O/NSO - Hawaii preview

With a feisty University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football team coming to the mainland, the fourth-ranked University Southern California Trojans will attempt to turn the Coliseum into their own island paradise and place a lei of defeat around the necks of the Rainbow Warriors this Saturday with a rare 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Obvious – With a feisty University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football team coming to the mainland, the fourth-ranked University Southern California Trojans will attempt to turn the Coliseum into their own island paradise and place a lei of defeat around the necks of the Rainbow Warriors this Saturday with a rare 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Not So Obvious – If the 21-point favorite Trojans (2-0) think the Rainbow Warriors (1-0) are coming for a gridiron luau, consider the words of injured starting receiver Nate Ilaoa, who will not make the trip to the mainland due to a knee injury. "After seeing what BYU did (to the Trojans), I think we'll be fine with the fellas we have," Iloa said.

The Obvious – The Trojans are the pick of a number of publications and the Pac-10 media win the conference, although some raised some brows after last week's BYU struggle.

The Not So Obvious – Head Coach June Jones, whose program has completely turned around after going 0-12 in 1998, is the pick of many of these same publications to win the Western Athletic Conference. Saturday's game could have a big impact on the perception of the WAC. A Rainbow Warrior victory would further erode the perception of this year's Pac-10.

The Obvious – Although they wouldn't admit it for public consumption, it appeared last week that BYU showed some early Coliseum intimidation when they fell behind 21-0, as the Trojan defense brought the heat and the large turnout brought the noise, fast and furious.

The Not So Obvious – While Hawaii players are claiming they wont be uptight playing in the Coliseum, don't count Hawaii Couch June Jones as one of them. This week Jones, who played and has coached in the Coliseum before, commented, "It is really an awesome facility to a play a football game."

The Obvious – After two games, all Trojan eyes will be looking at Troy's offensive line that has failed to make much of a dent in the rushing department against two different style defenses.

The Not So Obvious – June Jones' Rainbow Warrior defense may be even more physical than the tough BYU defenders as the islanders return seven starters from last year's 10-4 club that finished second in the WAC at 7-1.

The Obvious - The Trojan offensive line did not get much work as a unit during summer camp due to early injuries to tackle Jacob Rogers, who again has not practiced much this week, Lenny Vandermade, and center Norm Katnik.

The Not So Obvious – The Rainbow Warriors will challenge the veteran USC offensive line with two of the best defenders in the WAC in defensive linemen Isaac Sopoaga (6-3, 315, Sr.), a possible high NFL pick, and Travis LaBoy (6-4, 249, Sr.), who may not play due to a groin injury.

The Obvious – Norm Chow says it isn't just one thing that is causing a power outage in the rushing game, but you can bet that Trojan offensive line coach Tim Davis was one angry individual this week in practice and almost certainly has challenged his unit to prove themselves against the Rainbow Warrior defensive line on Saturday.

The Not So Obvious – Hawaii Coach June Jones calls his defensive line "the best the school has ever had." Even so, if the Trojans fail to mount a rushing game on Saturday, the not so obvious may become the obvious.

The Obvious – Coliseum fans will be treated to quite an passing show between the Trojans' sophomore quarterback Matt Leinart and Hawaii's heralded Timmy Chang (6-2, 190), whose coach, June Jones, says is Heisman material.

The Not So Obvious – Chang, who last year passed for 4,474 and 25 touchdowns, is a true Hawaiian schoolboy legend . Although he did not play in the Rainbow Warriors' 40-17 trouncing over mighty Appalachian State because of an academic requirement, Jones feels Chang's talents are unlimited.

The Obvious – Timmy Chang has had the opportunity to run the Rainbow Warriors' vaunted run and shoot offense against what many feel may be best defense in the WAC.

The Not So Obvious – Of his defense, Chang says, "Not only are they tough, they know all our plays. They study (the offense) just as much as we study ourselves. If we can execute against these guys, we have an excellent chance of executing against people who don't really have a lot of time to study us."

The Obvious – At 6-5, Trojan All-America wide receiver candidate Trojans Mike Williams figures to be a severe challenge for the Hawaii secondary.

The Not So Obvious – UH Coach June Jones knows the difficulty in trying to stop a large target like Williams, who uses his body to shield defenders. Jones said, "There aren't any 6-5 cornerbacks in college football."

The Obvious – With only three catches against BYU, the Trojans might be looking to senior Keary Colbert to ease the burden on Williams, especially since UH figures to hound No.1 all over the field.

The Not So Obvious – UH corner Abraham Elimimian paid high tribute to Colbert this week when he said, "I think Colbert worries me more than Mike Williams. He's faster. He's a four-year starter. He's got excellent hands. He doesn't drop any balls. He's probably their best overall receiver." Sounds like Elimimian thinks that "He" da man.

The Obvious – The run and shoot offense directed by Chang is just the type of challenge that Trojan Coach Pete Carroll loves……. and fears.

