Dawg Blog - Hawai'i

HONOLULU - The game between Washington and Hawai'i is the classic 'everything to gain, nothing to lose' matchup between two teams seemingly going in opposite directions. Problem is, the dichotomy isn't just refering to one program. The Warriors have to win this game to legitimize their BCS bowl run; the Huskies have nothing to lose because they haven't gone bowling since 2002.

Quick Halftime Stats:
First Downs - UW 14, UH 14
Rushes-Yards - UW 30-189, UH 10-94
Passing Yards - UW 51, UH 224
Passes-Att-Comp-Int - UW 10-5-0, UH 26-22-0
Total Offense-Plays - UW 40-240, UH 36-318
Fumbles-Lost - UW 0-0, UH 3-3
Possession Time - UW 15:55, UH 14:05
Third-Down Conversions - UW 0-5, UH 3-5
Fourth-Down Conversions - UW 1-1, UH 0-0
Red Zone Scores-Chances - UW 4-4, UH 3-3
Rushing: Louis Rankin 12-102, Jake Locker 10-61-1, Anthony Russo 1-20, Luke Kravitz 3-3-2
Passing: Jake Locker 5-10-0 for 51 yards
Receiving: Anthony Russo 2-27, Marcel Reece 1-13, Paul Homer 1-10, Louis Rankin 1-1
Tackles: Roy Lewis 6, Darin Harris 4, Nate Williams 4, Mesphin Forrester 3

One Hour before kickoff:
Sorry for the long lag in the blog - just trying to catch up on some Hawai'i sun and fun before going back to work.

It's too bad that the game between UH and Washington isn't the main story here; in fact, as far as the Huskies are concerned, it's a remote second to what might happen in the hours, days and weeks after the game. Will Tyrone Willingham be replaced? Will Tyrone Willingham be able to save his job with a win? Will Tyrone Willingham get his fourth year regardless of a win or loss? If Tyrone Willingham does come back, does that mean he does so with some new coaches on a revamped staff?

Obviously there are lots of questions to be answered, but first there is a game to be played. Honestly, I've heard enough close sources on both sides of the Keep Tyrone or Fire Tyrone argument that either one could be true at this point. Only one thing I'm really sure about; ultimately the decision is going to rest in the hands of University President Mark Emmert.

In other interesting news, the Huskies are wearing their home uniforms tonight. Apparently Hawai'i wanted to wear white, and as the home team they get their choice, so it's home purple for the Dawgs.

Afternoon Practice Notes:
Practice was indoors today, a shorts-and-shells practice. Dan Howell, Jake Locker, Ryan Perkins, Jared Ballman and Chris Stevens were wearing gold Tuesday. No one in red.

Tim Lappano Notes
Lappano said that the key to beating Hawai'i offensively is to manage the clock and run the football. He said that the team knows that it's going to be loud and hostile - a 'hornet's nest' - but he also said that the pressure is going to be just as much on Hawai'i because of what's at stake for them.

He added that the offense absolutely has to cash in opportunities when they have them. "We didn't finish (in the Apple Cup). We left a lot of points out there on the field. If we do that and don't turn the ball over, we'll be fine."

He said that he's really happy that there happens to be a game after the Apple Cup this year. "Thank God, because it's not a good feeling (finishing with a loss)."

If they can get a win on the islands, it would allow the program to get off to a 'great note' with their winter conditioning and off-season workouts.

He had a few things to say about Hawai'i's offense when asked what makes them such a potent attack. He said that their passing is all about timing and precision. "What's impressive is their yards after catch. Their receivers are a lot better than people believe, they are really fast. They have great skills after the catch." He also talked about Colt Brennan and how accurate he is.

Asked why you don't see more run-and-shoot attacks in college football, and he said that you first have to be really good in recruiting to that specific type of offense, especially with the quarterbacks and receivers. Secondly, when a run-and-shoot attack goes on the road, they usually are a little different team, because rhythm and timing can be easily messed with. With that, Hawai'i' is also a big draw and screen team, because of the threat of the downfield game.

Asked about their defense, and Lappano said that their defensive backs are OK and they blitz roughly 35 percent of the time. He knows Hawai'i's Defensive Coordinator, Greg McMackin, when the two coached under Dennis Erickson at San Francisco.

