

Silva is drawing inspiration from his lookalike and fellow Big Island resident.

"You've got to sprawl like BJ Penn," Silva said of the MMA champion. "You've got to go to your knees, get back up, and make a play."
Speaking of Silva, he'll be today's guest on The Warrior Beat Show today at around noon.

HawaiiAthletics.com has more quotes from Greg McMackin's Monday press conference.

Bill Wagner of HometownAnnapolis.com has quotes from Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo.
This will be an emotional game for Niumatalolo, a native of the North Shore town of Laie and a 1989 graduate of Hawaii. Niumatalolo earned three varsity letters as a quarterback for the Rainbows then served two seasons as a graduate assistant at his alma mater.

"Ultimately, it's not about me. It's about our team and our program. But I'm excited to go back. This will be a fun game," said Niumatalolo, admitting he has been looking forward to this trip for a long time.
"We're getting ready for a football game. Hawaii is playing for a bowl berth so they're going to be highly motivated. We have to make sure from a schedule-point that we don't treat this like a bowl game. We want to make sure we have a normal week," he said. "We've got to make sure we're ready to go because this team has its back to the wall. This is a game they really want to get."
Niumatalolo is a cool coach.
Navy has five Hawaii natives on its football roster and all will travel with the team to Hawaii. That is notable since slotback and special teams performer Aaron Santiago is the only one that is usually on the travel roster. The other four are scout team members who would not normally make a road trip.

This is a good thing that head coach Ken Niumatalolo does to lift the spirits of those guys on the scout team. When Navy played Rice, Niumatalolo traveled every player from the greater Houston area. When Navy played SMU the following week, he brought every player in the program that hailed from the Dallas-Forth Worth region.
Ferd Lewis takes a look back at Niumatalolo's time at UH.
In addition to coaching, he carted around the head coach's exercise bike, brought box lunches to the video crew and dropped off coaches' kids at school. And he got snickered at by friends who questioned where it would ever get him.

But his hard-earned dues eventually won him an assistant position at UH followed by stops at Navy and Nevada-Las Vegas. When Johnson left Navy for Georgia Tech two seasons ago, Niumatalolo was the clear pick as his successor.

For someone who grew up in Hälawa, crossed the overpass to Aloha Stadium to sell newspapers, watch Hula Bowl and Pro Bowl practices, win a Prep Bowl with Radford High and play for UH, Saturday's step onto the sidelines figures to be a chicken-skin moment.
And you can take the boy out of the island, but...
"Our first team meal will be an L&L (Drive-In) katsu, teri beef combo (take out)," said Ken Niumatalolo, Navy's Hawai'i-bred head coach. "We'll have a mixed barbecue plate one night."

Already Niumatalolo has had Hawaiian music, including songs by Brother Iz and Keali'i Reichel, played at their workouts last week.

With Navy playing the University of Hawai'i at Aloha Stadium Saturday, "I want them to get in the mood," Niumatalolo said.

A call to the football office in Annapolis, Md., is greeted with, "Aloha! Navy football."
And Dave Reardon has some news and notes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Presser

SJSU, Navy, Medeiros

Dave Reardon reviews five big plays from the UH-SJSU game in this week's Warrior Replay.

Ferd Lewis highlights Jon Medeiros' breakout game.
For somebody who was usually the smallest guy on the field, the 5-foot-9 (or so the roster has it) Medeiros picked the right time to come up with his biggest game. Someone who didn't crack the starting lineup until five weeks ago emerged as the "go-to" guy. And the Warriors went to him a lot.

The numbers, by themselves, were remarkable: 10 catches for 149 yards. Both career bests. They were more than the sum of his two-year "career" entering the season.

More revealing of Medeiros' worth to the Warriors, however, was how he advanced drives with 7 of his 10 catches good for first downs.
Stephen Tsai has some news and notes.

Jason Kaneshiro previews UH's crucial 2-game homestand.
Hawaii's home stretch begins this week against Navy, which brings former Hawaii quarterback and assistant coach Ken Niumatalolo back to Aloha Stadium as head coach of the Midshipmen.

