Archive for August, 2008

Quotes from the UH-Florida game 8/30/2008

August 30, 2008

HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
AP = Associated Press
UH = UH Athletics official site
ESPN = ESPN
GS = Gainesville Sun
OS = Orlando Sentinel
MH = Miami Herald
PBP = Palm Beach Post
SFSS = South Florida Sun-Sentinel
DBNJ = Daytona Beach News-Journal
GC = GatorCountry.com
IFA = Independent Florida Alligator

Interesting stat from the boxscore: UH had 63 offensive plays, Florida had just 55.

UH had its first road loss since 9/23/2006, a 41-34 loss at BSU.

Other stats (thanks to UH): UH had a string of 34 straight games with more than 300 yards passing stopped.
last time under: at Louisiana Tech (269), 10/8/05
UH had a string of 43 straight games with more than 200 yards passing stopped.
last time under: at Fresno State (167), 11/12/04
UH had 181 yards passing in this game.

DBNJ Note: “Hawaii had to traveled six time zones to get to Gainesville, but even the Warriors recruit in Florida. Four Floridians are on the team, including receiver Rick Taylor, a high school teammate of Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Only two of the Floridians, Fort Lauderdale’s Malcolm Lane and Tampa’s Khevin Peoples played in the game.”

HA Note: “Two Floridians appeared for the Warriors, wide receiver Malcolm Lane of Fort Lauderdale, and running back Khevin Peoples of Tampa. Lane had one pass reception for six yards and Peoples one carry for minus one. Backup wide receiver Rick Taylor of Ponte Vedra suited up but did not play.”

HA Note: “An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 UH fans attended the game. Afterward, many of them formed a path to the Warriors’ buses, cheering and encouraging the players on their way out of the stadium.”

—————— Quotes from UH —————————

After they were outscored 97-20 by highly ranked SEC teams in their last 2 games, JD said:
“I don’t think we’ll be playing any (more) of them for a while.” (HA)

Making no excuses after the loss, Mack said:
“I have no excuses. We were outplayed in every phase. I give them full credit. I do believe we made some crucial mistakes.” (HSB)

“I have no excuses and thought we were out-played in every phase of the game. Florida is an excellent, well-coached football team with great athletes. They are definitely as good as Georgia.” (UH)

“I don’t have any excuses. I’m responsible for everything. We lost contain on a (punt return) for a touchdown. We lost contain on a punter for a first down. We have one rule: Don’t put the defense back on the field. Everybody has to do (his) job. If they don’t do their job, then we get hurt for it. We, as coaches, have to work with them. I still believe in this football team. I believe in the coaches. The thing is, I was glad they didn’t quit in the fourth quarter. They came back and scored 10 points.” (HA)

“I give them full credit. I have no excuses, the trip, everything people make excuses about, didn’t have anything to do with this. We were ready to play, our guys felt good, coaches felt good, we traveled well, and things were set up for us. We just didn’t get the job done.” (HSB)

About how Florida was “definitely as good as Georgia” at the Sugar Bowl, Mack said:
“Speed-wise, they are similar. I have great respect for (UF) quarterback (Tim Tebow). He kept some things alive. I know they really pride themselves in the fact that he can break containment. We have two really good defensive ends and he broke containment on us several times. I have a renewed respect for him. I’ve seen him on film and he looked good, but in person he looked even better. I thought he threw the ball good. I think he’s a great quarterback and now I can see why he won the Heisman. He’s a great athlete.” (GS)

About how they lost the turnover battle 6-0, Mack said:
“We didn’t get a turnover. We had three defensive touchdowns scored against us and a punt return scored against us and six turnovers overall. We aren’t going to win a game when we do that.” (UH)

“We had six turnovers today. You aren’t going to win a game if you do that.” (HA)

About how they made a lot of mistakes and Florida made all of the big plays, Mack said:
“We made some crucial mistakes. I always say that there are five to seven plays in a game that are going to win or lose the ballgame for you. Florida made all seven of them, while we didn’t make any.” (UH)

“I always say there’s five to seven plays in a game that are going to win or lose the ballgame for you and Florida made all seven of them.” (HSB)

“We just let some big plays be made against us. You have to give Florida credit for that.” (HSB)

