This week's Na Koa Lunch Report is posted up at NaKoa.org. Tony Tuioti was the featured speaker and here's some of what he had to say:
Asked about recruiting, Tuioti said they are getting positive responses. Winning helps. We have limited scholarships this year and we are being “very selective”. The focus is on receivers, defensive backs, linebackers and offensive line.Stephen Tsai profiles Spencer Smith, who is set to return to the field after recovering from a broken arm.
Talking about our trick plays this year, Tuioti said with Rolovich “who knows what they’re going to do”. Rolovich is very creative and is a happy, go lucky kind of guy. The offense has the mentality that they can score every time they have the ball.
Smith will be included on the travel roster for Saturday's game against second-ranked Boise State at Bronco Stadium. The Warriors depart this afternoon.Tsai has some news and notes about Boise State, injuries, and Dustin Blount, who may see more playing time as Kealoha Pilares recovers from a strained hamstring:
"We have to find a way to get him involved," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said. "He's a playmaker."
Smith said: "I'll play anywhere -- special teams, defense, defensive tackle. It was frustrating sitting out all of those weeks. I miss playing with all of the boys."
"He brings a lot," quarterback Bryant Moniz said of Blount. "I think he'd start at a lot of places in the country. He's a fast guy. He shows it once he gets on the field."Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com's College Football Nation blog writes about the Warriors' season.
Pilares' pet move is a stutter-step that frees him in the flats for screen passes. At 5-foot-10, Pilares is about 5 inches taller than Blount. But Moniz said Blount is easily accessible in the flats.
"He can jump, if he needs to," Moniz said. "He can dunk. It's on YouTube."
But with Bryant Moniz leading the way in 2010, Hawaii is vastly improved. You may not know it, though, the way the WAC schedule gets denigrated on a daily basis. You may not know it if you look at the polls, which feature Nevada back in the Top 25. Nevada has a loss this season -- to Hawaii.Jaymes Song of the AP has a preview of the UH-Boise game.
Boise State hasn’t lost a WAC game since 2007—and that loss came against Hawaii. But the Broncos embarrassed the Warriors last year at Aloha Stadium, 54-9, and knocked quarterback Bryant Moniz out of the game in the first quarter. It was Hawaii’s worst loss in four years.The Idaho Statesman has a scouting report on UH.
And the Warriors realize this is their last chance to unseat the Broncos as the WAC kings. Boise State is leaving the WAC for the Mountain West Conference next season.
“We know the opportunity that’s ahead of us—(a chance at being) the only WAC team to beat them on their field and the last team to do it. So we’re just excited for the opportunity and ready for the challenge,” said Moniz, who leads the nation in passing (360.8 yards) and total offense (373.4).
Punter Alex Dunnachie is an overlooked weapon for Hawaii. One-third of his punts have gone at least 50 yards, he produces tremendous hang time and fewer than half of his punts have been returned. Kicker Scott Enos is solid inside 40 yards, kick returner Dustin Blount (25.3 yards) has the same average as Boise State’s Titus Young and Pilares recently took over as the punt returner.Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman highlights the offensive trio of Pilares, Salas and Moniz.
“Right now, they’re balling,” Boise State junior safety George Iloka said. “… They’re out there running routes and you’re like, ‘Is that really a route? I haven’t seen it all year.’ But the way he’s throwing it, it’s like they talked about it. It’s really hard to stop a team when the quarterback and the receivers are on the same page.”
The Broncos usually don’t use their cornerbacks on slot receivers. That means safeties, linebackers and nickels likely will handle much of the coverage of the Warriors’ two stars.Dave Southorn of the Idaho Press-Tribune focuses on the Boise State defensive backs.
The emphasis isn’t keeping the ball out of their hands. It’s limiting the damage when they get it.
“They’re going to catch balls and they’re going to get yards,” Kwiatkowski said. “It’s how we tackle after they catch it. When they drive the ball, it shortens the field and coverage can get tighter. We have to do a good job in the red zone.”
“The secondary, I’m calling us out,” safety Jeron Johnson said. “This month, with the teams we’re facing, it’s coming down to us. We’ve got a lot of criticism over the last few weeks, and we’ve got to step up this week.”
“With faster teams, if you don’t tackle, and you tackle poorly, you’re screwed,” safety George Iloka said. “Tackling’s going to be key. We practiced on it Saturday and Sunday and we’ll practice it again this week.”