Previewing The Hawai'i Warriors

Boise State visits one of the toughest places to win at in college football--Honolulu. In this article, we look at the 2009 Hawai'i team, which is down but not out.

The time has come for the Broncos to pack their bags and head over to the islands where the Hawaii Warriors await another epic rivalry battle between the two schools. 

The Broncos are 7-3 all time against the Warriors, with the last meeting being a 27-7 victory in 2008.  However, the Broncos have lost their last two games played in Hawaii (2007 regular season and 2007 Hawaii Bowl vs. East Carolina )

Hawaii is currently sitting at the bottom of the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 0-3 conference record (2-4 overall) but their record does not reflect their level of talent and experienced coaching staff.  They are led by second-year Head Coach Greg McMackin who is 9-11 overall with the Warriors after his stint as Defensive Coordinator with six different colleges and the Seattle Seahawks.

  McMackin took Seattle 's defense from 30th to eighth in the NFL and coached seven All-Pro players, including Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and The Rock.  He has also won two Coach of the Year awards while at Oregon Tech, been named the Big 12 top recruiter, and one of the nation's top coaches while at Texas Tech. 

 His Miami Hurricane defense was #1 overall in the nation, and both of Hawaii 's WAC Championships, including the biggest single-season turnaround in NCAA football history, came with McMackin serving as Defensive Coordinator.  In his first season as head coach of the Warriors, he led the team to a 5-3 WAC record, finishing second in the conference and earning an appearance in the 2008 Hawaii Bowl. 

The Warriors were the third ever non- BCS team to play in a BCS Bowl, following in the footsteps of Utah and Boise State .  They have been crowned WAC Champions three times, with the latest coming in 2007 over Boise State .  The Warriors and Broncos have been rivals since Boise State joined the WAC in 2001, with the Broncos winning each hard-fought conference meeting up until 2007.  While typically competing as two of the top teams in the WAC, the rivalry between Hawaii and Boise State will only continue to grow in the years to come. 

Hawaii Players to Watch:

  • Sophomore quarterback Bryant Moniz.  The Fresno City College transfer will be starting his third ever game as a Hawaii Warrior, replacing starting QB Greg Alexander who is out for the season with a left knee injury.  Moniz has completed 60 of 106 passing attempts totaling 788 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions with a pass rating of 122.7.
  • Senior Center , John Estes.  The two-time All-WAC First Team Center is amongst the best in the nation.  Estes is on the Rimington and Lombardi Award watch lists, as well as rated in the top five centers by several draft rankings and ranked in the top ten non- BCS senior prospects. 
  • The Hawaii passing game.  The Warriors are known for their massive passing attack and will look to shred the Broncos through the air. 

 

The top rusher this season is Leon Wright-Jackson, who has gained 149 yards on the season and sports a 5.7 average.  Greg Salas, with 42 catches for 791 yards (18.8 avg.) and five touchdowns, is one of the top receivers in the country.  Kealoha Pilares (41 receptions for 369 yards and one TD) will also challenge the Bronco secondary.

Blaze Soares and Spencer Smith lead the defense with 48 tackles each while R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane has 39.  Corey Paredes leads the Rainbow Warriors with three sacks while Mana Silva has three interceptions.

Hawaii 's Gem State Connection:

  • Head Coach Greg McMackin was the defensive Coordinator at the University of Idaho from 1976-1978.

 

Warriors Stadium Info:

  • Aloha Stadium, located west of Honolulu , was intended as a replacement of Honolulu Stadium and currently seats 50,000 people.  The stadium was originally built 34 years ago, hosting its first game to Texas A&M on Sept. 13, 1975 .  In 2008, the state of Hawaii approved a 185 million dollar refurbish of the stadium.  Aloha Stadium is home of the NFL Pro Bowl, NCAA Hula Bowl and Hawaii Bowl and it's playing grounds are surfaced with FieldTurf.  

Hawaii Coach Greg McMackin Quotes:

(Courtesy of www.hawaiiathletics.com)

 

On losing four straight games…

  • It's tough. In our business, you don't want to lose one straight. It's frustrating, but the thing is, you've got to move on. The players' efforts were very good throughout the game. As a team, we have some problems that we have to solve.  We have to finish on offense; we had two dropped balls in the end zone. On defense, we have to start making plays.
  •  There are some things we have to get consistent with. I'm going to focus on the positives and as for the negatives; we've got to improve on. We really focused on red zones last week on both sides of the ball and we need to focus more. We really focused on third down, especially defensively. 