About giving up so many TDs while not on defense, Mack said:
“You can’t give up big plays like that — and scoring plays. Three non-offensive “touchdowns? Give me a break. You’re not going to win that game. We have to clean that up. That’s what coaching’s all about. There are only six or seven plays that decide a game, and they got all of them, and we didn’t get any of them.” (HA)

About how he still believes in his team, Mack said:
“I still believe that we have a good football team. I still believe in my players and coaches. We just let some big plays be made against us and we can’t do that. I credit Florida for that.” (UH)

Praising Salas (who was tied for the game-high with 4 catches, scored their only TD, and played with a fractured finger), Mack said:
“I thought he did good. He had a great (training) camp and has been coming on for us.” (HA)

Praising Tebow, Mack said:
“I have a renewed respect for him. I’ve seen him on film and he looked good. But in person he looks even better.” (HA)

“Speed-wise. I have great respect for (Tebow). He kept some things alive. I know they really pride themselves that he can break contain. We have two real good ends, David Veikune and John Fonoti, and he broke contain on us several times. I have a renewed respect for him. On film he looked good, in person he even looked better.” (HSB)

About how Tebow was able to create plays when things broke down, Mack said:
“We have two really good defensive ends, David Veikune and John Fonoti, and he broke containment on us several times.” (HA)

Praising Tebow, Mack said:
“I thought he threw the ball (well). I think he is a great quarterback and I see why he won the Heisman.” (HA)

About how Florida’s D has improved from last season, Mack said:
“They have improved their defense. They have a lot of speed.” (HA)

About how they had things under control in the first quarter, Mack said:
“We had everybody sitting on their hands in the first quarter, and then they picked it up.” (HA)

“The first quarter we were shaking the world. We had everybody sitting on their hands.” (HSB)

About their struggles on offense, Mack said:
“We are still learning our offense, we are going to get better and better. I’m not down on any of our quarterbacks.” (HA)

“This is a complicated offense, and we played against one of the best teams in the country. I have to look at the film. I don’t know if it’s the quarterback’s fault or the receiver’s fault. The receivers have to run the package, too.” (HSB)

About how Inoke was their best QB in the game, but he’d be happier if Inoke stayed in the pocket, Mack said:
“The best quarterback was Inoke Funaki. And he made things happen because of his mobility. I’d rather that he stayed in there and threw it, but if he runs around and makes plays then he’s sitting good.” (HSB)

About how they have to study the tape before they critique the QBs, Mack said:
“The quarterback may have been doing exactly what he does and the receiver may have been making a wrong move.” (HSB)

GS Note: “McMackin declared his quarterback position as “open” following the game, saying that Funaki performed best. He did not put a specific timetable on the return of Tyler Graunke, the projected preseason starting quarterback. Graunke recently returned to the team after he resolved some undisclosed issues.”

HA Note: “After the game, McMackin emphasized he is not opening up the competition at quarterback.”

HSB Note: “During the postgame interview, he opened and then closed the quarterback competition within the space of 5 minutes — he remembered he should review the tape before making such decisions.”

About their game plan in the first quarter (which was working extremely well in my opinion), Ron Lee said:
“All we wanted to do in the first quarter was soften the (pass) rush, keep them honest. We controlled that. We made yardage.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Warriors devised a firewall plan for the Gators’ aggressive pass rush. When the Gators aligned with three defensive linemen, the Warriors called for shovel passes, quick screens, draws, and stretch runs off trap blocks. Starting quarterback Greg Alexander varied the tempo of the silent count. Four times the Gators were assessed off-sides penalties.”

About how they knew they couldn’t rely on the short and quick stuff on offense all game, Ron Lee said:
“Eventually, you’ve got to throw. We moved the ball well, exactly what we wanted to do, but when we started to throw, we didn’t convert. We didn’t make a throw early, and that got us out of our rhythm.” (HA)

“We have to throw the ball. The running game was great, but we didn’t make the big play in the passing game. We have to make some plays through the air, that’s us.” (HSB)

Asked where their offense goes from here, Ron Lee said:
“We go back to work. The coaches have to do a better job of getting the guys ready and we have to take it one practice at a time.” (HSB)

Praising Salas’ toughness, Ron Lee said:
“He showed some toughness. His hand was hurt but he played through it. He’ll probably have to play like that the whole season.” (HA)

About Alexander’s overthrow of Bain that was intercepted, Rolo said:
“It was the right read, [but the pass] was an overshot.” (HA)