"Now we have a big challenge with Navy," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "They're a well-coached, excellent football team. We're anxious to come home. Any time you can win on the road it's great."
And Dave Reardon has a reality check.
EVEN MY mother -- who won't care much about football until Korean soap opera stars start playing it -- has noticed.

"Hey, they won again," she said. "What's the difference?"

My answer was quick. Maybe too quick?

"They've been playing junk teams."

She gave me that doubting mother look, shrugged and moved on to the sudoku.

I did some quick math to make sure I was right. The combined record of the teams Hawaii has beaten the past three weeks is 7-25. Add in the other two wins -- Washington State and Central Arkansas -- and it is 13-41.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Video: SJSU Review, Navy Preview

Tonight's CCC of news from KHON, KGMB and KITV has highlights of the SJSU game and interviews with Blaze Soares, Jon Medeiros and Shane Austin.

WitP: RGM Breaks CFL Playoff Record

Ryan Grice-Mullen broke a CFL playoff record by returning a punt 106 yards for a touchdown versus the Montreal Alouettes. However, the BC Lions lost the game 56-18.
Momentum could have switched again 4:54 into the third quarter as Grice-Mullen raced around the left side for a 106-yard punt return TD, beating a league playoff record 103-yard return by Henry (Gizmo) Wiliams of Edmonton in 1992.
RGM also had 3 catches for 45 yards and 6 kickoff returns for 104 yards.

UPDATE: Video!

UH vs SJSU Wrap-Ups

Here are the wrap-ups of Hawaii's 17-10 overtime victory over San Jose State.

NCAA Game Summary - Hawaii At San Jose State, from The Sports Network via KITV.com

Spartans Lose Heartbreaker To Hawaii In OT, by Mike Morgan of Inside Sparta

San Jose State loses to Hawaii in overtime, by Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News
After playing primarily out of the shotgun, the Warriors came out under center and turned to the option for the winning score. Quarterback Shane Austin rushed left and pitched to Leon Wright-Jackson, who waltzed into the end zone from 5 yards.

"Usually from film, when they are under center they run inside, but they came back with the speed option and it worked," Spartans linebacker Pompey Festejo said. "Ninety percent of the time they've gone inside with that play."
Staying alive, by Stephen Tsai
Wright-Jackson's 2-yard run advanced the ball to the 5. From the coaches' booth, offensive coordinator Ron Lee and running backs coach Brian Smith noticed the Spartans were in the same coverage as they were when Austin scored in the first quarter.

At the urging of offensive line coach Gordy Shaw, quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich, who calls the offensive plays, signaled for "Saturn left," a speed option to the left, which was the narrow side of the formation.

"It was something that worked last year and the year before against them," Smith said.

Thing is, Austin, who only took first-team reps the past week, never fully practiced the play. "But I ran the option in high school, so I knew a little about it," Austin said.
Bowl hopes intact after OT victory, by Jason Kaneshiro
"We've got a little streak going and it keeps us alive," McMackin said following the Warriors' third straight win. "We're in a single-elimination tournament and it keeps us alive."
For Warriors, inspiration came from past success
The Spartans turned the ball over four times — three in the first half — but all UH could muster from it was one touchdown because of its own turnovers and a missed 31-yard field goal.

In the end, "You could see it in everybody's eyes that we were going to go down and score," Austin said. "There was no denying us."

Tufaga, too, felt the confidence. "We dug deep, just like the boys did back then (in '07)," he said. "We believed."
Austin powers UH to win, but no guarantee he'll start, by Ferd Lewis
Austin started in place of Bryant Moniz, who suffered bruised ribs in last week's victory over New Mexico State. But if Moniz is able to go, he will retain the starting role, head coach Greg McMackin said last night.
"Shane did a great job coming through for us," said offensive coordinator Ron Lee. "He missed some things but he'll get better at those. He's learning."