The Not So Obvious – One of the keys to Saturday's game will be the constant rotation and condition of the Trojan pass rush, especially supersubs Frostee Rucker and LeJuan Ramsey, against Chang, who figures to put the ball in the air over 50 times.

The Obvious – The key on Saturday will be making Cheng have a long field in which to navigate, and this Trojan strategy falls on offense and the leg of punter Tom Malone, Troy's Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Not So Obvious – Malone is averaging 52 yards a punt (long of 59) and five of his punts last week against BYU went inside the 20-yard line. "The Leg" is currently No. 2 nationally and tops in the Pac-10.

The Obvious – Under the fire and brimstone of defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, the Trojans' Wild Bunch has held up its reputation as perhaps the nation's finest after two defensive victories over two completely different offensive lines and schemes.

The Not So Obvious – Orgeron's defensive line will be probed by Hawaii offensive line Coach Mike Cavanaugh, who has sent a half dozen linemen to the NFL since joining June Jones in 1999. The latest potential talent to perhaps play on Sunday is guard Uriah Moenoa (6-3, 327, Jr.).

The Obvious – Hawaii will travel to Southern California on Thursday to prepare for the big change in time zones. When the game kicks off at 1 p.m., it will be 10:00 a.m. in Honolulu.

The Not So Obvious – After Saturday's game, Hawaii will bus to Ontario where they will work out in preparation for their Sept. 19th game at UNLV. They will return to Hawaii on Sept. 20th.

The Obvious – Norm Chow, the Trojans offensive coordinator, is considered one of the games leading experts on football air travel.

The Not So Obvious – Chow's knowledge of air travel must run in the family as his brother, Mike, is scheduled to be the pilot of the Hawaii Rainbow Warrior chapter flight into Burbank.

The Obvious – Legendary Hawaiian prep coach Cal Lee, who earned his fame at St. Louis School, is now the Rainbow Warrior linebackers coach.

The Not So Obvious – Lee led St. Louis to 18 Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) titles, 14 Prep Bowl championships, and the inaugural 1999 state crown. He finished his prep career with a 241-32-5 record and a 55-game win streak from 1985-1990.

The Obvious – This is not the first time that USC and Hawaii have met recently in athletic competition.

The Not So Obvious – The No. 1 ranked USC volleyball team swept No. 2 Hawaii recently for the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic on the islands.

The Obvious - The Trojans have gotten some good talent over the years from the islands, especially Punahou School, a prestigious private school not too far from Waikiki.

The Not So Obvious – Trojan offensive coordinator Norm Chow attended Punahou School as did former Trojan fullback Mosi Tatupu, whose son, Lofa, is the Trojans' starting middle linebacker, and let's not forget "H-back" John Kamana (1980-83).

The Obvious – The last time the Trojans were in Hawaii, the Trojans administered a 62-7 Rainbow Warrior spanking in 1999 at Aloha Stadium.

The Not So Obvious – And for those that like to make vacation plans before the Pleasant Hawaiian Holiday rush, the Trojans will return to Honolulu in 2005 for a September 3rd opener.

The Obvious – Pete Carroll would like another 75,000 fans this Saturday, and it will be intriguing to see the size of the crowd.

The Not So Obvious – For those Trojan fans who are sick of paying parking lot prices that are more than the ticket to the game, here's a hint, my friends. Park in the Trojans' parking structure off Jefferson near Broadway for $15, and let the Trojan transport buses drop you off near the KFC on Figueroa. It is a reasonable charge and the only negative is after the game when everybody descends like locus to board the buses to return to the structure.

The Obvious – One of the big fears of many recruits in Southern California is that the Trojans will not have enough "rides" this year, thus leaving many prep stars to pick other schools to continue their gridiron dreams.

The Not So Obvious – Hawaii starting right tackle Brandon Eaton is one of those players that once dreamed of being a Trojan. Eaton said, "I really wanted to go to SC when I was young. It was just the persona of the team and the attitude they had."

The Obvious – One of the co-captains for UH is Southern California native Jeremiah Cockheran, who is not only aware of the Trojan mystique, but the music of Art Bartner's band.

The Not So Obvious – Not everybody enjoys the tunes of the Spirit of Troy, especially Cockheran who rants, "I am tired of that song (Fight On). They play that song every five minutes. It gets annoying."

The Obvious – For the past three years, knowledgeable football people have watched the Trojan program go from a floundering memory to a power revival.

The Not So Obvious – Former Cal Coach Tom Holmoe recently evaluated the Trojans and said, "When Paul Hackett was here (USC), there were holes in his recruiting because USC lost some of their best local athletes to the Big Ten and Big 12. But in his last year, he started to turn it around and now, three years later, the Trojans are getting the top 10 or 12 players in the city to stay here and play – and boy can they play."

The Obvious – The Trojans lose corner Kevin Arbet for the season due to another unfortunate stress fracture in his right foot.