Proud of the way that Inoke played like a Warriors, Rolo said:
“I’m proud Inoke went in there and played well, played like a Warrior. He knew how much this meant to Hawai’i. He didn’t quit. It showed a lot to the people of Hawai’i, that we are still warriors. I appreciate him doing that. I’m a firm believer (the quarterbacks) are going to be so much better every game that goes on. It’s hard for them to believe right now, but in six months or a year, they’ll look back and laugh at how far they’ve come with the offense.” (HA)

About how they had planned to have their punts land between the left hashmark and the sideline, but Grasso’s punt bounced and was fielded near the middle of the field by James on his TD return, Ikaika Malloe (UH special teams coordinator) said:
“We tried to keep the ball away from him. Obviously, he got the ball. We didn’t execute well on our part to contain him. With a returner like that, we wanted to give him less field. But he’s a great returner. What can you do? We have to correct the mistakes and hopefully contain the next returner we face.” (HA)

About how the coaches prepared them well for Florida’s D, Greg Alexander said:
“It was pretty much exactly what we saw on film. The coaches had us prepared, we pretty much saw what they’d been doing to every other team. So it just came down to execution. We knew what they were doing, we could see it, but we didn’t execute and that starts with me.” (HSB)

About their game plan to start the game, Alexander said:
“We wanted to shorten the game in the first quarter, get a feel for things. Short throws, running the ball. We were moving the ball well and started having some turnovers, they got the momentum, after that you saw what happened.” (HSB)

About his first INT, Alexander said:
“That can’t happen, especially in the red zone against a team like Florida. He was there, I just missed him.” (HSB)

About how he didn’t play well after his first INT, Alexander said:
“That first pick in the red zone set us back. From then on, I had a piss-poor game. That happens.” (HA)

About his second INT, Alexander said:
“I tried to put it inside (of the receiver), to protect him, but I put it right in the (free safety’s) gut.” (HA)

About his struggles in the game, Alexander said:
“I stunk out there.” (GS)

“I went out there and played a piss-poor game and that can’t happen again. I put the defense in some tough situations. The two picks for touchdowns, I had a fumble and gave them great field position, So that’s on me. We can’t put the defense in a tough spot like that.” (HSB)

Note: Alexander completed 11 of 21 passes with 2 INTs.

About playing against Florida, Inoke said:
“I just tried to relax and have fun. It was a blast to play against an opponent as good as Florida. Their players have so much speed, they can play any position. I am grateful for the opportunity to play here today.” (UH)

About their reaction when plays went against them, Inoke said:
“There are some things we can improve on and will continue to work hard at. We all tried to have a positive attitude and keep each other encouraged.” (UH)

Asked if he should start at QB, Inoke said:
“That’s not for any player to decide.” (HSB)

About how he appeared to be shaken up when Major Wright hit him helmet-to-face-mask, LWJ said:
“The ref asked me if I was OK. I said, ‘Yeah, are you gonna call it? He speared me in my face.’ And he just walked away. It’s football, it happens. But I tried to see if I could get the flag.” (HSB)

About how they will come back from this loss, Greg Salas said:
“This won’t define us. We’re better than that. We’re going to come back stronger.” (AP, UH)

About Florida’s speed, Salas said:
“They are fast. We stayed with them in the first quarter, but some things didn’t go our way. They’re a great team and it showed today.” (UH, IFA)

About the pain from the fracture in his left hand that he suffered in their first drive, Salas said:
“I didn’t really notice it.” (HA)

About hurting his hand on the first drive of his first college start, Salas said:
“It was like, ‘oh, no, not now.’ ” (HA)

“I hurt it blocking in the first quarter, but it is fine, I can play with it for as long as it takes.” (HA)

HA Note: “Salas would eventually learn just how bad: there was a fracture of the fourth metacarpal bone — the ring finger.”