But McMackin said, "He (Moniz) is not gonna lose his position because of an injury," McMackin said. "That's sort of a rule I've had."
Ferd's article also has some news and notes.

From scouts to stars, by Jason Kaneshiro
Medeiros, a backup his first two seasons, was his most frequent target of the night. Austin connected with the senior slotback 10 times for 149 yards.

"Pretty much the same boat, he's just a little younger," Medeiros said after breaking the century mark for the first time in his UH career. "We've been through ups and downs on scout (team) and as backups. It's just hard work and you have to keep pushing. No matter where you are on the depth chart you have to keep pushing."
Bryant making up for lost time, by Ferd Lewis
After missing three weeks because of a torn bicep, Hawai'i cornerback Jeramy Bryant was going to make sure no big opportunities bypassed him, too.

"This was my first game back and I wanted to make some plays," said Bryant, who was sidelined since the Boise State game on Oct. 24. "I was away too long."

Bryant, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior, broke up two passes — the biggest one on fourth down in overtime — and recovered a fumble to help UH stave off a San Jose State threat in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
Short snaps: UH vs. San Jose State, by Jason Kaneshiro

SJSU tried in vain to win 1 for Tomey, by Damin Esper for the Star-Bulletin
Tomey did his best all week to make this just another game. His players tried to make it something special. After all, the opponent was Hawaii -- appropriate, considering Tomey started his head coaching career there, leading UH into the WAC and remaining with the Rainbows from 1977 to 1986, when he left for Arizona.

The postgame handshakes turned into a series of hugs for the 71-year-old coach.

"I have so many connections there," Tomey said. "Probably people make too much of that."

Then, a slight pause.

"It's all true," he acknowledged.
No happy ending for Tomey, by Eric Gilmore for the Advertiser
"For the state of Hawai'i, he really ushered us into the Division I age," said UH athletic director Jim Donovan, who played for Tomey and served as a graduate assistant coach under him. "We easily averaged 42, 44 thousand (fans) a game. It was the place to be for everyone on a Saturday night. He really rallied the whole community around UH football.

"I think ever since he coached at Hawai'i, he very quickly adapted to Hawai'i's culture. He became an adopted son. Everyone knows him, loves him. ... He really put us on the map. He's got to be very proud."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video: UH vs SJSU

Chawan Cut compiles highlights of Hawaii's 17-10 overtime win over San Jose State from KGMB, KITV and KHON. He also pays homage to himself somewhere in there...

Hawaii 17, San Jose State 10 (OT)

What a nail-biter. I was sweatin'! Some stats:

Shane Austin was 28 of 46 for 299 yards

Jon Medeiros had 10 catches for 149 yards

Blaze Soares had 11 tackles to lead the team

Here's the game summary with links to post-game notes from HawaiiAthletics.com.
In a game short of points but full of big plays and excitement, the University of Hawai‘i Warrior football gained a hard-earned 17-10 overtime win over San Jose State Saturday night at Spartan Stadium. The Warriors (5-6, 3-5 WAC) won their third straight game and in doing so kept their bowl dreams alive.

Leon Wright-Jackson’s 5-yard run in the first overtime put UH ahead and the Warrior defense stopped the Spartans on four straight plays to secure its second road win of the season. The Warriors have now won in their five last trips to San Jose and have beaten the Spartans in eight of the last nine meetings.

It was a game of missed opportunities for the Warrior offense, but luckily for UH the defense was up to the task. A week after shutting out New Mexico State’s offense, the Warrior defense limited San Jose State (1-9, 0-6 WAC) to just 10 points by forcing four Spartan turnovers. Among the turnovers was a big fumble recovery with less than a minute remaining as the Spartans were driving in UH territory.
Here are the game summaries from the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin.

UPDATE: SJSUSpartans.com has a game summary with links to post-game quotes and notes.

Ways to Follow the Hawaii at SJSU Game


In Hawaii, via Oceanic pay-per-view, channel 255.

Outside of Hawaii, via ESPN Gameplan. Check with your local cable provider for availability and pricing.

