Tide D will have to adjust

It's going to be a game of adjustments for the Alabama Crimson Tide defense. <br><br>They'll have to get used to playing in a time zone four hours apart from standard Central time zone. They'll have to get re-adjusted to playing in the heat. But the most important things that Tide defenders, specifically defensive backs, will have to get used to is the amount of times the Hawaii Warriors will go to the air.

Hawaii quarterbacks have attempted 572 passes in 11 games for 4,238 yards. Sophomore Timmy Chang leads the way with 3,541 yards on 276 completions and 20 touchdowns. The Warrior offense, under the direction of head coach June Jones, have passed the ball more than 50 times in eight games and attempted 60 or more passes in three games.

Also utilized returning kicks, Justin Colbert is an explosive receiver.

"He's (Jones) on the cutting edge of the run and shoot," Tide coach Dennis Franchione said. "Hanging 500 yards in a game is just another day at the office for them. Time of possession is not very meaningful."

With the amount of yards through the air usually comes a great deal of points if the offense is capable of converting when necessary, and Hawaii is definitely able to do that, as they average nearly 38 points per game.

"They're potentially very explosive," Franchione said. "They're very capable. It's disheartening when you go 7-8 minutes to score and then they do it in a minute 20. We'll see somewhere between 50 and 60 passes."

In the run-and-shoot offense, Hawaii will generally line up four wide receivers on any given play. This will put more pressure on the safeties, specifically starters Waine Bacon and Charles Jones.

Warrior Head Coach June Jones has built his reputation around the "run and shoot" offense.

"Our safeties' job is to make sure they don't hit the home run on a regular basis and to tackle them when they catch it," safeties coach Melvin Smith said. "They're not the big receivers we're used to playing, but they are fast, quick guys. It's imperative that we do a good job of keeping them off balance. We can't let them be a play ahead of us. The safeties' job is to not panic."

Smith has already done his share of scouting of the Hawaii offense since the 17-7 loss to Auburn on Saturday. He noted that Jones calls the plays from the sidelines.

"Every down is a passing down for them," Smith said. "They do what they do. It looks like the head coach calls the plays. He plays the game like he's the quarterback and he runs his offense. They really know what they are doing. They take what you give them. They throw the ball deep when they feel like they have it. They run routes off your techniques."

For the defensive backs, it means that they will have a chance to make more tackles, but they must also be accountable for all of the receivers on the field. But with the numerous amount of pass attempts also comes a chance for more interceptions. Bacon and cornerback Charlie Peprah each lead the way with three, while Jones and Gerald Dixon each have two.

Hawaii rarely uses more than one back at a time, and Thero Mitchell is their starter.

"It's a good test when you know they're going to throw the ball every time," Jones said. "You gotta know you can go out there and make plays. By them throwing that much, there will be chances you will have to make a play on the ball."

Although the defensive line probably won't have a chance to make as many tackles since they aren't playing a traditionally run-first team, that doesn't mean that it's going to be a day at the beach.

"It's going to be different," senior defensive tackle Kenny King said. "It's going to tell us if the defensive line is in shape. Doing pass rush is a totally different ball game, and pass rushing for 60 plays will be a big challenge. It takes more out of you to pass rush. It's all quick movement, trying to get off the ball and trying to get a sack."


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