"Their front four are the strength of their defense, and rotate four others in there, so they are good upfront and they play hard."

Asked about who might be a better option in terms of having to possibly play from behind, and Lappano said that Jake would be that best option, but also said that he would have loved to see Carl Bonnell play in a series or two in the Apple Cup and there might be a chance he gets in for a series or two against the Warriors.

The team is going to practice inside the Dempsey indoor for the next three days. "We're going to crank up some space heaters."

With all the coaches changes going on now, Lappano was asked about his interest in becoming a head coach, and he said that he's always wanted to become a head coach. "I wanted to be one 15 years ago."

He wouldn't go any further with the coaching comments, other than to say that he's focused right now on Hawai'i.

Asked about Jake Locker and his inconsistency as a passer, and he said that the biggest thing for Jake in the off-season is going to be his ability to become a more vocal leader and get the young receiving corps to Dempsey all the time to throw. "When they don't want to go, he has to be more forceful, and he knows that. He knows just how important it's going to be."

Lappano added that he feels the the receiver group for 2008 is going to be as athletic and as gifted as any that have come in, but they are going to be incredibly inexperienced.

He also mentioned how the OL has improved, and he expects even more improvement in the offf-season. "They'll continue to get bigger, faster and stronger. They need to stay in shape and not get sloppy. Casey (Bulyca) has done a great job of that, so has Ryan (Tolar)."

As to the young group of running backs coming back, all they need to do is lock themselves in the weight room. "All they have to do is work hard," Lappano said. "They are a good group."

One of the biggest keys heading into the off-season offensively is trying to find consistent play out of the tight ends. "We have to get great play out of that position."

Quick Willingham and Locker notes:
Willingham's press conference Monday was mostly about Hawai'i and what Washington has to do to stop the potent Warrior attack, led by Heisman Trophy Candidate Colt Brennan.

Willingham said that, with the perception of the WAC, coupled with Hawai'i's location, Brennan probably suffers a little bit from 'east coast bias'. "It doesn't lend himself to being a household name," Willingham said.

He added that their 'run and shoot' attack is going to be a lot different than the other pass-heavy programs they've played this year - namely Arizona and Washington State. "You know they are going to be a pass-happy attack," he said. "The other teams think about the running game, but these guys are always thinking pass." He added that if you look at the yards per carry for Hawai'i's top-two running backs (Kealoha Pilares and Leon Wright-Jackson), they have a good average, so the 'element of surprise' works well for them.

He talked about the big three receivers for Hawai'i - and said that one (Jason Rivers) is being talked about as a possible high NFL draft pick, and the other two (Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen) are guys that specialize in YAC. "They take a five-yard pass and turn it into a 50-yard pass," he said. "Combined, those two just might average around 200 yards per game after the catch."

Asked about playing spoiler Saturday, and he said that he's played all different types of roles, but you definitely want to be playing these types of games at this time of year. "I like every role, and every role offers up a different opportunity."

Asked about injuries, and he said that they came away from the Apple Cup pretty healthy. Mason Foster broke his nose during the game, but went back in later. Cody Ellis (foot), D'Andre Goodwin (grogginess) and Wilson Afoa all came out at some point, but eventually went back in.

Asked about Jordan Murchison or Donald Butler returning, and he seemed to think that their injuries could hold them out of action, but still wanted to see what they do in practice this week to make sure.

Asked about the distractions going to Hawai'i can bring, especially for those that have never been on a trip of that magnitude before, and Willingham said that the leadership on the team would 'get to our guys' and make sure they are focused for this as a business trip. The Huskies will stay Sunday, to allow the team to have a day to relax and 'see the sights', but there are no planned team tours scheduled at this time.

Asked about Hawai'i's defense, and Willingham said the beauty to the Warriors' philosophy is that their offense is their first line of defense. "It's like running up a treadmill all the time." Because they can score so quickly, and in bunches, it always seems to force the opponent into a game of playing catch-up, which means passing. And since Hawai'i plays against a phenomenal passing attack all the time, 'they are playing the game that they want to play'.

As for Locker, he's really looking forward to going to Hawai'i. He's never been to the islands before. "It's going to be a good experience for us."