Streaming Video:

Via ESPN360.com if your ISP supports it.


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

Via KLIV.com

Mobile Phone:

Oceanic just came out with an iPhone app. Let us know how it is if you download it!

Live Stats:

ESPN Scoreboard




References -- HawaiiAthletics.com and SJSUSpartans.com.

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

Chawan's Cut: Game Previews

CC compiles game previews from KGMB and KITV. Liz Chun interviews Coach Mack, who says Bryant Moniz is doubtful, but Greg Salas will likely play.

Warriors in the Pros: Josh Leonard

Former UH defensive tackle Josh Leonard signs with the Spokane Shock of the AF2 (AF1?).
The Spokane Shock announced today that DL Josh Leonard has been added to the 2010 roster. Leonard, 6-3 300, was in training camp with the Houston Texans this season but was released during their final cuts.
“Josh is one of those players who just has a nose for the ball,” Head Coach Rob Keefe said. “He is an unbelievably gifted athlete who is very explosive who puts a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.”

Game Day: Hawaii at SJSU

Here are today's game day previews:

Warriors to face nation’s lowest-ranked run defense, from the Maui News

San Jose State looks to focus after Tomey's retirement announcement, by Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News
After announcing that he would retire at the end of the season, Tomey has temporarily put the future aside. The focus is on the Warriors, who, despite a two-game winning streak, present the most winnable game for SJSU in weeks.

Tomey says his team, which has lost five in a row, hasn't succumbed to distractions and had a great week of practice.

"Their focus this week has been excellent, just excellent," Tomey said. "The only extra motivation that we need right now is that we need a win, and we know that Hawaii needs it too."
Warriors wish Tomey well -- after today, by Jason Kaneshiro
"(Tomey) is going to have those guys ready to play," said UH associate coach Rich Miano. "We're going to have to play a great game because they're going to be fired up."

Miano and assistant head coach George Lumpkin represent the remaining links between Tomey's UH career and the current staff.

Lumpkin served as an assistant throughout Tomey's 10 years in Manoa, while Miano developed from a walk-on into an All-WAC safety under his leadership.

"One of the most influential coaches of my life," Miano said.
UH can't afford slip-up in San Jose, by Stephen Tsai
"Pressure?" senior linebacker Blaze Soares said. "When your back is against the wall, are you going to stay in the corner or fight your way out? It's how you rise to the occasion. We're going to go down swinging. That's the type of style we have."

Defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga said: "We have nothing to lose. Those are the scariest people. It's about working hard and never giving up."
Hawaii has been keeping secrets
This past week, Hawai'i's football practices were closed to the public.

It was a way of keeping the Warriors' game plan secret from sympathizers of today's opponent, San Jose State.

In a twist, the Warriors also were kept in suspense about the availability of starting quarterback Bryant Moniz and left slotback Greg Salas.

Moniz, who has started six consecutive games, has been suffering from bruised right ribs. He did not participate in team drills during full practices this week.
Tsai also has notes on his blog.

Spartans should not stop UH's run, by Ferd Lewis
It is the third week in a row of the win-or-else bowl sweepstakes for the 4-6 (2-5 WAC) Warriors, who must take all three remaining games to finish with a winning record and be bowl eligible.

No small task but at least, at 1-8 (0-5 WAC), the Spartans are by far the least daunting of the remaining opponents. In fact, the Warriors are three-point favorites on the Las Vegas betting line, a road game rarity these days.

The best part is that, to date, the Spartans have not looked like what we have come to recognize as a Tomey-coached team.

In a decade at UH and beyond to Arizona, Tomey's teams were characteristically good at running the ball and tenacious against the ground game as well as solid on special teams. These Spartans have been none of the above.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Injuries, Tomey, Bess (w/UPDATE)

Billy Hull has an injury update.
"(Moniz) will be a game-time decision, same thing for Salas," McMackin said. "(Backup Shane Austin) had a great practice. He's an excellent quarterback, and if we need him, I have complete confidence in Shane. Always have."

