Hawaii Preview

In their third straight bowl appearance in as many years, the Sun Devils are prepared to meet a high flying Hawaii Warriors team. Head coach Dirk Koetter will close out his six year run on Sunday as will most of his assistants. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl may also mark the last time fans see All-American tight end Zach Miller don the maroon and gold should he declare for the NFL draft next month.

2006 Record: 10-3
Head Coach: June Jones

Last Game: The Warriors fell to the Oregon State Beavers at home, 35-32.

*Projected Starters

QB Colt Brennan, Jr.
RB Nate Ilaoa, Sr.
WR Davone Bess, So.
WR Ian Sample, Sr.
WR Jason Rivers, Sr.
WR Ryan Grice-Mullen, So.
LT Tala Esera, Sr.
LG Hercules Satele, Jr.
C Samson Satele, Sr.
RG John Estes, Fr.
RT Dane Uperesa, Sr.

Hawaii's potent offense, a national statistical leader in nearly every major category, is led by quarterback Colt Brennan. The junior has begun to accrue numerous accolades and is only one touchdown pass shy of David Klingler's NCAA single-season mark of 54. Brennan is averaging 383.8 yards through the air. His accuracy is also tops in the nation, completing 72.1 percent of his passes. Brennan's other eye-popping numbers include a near 5-1 touchdown to interception ratio, 410 yard total offense average per game, and 4,990 passing yards this season.

The ASU secondary may have their hands full in containing a talented receiving group for the Warriors. Sophomore Davone Bess is capable of making big plays anytime he touches the ball. Bess leads the team in receptions with 91 and has scored 14 touchdowns this season. Ryan Grice-Mullen, also a sophomore, teamed with Bess to give Hawaii two 1,000 yard receivers last year but has been bothered by a groin injury this season. Grice-Mullen has appeared in nine games and has as many touchdowns. Senior Ross Dickerson has come in and given the offense seven more touchdowns. Jason Rivers has performed consistently alongside Bess with a 70 yard average per game and eight scores. Senior Ian Sample has caught 53 passes for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Running back Nate Ilaoa is Hawaii's leading scorer. The senior has 13 touchdowns on the ground and another 5 scores through the air. Ilaoa has netted 893 yards on 113 carries. The dual-threat Ilaoa is averaging 74.4 rushing yards and just over 65 receiving yards per game. Reagan Mauia, the Warriors' big 296 lb. fullback/running back, has carried the ball 29 times for 144 yards and 2 scores.

*Projected Starters

DE Melila Purcell, Sr.
NT Michael Lafaele, Jr.
DE Ikaika Alama-Francis, Sr.
WLB Micah Lau, Jr.
BLB Solomon Elimimian, So.
MLB Adam Leonard, So.
SLB Tyson Kafentzis, So.
SS Leonard Peters, Sr.
FS Jacob Patek, Jr.
CB Gerard Lewis, Jr.
CB Myron Newberry, Jr.

Defensive Coordinator Jerry Glanville's 3-4 defensive front is anchored by Ikaika Alama-Francis. nine of the senior's 36 tackles were for a loss this season. Opposite Alama-Francis at the other end spot, Melila Purcell's 7.5 sacks lead the team while the senior has also forced four fumbles. Nose tackle Michael Lafaele has notched 29 tackles and sacks in the interior. Senior Lawrence Wilson backs up Lafaele and has played in all 13 games this year.

A pair of sophomores lead the Rainbow linebackers. In the middle, Adam Leonard is the team leader in tackles and pass break ups with 108 and eight, respectively. Solomon Elimimian has 81 stops. Micah Lau and Tyson Kafentzis have combined for 39 stops on the outside. Freshman Blaze Soares will also get some snaps off the bench as a reserve.

The Hawaii secondary has allowed an average of just over 245 yards per game, ranking 109th nationally. Strong safety Leonard Peters has collected 68 stops and three interceptions. Free safety Jacob Patek has also chipped in a solid 50 tackles and one interception. Juniors Myron Newberry and Gerard Lewis have a combined 61 tackles, six pass break ups, and five interceptions at the two corner spots.


P Kurt Milne, Sr.
PK Dan Kelly, So.
KOR Ross Dickerson, Sr.
PR Myron Newberry, Jr.
Davone Bess, So.

After hitting a season best 52-yard field goal against Purdue, kicker Dan Kelly had a rough follow up against Oregon State by missing two of his three attempts. Kelly's numbers for the season are still respectable, however, with 11 of his 14 attempts made. With such an explosive offense, Hawaii's punter, Kurt Milne, does not see the field nearly as much as his peers around the nation do. Three of Milne's 16 punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line while his longest punt of the season went for 52 yards.

Wide receiver Davone Bess has recently begun to showcase his skills in the return game as well. The sophomore has returned four punts for a 17.2 yard average. Cornerback Myron Newberry has handled a bulk of the punt return duties this season. Newberry only has a 5.9 yard average on 22 returns. Kick returner Ross Dickerson already has a 100-yard return for a score. The senior is averaging 26.2 yards per kick return this year.

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