Archive for September, 2007

Quotes from the UH-Idaho game

September 29, 2007

HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
AP = Associated Press
IS = Idaho Statesman
WB = The Warrior Beat

Quotes from the UH Coaches

About their 3rd road win this season, JJ said:
“We got a win on the road, and it’s hard to win on the road.” (HSB)

About Colt’s ankle injury (which contributed to the INTs), JJ said:
“He may have to deal with that (the ankle) the whole year. That’s the way it goes.” (HA)

“He’s going to have to deal with it the whole year. He wasn’t at his best and he didn’t throw the ball as he usually does. He made a lot of great plays. When he’s getting rushed the injury is a factor because he can’t push off. He battled through it pretty good.” (HSB)

About how Colt didn’t play too badly but will be really down on himself, JJ said:
“A lot of (the problems) came when he was moving around. That’s when you feel it. When he was able to get set he made some good throws. Take away the 2 or 3 balls that were tipped and he played a pretty good game. But he’s tough on himself. He’s his own worst critic.” (HA)

“Take away the tipped balls and (Brennan) played pretty good.” (HSB)

“He didn’t throw the ball as well as he has.” (HSB)

About how Lane is still learning and improving, JJ said:
“He made that big play over the top and has some things to learn, but he’ll just keep getting better. He gets better every time he plays.” (HA)

Praising their D, JJ said:
“Other teams are finding out now that we’re pretty good on defense.” (HA)

“Everybody’s buying into Greg’s system and it shows.” (HSB)

About Adam Leonard’s lobbying for a FB role, JJ said:
“He talked about that last week. He’s got some running ability.” (HA)

Asked if he would play Adam on offense, JJ said:
“Naw.” (HA)

Asked if he would have a problem with Adam being used on offense, GM said:
“Oh, yeah, lots of problems” (HA)

Then GM smiled and referred to Hawthorne:
“I don’t care, whatever June wants. June’s done that before.” (HA)

About how Blaze got some playing time in this game and will be used to give Adam Leonard some breaks in the game because Adam is still recovering from his knee surgery, GM said:
“We wanted to be careful, but we wanted to work him in there for 15 plays or so. He got to get in there and be involved in some collisions. He came out with a big smile on his face.” (HA)

Giving credit to his defensive assistants, GM said:
“I’m happy with the guys and the coaches — Rich Miano, Jeff Reinebold, George Lumpkin, Cal Lee and Duff (Terry Duffield). Our coaches helped our players make plays.” (HA)

About how he was upset with comments from ESPN’s Craig James about their defense, GM said:
“He said we can’t stop anybody. He said we shouldn’t be a Top 20 team because we haven’t played anybody. You tell him ‘thanks a lot.’ He got me mad. I’ve been around too long and that stuff doesn’t (usually) bother me. The problem is they haven’t watched us play. I wouldn’t mind if somebody said it about us if they had seen us. But he hasn’t even watched us and you say that. That’s not real professional.” (HA)

“He even got me mad. I told the players he got his college the death penalty — print that. But he’s doing me a great favor. The problem is (detractors) haven’t even watched us. People need to know these are hard-nosed, kick-ass type guys, and they showed it today.” (HSB)

Trying to downplay his role in firing up the team, GM said:
“What happened the other night was between me and the team.” (HA)

HA Note: “But for all the outward calm, usually the placid exterior and understatedness with which he normally chooses his words, do not fail to understand the competitive fire that boils within. Do not underestimate the passion he has brought to the game for nearly 40 years as a coach. The Warriors certainly do not. Not after Friday night, anyway. For it was a real fire-and-brimstone oratory, punctuated by the flinging of a plastic ice water jug in a unit meeting, that drove home some of what the Warriors say inspired them to a rougher, more focused edge in yesterday’s 48-20 trouncing of Idaho.”

About how James’ comments fired up GM, Jeff Reinbold said:
“He cares a lot about these guys and that (James’ comments) really struck a chord with him. He can get riled up when he feels someone attacks his players.” (HA)

DB coach Rich Miano said that GM’s emotions were:
“building up. It was getting more and more intense until the volcano erupted.” (HA)

About their 5 INTs, Miano said:
“We have (defensive backs) who see the ball and play the ball. They go against the greatest passing offense in America every day in practice. When teams throw, it works to our advantage. The philosophies and techniques we use allow them to get to the ball. And it’s contagious. They want to out-do each other. They want stickers on their helmets.” (HA)

About Adam Leonard’s INT return for a TD when the game was 7-7, Rich Miano said that it was:
“huge.” (HA)

QB coach Dan Morrison said that Colt’s injured ankle caused Colt:
“not to be able to do some of the things he normally does as well. But it is something he’s going to have to work through and he’s a tough kid.” (HA)

Morrison pointed out:
“even with it, he made some unbelievable throws at times. He made a couple across the field to Davone (Bess) that, I mean, had to be put right where they were. There was no other place — and he did it.” (HA)

Quotes from the UH Players

Asked how this game would affect his Heisman chances, Colt said:
“It’s an overall thing, so I’ve got some games to bounce back. If we can roll to 8-0, 9-0 … I have to have my best games the last three games of the season.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Those will be against Nevada, Boise State and Washington.”

About their D, Colt said:
“I know the defense wanted to make a statement.” (HA)

“Our defense had the opportunity to step up and make big plays. And they did.” (HSB)

About how this game showed how good their team is, Colt said:
“I get a lot of credit, but sometimes as a team overall, we don’t seem to get the respect we deserve. I think this was a good day to see how good of a football team this really is. I didn’t have a very good game, and I did some bad things, but the team dominated for four quarters. It was fun to see the team win the way it did.” (HA)

“It wasn’t my best game, but it’s good to have the special teams and defense step up when this happens.” (IS)

“The defense and special teams playing the way they did shows the kind of team we are. It was kind of a weird day. Not my best.” (HSB)

About his 5 INT game, Colt said:
“I just had a different, crazy day. What’s awesome is everyone else just showed how good our team really is.” (AP)

“(The Vandals) made some good plays, and I wasn’t myself. I didn’t do the best job of capitalizing when I had the opportunities. It was a weird, wacky thing. We played that poorly on offense, and we still crushed them. That shows how good this team is.” (HA)

About his injured ankle, Colt said:
“I tweaked it a little. I hate to make excuses, but I just didn’t step in as well and some of the passes were underthrown a little. A little better throws and they are touchdowns or big gains. It was a weird day.” (HA)

HA Note: “In the first quarter, Brennan “rolled” the ankle. He opted to continue playing. But the injury made it difficult to push off on his right foot. Two of his interceptions came when he threw off the back foot. Two others were initially tipped.”