Moniz (ribs) didn't practice after throwing a few balls in warm-ups. Salas, the nation's leading receiver, was limited in drills and didn't wear pads as he tries to recover from a foot injury.
Hull notes the play of Mana Silva this season and writes about Navy having a bye week to prepare for UH.

Leila Wai talks to Coach Mack about the bright side to all the injuries the Warriors have suffered this season.
If the Warriors can make a positive out of the negative, it is that the injuries have allowed coaches to cultivate depth. Cornerback Jeramy Bryant and wideout Royce Pollard are both expected to play Saturday after missing several games.

"That's the positive side of it," McMackin said. "Jeramy's missed ball games and Kawika (Ornellas) has been playing well. So Jeramy will come back and work his way back in but it gives us depth at that position and allows us to play five and six defensive backs.

"Same thing with Royce Pollard. He's back now, and that helps us in Greg's situation. We also have Ryan Henry and Miah (Ostrowski) on the inside. It also allows us to move Kealoha Pilares from the outside to the inside, the way Royce is coming back. It's kind of like a chess match."
Ferd Lewis has some Dick Tomey trivia.

And in WitP news, Davone Bess had a good game against the Panthers.
Receiver Davone Bess had a big game at a position there haven't been a lot of big games for the Dolphins. Bess had six passes thrown to him and caught all six for 63 yards. The biggest was a third-and-12 pass over the middle for 15 yards with 4:47 left. If that isn't completed, Carolina gets the ball back with plenty of time and all three time-outs. As it was, Ricky Williams ran for a 46-yard touchdown on the next play to seal the game.
UPDATE: Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel has a post highlighting Bess' recent play.
It appears Miami Dolphins receiver Davone Bess is working his way out of a sophomore slump.

After a few weeks of being plagued with a bout of the butter fingers (it must be contagious) the second-year receiver from Hawaii is beginning to produce some clutch catches for the Dolphins.

Last week in the final two minutes of the win over Tampa Bay, Bess caught two key passes that put his team in position to kick the game-winning field goal.

Davone bess 6 He performed an encore in the fourth-quarter of Thursday night's 24-17 victory over Carolina.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Video: Moniz and Salas at Half-Speed, Hawaii Bowl, D. Bess

Thanks Mr. Cut

Na Koa, Estes, Salas, Moniz, Dunnachie, Etc.

uhwarriors has this week's Na Koa Lunch Report up on the Na Koa website.

Stephen Tsai profiles John Estes.
Center John Estes has made 51 consecutive starts, the longest current streak in Division I-A football.

"Since I've been here," said offensive line coach Gordy Shaw, who was hired in February, "he hasn't even missed a practice."
Tsai also writes that there's a slight chance that Greg Salas and Bryant Moniz won't be available for the SJSU game, and the Warriors are making contingency plans. Also, Royce Pollard is now back to 100%.

Jason Kaneshiro writes about Salas and Moniz, the return of Jeramy Bryant to practice, and the increasing confidence of Alex Dunnachie.
The Warriors' freshman punter blessed with a powerful leg struggled with consistency in recent weeks. The rough stretch for the freshman from Australia included three kicks of 10 yards or less.

He broke out last weekend with three punts averaging 57.3 yards. He closed the night with a season-best 65-yarder.

"It was about time something happened," Dunnachie said. "I hit them well during practice all year, hadn't really been able to do it during the game. ... It was amazing. As soon as I hit I saw it spiral up and it was beautiful."
Dave Reardon has some Further Review news and notes.

In future Warriors news, center/guard London Sapolu was named to the second team All-National Southern Conference (PDF) by the Southern California Football Association. Here's a blurb from the Daily Pilot.
Sapolu, a 6-0, 295-pound Costa Mesa High product, was consistently the Pirates’ top offensive lineman. The University of Hawaii-bound standout, who played defensive tackle his first season at OCC in 2007, played both guard and center.
In former Warriors news, place kicker Brett Symonds was named to the second team (PDF) in the All-National Central Conference.