After catching 2 passes for 38 yards (including a UH-long 26-yard catch) and running back 3 kickoffs for 57 yards (including UH’s longest play, his 30-yard return), Jovonte Taylor said:
“We made a lot of mistakes. It’s going to be some intense practices this week. We have to get our minds right and put this behind us.” (HSB)

About how they turned the ball over too much, Malcolm Lane said:
“We played the worst possible game we could play. You’re not going to win games with four or five turnovers. You can’t.” (HA)

About paying his way to the game and not playing in the game, Rick Taylor said:
“I didn’t mind doing that because I’ve been waiting for this game for 2 1/2 years.” (HSB)

About how this differs from the Sugar Bowl because they have the rest of the season to play, John Estes said:
“It’s kind of the same feeling (as UH’s 41-10 loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl). But that was our last game and this is our first game. We still have the whole season to play and we have to clean it up.” (HSB)

Unhappy that they did not compete consistently the whole game, Sol said:
“It’s disappointing. No matter what happens, you don’t ever want to see a score like that. … I wanted us to at least compete out there. We did, but we didn’t compete the whole game. We played a good first quarter. We played a good fourth. We didn’t play consistently the whole game, like we should have. We let them get the momentum.” (HA)

About how they need to execute better, Sol said:
“Speed wasn’t the issue — it was the fact that we didn’t execute, defensively, special teams and offensively.” (HSB)

About Tebow’s ability to improvise on broken plays, Adam Leonard said:
“He’s a playmaker; he does what he had to do to win. If a play breaks down, he has the ability to keep it going and make it into even a bigger play. He did that today. That’s testament to how good he is.” (HA)

“He’s a playmaker, he does what he has to do to win. When a play breaks down he has the ability to keep it going and make it into an even bigger play. He did that today and it’s just a testament to how good he is.” (HSB)

Praising Tebow, Adam said:
“He makes plays and runs that offense very well. I definitely take my hat off to him.” (HA)

About how they prepared to handle Florida’s speed, Adam said:
“We knew if we let them get in the open field they could flash their speed. The main thing was control the line of scrimmage.” (HSB)

About how they have to respond to this loss, Adam said:
“The game’s over, you can’t go back in time, it’s not a video game, we can’t reset it. We can’t let this define us.” (HSB)

Impressed with Florida’s speed, Josh Leonard said:
“I would say they are more of a perimeter team. They’re running backs are geared more, they’re built more for getting outside and making big plays. Georgia is more of a grind it, run it right at you. Our defense wasn’t as overwhelmed as we were last year because we felt like we were kind of prepared for this. It just kind of fell apart.” (GS)

Asked to sum things up in one word, Jameel Dowling said:
“Nasty.” (HSB)

Praising Florida, Dan Kelly said:
“They’re a tough team. That’s why they’re ranked No. 5.” (HA)

About how the Florida student section targeted him before and during the game, Kelly said:
“I guess I was the only one they knew. Maybe the hecklers loved me.” (HA)

—————— Quotes from Florida ————————

About their struggles in the first quarter, Urban Meyer said:
“We were on the ropes a bit in the first quarter but we responded all right after that.” (HSB)

“The way the first quarter went, I’m really glad this whole deal worked out.” (PBP)

“We worked hard in the offseason getting ready for a pretty good football team. They are a team that runs a unique offense. We were on the ropes a bit in the first quarter but we responded alright after that. A lot of guys played hard. The offensive line played well and the defensive ran the ball. There is a lot to be excited for Florida football right now.” (UH, HSB)

OS Note: “Hawaii displayed the better offense until the Gators scored on a 1-yard run by Brandon James with 11:39 in the second quarter.”

OS Note: “Hawaii put up 102 yards on their first two drives 16 the rest of the first half.”

Proud of his team, Meyer said:
“I’m very proud of our guys. The future is pretty bright.” (GC)

“That was a lot of fun to watch. The guys played hard. There is a lot to be excited about for Florida football right now.” (DBNJ)

Referring to their next game (against Miami), Meyer said they are going to have:
“a big week around here.” (GC)

About the weapons they have on offense, Meyer said:
“Big plays take the wind out of your sails. Can you expect that from us? I don’t know. There’s some guys that when they touch the ball and if you make a mistake, they can score on you. Fun to watch.” (AP)

“We’ve got some good-lookin’ checkers to put on the checkerboard.” (PBP)

“One of the great thrills of being a coach is having some good-looking checkers you can put on the checkerboard.” (SFSS)

About the TDs by Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, Meyer said:
“We kind of love fast people around here, and Jeff Demps is fast. He is not a track athlete playing football. He is a football player. And Chris Rainey is a fantastic athlete.” (AP, UH, DBNJ, HSB)