About the win and Colt’s struggles, Bess said:
“It keeps Colt very humble and let’s him understand that you have to execute and do what you have to do. This is a great win for the team.” (AP)

About his 41-yard scoring pass, Lane said:
“Colt threw a perfect pass, like he’s been doing all year. The ball was right there.” (HA)

“I got tackled in the end zone and almost bit my tongue off. But I hung onto the ball.” (HSB)

HA Note: “Malcolm Lane, playing in place of injured left wideout Jason Rivers (lower-back tightness), teamed with Brennan on a 41-yard scoring pass. It was a read-and-react play, in which Lane, after seven steps, had the option of cutting inside or running straight ahead. Noticing that cornerback Stanley Franks was in a set position 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, Lane opted to sprint downfield.”

After his 85 yards rushing (10 carries) and 15 yards receiving (2 catches), Kealoha Pilares said:
“I was just trying to make the first guy miss and get in the open field. The field was kind of soft and hard to cut on.” (HSB)

About how the RBs worked hard on blocking in practice to protect Colt and his injured ankle, Pilares said:
“All week we were preparing for the worst — blitzes, all kinds of looks. As the game went on, it was usually just three- or four-man rush, not bringing any linebackers like we thought they would. Our running game is just to help him out, keep them honest.” (HSB)

Praising Colt, Pilares said:
“Even his worst day is a good day.” (HSB)

About how their defense gets put down by people who don’t get to see them play, Adam Leonard said:
“What we don’t like is people who don’t see us play and automatically assume we can’t stop anybody. That is a chip on our shoulder. We want to prove ourselves each week to the nay-sayers.” (AP)

“We came to make a statement.” (HA)

“It was personal.” (HA)

“No matter how the offense plays, we’ve got a certain way we want to play.” (HSB)

About his INT return for a TD, Adam said:
“The quarterback was looking the way he wanted to throw the whole time. I managed to cut in front and get it.” (AP)

“I saw the quarterback looking at him all the way. I buzzed over. As soon as (Enderle) released (the ball), I cut in front of (Bjorvik). I’m thankful God blessed me to be in position to make plays.” (HA)

After scoring TDs on INT returns in consecutive games, Adam talked about getting some time at FB:
“I’ve been talking to JJ (head coach June Jones) about getting a little goal-line fullback (time) and busting one in.” (HA)

“I’ve been talking to JJ about getting some goal-line time at fullback.” (HSB)

“I don’t think they (the running backs) should be worried about their jobs too soon. I’m just trying to keep helping the defense.” (HA)

About how their D was fired up from the start of the game, Michael Lafaele said:
“It’s nothing against Idaho, but we came out fired up. Coach Mack got us fired up because he told us what Craig James said. We just have to go out there and shut everybody up.” (HSB)

“We took this game personal. Nothing against Idaho … but we came out jacked up, stopped them on the first series and took it from there.” (AP)

“We weren’t going to let anything happen.” (HA)

About how they stopped Idaho from being able to run, Lafaele said:
“They wanted to run it on us. We weren’t having none of that.” (HA)

About Colt’s struggles, Lafaele said:
“Colt wasn’t 100 percent physically. But we still have a lot of confidence in all our quarterbacks.” (HSB)

About how they stopped the run, Sol Elimimian said:
“They ran the ball effectively against most teams they played. We knew we wanted to stop the run first. It came down to our linemen kicking the butt of the guy in front of them. That’s how you stop the run.” (HA)

About their DL stunts to counter the smaller spaces between Idaho’s blockers, Karl Noa said:
“We wanted to have an extra guy outside so we could set somebody free.” (HA)

About how Lafaele called the defensive audibles, including 3- and 4-man stunts, Keala Watson said:
“Mike is the man at recognizing things. On tape, it looks unorganized, but we know what we’re doing.” (HA)

About getting covered with water after GM’s fiery speech about their D, Amani Purcell said:
“The jug went in one direction and the water came in my direction. Everybody was like, ‘Dang, we have to take this seriously.’ It was emotional for coach Mac. People talk about our defense, and he’s in charge of our defense.” (HA)

HA Note: “During a defensive meeting Friday night, defensive coordinator Greg McMackin spoke of James’ comments. At one point, McMackin, fueled by emotion, lost his grip on a water jug, with the contents spraying on defensive end Amani Purcell.”

Fale Laeli said that when GM:
“got mad, I just wanted to play right then. He got us fired up. When coach Mac got mad, we got mad. We took it personally. We had to come out and do our thing.” (HA)

About his first INT, which he returned for 22 yards but was tackled at the Idaho 18, Newberry said:
“I wanted the touch(down), but they had the angle on me. But I knew my time to take one back would come eventually.” (HA)

About how he got a TD on his INT later in the game, Newberry said:
“That one I gonna make sure I got in. The last time I got (an interception for a touchdown) was two years ago in junior college.” (HA)

About how he got called for a celebration penalty when he dived into the end zone on his INT return for a TD, Newberry said:
“I wasn’t showing off. I was tired. It was spur of the moment. Oh, well.” (HA)

About how he felt that he wasn’t making “enough plays” this season and vowed to play better, Newberry said:
“I had a little chip on my shoulder.” (HA)

“I know I’m doing a good job. My time to make some big plays came today.” (HSB)