In Warriors in the Pros news, the Buffalo Bills placed C.J. Hawthorne on their practice squad injured list.

And here's last night's Chawan's Cut:

...and speaking of Chawan Cut, he has posted an intriguing question regarding coaching and talent on SportsHawaii.com.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UH-SJSU Previews, Moniz, Austin, Salas

Via the Charlotte Observer, The Sports Network has a UH-SJSU game preview.
The Hawaii Warriors make their final trip to the mainland this week and use the trek to say goodbye to an old friend as the squad squares off against San Jose State and former head coach Dick Tomey.

Tomey, who has been at SJSU for five years and was the top man in Honolulu (1977-86) in one of his previous head coaching stops, announced this week that he would be retiring at the conclusion of the current season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 28, Hawaii 24
Both HawaiiAthletics.com and SJSUSpartans.com have game notes and info.

Stephen Tsai talks to Bryant Moniz about all the hits he received in high school from his current teammates.
There was the time when Moniz, who was Leilehua High's quarterback, was knocked down by Castle High linebacker Corey Paredes.

"He was scrambling, and when he turned around, I was right there," said Paredes, now a UH outside linebacker.

Then there was the time 'Aiea linebacker R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane delivered a smackdown on Moniz.

"That was my senior year and his sophomore year," said Kiesel-Kauhane, now a Warrior co-captain. "He was rolling to his left. He threw the ball and I just caught him. I got a free shot. I thought I hit him real hard. But he got right back up. That guy is tough."

That same year, 2004, Castle linebacker Blaze Soares tattooed Moniz's ribs.

"It was fourth-and-1," Moniz remembered. "I tried to do a quarterback sneak."

Soares: "I just hit him."

Moniz: "That was sore."
Tsai also has injury updates on Royce Pollard, Jeramy Bryant and Greg Salas.

Jason Kaneshiro profiles quarterback Shane Austin. He also talks to former UH grad assistant Craig Stutzmann, who was let go by Portland State when Jerry Glanville resigned.
Stutzmann was hired by Glanville, the former UH defensive coordinator, as the Vikings' receivers coach in August.

Stutzmann said he's going to keep his "ear to the ground" in seeking opportunities in college coaching.

"I'm going to just try to keep my options open and see what God has next," Stutzmann said.

"It's a tough profession, but it's a great job."
And Ferd Lewis talks to Rod Gilmore about Greg Salas: Top Fantasy Receiver.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Video: Moniz, Salas, Wisconsin

Here's tonight's Chawan's Cut of the news.

UH-Wisconsin Kickoff Time and Channel Announced

Via HawaiiAthletics.com:
ESPN has announced the kickoff time for the University of Hawai‘i and Wisconsin football game, Saturday, Dec. 5, at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. HT and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

The game marks the regular season finale for both teams and the third nationally televised contest for the Warriors this season. UH’s game at Louisiana Tech, Sept. 30 was aired on ESPN2 while next week’s home game against Navy will be carried on ESPNU.

Shane Austin, Salas, Moniz, Bess

Shane Austin was today's guest on The Warrior Beat Show.

Jason Kaneshiro writes about Greg Salas and Bryant Moniz sitting out practice for the early part of the week in the hopes of being ready for SJSU on Saturday.

Stephen Tsai talks to Davone Bess about Greg Salas breaking his school record of 15 receptions in a game.
"Why would you let Greg Salas break my record?" Bess said, laughing.

Despite playing on a sprained right ankle, Salas caught a school-record 16 passes in the Warriors' 24-6 victory over New Mexico State, surpassing Bess' 15 receptions in a 2007 game against Boise State. After that season, his junior year, Bess applied for entry into the National Football League.

"I'm happy for Greg," Bess said, "but I'm thinking about coming back to get my record back. I think I have another year (of eligibility). Maybe not. I do have an agent now."
Tsai also writes about Coach Mack closing practices this week and next, and has injury updates on the Bryants.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Injury update. Good news!!!

