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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UH-Colorado Previews, Moniz, McBride

The Sports Network has a preview of this Saturday's season opener.

CU At The Game has an excellent game preview.
Hawai’i, conversely, has had to guess what the Buffs will bring to the islands. Yes, the Hawai’i coaching staff is aware that Colorado plans to play more “smash mouth” football, with greater use of the fullbacks and tight ends. Yes, the Warriors are familiar with Tyler Hansen (19-26, 200 yards, two touchdowns against Hawai’i last season) and Rodney Stewart (22 carries, 106 yards, two touchdowns), but how they will be utilized on the islands remains a bit of a mystery.
CUBuffs.com also has a game preview.
“We’re more physical up front . . . that’s what this offensive staff has instilled in us,” senior quarterback Tyler Hansen said, adding he believes the fullback and tight end play have improved from a season ago. “It’ll help our defense out by keeping them off the field. That’s what we want . . . if we can control the game and the clock, especially against Hawai’i – they’re an explosive offense with a lot of weapons. If we can keep them off the field, they can’t get points on the sidelines.”
Kevin Riley has a preview in the Bleacher Report.

The Ralphie Report, a Colorado Buffaloes fan blog, takes a look at some key matchups. Here's one of them:
Eric Bieniemy's playcalling vs. An actual opponent

He's never been an offensive coordinator. While most of us believe that he is very qualified to be one (and I think he'll do an excellent job and be tough to keep around for more than a few seasons), this is his first time calling a game from anywhere, let along up in the booth all by himself. I'm sure he'll be fine, but it will be something to watch.
Josh Lindenstein of The Daily Camera highlights the UH defense.
Senior defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga said McMackin's increased emphasis on recruiting defensive players and instilling an aggressive style have finally started to come to fruition.

"When he came in his main thing was that we were going to be an attacking, swarming defense that made plays with emotion," the 6-foot-2, 295-pound Meatoga said. "That's kind of been our motto."
Lindenstein writes about the Buffaloes from Hawaii.
Crabb said he didn't even know the Buffs had a game scheduled at Hawaii while he was being recruited two years ago until after he'd verbally committed to CU.

"After I found out we were going to play them, I was stoked," Crabb said.
Billy Hull writes about them as well.

The AP's Jaymes Song profiles Bryant Moniz.
"His desire to be great is very high," Hawaii offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said. "He's very focused on being the best quarterback he can. He realizes he's living his dream and he doesn't want to wake up yet."
Stephen Tsai has a Wednesday practice report and an update on Aulola Tonga and Mike Wadsworth:
• Aulola Tonga is no longer with the Warriors. He might rejoin in January.

• Mike Wadsworth, UH's top freshman in 2009, has requested a release from his UH scholarship. Wadsworth has another year left on his church mission in England.
And Tsai writes that linebacker Darryl McBride has received a scholarship.
"I can enjoy school without having to worry about the financial problems," McBride said.

With Aaron Brown's suspension for Saturday's game against Colorado, McBride will have an expanded role at weak-side linebacker. He practiced with the first-team defense most of preseason training while Brown was recovering from a hamstring injury.

"He's a playmaker," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said.

WitP: Pilares, Elimimian

Kealoha Pilares suffered a high ankle sprain in practice yesterday, which may mean he might be out for the year.
Pilares, the team’s fifth-round pick from Hawaii, was carted off the field late in Tuesday’s practice and coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday it was a high ankle sprain, which is not good news. If most cases a high ankle sprain is considered a four-to-six week injury and the Panthers may not be willing to hold a roster spot for an unproven rookie and decide to put him on injured reserve and use this basically as a redshirt season.
In some better news, Solomon Elimimian was named CFL Defensive Player of the Month.
Linebacker Solomon Elimimian of the B.C. Lions captured defensive player honours. The CFL's top rookie last season had 23 tackles, two sacks and an interception he returned 15 yards.
Here are a couple of highlights from this season, starting at 1:49...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UH vs CU game info, Richard Torres, Moniz, Suspensions

HawaiiAthletics.com has game notes (PDF) and some information on this Saturday's UH vs Colorado season opener.

They also have an H-Files Q&A with Richard Torres. If you don't like reading, you can watch him answering the questions:

The Daily Camera has video of Colorado coach John Embree talking about the upcoming game.

Natalie Meisler of The Denver Post profiles Bryant Moniz.

Embree has more good things to say about Moniz.

Stephen Tsai profiles George Daily-Lyles, who will start at middle linebacker vs Colorado.
Daily-Lyles practiced with the first team the past week while Corey Paredes recovered from tight quadriceps. With Aaron Brown's suspension, Paredes will move to weak-side linebacker, and Daily-Lyles will move into the No. 1 rotation.

"If you look at this spring and this fall camp, he's probably played better than anyone we've got," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said of Daily-Lyles. "I'm proud of his progress."
Tsai writes that Brown and Darius Bright won't play in the Colorado game.
Weak-side linebacker Aaron Brown and left wideout Darius Bright received one-game suspensions because of their arrests following their involvement in separate scuffles in the Zanzabar Nightclub in Waikiki.
Ferd Lewis thinks UH made the right call.
But for all that could be riding on the start to this season in which a 2-0 start might produce a national ranking, UH needed to make a clear statement Monday after two of its profile players were arrested. Which is why, based upon the details initially laid out by the authorities and UH, plus the players’ lack of previous problems, Monday’s action is in the ballpark while leaving room for adjustment, should additional revelations warrant.

Veikune, Owens, Silva

David Veikune was released by the Denver Broncos yesterday.

Chad Owens talks to the Toronto Sun about a frustrating 2011 season.
It’s not that Owens has become a shell of the player that lit up the CFL a year ago. The 29-year-old leads the league with 976 combined return yards, nearly more than a length of field than Larry Taylor of the Calgary Stampeders, who has 884. Gone, however, are the returns for touchdowns. Owens had four in 2010 but none so far this season; when it comes to offence, Owens has not yet crossed the goal line either.
And from a few weeks ago, The Carroll County Times profiles Ravens safety Mana Silva.
With Ed Reed, Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura all missing some practice during the early part of training camp, Silva spent substantial time with the first-team defense, which he says has helped him learn the Ravens' defense at an accelerated rate.