About how the critics of their D motivate them, Newberry said:
“We’re going to hold on to that the rest of the year. (James) is not the only one. We just have to go out every week and do what we did today.” (HSB)

About both of his INTs, Newberry said:
“I read the quarterback. I broke on the receiver before he could come out of his break.” (HA)

About how both of his INTs came when they were on a cover-3 D and he was alone on the right third of the secondary, Newberry said:
“I’m on an island. I have to make the right decisions.” (HA)

About his injured right knee (injured while making a cut on a blitz attempt) that will have an MRI, Mouton said:
“It’s a little sore, man. I’ll be all right. I can’t sit out.” (WB)

About the discomfort on the side of his right (kicking) foot, Dan Kelly said:
“I think a ‘boo-boo’ is the correct terminology for it.” (WB)

After a trainer corrected him, Kelly said:
“OK, it’s an ‘ow-ie.'” (WB)

Quotes from Idaho

Unhappy with their play in the game, head coach Robb Akey said:
“It was not a good game and (it was) frustrating for us to have it end the way that it did.” (IS)

“We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the football. We’ve turned the ball over too many times in the last two weeks and we need to get that taken care of.” (HSB)

“We did a nice job of taking the ball away. That is positive, but we operate as a team. We live and die as a team. We need to have more success. We need to execute better. I’m not happy with it. It’s not acceptable, but I have to understand this is where we’re at. We have to keep progressing.” (IS)

About how he was surprised that RB Deonte Jackson was available to play, Akey said:
“He looked when he was in there. I was pleasantly surprised. I like to think it will do nothing but get better now.” (IS)

IS Note: “Jackson said he was “80 percent” and “felt no pain at all.” ”

About his INTs, QB Nathan Enderle said:
“Interceptions fall on a lot of people’s shoulders. Sometimes they’re mine. Sometimes they’re somebody else. I’m not going to point out which ones are which.” (AP)

“There were some missed communications happening. The way we look at it, interceptions are on everybody. We’re not going to blame any one person. We’re going to clean that up.” (HA)

About how they couldn’t afford to make those types of mistakes vs. UH, Enderle said:
“We gave a good team too many points. We’re making too many mistakes. When we do things right and don’t make mistakes, we can play against anybody. We have too many mistakes right now to play against talented teams.” (IS)

About Colt, LB David Vobara said:
“When he wants to be, he’s on the money, and I think he’s as good as anybody in the nation. … He’s a darn good quarterback, and obviously his wheels weren’t healthy. When he’s completely healthy, he’ll be able to fly around and be awesome.” (WB)

About how their D needed to play better, CB Stanley Franks said:
“We gave up too many big plays.” (IS)

About his 2 TDs (all of their TDs), TE Eddie Williams said:
“If I caught zero balls and we win the game, I’m happy.” (IS)

About how they have to execute their plays, Williams said:
“We had a great game plan, but it’s just a matter of executing. If we have 10 guys doing their jobs and one guy who isn’t, we aren’t going to be successful on the play.” (HSB)

Feeling bad for their D that kept getting turnovers vs. UH, Williams said:
“It’s very frustrating, and I know it’s frustrating for the defense. They played hard and do what they can. They gave us interception after interception. We need to be able to capitalize on those.” (IS)

Pre-game quotes

September 29, 2007

About how he, Miano, Suan, and Reinbold share special teams coaching duties, McKnight said:
“It’s good because we all have the same philosophies and agree on things, and they’re great guys, so we have fun working together. Nobody has an ego, we all live by the same deal. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit. We’ve had our time in the sun; we don’t need anybody patting us on the back. That’s the way we look at it.” (HSB)

About wearing slippers during their wet and freezing cold practice yesterday, GM said:
“Ever since I was here the first time, I wore slippers on Fridays.” (HA)

“Even when I went to Lubbock (Texas), on Fridays, I wore slippers. They thought I was a little crazy in Lubbock, but they got used to it. We won more than we lost, so it’s a good tradition.” (HA)

HA Note: “In part because they were rescheduled for a later time, in part because they were wary of spying eyes, the Warriors relocated to Lewiston High yesterday afternoon. By the time they started warmups, the mercury slipped to 46 degrees, and chilly rain fell. Only sportscaster Robert Kekaula, who did not bring long pants or a jacket, was dressed more inappropriately than McMackin. But McMackin did not budge, noting the Warriors are 13-4, including 4-0 this season, when he sticks to his routine.”

About not wanting to change his routine, GM said:
“Why change? It works. And this is a big game.” (HA)

About the importance of this game, Bess said:
“It’s super big. It’s our second WAC game. And (the Vandals) are looking at it as a chance to shock the football world by upsetting us. We can’t take them lightly.” (HA)

About how he hasn’t lost anything during the time he missed due to injury, Colt said:
“I didn’t see any rust. If anything, I saw the opposite. I saw my body better, the passes coming out more lively. I’m getting more on my passes right now.” (HA)

Despite how he has “tweaked” his ankle several times during practices, Colt said he will not need to take pain-killing shots before the game:
“I’ll be fine in the game. Game-day adrenaline is unbelievable. I could have played last week and been fine. Trust me. But the rest was good, and I’ll be that much more ready this time.” (HA)

“I’m excited to get back out there and play. Every game right now I’m trying to cherish.” (HSB)

About adjusting ot the yellow-shaded lighting in the Kibbie Dome, with lights that are lower than at Aloha Stadium, RGM said:
“You have to concentrate more. You’d be surprised how the clear visors shield the light.” (HA)

Not: The 4 starting WRs and Colt all wear clear visors on their helmets.