Monday Links, Press Conference

Coach Mack's press conference quotes from HawaiiAthletics.com.

And today's articles:

Dave Reardon reviews five big plays from UH's victory over NMSU in this week's Warrior Replay.

Salas to X-ray sore right foot, by Stephen Tsai
Salas confirmed that he will undergo X-rays today "just to make sure" there is no significant damage.

"I'm going to get it checked out," Salas said.

Salas said he felt pain in his right foot during the first quarter of Saturday's 24-6 victory over New Mexico State.

"I decided to play through it," he said.
SJSU next on UH hit list, by Jason Kaneshiro
As the coaches reviewed the New Mexico State game, there were bright spots in the offense's performance, particularly early in the game. But Lee noted several dropped passes that helped keep the Aggies in contention.

"We can't afford any drops at the end of the season," Lee said.
San Jose State's Tomey shows impeccable timing, by Dave Reardon
Dick Tomey will retire from coaching at the end of the season.

Yes, that Dick Tomey, the former UH coach. Apples and oranges, hot coals, cool moss. The man who ushered the Rainbows into the WAC. He had the most wins at UH (63), until June Jones, whom he never beat.

Dick Tomey, the master of motivation, finding one final ace to play.

Do you think it's a coincidence this news broke yesterday, and will get plenty of play today and tomorrow -- the week that Tomey's former team arrives in the Silicon Valley? For people like Tomey, a meticulous planner, coincidences do not exist.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Post Game interviews

UH vs NMSU Wrap-Ups

Aggies fall on the road to Hawaii, by Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News

NM State Football Drops Tough Game to Hawai'i, 24-6, from NMStateSports.com

Second straight victory based on sacrifices, assisting others, by Stephen Tsai
Against the man-to-man, gaps can be created for the slotbacks, particularly if the wideouts are able to draw away the cornerbacks. Pilares has become an excellent blocker, and Taylor, who can run 40 yards in under 4.4 seconds, is effective in forcing corners to chase him.

The Warriors do not practice running off cornerbacks in practice. The emphasis, instead, is made during video sessions.

"Do you want to stand there and block for five seconds, or do you want to run (the cornerback) off?" Rolovich will tell the wideouts.

Rolovich added: "It takes a lot of unselfishness by Kealoha and Jovonte. The past two games, they haven't been getting a lot of catches. But they're helping the team win."
Warriors defense denies Aggies, by Jason Kaneshiro
When the Aggies (3-7, 1-4) did put together promising drives, the Warriors denied them with interceptions by Mana Silva and linebacker Blaze Soares.

The Warriors forced seven punts and the Aggies' drive to the UH 27 in the second quarter marked their deepest venture of the night.

"We came out with a chip in our shoulder and I feel like our defense is improving more and more each week," Soares said.
Warriors' defense derails New Mexico State in win, by Kalani Takase
"I think what's happening is our newer, younger players have realized how to play the game," McMackin said. "That was evident on the defensive side of the ball today. They got turnovers, they reached a lot of the goals that we really worked towards."
Salas sets UH record, by Brian McInnis
He might have had an even more prolific night, but dropped several balls against minimal pressure.

His mistakes were the equivalent of sacrificing a rook to take the queen. Salas fed off his own disappointment and the reactions of the 25,103 in attendance to keep making plays immediately after a gaffe.
"Dropping balls kind of motivates me a little bit to make a play," Salas said. "You don't want to hear those 'Awwww's in the crowd. You want to get the crowd rolling."
Salas sets UH single-game record for catches in win over New Mexico State, by Audrey McAvoy of the AP
''They just keep piling up for some reason, I don't know. I'm just working hard to stay up for our quarterbacks. I guess it's paying off a little bit,'' he said.

Warriors coach Greg McMackin said the 16 catches were ''awesome.''

''He's amazing. He's having a big-time year. He competes and he's quick and fast,'' McMackin said.
House strikes again, by Billy Hull
Davon House took one to the house last night -- a lesson he learned from his last trip to Aloha Stadium.
House was a freshman two years ago when NMSU last played here, and made one of his nine career interceptions on the first play from scrimmage, picking off a Colt Brennan pass intended for C.J. Hawthorne.