"He's gotten an opportunity and has been doing pretty well," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Obviously things are moving really fast for him, as far as the mental part of the game, but he's been holding up OK."

He was more than OK during Sunday night's practice, when he broke a pass and had coverage that resulted in a sack during one sequence, which led to his defensive teammates chanting his name.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Suspensions, UH-CU Previews

Guess we'll hear soon regarding the fate of Aaron Brown and Darius Bright.
McMackin said both players notified him of their arrests Sunday morning. McMackin then contacted UH athletic director Jim Donovan.

"I will evaluate the situation when I get all of the information, and will then take appropriate action," McMackin said.

McMackin is scheduled to meet with both players this morning. The coach then will forward his recommendation to Donovan.
UPDATE: Brown and Bright suspended for the Colorado game.
"Aaron and Darius used extremely poor judgment and in turn embarrassed the football program and the university," head coach Greg McMackin said in a press release.

"These are two young men who have never been in trouble with the law before, but became involved in a situation where they did not make the right choices."

Both players also will face team disciplinary measures, and must perform community service.

By the way, it's game week! CFN has a game preview.
Why Colorado Might Win: When Hawaii has the ball, the Buffs will be capable of moving the line of scrimmage. While the Warriors are working on replacing all five starters from its front wall, Colorado features a veteran look along the front seven.
Why Hawaii Might Win: A trip to Hawaii is the last thing Colorado needed in its opener. Sure, it’s the Islands, but the Buffs are in dire straits in the secondary after losing two corners to the NFL. Moniz will feast on his visitors, spreading the ball around to Royce Pollard, Darius Bright and the rest of the playmaking wide receivers.
Ryan Thorburn of The Daily Camera writes about Colorado's 18-game road losing streak.

Nick Hirschman, Colorado's immediate backup to starting QB Tyler Hansen, is back to practice after missing two weeks with a high ankle sprain.

And Mark Arakaki of Ka Leo runs down the list of UH's projected starters.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aaron Brown and Darius Bright suspended

Well, this isn't a great way to start out game week. Starting linebacker Aaron Brown and starting wide receiver Darius Bright have been arrested and suspended.
Two University of Hawaii football starters — outside linebacker Aaron Brown and left wideout Darius Bright — have been suspended from team-related activities following their arrests this morning.

They were accused of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for their alleged involvement in a fight in a Waikiki nightclub.

UH athletic director Jim Donovan said an arrest is considered a "major violation," according to the school's student-athlete rules of conduct.

Na Koa Bowl, Special Teams, Sean Shigematsu

Tomorrow is the Na Koa Bowl, which is being held at the Stan Sheriff Center starting at 5pm. If you can't be there it'll be on KFVE and streaming on NaKoa.org. Be there!
Over 75 former players will be participating in the event and will be available for autographs, photos and talking story. Entertainers include Kapono, Afatia Thompson, Imua, Kauakahi, Del Beazley, UH Band, Cheerleaders and Dancer, Kahea, and Hyper Squad.
Stephen Tsai writes that the placekicking and longsnapping jobs are still up for grabs.
McMackin said Dick Tomey, who coordinates the special teams, will select the No. 1 place-kicker this week.

McMackin said choosing the long-snapper will be a "game-day decision."
In Part 4 of The Garden Island's "Kaua‘i Guys" series, Tyson Alger profiles freshman starting right tackle Sean Shigematsu.
Shigematsu was always big, but now he’s huge. Heading into camp this season, the Kaua‘i native has added about 60 pounds since his senior year of high school. The scary thing for opponents is that even at 305 pounds, Shigematsu still has the athleticism that appealed to McMackin 60 pounds ago.

“The weight has definitely been a big jump,” Shigematsu said. “I’m not really sure how I’ve gained all that weight, but it feels right. I’ve grown into it. It doesn’t feel like I’m sloppy. I can still move.”
Ryan Thorburn of The Daily Camera has a prediction for this Saturday's season opener.
Tyler Hansen completes 16 of 20 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown to tight end Ryan Deehan, and Rodney Stewart rushes for 193 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buffs to a 31-30 victory over the Warriors. Parker Orms intercepts a Bryant Moniz pass in the final minute to deliver a Gatorade bath and a victory for Embree in his CU head coaching debut.
And Island Sports Media has a bunch of pictures from fall camp.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Harding, Paipai, Colorado

Stephen Tsai profiles Scott Harding, who was named the team's #1 punt returner.
Friday morning, Harding was named the Hawaii football team's No. 1 punt returner. He also has secured the blocking back's job on kickoff returns.
"He catches everything," McMackin said of Harding. "That's what we want from our punt returner."
Tsai writes about Paipai Falemalu, who cemented as the #1 right defensive end.
"He's feeling comfortable," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said. "It's my fault, really, for moving him so much. I think he's in his natural spot."

Falemalu said he has worked with a former boxer to help him fight off grasping blockers.

"He taught me some hand-speed stuff," Falemalu said. "It's helped me on the field."
Tsai also writes that Allen Sampson and Mike Edwards Jr. both claim jersey #2, but since they may be on the field at the same time during special teams, one of them might have to give it up. Only one way to settle this. Hungry Hungry Hippos Death Match.

Tsai also profiles Alex Dunnachie, who has changed his kicking technique this season.
"I'm using more of my hips and quads instead of just mainly the hamstring," Dunnachie said.

To alter his style, Dunnachie said, Chapman "made me start all over again. It was like teaching an elementary school kid the basics."
The main thing, he said, was not to press. He adhered to UH special teams coordinator Dick Tomey's advice: "You can't try harder to make a free throw."
Rivals.com has a WAC Preview.

Let's hope the Warriors deprive Colorado coach Jon Embree of a brick.
Under previous coaches Bill McCartney and Gary Barnett, CU added a commemorative brick to a wall display outside the team locker room for each victory considered especially significant.

The first “brick game,” Embree said, is the Sept. 3 season opener at Hawaii because the team has lost 18 straight games away from Folsom Field.