On defensive miscues…

  • Guys don't screw up because they're stupid. They know what they're doing. It comes from the heart. No one goes out there and tries to mess up. Because we are so new, next year we'll be able to open it up a little more. All the injured guys and redshirt guys are going to be back. We need to do a sound job of coaching right now. That's what happens, especially when you're behind. When you're ahead, it's easier to keep your discipline. Defense is completely about being disciplined and then going to help your buddy to make a play. We have to do a better job of coaching that.
  •  This is the seventh game and we're still working at it. Sometimes you get different players and they get their chance.… I know, in my heart, guys don't make mistakes and go out there to play their own game. I know my players, I love my players. They're great human beings and great kids. They're just trying to make plays, but they're not doing it at the right point in time. They're guessing. We need to be more disciplined.

 

On this week's opponent, Boise State…

  • They have an excellent coaching staff. I've looked at a lot of their film, they're very well coached. You don't see a lot of the guys going into the pros, but they very well coached. The players play very hard. They have a system that they believe in. I think the players really believe in the program. Because of the bowl games, they do a good job of recruiting; it's getting to be more national. I think they do a great job. I think they have excellent players and are a really good football team.

 

On keys to success this week…

  • We've got to move the football. We've got to get some turnovers to get the offense on the football field…we've got to move the ball and finish. We've got to get in the end zone and defensively we've got to stop somebody. The kicking team has to keep the field position. The game hasn't changed. To beat Boise State , they're really a sound football team; we have to play a sound football game.

 

 

Hawaii 2009 Season Results (before Boise State ):

 

September 5

Central Arkansas 

W 25-20

1-0 (0-0)

September 12

at Washington State 

W 38-20

2-0 (0-0)

September 19

at UNLV 

L 34-33

2-1 (0-0)

September 30

at Louisiana Tech 

L 27-6

2-2 (0-1)

October 10

Fresno State 

L 42-17

2-3 (0-2)

October 17

at Idaho 

L 35-23

2-4 (0-3)

 

 

Hawaii 2009 Remaining Schedule (after Boise State ):

 

October 31

at Nevada 

4:05 PM  ET  

November 7

Utah State 

10:05 PM  ET  

November 14

New Mexico State 

10:05 PM  ET  

November 21

at San Jose State 

8:00 PM  ET  

November 28

Navy 

10:30 PM  ET  

December 5

Wisconsin 

TBA  

 

 

Hawaii 2009 Combined Team Stats:

 

RECORD: 

OVERALL 

HOME 

AWAY 

NEUTRAL 

ALL GAMES 

(2-4) 

(1-1) 

(1-3) 

(0-0) 

CONFERENCE 

(0-3) 

(0-1) 

(0-2) 

(0-0) 

NON-CONFERENCE 

(2-1) 

(1-0) 

(1-1) 

(0-0) 

 

TEAM STATISTICS 

UH 

OPP 

FIRST DOWNS 

124 

136 

   Rushing 

26 

69 

   Passing 

91 

61 

   Penalty 

RUSHING YARDAGE 

431 

1203 

   Rushing Attempts 

127 

255 

   Average Per Rush 

3.4 

4.7 

   Average Per Game 

71.8 

200.5 

   TD's Rushing 

17 

PASSING YARDAGE 

2228 

1231 

   Comp-Att-Int 

159-259-7 

109-168-5 

   Average Per Pass 

8.6 

7.3 

   Average Per Catch 

14.0 

11.3 

   Average Per Game 

371.3 

205.2 

   TD's Passing 

12 

TOTAL OFFENSE 

2659 

2434 

   Average Per Play 

6.9 

5.8 

   Average Per Game 

443.2 

405.7 

KICK RETURNS: #-Yards 

32-726 

23-432 

PUNT RETURNS: #-Yards 

15-128 

2-8 

INT RETURNS: #-Yards 

5-22 

7-3 

FUMBLES-LOST 

17-10 

14-8 

PENALTIES-Yards 

33-260 

30-259 

PUNTS-AVG 

16-38.2 

21-41.4 

TIME OF POSSESSION/Game 

27:44 

32:16 

3RD-DOWN Conversions 

35/69 

41/79 

4TH-DOWN Conversions 

1/7 

7/9 

 

Score by quarters 

1st 

2nd 

3rd 

4th 

Total 

Hawai'i  

46 

37 

10 

49 

142 

Opponents 

49 

37 

49 

43 

178 

 

 



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