“We kind of like fast people around here. And Demps is fast. I don’t know if you guys knew that. But Jeff Demps can really run. He’s not a track guy playing football. He’s a football player.” (GC, IFA)

Praising Riley Cooper’s block on Rainey’s TD run, Meyer said:
“Riley Cooper, that was about a 7-second block clinic he put on.” (IFA)

About how UH’s D was daring them to run the ball, Meyer said:
“They (Hawai’i) were playing something we call ‘two high,’ which basically means they’re doubling our receivers and daring you to run the bal. You go to sleep at night and dream of ways to hand the ball (off) and be creative.” (HA)

Praising Brandon James’ punt return for a TD, Meyer said:
“He’s really good. That is a good team, and that was a great return (against them).” (GS)

About how James (who also scored their first TD on a 1-yard run and had 121 all-purpose yards) is one of their hardest workers, Meyer said:
“He made all 29 practices leading up to the game. He got an Iron Gator t-shirt from coach Mick (strength and conditioning coach Mickey Mariotti).” (GS)

“That was a great return. He’s never prepared like he’s prepared (now). He’s in the best shape of his career, best strength of his career.” (IFA)

“Brandon James, I think, is the player of the game. He had a 74-yard punt return…He is a heck of
a return man.” (UH, HSB)

“Brandon James, I think, is the player of the game. We have some very good running backs. We have a very good offensive line. We wanted to establish the run early.” (HA)

GS Note: “In naming James “the player of the game,” Meyer pointed to another moment later in the contest in which James sprinted 60 yards on punt coverage to make a solo stop.”

About the turnovers their D got, Meyer said:
“When you create six turnovers, good stuff is going on. We have guys who love to play. If you don’t go hard, you’re in the minority now (on defense).” (GS)

“We were working on pass defense all this summer very hard and it showed. Our defensive coaches did a nice job coaching our guys up. They are not the biggest or the fastest but they made some nice plays. We forced six turnovers and when you force six turnovers, you’ve got good stuff going on.” (UH)

HSB Note: “In one dizzying period of 10 minutes, 48 seconds yesterday, the UH offense turned the ball over four times, setting up three Gator scores on the way to a 56-10 swamping by fifth-ranked Florida.”

Happy with the performance of their secondary, Meyer said:
“It’s so early, but I get kind of like you guys where I feel like I’m part of the Florida nonsense right now. I’m jacked. I’ll go run in (the locker room) and hug them all up right now, and then go back to beating them to death on Monday.” (IFA)

About their big plays, Meyer said:
“Big plays take the wind out of your sails.” (SFSS)

About how he didn’t call the fake punt on 4th-and-15 where punter Chris Henry ran for 17 yards, Meyer said:
“That was going to be his last snap at the University of Florida if he didn’t get it.” (GS)

“That was his last snap at the University of Florida if he didn’t get (the first down). That was not called. He saw a gap and he took it. He will not do that again.” (PBP)

“That was not a called fake-punt. That was his last snap at the University of Florida if he doesn’t get it. He saw a gap and he took it, but he better not do it again.” (DBNJ)

“That was not a called fake punt. That was his last snap at the University of Florida if he didn’t get it. He saw a gap and he took it, but he won’t do that again.” (IFA)

“That was not a called fake punt. He (Henry) won’t do that again. Don’t worry.” (HA)

Asked if RB Emmanuel Moody was in danger of being lost in the mix, especially after spraining his ankle in the game and getting just 2 carriers, Meyer said:
“He’s still a major part of that deal.” (GS)

Asked why TE Aaron Hernandez didn’t play, Meyer wouldn’t say, only saying he:
“was not ready to play.” (GS)

“If he’s ready to play, he’ll play next week.” (PBP, SFSS, GS)

GS Note: “Senior Tate Casey filled in well as the only active tight end with experience. Casey caught two passes for 36 yards, including a career-long 34-yard reception in the first quarter.”