“Our No. 1 goal is to get the bricks back,” Embree said, drawing a round of cheers.
One way to do that is to shut down the always elusive opposing tight end.
Regardless of past performance, tight end will always be a focus of the man in charge. Coach Jon Embree played that position for Bill McCartney at Colorado in the 1980s and was proficient enough to attain his dream of reaching the NFL.
Embree has some nice things to say about Bryant Moniz (as well as Colt Brennan).
When Jon Embree says Hawaii quarterbacks get a bad rap, he's not just trying to pump hot air into the head of Warriors' senior signal caller Bryant Moniz.

"He doesn't get the respect he's earned because of the TV times," Embree said. "Not enough people see him play."

Embree saw another Hawaii QB closely enough to know that the Playstation numbers they put up aren't just a product of the system and wide-open league they play in.

Colt Brennan, a former Buff who transferred and had a celebrated career at Hawaii, played with the Washington Redskins while Embree was an assistant there.

"He's unbelievably accurate," Embree said of Brennan. "Colt might not have had the quote, big NFL arm. But he was real accurate and he threw the ball on time."
Ferd Lewis makes the case for UH playing a game in Japan.
Build even a cult following there and, who knows, maybe develop a player or two from Japan or China who can compete at the Division I level along the way, and UH just might have something to sell. Imagine the interest a productive slotback, kick returner or big-play defensive back could stir.

But you have to start somewhere. And, in fact, some UH sports events — football, volleyball and basketball among them — are shown on the Exsports cable channel in Japan, according to Ross Yamasaki, a UH linebacker in the 1980s, whose Pacific Rim Sports Initiatives put together the deal.
And Lewis writes that the Hawaii Bowl may soon have a deal with the Mountain West Conference.

WitP: Bradley Cut, Ingram Signed, Salas Waits

First the bad news:
Other cuts include defensive tackle Cornell Banks, center Ryan Bartholomew, offensive tackle Brady Bond, wide receivers Rodney Bradley and Terrell Zachery, linebacker Anthony Leon and tight end Jonathan Stupar
Best of luck to Bradley. Maybe he'll get signed by another team, like Jake Ingram just did.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed veteran long snapper Jake Ingram, the club announced today. The Jaguars’ roster stands at 85 players. Teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 80 players by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 30.
And Greg Salas talks about the waiting game.
"You can't think about that right now," said Salas, from Hawaii. "All you can think about is doing the best you can do when your number's called."
Salas, meanwhile, was impressive early in camp, working with the starting unit because both Danny Amendola and Mike Sims-Walker, as veterans who had signed new contracts, couldn't practice by league rule until Aug. 4. Quarterback Sam Bradford seemed to develop a quick chemistry with Salas.

But Salas then suffered a hamstring injury, missing more than a week of camp including the exhibition opener against the Colts. He had tweaked the same hamstring during Rams players-only workouts held in June in the Phoenix area.
Salas had 2 catches for 17 yards in yesterday's preseason game vs the Chiefs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WitP: Bess, Heun, McBriar

Davone Bess talks about Miami's new offense.
Bess has shown the versatility to be productive lining up in multiple spots, and that skill should fit well in Daboll's schemes.

"The opportunity to line up anywhere," Bess responded when asked how the new offense benefits him. He might be known as a slot receiver, but Bess often lined up on the outside last season. "They've given us a lot of special abilities as far as lining up certain places."
Hawaii News Now's Malika Dudley kicks Jake Heun in the stomach, and then interviews him about his upcoming MMA fight.

And ESPN Australia has a clip from a show called "Aussies Abroad: Dream Dinner Party", which also sounds like a new game for the Wii or an episode of The Bachelorette. Anyway, in this clip Cowboys punter Mat McBriar talks about his early struggles with the team.

Depth Chart, Iosefa, 2011 Preview

Stephen Tsai writes about the new depth chart, highlighting #1 running back Joey Iosefa.
“He’s picked up the (pass) protection really well,” said Brian Smith, who coaches the running backs. “He’s physical. He’s probably the best we have right now as far as blocking and being consistent. And he’s very quick for as big as he is. He cuts, and gets downfield real fast, real explosive. He has the ability to make someone miss.”
Tsai has some news and notes on Beau Yap, TJ Taimatuia and Will Gregory.
Yap has drawn praise as long snapper Luke Ingram’s fill-in. Ingram has been held out of practice because of a sore shoulder.
The Sports Network has a 2011 UH football preview.

Matt Hayes of The Sporting News lists Bryant Moniz as one of five overlooked players who will be household names by the end of the season.
Here, everyone, is the player you know nothing about – but will by the end of the season. Like heralded Hawaii quarterbacks before him, Moniz will lead a talented Warriors team that could make one of those magical runs all the way to a BCS bowl game.

Timmy Chang couldn’t do it. Colt Brennan did. Now we give you Bryant Moniz – who last year threw for the quietest 39 touchdowns passes in the history of touchdown passes.
Jake Curtis of the San Francisco Chronicle also things UH has a shot at making a run at the BCS.
Which non-BCS-conference school will contend for a national title? Maybe Boise State. Maybe TCU. But we say Hawaii.
One step at a time, one step at a time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WitP: Green, Salas

Via the Green Bay Press Gazette, Alex Green talks about taking kicks out of the endzone and improving at running back:

Green may be blocking punts too.
Punt rushers have blocked at least one punt in practice every day this week, with rookie running backs Brandon Saine and Alex Green both doing so on Wednesday. McCarthy attributed the blocks to technique errors by the blockers, which is a bit unsettling, but from the other side it’s encouraging for young players to make an impact like that.

“It’s good to see a young guy flash that kind of ability, because we haven’t had a lot of time with these guys,” McCarthy said. “When you see someone new do that, it’s definitely a positive.”
And here's Greg Salas putting on eye black.
RamsHerd.com also has a review of his preseason debut:
Salas was able to create separation consistently on those three plays, while working against a practice-squad cornerback named Chris Hawkins, but it's no different than the way he's looked in practice going up against the Rams' first and second teamers. He has outstanding body control and showed resilient hands after the initial drop.

