Fresh from an upset of nationally-ranked Fresno State and an important win over Louisiana Tech, Hawai'i is now ready to take on Boise State Friday night. The game very well could hinge on the matchup pitting the Bronco offensive line against the strong front seven of Hawai'i.
first six games of the season, Hawai'i ranks 97th
in scoring defense, allowing 30.2 points per game.However, they haven't faced an offensive line
as young and inexperienced as BoiseState, and they
haven't faced a line so unable to consistently open holes for its running game.
Hawai'i's front seven
is the strength of its defense and they will look to exploit the young line of
the Broncos Friday night when the teams tangle on ESPN.
linebacker Solomon Elimimian (6-0, 225), the Western Athletic Conference
preseason defensive player of the year, will lead the charge Friday night for
the Rainbow Warriors.Elimimian has 356
career tackles, just 10 shy of tying the Hawai'i school record
set by Levi Stanley from 1969-1972.Elimimian is on the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, signifying the
country's top defensive player.This
season, Elimimian has a team-leading 43 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three
pass breakups.Brashton Satele (6-1,
255, Jr.) is the middle backer while Adam Leonard (6-0, 235, Sr.) completes the
trio.Satele has 35 stops so far along
with five tackles for loss.
(6-3,265, Sr.) and John Fonoti (6-2, 255, Jr.) anchor the ends for Hawai'i. Veijune has 37
tackles, five tackles for loss and three pass breakups.Keala Watson (6-3, 320, Sr.) and Joshua Leonard (6-3, 305, Sr.) are the men in the
middle of the Warrior line.
This is the same
talented, tenacious defense that effectively shut down the high-powered BoiseState offense to
steal the WAC title from the Broncos last year.That was when BoiseState could run the
ball with the best in the country.The
conclusion from the first five games this season is they can not—they rank 60th
in the nation or exactly average in the running department.That will allow Elimimian, Satele, Veijune
and others to tee off on Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore, taking away the one
strength that BoiseState possesses.
matchup more than any other will determine the outcome of Friday's
showdown.The great Boise State
offensive lines of the past have not only opened gaping holes for running backs
like Brock Forsey, Lee Marks and yes, Ian Johnson, but they were known for then
stampeding downfield to knock another defender to the turf.The current Bronco offensive line could learn
much from watching old DVD's of their
predecessors in action.
Unless the group
can show a whole lot of improvement from even one week ago, the emotional,
aggressive Hawai'i front seven will be spending an awful lot
of time in the BoiseState backfield
Kickoff is set
for Friday night in