About how the defense cannot relax if Lane plays in the place of Rivers, Colt said:
“I don’t think you can sit back and go, ‘Thank goodness, Malcolm’s in there.’ Malcolm can play.” (HA)

About the speed that Lane and Hawthorne have, Colt said:
“Malcolm and C.J. are dangerous. They’re the guys who can take hitches and slants and go to the house before you know it.” (HA)

About how he’s adjusted quickly to WR, Hawthorne (the only starting WR for UH without a dropped pass) said:
“Colt and I are building chemistry. It started when we worked out during the summer. It’s a gradual thing. We’re becoming more and more comfortable with each other.” (HA)

About their drill where George Lumpkin holds a stick attached to a plastic football then wiggles it, which teaches DL to drive forward at the snap of the football, GM said:
“We don’t do a drill unless it pertains to the game. Every drill we do is something we will do in a game.” (HA)

About how that technique (“coming off the ball”) is how their DTs are able to out-maneuver taller OL and disrupt offenses, Mike Lafaele said:
“It’s all about your weight distribution and balance. If you want to go forward, you have to put all of your weight in your legs.” (HA)

About how they need to have quick DTs, DL coach Jeff Reinbold said their DTs have to have:
“fast-twitch fiber in them. That’s not something you teach. That’s something you emphasize.” (HA)

About how Lafaele and Laeli have spent extra workouts improving their lower-body strength, Reinbold said:
“Even though they’re big guys, they’re not slow guys. They’re not going to run great 40(-yard) times, but they have great short-burst quickness.” (HA)

About his style of fast, attacking defense, GM said:
“Everything is about playing fast. We want our tackles to play low, get up the field and attack. Good things happen when you play fast.” (HA)

Looking forward to kicking in a domed stadium, Dan Kelly said:
“You don’t have to fight the elements.” (HA)

About how the wall behind one end zone is ideal for him to practice FG kicks, Kelly said:
“During warmups, I usually have to wait for the guy to throw me the ball after I kick. This time, I just kick the ball, it hits the wall, and we don’t have to chase it down.” (HA)

About how the win at Idaho 2 years ago was special for the Freshman from his year (their first win), RGM said:
“That will always be a big win for us. It’s the first one for us as a class.” (HSB)

About Idaho’s start RB Deonte’ Jackson, GM said:
“He’s got such a great acceleration. And he has good vision and balance. He obviously has good genes, but he has that quickness, and he’s able to get outside. He’s one of those Barry Sanders-type guys.” (HA)

About UH’s offense, LB Jo Artis Ratti said:
“They sling the rock like no other. They open a lot of gaps in defenses.” (Idaho Statesman)

About what they need to do on defense, head coach Robb Akey said:
“What we have to do is be good at coverage and have coverage changeups. You have to have the ability to attack what they do.” (IS)

“Just like you can blitz a quarterback, you can blitz receivers a little bit. You have to have two answers, you can’t do just one. More than anything, they do what they do and they do it very well. And they don’t care what you do. Hopefully we can change it up enough to where we can keep the big plays to a minimum.” (IS)

“Against Hawaii you have got to be able to match scores and do everything you can to try to match plays. That’s the challenge in front of us.” (HSB)

About what they need to do on defense, defensive coordinator Mark Criner said:
“We have to play consistent football and make them drive it and not give up any easy ones.” (IS)

About how they are running a 3-4 defense even though he prefers a 4-3 D, Criner said:
“We’re not deep in a lot of areas. The main thing is you don’t want to change what you do in the secondary. If you end up doing a bunch of rule busters in the secondary, it’s going to end up getting you hurt. You can change your front, but your secondary has to remain the same.” (HA)

About how they have to be mentally sharp in the game, Ratti said:
“We can’t have any mental errors. We have to avoid the big plays, make them nickel and dime us, and we have to tackle them.” (IS)

About how they have to put pressure on Colt, LB Vobora said:
“Getting pressure on Colt Brennan is a must. We’re expecting that he’ll play, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.” (HSB)

About how they have to put every thing and be consistent in this game, Vobara said:
“In each of our nonconference games we did good things in difficult situations. But it really comes down to consistency. Putting together everything this week is obviously huge. On defense, our focus is to make them throw the short pass and minimize the big play, make them work for everything they get.” (HSB)

About gaining 45 pounds while at Idaho, with a 9000-calorie per day diet, LB Vobora said:
“I worked hard in the weight room, and I tried to eat and eat and eat. I would set my alarm clock for the middle of the night, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk, and go back to bed.” (HA)

About mixing the protein drink Serious Mass with peanut butter, Vobora said:
“That helped me gain weight but remain explosive.” (HA)

About having 3 different head coaches the last 3 seasons, Vobora said:
“You’re dealing with heartbreak. You want to buy in. Coach Holt said, ‘We’re going to be here and watch your son graduate.’ He left, and that was frustrating. But then we got a guy like Dennis Erickson, and that was exciting, and everything was moving in the right direction. Then — bam! — he’s gone. You felt like these guys were used-car salesmen.” (HA)

Prepared for defending Rivers or Hawthorne, All-WAC CB Stanley Franks said:
“They’ve thrown 190 passes already. That’s a lot of film. I like breaking it down and watching the different formations.” (HA)

About forgetting they are 1-3, Franks said that:
“our feeling around here is we’re 0-0. This is our first WAC game. We haven’t won anything and we haven’t lost anything. We’re undefeated.” (HA)

About what he told his players after being their 3rd head coach in 3 years, Akey said:
“I know you’ve heard it all before, but I’m going to prove it to you. I know I can say this and that, but my actions are going to speak louder than words.” (HA)

Akey was a Washington State coach, just 8 miles away from Idaho’s campus, but moved to Moscow, Idaho after being hired, which Vobora noted:
“He’s a guy when he decides to commit, he does it to the fullest. He’s done that. He’s going to take this university and this football team to awesome places.” (HA)

About the 17 players he dismissed in his first offseason as Idaho coach, Akey said:
“I was amazed at some of the things that we dealt with in regards to drug involvement, cheating, stealing, things like that.” (HSB)

About the sentiment that their team quit last year once UH started rolling, Akey said:
“I wasn’t at that game, but I was told when things got bad, that team kind of shut it down. When things got bad last Saturday (in a 42-35 loss to Northern Illinois), this team found a way to step it back up. We played the No. 1 team in the country (USC), and when things got bad, this team continued to battle. I would hope we would have a little more confidence in our mental toughness about things.” (IS)