2011 Depth Chart

KITV.com has the just-released two-deep depth chart. Some positions of note:
RUNNINGBACK - Joey Iosefa, Sterling Jackson
RIGHT TACKLE - Sean Shigematsu, Levi Legay
LEFT END - Zach Masch, Marcus Malepeai
PLACE KICKER - Tyler Hadden, Kenton Chun

More Stump, Justin Clapp, Mr. Lavalava

Stephen Tsai talks to Stump Godfrey about walking on at UH.
In accordance with NCAA transfer rules, he must redshirt this season. Because he was not given a release, he cannot receive a football scholarship from UH until January 2012.

"It's coming out of my pocket this year," he said. "My family is helping me a lot. I have to take out a student loan, and I applied for federal aid. It's humbling, but I have to work hard and keep praying that I'll get on scholarship next year."
Chawan Cut is on his own hiatus right now, but luckily KITV, KHON and Hawaii News Now all have video coverage of Stump's transfer. What will Mr. Cut do with his time now?

Tsai profiles receiver Justin Clapp.
"He wasn't a popular guy when he first came out here," UH coach Greg McMackin said. "He went full speed, and the defensive guys didn't like that, and he didn't care."

Quarterback Bryant Moniz remembered Clapp "used to get it from the defense. I talked to the (defensive) guys, and they really respected him."
Ferd Lewis profiles Colorado assistant coach Brian Cabral. The big questions is... will he wear a lavalava for the UH-CU game?
Now, with a new coaching staff trying to end the Buffaloes' streak of 18 consecutive losses outside the state of Colorado and the game to be televised by ESPN, speculation around Boulder is that Cabral will haul out the lavalava for the opener. The fact Colorado has five players from Hawaii and plans to continue to extensively recruit here would also seem to support the theory.
I can't wait to find out.

Seriously, because that means it's GAME DAY! 10 days away...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WitP: Hunter, Green, Bess, Bradley

Nate Davis of USA Today profiles New York Jets offensive tackle Wayne Hunter.
Bill Callahan has spent most of his 32-year coaching career developing offensive linemen.

He believes he might currently be tutoring his best, even if it's a name most NFL fans may not be familiar with: New York Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter.
"He is, by far, the best athlete I've ever coached on the line. He can do it all — his power, his leverage, his ability to run, his ability to move — I mean, you name it, he excels at it," says Callahan, who enters his 13th season on an NFL sideline since 1995. "There are no flaws athletically."
Alex Green might be returning kicks in the Packers' season opener.
Green Bay Packers rookie Randall Cobb listed his prognosis as "day to day," but when asked whether it was a given he would be ready for the regular-season opener, he couldn't answer yes.
If Cobb can't play in the season opener, Green would be the leading candidate to return kicks and Chastin West - if he makes the team - or Jordy Nelson would be options.
MiamiDolphins.com has a video interview with Davone Bess, and a feature on Ikaika Alama-Francis.

And from last week, BaltimoreSportsReport.com had a Q&A with Ravens receiver Rodney Bradley.
What’s it like to be on the same playing field with future hall of famers?
It’s very nice, to say the least. I was joking with my cousin because I am a big fan of the game. and he was telling me “you can’t be a fan going in”. I am like “whatever, I’m still fan of these people.” It’s kind of surreal to be on the same team with the likes of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed- he was one of the guys I used to watch the highlights before games to get me ready. To be on the same team with these guys is unbelievable.

Wahine Clinic, Stump, Kauai Guys

The 4th annual Hawai'i Wahine Football Clinic starts in about an hour. Be there! If you're a lady. UH student ladies get in for free with ID.

Stephen Tsai writes about Darian "Stump" Godfrey transferring to UH.
On choosing the Warriors, Godfrey said: "I did my research. I knew they had a great coaching staff, and a good offense. I used to watch (former Warriors quarterback) Colt Brennan play (on television). That's where it all started, I liked the way he played, and I liked the offense."
Tsai also has some news and notes.
Three of the Warriors' four starting receivers competed in all of the drills during Monday night's practice at Aloha Stadium.

Wideout Darius Bright and slotbacks Miah Ostrowski and Billy Ray Stutzmann had been bothered by ailments. But they ran routes at full speed during the 2-hour practice, the Warriors' second workout at Aloha Stadium during the preseason training.
Tom Kensler of the Denver Post profiles Colorado's true freshman starting punter. Block that kick! Block that kick!
O'Neill started punting last winter, thinking it might be a way — probably his only way — to play major-college football. "I played soccer, so I knew I had a decent leg anyway," O'Neill said. "So I just started working on punting with my dad, trying to figure it out."
Tyson Alger of The Garden Island profiles Kauai guy and UH defensive lineman Siasau Matagiese.
“He’s a 300-pounder that runs very quick and has a great attitude,” Hawai‘i head coach Greg McMackin said. “He’s going to be a big time player for us.”
This is Part 3 of a 5-part series of Kauai guys playing for the Warriors. Part 1 was a profile of receiver Jett Jasper. Part 2 profiled defensive back Kenny Estes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

WitP: LaBoy, Green, Salas, Pilares, Sopoaga

Here are some recent articles about the Warriors in the Pros.

Michael Gehlken profiles San Diego Charger linebacker Travis LaBoy.
LaBoy, a converted defensive end with only three years of experience at outside linebacker, is primarily playing in the 3-4 scheme's strong-side spot — called the "Sam" — instead of his usual weak-side position, the "Will."
The difference in the move, Chargers linebackers coach John Pagano says, is the Sam rushes the quarterback about 10 percent less often and, in turn, drops into coverage more.
Tyler Dunne of The Journal Sentinel writes that Alex Green may bring something special to the Packers as a third-down back.
As for that whole third-down role? Here’s thinking, it’ll be Alex Green’s job to lose after Friday. Chastin West’s 97-yard catch and run was undoubtedly the highlight of the night but there may not even be a spot for him on the roster. Green’s 25-yard dance through traffic on a second-quarter screen pass was far more relevant to this offense, this season.
LizKauai posted this video of Greg Salas catching a few passes (and dropping one) in his preseason debut with the Rams.