He added that, because of the AC loss, the team is really focused on trying to send the seniors out the right way.

Asked about Colt Brennan, and Jake said that he has a lot of respect for Colt and what he's done. "He's very confident and a very accurate passer. I wish him the best of luck."

Asked about getting that first lick in against WSU after coming off injury, and he said that it 'felt good'. "I missed it," he added. "It's part of the game that I love and it was good to experience it again."

Asked about the 90 rushing yards he needs to get to 1000 yards total for the season, and he said that if it helps the team win, he's all for trying to get those yards.

He said that from what he's seen, Hawai'i's defense is very physical and aggressive, and they are going to have to match that right from the beginning. "That's going to be one of the keys to the game."

Pepsi Players/Scout Team Players of the Game Announced
Here are the UW players named Pepsi and Scout team Players of the Game for their efforts in a 42-35 Apple Cup loss:
Offense - Jake Locker
Defense - E.J. Savannah
Special Teams - Louis Rankin

Here are the Scout Team Players of the Week:
Offense - Charles Hawkins
Defense - T.J. Poe
Special Teams - Cort Dennison

Hawai'i's two-deeps
Here is Hawai'i's two-deeps, announced Monday afternoon.

Z -   2 C.J. Hawthorne 5-11 168 Sr.
     89 Malcolm Lane 6-2 184 So.
Y -   1 Ryan Grice-Mullen 5-11 180 Jr.
     85 Aaron Bain 5-9 190 Jr.
RT - 78 Keoni Steinhoff 6-3 282 Jr.
     63 Brysen Ginlack 6-2 290 Fr.
RG - 73 Larry Sauafea 6-2 294 Sr.
     55 John Estes 6-2 292 So.
C -  55 John Estes 6-2 292 So.
     51 Lafu Tuioti-Mariner 6-0 285 Jr.
LG - 65 Hercules Satele 6-2 293 Sr.
     73 Larry Sauafea 6-2 294 Sr.
LT - 62 Keith AhSoon 6-1 315 Jr.
     50 Laupepa Letuli 6-3 290 So.
QB - 15 Colt Brennan 6-3 201 Sr.
      6 Tyler Graunke 6-0 185 Jr.
RB - 48 David Farmer 6-1 224 Jr.
OR   21 Kealoha Pilares 5-11 190 Fr.
OR    4 Leon Wright-Jackson 6-1 211 So.
H -   7 Davone Bess 5-10 195 Jr.
      5 Michael Washington 5-7 173 Jr.
X -  84 Jason Rivers 6-2 6-2 189 Sr.
     36 Greg Salas 6-2 196 Fr.

DE - 54 Amani Purcell 6-4 277 Sr.
     94 David Veikune 6-3 252 Jr.
DT - 96 Fale Laeli 6-1 292 Jr.
     93 Keala Watson 6-3 300 Jr.
DT - 67 Michael Lafaele 6-1 302 Sr.
     97 Steve Seti 6-0 291 Sr.
DE - 12 Karl Noa 6-4 251 Sr.
     98 Francis Maka 6-2 240 Sr.
BUCK - 44 Adam Leonard 6-0 236 Jr.
       26 Micah Lau 5-9 211 Sr.
MIK - 17 Solomon Elimimian 5-11 218 Jr.
      10 Timo Paepule 6-0 252 Sr.
STUB - 43 Brad Kalilimoku 5-10 221 Sr.
       53 Blaze Soares 6-1 239 So.
NICKEL - 27 Ryan Mouton 5-10 182 Jr.
         18 Guyton Galdeira 5-7 165 Jr.
CB -  3 Myron Newberry 5-9 174 Sr.
     29 Keenan Jones 5-11 181 Sr.
FS - 24 Desmond Thomas 6-3 174 Jr.
     30 Dane Portas 5-10 186 Jr.
SAM - 31 Jacob Patek 6-0 204 Sr.
      19 Erik Robinson 5-11 194 Jr.
CB - 23 Gerard Lewis 5-9 175 Sr.
     27 Ryan Mouton 5-10 182 Jr.