"I won't ever forget that," House said. "It was Colt Brennan."
Moniz says injury 'not serious', by Kalani Takase
University of Hawai'i starting quarterback Bryant Moniz suffered what is believed to be a bruised rib in last night's 24-6 win over New Mexico State and said he should be able to play in Saturday's game at San Jose State.

Moniz exited the game after the first play of the fourth quarter and did not return. He said the injury is "not serious at all" and that it "happened early in the game.
Hopefully x-rays come back negative.

Austin doesn't miss a beat in replacing Moniz, by Stacy Kaneshiro
"(The coaches) always tell you to be ready," Austin said. "You're one play away from going in, especially with how this season's been going, how the quarterbacks have been going down. It could be any game. Every game you have a chance to go in. Only thing is I wasn't warm or anything. I threw like two passes and I'm out there. But it's fun to get out there."
Short snaps: UH vs. NMSU from the Star-Bulletin has notes about Leon Wright-Jackson scoring two TDs, female line judge Sarah Thomas, Blaze Soares' interception, Hawaii Aggies, etc.

Rolovich prepares UH's QBs to jump in, by Ferd Lewis
That Austin calmly came in, inheriting a third-and-2 situation and adroitly completing five passes in succession for 48 yards, the last one a 12-yard touchdown strike to Greg Salas, said plenty.

Both about Austin, who was playing in only his third college game, and about his mentor, Rolovich, who had helped prepare him for the possibility of it.

"He does so many things to help get you ready in case that time comes," Austin said. "And this year, especially, you never know if you'll have to go in."

Say what you will about the 30-year-old Rolovich's play calling, a role he was thrust into early in the season, but his preparation of the Warriors' quarterbacks has been spot-on, if not masterful.
UH sets stage for another improbable late-season run, by Dave Reardon
What was five in a row is now merely three in a row. Three in a row, like the Yankees did in the World Series after losing the first game. Three in a row, one less than the number of days Hawaii kids have to get up early to go to school most weeks.

It's gone from the realm of the nearly impossible to that of the merely improbable.

And, most importantly, it's been done before, by a University of Hawaii football team -- thus proving it is doable.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another win! Defense holds strong

Hawaii 24, New Mexico State 6

Let's hope Bryant Moniz's rib injury isn't serious.

Greg Salas caught 16 passes for 196 yards, breaking a school record for receptions in a game.

Jon Medeiros had 7 catches for 79 yards.

Leon Wright-Jackson rushed 6 times for 43 yards and had 2 touchdowns.

R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane led the team with 8 tackles.

Here are game summaries from the Star-Bulletin and the Advertiser.

HawaiiAthletics.com has a game summary with links to post-game notes and a box score.

Ways to Follow the Hawaii vs NMSU Game

Being There:

Buy tickets through HawaiiAthletics.com, or at Aloha Stadium. Game starts at 5:05 pm.

HawaiiAthletics.com has info on fan promotions and ticket discounts.

The Aloha Stadium website has directions, parking, shuttle bus and other info.


In Hawaii, via Oceanic pay-per-view, channel 255.

Outside of Hawaii, via ESPN Gameplan. Check with your local cable provider for availability and pricing. It's also on Aggie Vision in the Las Cruces/El Paso area.

Streaming Video:

Oceanic Cable will be streaming it live via their UH sports web video service. The game is priced at $12.56 on their schedule. There are some restrictions:
If you live in the state of Hawaii, you need to be connected to a Road Runner modem to use the video streaming service. Individuals on the mainland or anywhere else in the world, do not need to be connected to a Road Runner modem.
Ordering is available 1 hour before the event.
Via ESPN360.com if your ISP supports it.


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:

SideArmStats.com, via HawaiiAthletics.com

ESPN Scoreboard




References -- HawaiiAthletics.com and NMStateSports.com.

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