Here's a profile of Kealoha Pilares from The Shelby Star.
Regardless, the Panthers are growing happier they took a chance on Pilares with each passing day.

He’s one inch taller and 15 pounds heavier than Steve Smith, but plays a lot like him. He doesn’t look big at first glance but has strong, thick and muscular legs and a solid upper body to match. He’s viewed primarily as a slot receiver, one of those crazies that isn’t afraid to run a slant route across the middle and take an unexpected hit.

That’s how he made a living at Hawaii.
Isaac Sopoaga talks about his move from defensive end to nose tackle.
Sopoaga looked stout for a second straight day after missing 49ers training camp with a hamstring injury.

"It's a great feeling to be back on the field," said Sopoaga, a 2004 draft pick who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a back injury. "Day by day, my body will adapt to our season and to this new defensive scheme. I play nose tackle and do the dirty work. Let's do it."

Stump to UH, Previews, Japan?

Stephen Tsai writes that quarterback Darian "Stump" Godfrey is transferring from New Mexico to UH.
He was named the 2009 Mr. Texas.

That year, he was the Texas 3A Offensive Player of the Year in leading Gilmer High to a 15-0 record.

He received multiple offers as a Gilmer senior (including from Oklahoma and Tennessee), but those schools wanted him as an "athlete." He was recruited as a quarterback by New Mexico. UH coach Greg McMackin, who met with Godfrey for the first time this morning, said he will compete at quarterback.
Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal previews the WAC season, and highlights the one returning starting QB in the WAC,Bryant Moniz.

Ari Cutler of Boxscorenews.com previews the UH-Colorado game.

Colorado will start at least three true freshmen vs UH.
CU’s post-camp depth chart, released on Monday by new coach Jon Embree, features freshmen Darragh O’Neill and Will Oliver, respectively, in the No. 1 punting and placekicking roles, and Greg Henderson in the starting right cornerback spot.

Additionally, freshman Tyler McCulloch is listed as a co-starter with senior Toney Clemons at the X wide receiver position. If McCulloch opens at Hawaii, he would become the first freshman in school history to start a season opener at wide receiver.
And The Japan Times has an article about UH athletic director Jim Donovan's efforts to have the Warriors play a regular-season game in Japan.
"We're looking at the possibility of playing an American football game in Japan in a few years from now," Donovan said after the basketball team's final game on the tour against the JBL's Panasonic Trians in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, on Saturday.

"We've started trying to see what the cost would be and if it is financially and logistically possible. Positively, it looks like it is logistically possible. We have to focus on the finances."

Colorado Phase

The Warriors begin focusing on Colorado this week.
Studying the game tape from Colorado's 31-13 win over UH last year in Boulder, Colo., might help refresh their memories on the Buffaloes' returnees. But the footage won't provide much insight into situational tendencies since the matchup marks the debut of Jon Embree as Colorado head coach, along with a largely revamped staff.

"With a new staff, first game, it's really tough," McMackin said of formulating a game plan for the Buffaloes. "We're going to have to be able to adjust at game time and see what they're doing.
Jason Kaneshiro profiles backup QB Shane Austin.
For Austin, going into his senior season as a backup probably wasn't what he envisioned when he arrived in 2007. But neither is his place in the order a source of anguish.

"Obviously you come in as a freshman thinking you're going to start your next year, everybody does," Austin said with a laugh. "So it is tough, but it's a character builder for sure. It makes you stronger, mentally tough.
Kaneshiro also profiled freshman defensive back Mike Sellers.
Sellers got a look with the Warriors' starting defense at nickelback during Friday's practice, one of the few new faces in a group stacked with veterans.

"He's come a long way," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "He's playing like John Hardy-Tuliau did last year. He's making plays, he's quick, he's fast, great attitude."
Kaneshiro also profiled receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann, who continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

And check out this recent video interview with senior safety Richard Torres, from the Leahey & Leahey archives.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lambeau Leapin' Alex Green!

That's right! Congratulations to our former Warrior for getting his first Packer touchdown last night against the Arizona Cardinals! Here's some video from LizKauai as AG gets the catches and carries to punch it in late in the 2nd quarter!!
More news to follow when I can get caught up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wed, Thurs news: Kickers, Full contact scrimmage, movin' out... and more injuries

Dave Reardon covers the wide open job for the vacated kicker position.
“It’s very close and it might go down to pregame (of the season opener with Colorado),” said special teams coach Dick Tomey, who is pleased with the situation, despite neither player having attempted a kick in a college game.

Stephen reports on how the team likes the new turf at Aloha Stadium, and thinks it'll be easier on the skin.
The stadium replaced that turf after eight years. Its blades were worn down, creating faster traction but a rougher texture.
The change “was needed,” quarterback David Graves said. “It was notoriously bad for rug burns. People knew when they came to Hawaii, they would get scraped up.”

We don't want BYU crying about the turf again when they come to town to end the season....

And injuries are continuing to hurt, literally. Centers(Lefiti, Afusia), long snappers (Ingram), WRs...

It does give some reps to the backups, including slotback Corey Paclebar, as Jason Kaneshiro reports.
Paclebar has been busier than usual during the first half of fall camp because the projected starters at slotback have been limited by injuries.

In better news, the team got a well needed full contact scrimmage this morning.
Some pictures from practice in the ever-updated daily Warrior Beat blog by Mr. Tsai.
“I want to see the defensive guys hit somebody,” McMackin said. “And we’re going to do some real hitting on special teams. We want to make sure our returners field the ball under pressure.”

Oceanic is going to enter their venture in UH sports with the premiere of their new channel this Friday, with Rainbow Wahine soccer. (I'll still miss K5 =( )
Oceanic, which replaces KFVE as the producer of UH sports after 28 years, said it expects to show approximately 100 events in the 2011-12 school year, starting with the UH-Washington State soccer match. The OCSports channel will be part of Oceanic's basic package, president Bob Barlow said.

And in a preview of this season's opponents, Ferd previews the Colorado Buffaloes.
He is the Buffaloes’ new defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Watching time fly this month can be a scary proposition for someone charged with trying to keep Bryant Moniz’s passes from also taking accurate flight.