PUNT - 49 Tim Grasso 5-11 221 Jr.
       40 Briton Forester 5-9 175 So.
PK - 86 Dan Kelly 6-3 202 Jr.
     40 Briton Forester 5-9 175 So.
PR -  7 Davone Bess 5-10 195 Jr.
      3 Myron Newberry 5-9 174 Sr.
      5 Michael Washington 5-7 173 Jr.
KOR - 89 Malcolm Lane 6-2 184 So.
       5 Michael Washington 5-7 173 Jr.
      84 Jason Rivers 6-2 6-2 189 Sr.
LS - 57 Jake Ingram 6-4 234 Jr.
     48 David Farmer 6-1 224 Jr.
HLD - 49 Tim Grasso 5-11 221 Jr.
      40 Briton Forester 5-9 175 So.

Washington Offense
WR 5 Anthony Russo 5-11 185 ^Sr. 18 Corey Williams 6-2 195 ^Sr. LT 79 Ben Ossai 6-6 300 Jr. OR 71 Cody Habben 6-6 300 So. LG 65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 310 So. 76 Jordan White-Frisbee 6-6 320 Sr. C 58 Juan Garcia 6-3 315 ^Sr. 64 Matt Sedillo 6-3 300 So. RG 72 Casey Bulyca 6-6 340 Sr. 64 Matt Sedillo 6-3 300 So. 70 Morgan Rosborough 6-6 365 Jr. RT 75 Chad Macklin 6-8 300 ^Sr. 69 Erik Berglund 6-6 310 ^Sr. TE 86 Michael Gottlieb 6-5 245 Sr. OR 37 Johnie Kirton 6-4 270 Sr. OR 81 Robert Lewis 6-5 250 ^Sr. QB 10 Jake Locker 6-3 225 So. 11 Carl Bonnell 6-3 215 ^Sr. 8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 195 Fr. TB 9 Louis Rankin 6-0 205 ^Sr. 6 Brandon Johnson 5-11 195 Fr. 24 J.R. Hasty 5-11 200 Jr. FB 30 Paul Homer 6-0 222 So. 32 Luke Kravitz 6-1 245 Sr. WR 3 Marcel Reece 6-3 240 Sr. 14 Curtis Shaw 5-11 190 Fr. WR 16 D'Andre Goodwin 6-0 170 So. 29 Cody Ellis 6-0 185 ^Sr.
Washington Defense
DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4 245 Jr. 59 Darrion Jones 6-3 255 Jr. 96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 255 So. DT 95 Jordan Reffett 6-6 295 ^Sr. 77 Erick Lobos 6-3 285 Sr. DT 74 Wilson Afoa 6-3 290 ^Sr. 99 Cameron Elisara 6-2 275 So. DE 7 Greyson Gunheim 6-5 265 Sr. 85 Caesar Rayford 6-7 250 Sr. OLB 34 Dan Howell 6-1 225 Sr. 20 Kyle Trew 6-2 235 ^Sr. ILB 57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2 240 Sr. 40 Mason Foster 6-1 218 Fr. OLB 22 E.J. Savannah 6-2 228 Jr. 40 Mason Foster 6-1 218 Fr. 29 Chris Stevens 6-0 215 Jr. FS 15 Darin Harris 5-11 200 Sr. 39 Nate Williams 6-1 205 Fr. SS 23 Mesphin Forrester 6-2 205 Sr. 27 Jay Angotti 5-10 180 So. CB 18 Byron Davenport 5-11 195 Jr. 6 Vonzell McDowell Jr. 5-9 176 Fr. 19 Matt Mosley 5-11 190 So. CB 28 Roy Lewis 5-11 187 ^Sr. 17 Jordan Murchison 6-0 184 Sr.
Washington Special Teams
P 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 175 Jr. 13 Ryan Perkins 6-0 185 Jr. FG/PAT 13 Ryan Perkins 6-0 185 Jr. 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 175 Jr. KO 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 175 Jr. 13 Ryan Perkins 6-0 185 Jr. HLD 11 Carl Bonnell 6-3 215 ^Sr. SNP 49 Danny Morovick 6-3 230 Jr. KOR 9 Louis Rankin 6-0 205 Sr. 6 Brandon Johnson 5-11 195 Fr. PR 5 Anthony Russo 5-11 185 ^Sr. 9 Louis Rankin 6-0 205 Sr.
^ indicates fifth-year senior

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