Still unhappy about last week’s loss, Akey said:
“I’m still disappointed, and I think we’re all a little irritated that we didn’t win the game. Hopefully we can take some of that into our performance this week and it will help to get us to perform better.” (IS)

About his 3 INTs last game, with his first INT returned 95 yards for a TD, QB Nathan Enderle said:
“I try not to let interceptions bother me. But that second quarter obviously was my worst after that happened. I had a few bad series. Allowing it slide off (my) shoulders and not worrying about stuff like that would definitely help me.” (IS)

About how his QB got himself together in the 2nd half of their last game, Akey said:
“He looked like he was shook up a little bit, but he certainly showed me something at the end when we were moving the ball down and scoring and having a chance to put the game in overtime. He was playing with confidence again.” (IS)

Preview of the UH-Idaho game

September 28, 2007

About getting his first win at UH in the Kibbie Dome, Colt said:
“I remember that trip very well. It was a big deal for me. It was our first win of the season and a big thing for me. I’m excited to get back out there and play. Every game right now I’m trying to cherish.” (AP)

Joking about how he hopes UH has some travel problems, Idaho head coach Robb Akey said:
“I hope their plane is maybe a little cramped up and it’s long uncomfortable flight getting over here and they don’t feel very good.” (AP)

About holding Colt out of the CSU game, JJ said:
“He could have played this past week. We got through the week with the win.” (AP)

Praising Colt, La Tech coach Derek Dooley said:
“He’s every bit the player you see on film. I think the one thing you see in person that you can’t see on film is what his competitive character is.” (AP)

Praising Colt, who Idaho recruited before he came to UH, Akey said:
“He’s a Heisman candidate for a reason.” (AP)

About facing UH in their WAC opener, Akey joked:
“It’s nice to have an easy one first. I’ve got all the respect in the world for what they’re doing.” (AP)

“Against Hawaii you have got to be able to match scores and do everything you can to try and match plays. That’s the challenge in front of us.” (AP)

Quotes from Idaho

September 28, 2007

About how they have to put pressure on Colt, DE Ben Alexander said:
“We’ve got a good pass rush. Colt Brennan is a great quarterback. Their line is very powerful, very strong. That’s the biggest thing.” (klewtv)

About how they remember (and are motivated by) their 68-10 loss to UH last year, Alexander said:
“It’s still there. We know what we’re up against. We just have to come strong and play hard.” (klewtv)

Hoping that they sell out the Kibbie Dome, head coach Robb Akey said:
“We do still have maybe about five or six thousand seats that are still available so come on in and help us get after those Rainbow Warriors a little bit, would be a great thing.” (klewtv)

Random Warrior Quotes

September 28, 2007

About how he will redshirt this season, Po’okela Ahmad (2006 Kapolei graduate who grayshirted) said:
“It’ll help me in the long run. I can grow, learn, and get stronger and faster.” (HA)

About how his customized shirt has a map of Oakland, Bess said:
“I want to represent where I’m from and bring it back to where it all started.” (HA)

About how Korey Reynolds could apply for a medical redshirt due to his shoulder injury after he had played 3 games this season, JJ said:
“Yeah. Yeah, it’s a possibility.” (HSB)

About his son Kiran Kepo’o’s recovery, Ken Kepo’o said:
“Kiran is getting better and the surgery went as well as can be expected, but we still don’t know much about the accident.” (HSB)

Praising their special teams play this season, JJ said:
“We’re certainly playing with great pride right now.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Hawaii has returned three kicks for touchdowns — a kickoff each by Ryan Mouton and Malcolm Lane, and a punt by Mike Washington. UH leads the WAC and is third in the nation with 32.4 yards per kickoff return. The Warriors are 12th in the country with 16.8 yards per punt return.

Hawaii is only 48th in kickoff-return yards allowed, at 20.48. But most of the longer returns have come after UH has built up big leads. Hawaii is third nationally and leads the conference with a 41.9 net punting average.”

Praising McKnight’s coaching on special teams, Jeff Reinbold said:
“Dennis has done a great job of tying it all together and creating an attitude amongst the players that special teams is important. And not just that, but giving the guys some fundamentals and techniques.” (HSB)

About how he often blocks 2 defenders on kick returns, Galdeira said:
“I’m trying to get to three. Coach McKnight always talks about taking it to the next level. Once you know your block is secure, you go to the next level and find another one.” (HSB)

“It’s instinctive and comes from the heart.” (HSB)

Appreciating the job their blockers do on kick returns, Mouton said:
“Rustin (Saole), Guyton, Timo (Paepule), Micah (Lau), those front line guys, they bust their tails every day, even at practice or whatever. You win games with special teams.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “McKnight was the Warriors’ special teams coach in 1999 and 2000 before leaving UH for other opportunities and returning to Manoa last year. He extended his own NFL career by being an effective snapper in the kicking game for the San Diego Chargers, where he was coached by Jones.”

About the pride their players take on special teams, McKnight said:
“The kids work hard and they take pride in it. They believe that they’re gonna get it. It’s hard to do, but the fact that you’ve got three already, that’s a tribute to … your guys’ belief every time that you’re gonna do it, and their hard work, and they take pride in their job, and want to be the best. They’ve instilled that in themselves.” (HSB)

Update on Rivers

September 28, 2007

About how Rivers didn’t practice again due to his lower-back tightness but might play vs. Idaho, JJ said:
“He still has a chance. It’ll be a game-day decision.” (HA)

Note: I hope that the decision is to hold Rivers out! JJ admitted that Rivers should not have played in the last game because he hadn’t been healthy enough to practice, and Rivers will not be able to get better if he keep playing and aggravating his injury!