And here's the last two night's news, with video featuring the linebackers, Royce Pollard and highlights from today's scrimmage:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Na Koa Upcoming events

Mark these dates on your calendar Warrior fans.

Thursday, Aug - 25
Murphy's Pigskin Pigout
List of Auction items here.

Monday, Aug - 29th
2nd Annual Na Koa Bowl
Live on TV as well as streaming over the internet.

And of course, Sept 3rd when CU rolls into town

Mon-Tues news. All 4 WRs back, first practice at AS

Great news. Stephen Tsai reports that all starting WRs were back at practice yesterday. The first time this fall camp.
In the first nine days of practice, left slotback Billy Ray Stutzmann (tight hamstring) practiced twice and left wideout Darius Bright (sprained right big toe) once. Right slotback Miah Ostrowski did not participate in passing drills until Monday, when he was joined by Stutzmann and Bright.

Also good news for former Warrior, Ryan Grice-Mullins (RGM), as he gets picked up by the CFL team, Edmonton Eskimos, as reported by Dave Reardon.

And the team got their first practice in today at Aloha Stadium on its new turf. Photos and reports from Stephen Tsai in his Warrior Beat.

And the local video news covers injuries and rehab, Joey Iosefa's move to running back as well as the player's thoughts of first practice in Aloha Stadium. Thanks to KHON, KITV and KGMB/KHNL.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Season previews by our opponents: CU & UW

I'll be posting some of the preseason game predictions as done by our opponent's news/bloggers. With only a few weeks to go for our season opener, I'll be doubling up the previews. Here's our first two foes of the season. Colorado and Washington.

David Gerhardt from The Ralphie Report blog predicts that his Buffaloes will take this game by a few touchdowns.
The key for them (and for us) will be how well they are able to stop the run and how well they handle screen passes. If we can establish the ground game and counter their blitzes with the occasional screen or pass out into the flat, we should have no trouble handling the Warriors and their elephant.
Last year we had both Rodney Stewart and Brian Lockridge go for 100 yards on the ground, we had a great half of offensive football (the 2nd half) and our defense held them to the second fewest points they scored all year.

Jeff Taylor, from the Husky Haul, also predicts that his Huskies will not give Hawaii a warm welcome when we visit.

Defense is never the primary focus for Hawaii, but senior LB Corey Parades is on the Butkus Award watch-list.
All that said, they are coming to Seattle. Hawaii traditionally does very well at home (6-1 last year with loss to USC). However, they traditionally struggle on the mainland. UW will be tested the week before against another high octane air offense against Eastern Washington, so that will be an opportunity for the Husky secondary to get their bearings before Hawaii lets it loose. I think UW is more balanced on both sides of the ball and definitely more experienced, so they should be able to pick Hawaii apart on offense.

I have no opinions to give on this, as it is not I who will be lacing it up on the field. I will let our Warriors do the talking and see who comes out victorious in these first two weeks.

Single game tickets go on sale TODAY!!!

Don't forget that single game tickets go on sale TODAY for home Warrior football games. We appreciate all our fans out there, and if you can't buy season tickets, here's your chance to get em one by one.
The BYU game will probably sell out quick, but there's six other games that our Warriors need your support at!

Let's get Aloha Stadium rockin' again like in the good 'ol days!!!

WITP: Preseason week 1 Pau

The NFL preseason week 1 is done. Some of our Warriors got some PT and even scored!
Here's this week's Warriors in the Pros recap:

Congratulations to Kealoha Pilares for scoring his first NFL touchdown against the NY Giants yesterday!

Unfortunately, injuries also plague our former Warriors and Packers' Alex Green sat out the game vs the Browns with a thigh injury.

Here's some news on the Oakland Raiders offensive line including a pic of center, Samson Satele. Another short blurb on how he got mistaken for Steelers Troy Polomalu because of his long mane of hair. And a short quote from the man himself, regarding the competition with rookie, Stefen Wisniewski.

Some news on St Louis Rams Greg Salas and his fellow rookie AND roommate and former foe, in Boise St WR Austin Pettis, as they fight for some PT.

Solomon Elimimian and the BC Lions lose another one in the CFL. But at least there's a nice pic of him making a tackle!

Here's Kealoha's first TD from last night's local news: (same vid as previous post)

Fri-Sat recap: Captains, scrimmage, schollies, and more injuries =(

Can you name one other school out there that has 4 former walk-ons as their team captains??? Stephen Tsai reports that:
Head coach Greg McMackin confirmed that quarterback Bryant Moniz, right wideout Royce Pollard, middle linebacker Corey Paredes and strong safety Richard Torres will serve as permanent team captains this year.

On Thursday, a full contact scrimmage was held between the backups.
David Graves, UH’s No. 3 quarterback, completed six of 10 passes for 119 yards, including a 61-yard scoring play to Charles Clay.
Cayman Shutter, the No. 4 quarterback, was 4-for-10 for 151 yards. He threw scoring passes of 74 yards to right slotback Breyden Torres-Keohokapu and 70 yards to right wideout Cecil Doe.

Ferd Lewis brings up the question, will the new turf at Aloha Stadium outlast the stadium itself?
For all the enhancements, including the green roof that now encircles the place, the question that hangs over Hawaii’s biggest entertainment facility is: How much longer?

3 former non scholarship players were awarded scholarships on Friday. Congratulations!!!
In a Friday night meeting, it was announced that wideout Jett Jasper, offensive lineman Andrew Faaumu and cornerback Kawika Ornellas have found roles on the payroll. McMackin awarded football scholarships to all three.

Shifts in the secondary as newcomer Mike Edwards has been put with the first team defense.

Making the defensive secondary a priority, the Hawaii football team promoted Mike Edwards to starting cornerback and shifted John Hardy-Tuliau to free safety.

And the injuries start to mount. Hope they're not serious. DE Woodard is also out with a broken foot.
And Ferd Lewis profiles former Castle Knight, Corey Paredes, and the string of injuries he has had to endure during his playing career.
Of course "good" is a relative term for Paredes, who views an absence of pain as a symptom of dereliction of duty for a linebacker. Pain is both something he lives with and dishes out.