Unhappy with their penalties in this game, Meyer said:
“Just silly, nonsense, freshman penalties. You have guys running into the kicker, guys jumping offsides, an offensive tackle moving … Most of it was on young players. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to correct.” (PBP)

“The discipline of the D-line, you can’t have penalties. You think it’s going to be 2nd-and-10, but now its 1st-and-5. You get a nice play on offense, and a guy moves, or a guy doesn’t line up correctly. … We’ve got a long way to go now.” (IFA)

Blaming their inexperience for the penalties, Meyer said:
“Just silly, nonsense, freshman penalties. You have guys running into the kicker, guys jumping offsides, an offensive tackle moving. Most of it was on young players. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to correct.” (IFA)

About their 13 penalties, 8 in the first half, Meyer said:
“We probably set a record today.” (IFA)

About their roughing the kicker penalty, Meyer said:
“That was a silly penalty. You have the two freshmen running on the side … trying to come off the edge, and sure enough they ran into the punter.” (IFA)

Asked if his putting in backup QB Cam Newton to score in the 3rd quarter was part of his plan to minimize the pounding that Tebow will take this season, Meyer said:
“I’m hoping. But it’s going to be hard not to have [Tebow] carry the ball at certain times in the game. It’s all to take the wear and tear off of Tim and not to lean on him too much. … But we all know at the end of the day, No. 15 will carry the mail for us in critical situations.” (AP)

“It’s going to be hard not to have 15 carry the ball. It’d be nice to be able to do what we did with Cam in that situation. You saw on the goal line (earlier in the game) where we went to three backs, a full-house backfield. We’re going to try not to lean on him so much. But we all know at the end of the day, 15 will carry the ball in certain situations.” (GS)

About how they will need to rely on Tebow in other games, Meyer said:
“(He’ll) carry the mail for us.” (PBP)

About their struggles to start the game, Tebow said:
“Everything went so slow at the beginning. We were saying, ‘Let’s go! Let’s go!’ I think we’re just used to having it so fast in practice.” (PBP)

“For the most part we just didn’t execute.” (HA)

About how they were able to use a lot of their weapons on offense in this game, Tebow said:
“It was a good effort from everyone today. Offensively, the running backs ran well, and we spread the ball around effectively. Everyone was part of the win.” (HSB, UH)

“We’ve got a lot of weapons. A key for us today was getting out there and using all those weapons.” (AP)

“We spread the ball around. Everybody was a part of the win.” (GS)

“We have so many weapons. When those young guys get the ball in their hands, they can go and they can make things happen.” (SFSS)

”It’s great having those guys out their making big plays. It’s great to see.” (MH)

ESPN Note: “Tim Tebow didn’t have a rushing touchdown for the first time since 2006, but the Gators got a rushing touchdown from four different players in the win.”

Told by a reporter that he was behind his Heisman pace from last year, Tebow said:
“Aw, shucks.” (HA)

Not worried that his NCAA-record streak of a TD passing and rushing in consecutive games was broken, Tebow said:
“Aw, shucks. I’m not too worried about that right now.” (AP, PBP)

“Ah shucks. I really don’t care about that. I’m not too worried about that. I’m worried about the ‘U’ ” (GS)

“It’s more about winning an SEC title and a national championship.” (PBP)

About how a national title is more important than individual awards, Tebow said:
“Winning the other awards? That’s great. But it’s so much more important to get a national championship ring.” (SFSS)

About how they might not be able to reduce his workload when they play “big-time” situations, unlike the UH game, Tebow said:
“In games like this, maybe, but we’ll see in big-time situations who we can trust with the ball.” (PBP)

“When we’re in big games, and in clutch situations, I’m still going to be myself. On opportunities like this, if you don’t have to do too much, just don’t do it. Save your body. There were opportunities where I could have fought for the first down, but I tried to be smart. I ran out of bounds. You either punt it or be smart.” (SFSS)

Asked if he would save himself and run out of bounds like that against Miami, Tebow said is:
“Might be a little bit different.” (SFSS)

Asked what excites him the most about their game next Saturday, Tebow said:
“It’s playing ‘The U!” (GS)

“I’m excited about playing The U. I’ve never done it before.” (PBP)

“We need to have a good week of practice, put in our reps and bring it on game day.” (UH)

About Miami’s 6-game win streak against Florida, Tebow said:
‘We’re going to change that.” (MH)

About how the Miami game is a big game for them, Tebow said:
”We’ll probably have 80 percent of the state of Florida here next week. [ESPN’s] GameDay will probably be here. It will be hype. No matter how good [Miami] played teams last year or whoever they play the rest of the year, they’ll play their best game next Saturday versus us.” (MH)