Praising Rivers, Colt said:
“Jason is a great outside target. You throw a ball to a guy like Jason because he is what he is. He’s a 6-foot-2, 200-plus receiver who can pick up a lot of yards for you and has unbelievable speed and he’s physical. That’s why we give him the ball when he’s in there. He does a lot of good things with it.” (HA)

About how Rivers’ best play is the inside slant, especially when RGM and Bess get double teamed, Colt said:
“It leaves them one on one with Jason, and that’s a matchup we usually always win. Jason is the guy who will run you over and then go to the house.” (HA)

Praising Lane, who I hope will start this game, WR coach Ron Lee said:
“Malcolm had his best week of practice. Now he has to go into the game and play. He’s learning how to practice and how to play.” (HA)

About how he hasn’t been timed in the 40 lately, Lane said:
“People know I’m fast, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t care about that stuff. I care about running hard every play and making the right reads on the football field. Speed is always an advantage, but you have to be smart, too. It showed last year (as a true freshman). I was fast, but I didn’t know what I was doing, and it didn’t get me anywhere. You can have speed, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it doesn’t mean anything.” (HA)

About how he ran a lot of sprints after practice this week to build up his stamina to be able to play a whole game, Lane said:
“I’m not used to playing a full game. I think the coaches want me to improve endurance-wise. I’m pushing myself when I get tired. My wind is building up.” (HA)

About how he has to sprint every play, even when the play isn’t for him, Lane said:
“Sometimes you’re supposed to run off your man. A lot of times defensive backs pick up that stuff. You run your route soft, and they know it’s a running play, and they go straight inside. You’ve got to run hard every time.” (HA)

About how Lane has to forget his mistakes, Colt said:
“The thing that everyone learning the position struggles with is thinking too much. As long as he keeps getting more reps and more success, he’ll understand the offense more and he’ll have more confidence.” (HA)

About the “jammed” right thumb injury he suffered yesterday, Greg Salas said:
“It’s a little swollen,” he said, “but I’ll be all right. I’m going to play.” (HA)

Feature Story on Colt in ESPN the Magazine

September 27, 2007

About how Colt is welcome in their home anytime, Guylyn Ornelles said:
“We are a family. We love him, and he can do whatever he wants here. We just want Colt to be Colt.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “Today, on a couch next to the mattress, a father holds two kids on his lap. Generously proportioned over a 5-foot-7 frame, Gerald Welch looks like he’s more than three years removed from playing slotback at UH. Behind Welch, his mother, Guylyn Ornellas, leans against a wall plastered with poster-size family snapshots, a yellow plumeria blossom in her long, black hair. The 45-year-old matriarch and construction worker owns this home on Oahu’s north shore and shares it with Welch, his wife, their two kids — and Brennan, whenever he chooses.”

About how two families took him in when he transferred to UH from Oregon in 1973, JJ said:
“Every day, every event, everything, they embraced me. They became my ohana. Have been ever since.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “Ohana is the intangible that helps Jones put together a team every season. He depends on it to keep so many of his players happy, the way other coaches count on boosters. Football at Hawaii is a shoestring operation. In 2005, the team brought in just $5.4M in revenues, compared with $8.5M at WAC rival Boise State. Oversize travel expenses leave just $60,000 a year for recruiting at a school that’s 2,400 miles from the mainland. Boise State gets $143,000.

So Warriors recruiters can’t afford to chase players they don’t already know they can get. Counting on his fingers, Jones ticks off the profiles of typical targets: (1) Polynesian kids, (2) kids who have lived in Hawaii or have family here, (3) military kids with no permanent home, (4) kids recovering from injuries and (5) kids from broken homes. Then there’s the rare kid from the penal system.

About the players that he’s given second chaces to, JJ said:
“Some of my best players I’ve recruited out of jail.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “These are the players who benefit most from island love. That includes a favorite Brennan target, Davone Bess, who spent 15 months in a detention facility near Oakland after being caught unwittingly driving around some pals carrying stolen electronics. Jones shakes his head as he tells of watching video of Bess’ acrobatics in the facility’s 7-on-7 passing league.”

About how he recruited Colt, JJ said:
“My last trip to the mainland was for Colt Brennan.” (ESPN)

About what he went through at Saddleback, Colt said:
“It was hell. The Saddleback school paper wrote horrible stuff about me. There were media and people in the community trying to get me kicked off the team.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “Upon walking on at Hawaii, in June 2005, Brennan realized he had a chance to begin anew. As Brennan made his first walk from the UH locker room down the twisted path to the practice field, Bess jogged over and asked the new QB to throw him some balls. The two developed an easy rapport, practicing post patterns and timing routes while Honolulu’s morning haze burned off. That evening they sat on the porch of Bess’ home, watching the sun bleed orange across the sky, and traded stories. Slowly the two strangers — a private-school kid from the O.C. and a survivor of Oakland’s inner city — became as tight as family. It was ohana at work.”

About how he watched everything he said and did, Colt said”
“I was trying to win people over. I wanted to be really liked.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “But every time he met someone, Brennan wondered: What do they know about me? What do they think of me? He was terrified that another public misstep, no matter how slight, would end any chance at redemption.

Now, with rains pelting the athletic department windows, Brennan tried to recall the last time he’d felt happy. He surprised himself when his thoughts took him back to the day of that drubbing by USC, when he accepted a teammate’s offer to head to Kahuku for a barbecue at Welch’s. It was the first time the two met, and when Brennan left, Welch offered an open invitation to return.

So when the sun finally broke through in April 2006, after 43 straight days of rain, Brennan set out for an hour’s drive through the mountains that divide the island’s populated south from its rural north. Each coastal town along the Kamehameha Highway was smaller than the last. Just past Kahuku High School, Brennan turned into a quiet neighborhood and parked in Ornellas’ front yard. Stepping inside the house, he was immersed in a sea of 20 or so kids, none older than 4, all running, laughing and shouting. Only a few were technically family, but all called Ornellas tutu, Hawaiian for “Grandma.” Later the entourage moved to the beach, where Welch barbecued while the kids ran wild. Brennan just sat in the sand, watching the food cook as the hours passed by like minutes.