And always, you can keep up to date with daily practice happenings at Stephen's Warrior Beat. Today he recaps yesterday's preparations for the Buffaloes. Lots of pictures of all your favorite players. (and its free in case you haven't signed up for the online paper. but you SHOULD! so much information!!!)

I attended yesterday morning's practice and have a few pictures.

And we got a flyover by some Army Chinooks yesterday.

Scott and ubercow from Sportshawaii.com also have much nicer pictures and even video from the scrimmage Thursday.

Here's their video:

And here's the last 2 night's worth of news.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wed-Thurs news. 2 a days begin, Congratulations Haku!, Coloniels fold

Lots of stuff the last 2 days.
Stephen Tsai covers the BLIND SIDE! (WEAK SIDE!) blocker position and the battle that Clayton Laurel is fighting for a starting spot.
Heffernan recalled telling Laurel: "You're the No. 1 guy. This is what you've been waiting for. You have to step it up. Guys are going to try to kick your (butt), try to embarrass you."

Ferd covers the story on UH's new television channel and the wait for it be announced by Oceanic. A press conference was called off yesterday.

"All scheduled events are on track," Oceanic president Bob Barlow said Tuesday after a press conference that was to have announced the launch was canceled. It is the second time in three months a scheduled press conference regarding the launch was called off.

And I know this blog is supposed to be unbiased, but I totally agree with Dave Reardon's take on the Denver Broncos 2nd year QB, Tim Tebow.

Which is why its a shame that Colt never got his chance. He now has to wait even longer as his UFL Hartford Coloniels is no more, as they folded yesterday with financial troubles. Also on the Hartford team were former Warriors, Jacob Patek, Brysen Ginlack, Ryan Grice-Mullen, and former defensive coordinator, Jerry Glanville.

In good news however, Haku Correa is a new father, with the birth of his daughter, Zaydah Lindsey Correa. He then had to rush off to the first of two-a-days yesterday. CONGRATULATIONS to the Correa family!(see today's news video upload for more).

And finally, there will be a lot of changes (for the good) at Aloha Stadium that fans will get to experience on game day. Besides the new GREEN roof and new chairs, the stadium authority hopes to get prices lowered at concessions.
"The main thing is that we want to find ways to bring more people back into the stadium," said Kevin Chong Kee, chair of the nine-member group that oversees the stadium.

And today was also the unveiling of the Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium to the media. (also see the news video below for a preview).

AND the NFL preseason began today with a few former Warriors getting some PT. I'll catch all of the news this weekend and do a big WITP recap.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tuesday happenings

Hawaii's wide receiver corp seems to be an ever rotating merry go round of who's in and who's out as Stephen Tsai reports.
With right slotback Miah Ostrowski recovering from a tight hamstring, the four projected starting receivers have not practiced together in the first five days of training camp.

Pros and cons there. Lots of reps for the backups in case we need them this season, but we need more time for the starting 4 to gel.

And UH is looking to fill one last puka in next year's schedule, with the late withdrawal of Texas State. He's even looking to add another road game to the plate, that already is brutal with trips to USC, BYU, Fresno and Air Force.
"Playing a money game isn't our first choice, but it is something that we would look at very closely," Donovan said. "We're calling anybody out there with an opening."

And as always for daily updates, check out Mr. Tsai's Warrior Beat blog.

And here's tonight's news where they spotlight Joey Iosefa and Allen Sampson.

Na Koa Events

Na Koa just posted some info about a couple of upcoming fundraisers, including the return of the Pigskin Pigout:
On Thursday, August 25, restaurateur Don Murphy returns with Murphy’s Pigskin Pigout at his legendary Honolulu watering hole. After a brief hiatus last year, the 15th Annual Pigskin Pigout returns with all the favorites: an evening of hosted food, including stations featuring suckling pig, fresh fish and oysters in a block-party style gathering along Merchant Street in Downtown Honolulu.
Four days later, fans are invited to be part of Na Koa Bowl, a 5-hour live statewide broadcast on KFVE and via live streaming at www.nakoa.org. The fundraiser and broadcast will be based at the Stan Sheriff Center on campus beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, August 29.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Monday practice

Not much news today, but according to Stephen Tsai, some good news and bad news from practice this morning. Darius Bright is back, but Billy Ray Stutzmann is out, although not serious. Check his blog for more details.

And tonight's news:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Misc blog stuff

Being pseudo-Tombo is a tough job! Anyways, just wanted to let you faithful fans out there what has been updated recently.

The opponent's blogs/forum section in the right column has been updated with this year's teams. If you do visit their sites, be courteous and represent our team/state well. (But don't back down either to their rants and raves.)

I've also updated my "Schedule of Opponent's schedules" there right below this year's schedule, also in the right column. I like to see who our opponents play throughout the year and how they do. Especially the week before us. If they have a bye or not, and how strong/weak their schedules are. I'll update this weekly over on SportsHawaii.com and if I remember, I'll link to it here when I do.

I've also created a 8.5 x 11 sized 2011 schedule so that you may print out and post at home or at work. Until we can get our beloved scheduled posters from UH printed again, I wanted something I can look at each week. (You can also make this your PC or smartphone wallpaper if you want). Click on the link above or the image below to get to the full sized pic.

Pads! Warriors in the Pros

Sunday's their day off, but they strapped it up yesterday.

Stephen Tsai keeps track of highly touted transfer from Tennessee, Mike Edwards.
Edwards, who played eight games as a Tennessee freshman in 2009, moved to Hawaii three weeks ago. In 2009, he was one of Ohio’s top prospects among high school seniors. He currently is the Warriors’ No. 2 right cornerback.

He also reports on how Moniz and his receiving corps kept in shape in the offseason.
Pollard said: "It's just the reps. We put in a lot of time together. We're thinking the same. We're still developing. There are always things we can develop on."

Dave Reardon talks about Richard Torres, who has gone from hopeful walkon to starting strong safety.
"I knew I was a long shot to play," he says. "But I wasn't coming here to sit on the bench. I came to work hard to get in the game and make plays."

