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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wisconsin, Estes, Funaki, Moniz

Via Channel3000.com, the Sports Network has a UH-Wisconsin game preview. Here's an excerpt about Wisconsin's offense:
The success of the Badgers this season has been predicated on the team's ability to move the ball on the ground, and that seems to be the job of John Clay who ranks first in the Big Ten and is 19th in the nation this week with an average of 111.3 ypg. Clay has taken the lion's share of the carries (241) and has produced a hefty 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns, all while averaging better than five yards per attempt. The team as a whole checks in with 4.5 yards per attempt and 198.1 ypg to rank second in the league and 18th in the country. Compared to the opposition, which has logged just seven rushing scores in 2009, the Badgers have hit the end zone 24 times on the ground, taking that much more pressure off Scott Tolzien under center. Tolzien has managed to complete 62.4 percent of his attempts for 16 touchdowns and it is clear that his top targets are Nick Toon (49 catches, 713 yards, four TDs) and Garrett Graham (41 catches, 502 yards, seven TDs).
HawaiiAthletics.com has some game notes and info.

Stephen Tsai writes about John Estes' durability.
Estes, a senior center, will be making his 54th consecutive start when Hawai'i hosts Wisconsin Saturday. According to a UH study, that will clinch the record for most starts in a row by a Division I-A player. Louisiana State left tackle Ciron Black will make his 53rd start in this year's bowl game.

"It's cool," Estes said. "It's staying healthy and working hard and being blessed."
Tsai also notes Inoke Funaki's selflessness.
With injuries to the top two quarterbacks, Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch, Funaki surely would have taken control if he still were a quarterback.

But, Funaki said, "It's worked out for the best. Look at how well Moniz is doing. He's having a good season, better than what I could have had, no doubt in my mind. I watch him making a lot of those throws and reads, and the poise he has. I know it's not easy. I walked in those shoes before. I see him doing a lot of great things out there. It looks good for the team's future."
The article also has a link to a video that includes interviews with Coach Mack, Bryant Moniz, Greg Salas, Estes and Ray Hisatake.

Jason Kaneshiro has news and notes about Funaki, Travaun Nixon, and some injured Warriors:
Laupepa Letuli won't participate in Saturday night's ceremony in hopes of having his opportunity a year from now.

Letuli started the first three games of the season at right tackle, but hasn't played since injuring his knee prior to the Warriors' trip to Louisiana Tech. He plans to petition for another year of eligibility to extend an injury-plagued career.
Bradley's season ended at Idaho on Oct. 17 when he suffered a broken leg. He began walking without crutches last week and expects to begin rehabbing soon with a goal of being back up to speed for fall camp.

"I'm going to be busting my tail all offseason, so my senior year I can be 100 percent and be able to dominate," Bradley said.

Senior linebacker Brashton Satele, who had season-ending shoulder surgery in August, is also hoping to get another year.
Tom Mulhern of Madison.com profiles Bryant Moniz.
The Hawaii football team's passing attack has been so good for so long, it doesn't seem to matter who is at quarterback.

From Timmy Chang to Colt Brennan, the Warriors always seem to find prolific passers.

They could put a pizza delivery guy behind center and he'd throw for 300 yards in a game.
Okay, I get mad when people dismiss UH QBs as just being "system QBs," but that's pretty funny.

UWBadgers.com has another round of news and notes and links.

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talks to some of the Badgers about staying focused.
"It can play with your mind a little bit," sophomore cornerback Devin Smith acknowledged of traveling to Hawaii, a trip Smith and most of his teammates haven't made. "I've always got to remind myself there is a game as well."

With an apparent berth in the Outback Bowl at stake for UW (8-3), the staff has put together a tight itinerary and reminded the players of the importance of winning the regular-season finale.

"The coaches have tried to make it as similar to a regular game week as possible," junior quarterback Scott Tolzien said. "The key is to get there and treat it just like a regular game. It's Hawaii. It's going to be a little bit more sexy atmosphere, I guess you could say.

"We've just got to try to keep it the same and focus on the game."
Potrykus profiles Wisconsin running back John Clay.

Bryant-Jon Anteola of The Fresno Bee writes about UH's Hawaii Bowl quest.

The Idaho Statesman name their very own All-WAC team. Greg Salas, John Estes and Blaze Soares represent UH on that list.

Here's another cool UH football fan blog: Mainland UH Warrior Fan Club

And big thanks to Blaze Soares for answering my question about C&K during yesterday's Warrior Beat Show. Take a trip down memory lane on their Youtube page. Thanks to Tsai and Wai as well for the unexpected win!


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