About his reduced workload, which included another QB getting a TD when they had the ball near the goal line, Tebow said:
“It’s definitely nice sometimes. I didn’t take too much of a pounding. I think I only have one bruise.” (GS)

About how he took it so easy that he was going to work out after the game, Tebow said:
”I didn’t take too much of a pounding. I don’t think I’m sore, so I can go condition now.” (MH, IFA)

“I don’t even think I’m sore. I can go condition now.” (DBNJ)

About the hit he took when he threw himself at a UH defender on a Chris Rainey run, Tebow said:
“That wasn’t too smart. I got a lot of looks from the sideline when I got up. They were all saying, ‘What are you doing?’ ” (GS)

“It’s nice not to take a pounding.” (PBP)

About how he took it easy on his body in this game, Tebow said:
“In certain situations, I’m still going to be myself. But I’m going to try to be smarter. If I don’t have to do too much, I’m not going to.” (GS)

GS Note: “Like third-and-1 in a tight game. On Saturday, he ran only six times although one of them was as pretty a run as we’ve seen. Tebow reversed his field and just stepped out at the 1. But on the next play, the ball went to Brandon James for the score. Because this was Hawaii.”

Praising their D, Tebow said:
“It was nice. I got a lot of rest on the bench I’m not used to. The defense was beating us in points there for a while. It was a good thing to see.” (GS)

About how their D was outscoring their offense most of the game, Tebow said:
“It was a lot of rest time on the bench that I’m not used to, but it’s great. They were beating us in points for a while, and I don’t know if we ever caught up with them because of all the special teams and defensive touchdowns.” (IFA)

Praising UH’s D, Tebow said:
“They (Hawai’i’s defense) brought a few nice blitzes. They’re coached up pretty well and they did some nice odd blitzes. For the most part it’s six men in the box and you should be able to run it every play and we were able to. We pretty much knew the different things they were going to come into the game with.” (HA)

About the success their RBs had running the ball, Jeff Demps (a true freshman with world class speed!) said:
“It feels good. We have a little thing coach says. ‘In practice, you put the money in the bank. In games, you get to take it out.’ Today was payday for us. I knew we were going to come out do some big stuff. I just got paid today.” (AP)

About his 62-yard TD run, Demps said:
“I didn’t expect to do that in my first game. My goal was to come out here and play some and have some fun.” (GS)

“I was running fast, but I knew I could run faster.” (IFA)

About getting a hole to run through, Demps said:
“When I see the light, man, my eyes just get big.” (IFA0

After calling James’ punt return TD “incredible”, Demps added:
“He made like five guys miss. I tried to get out and throw a block in, but obviously he didn’t even need it.” (IFA)

About their penalties, Demps said:
“Mistakes are going to happen. But as long as you’re playing hard and giving all you got, it doesn’t really matter. It matters, but deep down it doesn’t matter because you were giving it your all.” (IFA)

About their team speed, Demps said:
“We have crazy speed.” (PBP)

“The speed on this offense is crazy. We’ve got guys that can score from 80 or 90 yards at any time.” (SFSS)

SFSS Note: “Rainey and Demps were both high school sprint champions. Demps holds the national high school record for the fastest 100 meters in history, and Rainey actually beat him in a race during the offseason.”

About how he and Demps carry their track shoes around in their backpacks just in case someone challenges them to a footrace, Chris Rainey said:
“We’re always ready to run.” (SFSS)

About running the ball in the game, Rainey (a sophomore who had a left shoulder injury that kept him off the field most of last season) said:
“It felt just like high school, back in the day.” (IFA)

About his 80-yard INT return for a TD, Ahmad Black (Sophomore who was starting his first game who) said:
“It was awesome. I heard the whole crowd in The Swamp cheering. It was a good feeling. It was kind of sweet making those plays. It felt like old times (at Lakeland High).” (GS)

“It was awesome! I heard the whole crowd in The Swamp cheering. It was a good feeling.” (UH)

“The first thing I wanted to do was get the ball. Once I got it I saw I had a little space and the defense did a good job at picking up blocks. I just followed them.” (GC)

Asked what it does to an opposing team when the D returns an INT for a TD, Black said:
“It deflates them. When I got the second one for a touchdown that deflated them. Our secondary played well.” (GC)

About the INT he had in the end zone off an overthrown Alexander pass, Black said:
“We had a couple of penalties, the score was 0-0 and they were driving. I got (the interception) and we scored. It was kind of a gamebreaker.” (GS)