The Not So Obvious – In terms of depth, Arbet's loss will be felt, but in terms of talent, Trojan fans will really enjoy seeing the punishing tackles by new starter Will Poole from St. Albans, New York,, who really brings the "wood".

The Obvious – Strong safety Darenll Bing is questionable for Saturday's game against UH with his high ankle sprain..

The Not So Obvious – If Bing can't go, sophomore Mike Ross will get the nod. During last spring, Ross, who wears No.43 as a tribute to Troy Polamalu, worked long and hard after practice with Troy working on his footwork and assignments. The Florida native is ready and is quite a hitter for is size (6-0, 175).

The Obvious – Saturday's game against Hawaii will be shown live on Fox Sports Net.

The Not So Obvious – Trojan fans might want to keep track of the other Pac-10 teams on the tube beginning Thursday night with Cal at Utah at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN. Saturday's TV action will include Illinois at UCLA (5 p.m., ABC) and a Pac-10 opener featuring Oregon at Arizona (7 p.m., TBS).

The Obvious – While the 2003 USC Trojans receive massive exposure each week on television, it didn't hurt the Trojan brand name to see former stars like Keyshawn Johnson and Brian Kelly perform well on the Monday Night Football game between Tampa Bay and Philly.

The Not So Obvious – In the rapid player video introductions, Kelly said he was from "USC" while Key said he was from the "University of Southern California".

The Obvious – It figures that there will be bunch of blue-chippers at Saturday's game and watching on television as the Trojans continue to sell their program to the finest of the prep stars nationwide.

The Not So Obvious – In the Honolulu Advertiser, Hawaii left corner Kelvin Millhouse remembered what it was like growing up in the LA area with USC football. Millhouse recalled, "I would go to the game with my parents. It was kind of like a Saturday thing. I would always picture myself in an SC uniform."

The Obvious – A master of the run and shoot offense of June Jones, UH quarterback Timmy Chang threw for 4,474 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

The Not So Obvious – With Chang, a potential Jason Gesser clone, and slingin' Matt Berry from BYU testing the Trojans pass defense, Troy certainly is getting well prepared for the pass-happy Pac-10 conference.

The Obvious – With Saturday's game being televised to many areas of the country, it will give pro scouts another chance to watch Trojan receiver Mike Williams in action.

The Not So Obvious – The Orange County Register's Todd Harmonson had a nice piece this week on Mike Williams' thoughts about going to the NFL early. Trojan fans will be relieved to hear Williams' logic against testing the NFL rules. Williams said, "By the time you get a (court) verdict, you'll probably be three years removed anyway. So really, it'll be a bunch of B.S. Right now I have a plan of being here until I graduate because I love my teammates. I like being at SC."

The Obvious – Trojan fans may get a chance to see 6-5 linebacker Dallas Sartz play some safety due to some depth issues in the secondary.

The Not So Obvious – As free safety at Granite Bay (Calif.) High, Sartz had 103 tackles (4 for loses), 2 interceptions, and 7 deflections.

The Obvious – Jack in the Box continues to run that commercial that shows a mock NFL draft and the Raiders select "Antenna Ball."

The Not So Obvious – As the Jack in the Box little icon is shown up close with a Raiders' helmet and eye patch, he is inspected by a Raider official, who appears to former Trojan guard Allan Graf, father of last year's offensive guard Derek.

The Obvious – Hawaii Coach June Jones expects a nice turnout of Hawaii fans that live here in the Southern California area.

The Not So Obvious – Trojan fans also are hoping for some real "Hawaiian Honeys" in the song leader department if you get the picture.

The Obvious – The Trojan football office has released the latest two-deep chart, and it is interesting to see what changes have been made since summer camp.

The Not So Obvious – One jump on the depth chart is true freshman defensive end Chris Barrett, who is now listed behind starter Kenechi Udeze. Quite a move by a youngster who almost left the team due to the usual shock that many freshman have in the expectations and intensity of a high-powered Division 1 program like USC.

The Obvious – The last time that Hawaii played in the Coliseum was 1930 and the Rainbow Warriors were overwhelmed 52-0 by the Trojans before 17,500 fans.

The Not So Obvious – The Trojans were coached that season by the great Howard Jones and actually defeated UCLA that same year by the same 52-0 score to OPEN the season. Imagine opening the season with the Bruins. The Trojans also had a big win that year over Denver 33-13.

The Obvious – Temperature in Los Angeles for Saturday's game is being predicted for 88 degrees and sunny. In other words, by kickoff it figures the Coliseum will feel like Honolulu minus the humidity.

The Not So Obvious – The Trojans will attempt to turn up the heat early against Hawaii and turn the Coliseum's symbolic torch into their own version of Diamond Head. With a bye following Saturday's game, the Trojans could be 3-0 and in perfect position to climb higher in the polls before they travel to Cal in their Pac-10 opener on Sept. 27, a scenario that would leave Trojans fans saying, "Mahalo".

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