After that day, Brennan returned to Ornellas’ home too many times to count. Other families accepted him into their ohana — the Cazimeros, O’Neils and Funakis — but Kahuku became Brennan’s hideout, a place where no one judged him for his play or his past. One day, as Brennan climbed from his Jeep, Welch’s kids ran to hug him, crying, “Uncle Colt!” It was then that Brennan knew he was part of the family.”

About how his parents don’t get to stay long enough to see how moch his ohana means to him, Colt said:
“They never get to see this. I don’t think they know the security it gives me.” (ESPN)

Colt said that with his ohana behind im:
“football started to be easy for me.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “Suddenly NFL scouts took a serious interest; some were rumored to have him in the top 10 of the draft. Brennan was torn, weighing the prospects of an NFL fortune against leaving the corner of the world where he felt most at home. He postponed the decision as long as possible, filing for the draft at the deadline. A press conference was scheduled for Monday morning, Jan. 15, then postponed until Tuesday afternoon. But that one was canceled too. Nobody knew where Brennan had gone.

On the opposite end of the island, Brennan had borrowed a skateboard from Ornellas’ driveway and coasted to a market for some raw tuna. Everybody there knew him, but nobody asked what his plans were. Good thing, too, since he didn’t know. As the sun set, Brennan sat on the beach with Welch, thinking about what he wanted. He decided the world could wait another day for his decision. Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, Brennan stepped up to some microphones in an untucked button-down shirt. The room fell silent as he broke down, pounding the podium and wiping his tears with the meat of his palm.”

When announcing he was staying at UH for his senior year, Colt said:
“My heart lies here, in Hawaii. I like the person I’m becoming here.” (ESPN)

About how he’ll spend his NFL money, Colt said:
“The first thing I do when I sign my contract is buy me a house in Hawaii.” (ESPN)

ESPN Note: “And someday, in some corner of that house, there will probably be a ragged twin mattress, ready for the next wayward mainlander in need of ohana.”

Quotes from Warrior Commit Daniel Smith

September 27, 2007

About how he called UH’s coaches and paid for his visit to Hawaii, accepting an offer from coach Reinbold during his visit, Daniel Smith (also recruited by Duke, Wake Forrest, North Carolina, Washington State, and Portland State) said:
“I visited Hawaii last April and I had an amazing time. I really liked every aspect of the school. The academic people were really easy going on explaining how everything works and what goes on. The campus was incredible and I really felt at home. The only player that I really had a long conversation with was Ryan Perry. He sat down with me and really explained on how the team acts and how they treat on another. Ryan also went to my high school so it was good to talk to somebody from my same town.” (Warriors Insider)

About meeting Jeff Reinbold face-to-face, Daniel said:
“Coach Reinebold is a great guy. He was always positive when I talked to him. He made me fell really welcome at the university. He is one of the most down to earth coach’s that I have met and I really appreciated everything he has done for me. The way I got in contact with coach was at the end of my junior year. I was really interested in Hawaii and wanted to get some more information for football. The next thing I knew, I sent him my highlight tape and I was on the island visiting.” (WI)

About why he committed early to UH, Daniel said:
“I committed so early to Hawaii because I wanted to show the school how much I wanted to become a apart of the team. When I was on my visit I really felt at home and accepted. The thing I am most exited about when I get to Hawaii is my first practice. I just want to get on the field with the team.” (WI)

Asked if he would be left at CB or if he’d be moved to S at UH, Daniel said:
“Right now for my school I am playing corner but when I get to Hawaii I will switch to safety. With my size and speed I will be a better fit at safety.” (WI)

Idaho’s CB Stanley Franks looks forward to facing UH’s offense

September 27, 2007

Looking forward to facing UH’s offense, All-WAC CB Stanley Franks said:
“This right here is a cornerback’s dream. With as much as they throw the ball … it’s definitely a cornerback’s dream.” (Idaho Statesman)

About UH’s offense, Idaho coach Akey said:
“They’re very good at what they do.” (IS)

About how they need to have Franks’ fearless attitude to face UH, Akey said:
“One of the reasons Stanley Franks is a good corner is he plays with an air of confidence and he appreciates the challenge. That’s what he looks forward to, and that’s when he plays his best, is when things are coming at him.” (IS)

IS Note: “So far, that hasn’t been the case this season. Franks, who led the nation with nine interceptions last season, hasn’t been tested much this year. He has one interception in Idaho’s first four games.”

About how teams don’t pass to Franks’ side, defensive coordinator Mark Criner said:
“People tend to go away from him. He got challenged against the6-6 kid (Ramses Barden) from Cal Poly, but I think he had only two balls thrown at him against USC.” (IS)

About how teams don’t try to pass to Franks’ side, Keo said:
“It’s funny because we joke around and laugh when teams try to throw at him because we know he’s going to make a big play or they’re just going to have to resnap it. After last year, it’s expected they stay away from a guy like that. That’s the smart thing to do.” (IS)

About how UH will run their offense and not worry about individual players like Franks, Colt said:
“We have a lot of respect for Idaho’s defense and saw how tough they played USC. Coach Jones prides himself on our offense and us just worrying about ourselves. As far as what our responsibilities are, when (Jones) calls the play, we have to drop back and read it. We’ve faced good talent before and we just have to take care of ourselves.” (IS)

IS Note: “Franks has taken the lack of activity in stride. He did injure his knee in last week’s loss to Northern Illinois and missed Tuesday’s practice, but said he expects to play Saturday.”