And as always, keep checking Mr. Tsai's Warrior Beat blog daily for the most current up to date scoops (and its free!)
Lots of pictures from practice as well as a call for volunteers.
Want to help the Warriors? They are seeking volunteers to video practices and games. (Colorado and Fresno State graduates need not apply.) If you're interested, call video coordinator Chris Williams at 956-6508.

Here's yesterday's news:

And tonight's:

And as promised, but a day late, our Warriors in the Pros weekly wrap up:

Oakland Raiders re-sign Samson Satele. And how he might be battling for the starting center spot in this post practice video interview with Head Coach Hue Jackson.

Unfortunate news for Jacksonville Jaguar guard Vince Manuwai, who was released earlier this week.
Here's hoping he can get back into shape and with a new team.
Manuwai, a third-round pick who started 105 games in eight seasons, showed up at training camp with a torn tendon in his left ankle and overweight. Considering he was due to make $3.5 million this season, the Jaguars simply couldn’t keep an aging veteran who was out of shape. He also acknowledged having “personal issues.”

New York Jets Warrior Wayne Hunter looks like he'll get the starting nod at right tackle.

And for our Warriors playing up north in the CFL, Solomon Emimian is fresh in the mind of Edmonton Eskimos QB Ricky Ray.
"He's [Elimimian] really hammered it home in my mind that I've got to slide," Ray said Friday, following preparations for tonight's game against the Lions at Commonwealth Stadium. "Last year, I might have tried to pick up a few extra yards. This year, I'm going to go down when I see guys like him coming at me."

He seems to be making his presence felt, as another CFL QB, Buck Pierce left a game early due to a Solly hit.
And here's a nice action shot of Solly sacking another QB.
Solly seems to be everywhere the QB is, as here's one more sack photo courtesy of Andy Clark, Reuters, Calgary Herald; Postmedia News.

His teammate Adam Leonard also has a photo of him getting into the tackling action.
Unfortunately, he might be lost for the season with an ACL injury in the last game.
Chad Owens has had a tough season so far, with a few more fumbles than he'd like. And he hopes to get back in the WR rotation.
The guy remains a game breaker on special teams, capable of going the distance each time a punt or kickoff lands in his hands, but it was as a receiver many believed Owens would thrive

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fall camp, day 2. Pads tomorrow!

Before I forget, here's the Fall Practice schedule courtesy of Stephen Tsai at the Star Advertiser. The next 3 practices are as follows:
Aug 5 — 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Aug 6 — 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Aug 7 — Off
Aug 8 — 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Here's some more recap from opening day of fall practice yesterday as Tsai reports.
After completing several sprints of various distances Thursday, several players yelled: "What's the next test, coach?"

And Jason Kaneshiro reports on Hawaii starting center, Matagisila Lefiti, has waited his turn to get the top job.
"Coming into camp as the No. 1 center I feel responsible for my actions and also for the entire line," Lefiti said. "I just want to be a leader and help anybody out who needs help."

Stephen also blogs on a how Heisman hopeful QB, Bryant Moniz's, new tattoo reminds him how to Finish. There was also a surprise visit by a former 2-sport Warrior.

Here's tonight's news.

And I know this isn't Warrior football news, but CONGRATULATIONS to newly hired Wahine Volleyball assistant, Robyn Ah Mow-Santos. 3 time Olympian and All-American.

Tomorrow: Our Warriors in the Pros (WITP).

Thursday, August 04, 2011

First Practice, Hawaiian Air Field

Fall practice began today on the fields in Manoa. Here's the official press release from the UH football dept.
Head coach Greg McMackin began his fourth fall training camp with tremendous anticipation. A total of 103 players took the field for the first day of camp, many of whom participated in voluntary workouts during the summer.

They're also getting into the social media venue and have video from practice here.

Stephen Tsai follows the Warriors as they check into their "dorm" for the next few weeks, aka the althetic department dance studios.
Living arrangements are separated by class. The sophomores and juniors are in one room. The seniors and freshmen are in the other room....

Also the NEW field at Aloha Stadium has been paid for and sponsored (and thus named) Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
Terms of the multi-year deal were not announced but are expected to be in the range of five years for $2.5 million, people familiar with past discussions have said.

Season tickets are a bit behind in sales this year, but UH is hoping for a late rush of sales.
Through Wednesday, UH said it has sold 19,902 season tickets, 1,088 short of last year's total.

In other good news, we got some votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll with 8, and a #39 ranking. As for our opponents this year, BYU is "ranked" at #43 and Nevada at #50.

And here's video from tonight's news:

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Fall practice begins tomorrow, WITP

Sorry to have been away for so long. I'll try to uphold the honor and awesomeness of this blog that Tombo Ahi has provided you. He is a busy Ahi and I hope he will make his return soon.
Till then, I will do my best for you the fans.
And now with the news...

Fall practice starts tomorrow at Cooke/Ching field and Stephen Tsai from the Star Advertiser breaks down each position player by player.

He also reports on how coaches are up to speed with the latest and greatest technology to teach their players.

Dave Reardon columns now Offensive coordinator, Nick Rolovich, and his relationship with Hawai'i, from player to coach.
“I’d have been very happy. And I would’ve believed it. I knew I couldn’t leave football and I had developed a love for Hawaii.”

In yesterday's column, Ferd Lewis notes on how Timmy Chang's NCAA passing records might be threatened by SIX year player, Case Keenum, from the University of Houston.

As for our Warriors in the Pros...
Unfortunate news for Tennessee Titan, Ryan Mouton, who injured his Achilles tendon and is out for the season.
Quick story on new Green Bay Packer, Alex Green, and the shortened fall camp and learning curve as a rookie.
Green is among a handful of rookies who will have an opportunity to make an impact on the defending Super Bowl champs if they can quickly acclimate themselves to the NFL game.

Here's some news on his signing as well a short vid of him called "The Journey"
Greg Salas signed a contract with his St Louis Rams team last week.

Kealoha Pilares also signed a deal with the Carolina Panthers.

And here's tonight's local news:

LOTS of news!

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