About how he cannot lose concentration when teams avoid throwing on his side, Franks said:
“I try to stay focused and try to make a play when they do come to my side.” (IS)

About Franks, LB Jo Artis Ratti said:
“He has ‘little man syndrome,’ so he talks a lot. We like hearing from him. He’s a vocal, spiritual person over there who plays with a lot of emotion. We love having that because he brings a lot of spirit to the team.” (IS)

About how they believe they have a chance vs. UH, Franks said:
“I’m the type of player, like Jo Artis and Shiloh, who believe that you have to play the game with passion. You’ve got to go out there and be enthusiastic whether you are making plays or have to pick guys up.” (IS)

About how Idaho moved him to CB when he joined them after junior college, Franks (whose only D-IA offer was from Idaho) said:
“A lot of schools were concerned about my size (5-foot-7, 157 pounds) coming out of JC.” (IS)

IS Note: “The move has been beneficial to both parties. Franks, who will graduate in December, has professional football aspirations. But he’s not focusing on them until the end of the season.”

Focused on UH, not the NFL, right now, Franks said:
“The main goal is to enter the WAC season and try to win this ballgame. I’ll wait ’til after the season to start preparing for that or whatever God has in store for me.” (IS)

Random Warrior Quotes from the local papers

September 27, 2007

About how they have been practicing silent counts and hand motions because they expect it to be hard to hear at Idaho, JJ said:
“Even if they have 10,000 people in there, the noise echoes and it can be hard to hear.” (HA)

About how their offense can go to silent counts, Colt said:
“I know we can handle it. If it gets loud, we can make those adjustments. It’s part of the game. You have to do it.” (HA)

HA Note: “Jones will signal in a play as well as the snap count. Taking a cue from Brennan, the offensive linemen will silently count to the designated number.”

About using a silent count, center John Estes said:
“It’s all about the timing. I snap it when it’s a certain time. It’s a certain rhythm we use.” (HA)

About their work on silent counts, Estes said:
“Sometimes I’d snap it faster than I should. But we worked on it, and our timing is better.” (HA)

About going on silent counts, LG Hercules Satele said:
“It’s a matter of trust. You have to trust the center will snap the ball on time. This is a precaution in case in gets loud. But we’re ready.” (HA)

Asked what was most important on silent counts (sneaking a peek at the C, good timing with teammates, or internal rhythm), Hercules said:
“All of the above. You have to have a sixth sense and you have to trust the ball will be snapped on that count.” (HSB)

About how they used silent counts last year at Alabama and 3 weeks ago at La Tech, Colt said:
“It could be very loud at Idaho, so we have to make sure we have that package ready. We used it a lot at LaTech, especially in the second half. Everyone has to be on the same page and you can’t anticipate.” (HSB)

HA Note: “Brennan said he “tweaked” his sore right ankle near the end of yesterday’s practice. But he said the condition is not “serious,” and that he will resume practicing today.”

About how his ankle will not make him miss the Idaho game, Colt said:
“No doubt, I’m starting.” (HA)

Colt said that his right ankle is sore after practices:
“which isn’t anything serious or out of the ordinary.” (HA)

About his ankle, Colt said:
“There’s always going to be pain in football. You have to get used to it. But hopefully I’ll keep resting it and doing everything right (in treatment sessions) and by Saturday it’ll be close to 100 percent as it needs to be.” (HA)

About how the preventative methods (heavily wrapping his ankle during practices and wearing an ankle brace or medical boot when not practicing) can be worse than the actual ankle injury, Colt said:
“I mean, to be honest, you have to understand that all of the protective stuff I put on — all of the tape — can irritate it more than the actual ankle itself. You have to have to that on there for protection. Sometimes when you see me out there irritated, it’s more so because of the tape job or how the ankle brace is sitting on me than actually how my ankle legitimately feels. If I were to run around here without an ankle brace, you wouldn’t think I was hurt at all.” (HA)

About why he needs the taping for practice and the ankle brace outside of practice, Colt said that without the precautions:
“the probability of turning (the ankle) is really high.” (HA)

About Mouton’s promise to him the night before the CSU game to get a TD, Colt said:
“I said, ‘I probably won’t be able to play today,’ and he told me, ‘I got you.’ ” (HA)

About his kickoff return for a TD, Mouton said:
“I had to do it. I’m a man of my word.” (HA)

About how he told Mouton at halftime that he wouldn’t get many more chances to return kickoffs, Colt said:
“The way our defense was playing, I knew he wouldn’t get many chances. I told him right before halftime, ‘You’ve got the second-half kickoff to go.’ He said, ‘I’ve got that.’ When we came out at halftime, I walked out late. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him before he went out on the field.” (HA)

About how Mouton came to talk to him after opening the 2nd half with his kickoff return TD, Colt said:
“He ran over to me and said, ‘That was for you.’ That was cool.” (HA)

About how he and Lane each have a kickoff return for a TD, Mouton said:
“We’re discussing who’s going to bring the next one.” (HA)

About how kickoff teams now have to decide if they want to kick to Mouton or him, Lane said:
“I was joking with him. I said we have to break this tie. It’s a great battle. Now the other team has to decide who to kick it to. Mouton is a good guy. I was just as happy for Mouton running his back as I was when I ran mine back. I was excited to see him get one.” (HA)

About making the travel roster this time but not for the 12-day trip, Spenser Smith said:
“I traveled all of the time last year, and took it for granted. Not traveling last trip made me work hard. I wanted to do my best. I wanted to impress the coaches. It feels good to travel with the team.” (HA)

About how JJ noticed that he tried to stick too closely with the offensive play on his runs, LWJ said:
“He told me to just run wild. If I see something else, hit it as hard as possible and get upfield.” (HSB)

About getting settled in at RB, which he hasn’t played since high school 3 years ago, LWJ said:
“Now I’m seeing stuff that I haven’t seen since high school. I’m about to hit it now since Coach said it.” (HSB)

About how he’s improving at RB, which he hasn’t played since Damien a couple of year ago, Pilares said:
“It’s more instinctive now. I’m going out there and reacting to what is happening and not really thinking as much.” (HSB)

About how they aren’t going to “open any champagne bottles” over not giving up a sack last week, OL coach Dennis McKnight said:
“It’s just all about experience. The more you play the better you get.” (HSB)

About RT Keoni Steinhoff, who was named offensive player of the game vs. CSU, McKnight said:
“He’s physical and stays with the opponent really good.” (HSB)