Crediting the DL for his INTs, Black said:
“The defensive line got good pressure on the quarterback and the corners had good pressure underneath. The quarterback threw a couple of bad passes and I took advantage of them.” (UH)

‘We got a lot of pressure on the quarterback.” (MH)

“The defensive line got good pressure on the quarterback and the corners had good pressure underneath. The quarterback threw a couple of bad passes and I took advantage of them.” (HA)

About moving from CB (he was a backup CB last year) to safety, which was useful to the team after Dorian Murnoe’s was lost for the season due to injury, Black said:
“When D-Mo went out, I knew I had to step up. I had to step up and not be the weak link.” (GS)

“I didn’t get much playing time at corner last year. I only played like two games. I like the safety position where I see more field.” (GC)

Asked if it was hard to sit and learn last year (his freshman year), Black said:
“Yeah it was kind of tough. Watching the older guys was good. Now I look at the younger guys and know what they’re going through.” (GC)

About how their secondary is motivated to by their struggles last season, Black said:
“All we’ve been trying to do is get better. Everyone knows we were the weakness last year. We just want to get better.” (GS)

About critics of their secondary (Florida was #98 in the country in pass defense last season), Black said:
“I read a lot saying we were a weak link, and this and that, but we stepped it up today. They can say what they want, but week in and week out – I’m there every day, so I know we’re a much better defense than we were last year.” (IFA)

Asked what he took away from their performance today, Black said:
“We can’t get a big head. We’ve got to keep going.” (GC)

Asked what they knew about UH’s QB that made him look so bad, Black said:
“He didn’t look (receiver) off as much as we expected. Coach told us that he was going to look wherever he would throw and he did.” (GC)

About people who say that he’s too small for the safety position, Black said:
“I’m kinda showing everybody that I can play even with my size. Coach Meyer is pushing me. I’m just trying to do well on the field.” (GC)

Asked if he understands how big the Miami game is next week, Black said:
“Oh I get it. It’s a big game. Coach said College Gameday will be here, it’s a night game and it’s in The Swamp.” (GC)

Praising Black’s performance in his first start, CB Joe Haden said:
“He’s been playing like he’s been out there for two years. That’s what he does, he makes plays.” (GS)

Asked what is different from last year’s D, Haden said:
“We’re just going hard on every play now. We’re coming up with turnovers, interceptions. We know what’s going on now, we just need the confidence. If one person is on the tackle, everybody will get over there and tackle.” (SFSS)

About his INT that he returned for a TD, Major Wright said:
”It felt real good. That was my first time ever getting into the end zone on defense.” (MH)

“My eyes got really big, probably as big as a clock. My main focus was to catch the ball first and then run with it.” (IFA)

Note: Wright said that he had never scored while playing on defense, including his high school days.

About how this game showed how they can trust each other to get their jobs done on D, Wright said:
“It felt real good to know that I can trust Ahmad and our whole defense out there on the field. Basically, on our defense, everyone has to trust each other, and that’s the kind of chemistry we have going on.” (IFA)

About how they will be much better on the DL this season, DE Carlos Dunlap said:
“The defensive line is going to show out. It’s going to show everybody what we’ve got. So everybody knows what we have. Ain’t going to hide nothing.” (HA)

Crediting his teammates for his punt return TD, Brandon James said:
“(We had) good blocking by our corners. They did a good job holding up the gunners.” (GS)

“You have a lot of guys that (special teams) is the world. They prepare for it so hard they put a lot of pressure on me because they want to see me return one so bad. So when I don’t get one, I feel I’m letting those guys down.” (IFA)

Note: UH had not allowed a punt return for a TD since 2005.

About how he quickly knows if he has a chance to break a punt return, James said:
“I feel pretty good when I have broken a couple of tackles. Once I get in the open field and turn the corner, I feel like I’ve got a chance.” (GS)

“Once you turn the corner and you see a little bit of open field, you’re thinking in your mind that you want to go ahead and put it in (the end zone).” (IFA)

About how he works hard on every play, whether or not he is at WR, RB, punt returner, or in punt coverage, James said:
“It comes out on film. If 10 guys are running hard on a play, the guy who isn’t is going to hear about it from everyone.” (GS)

“Whenever you get the ball, you pressure yourself to make a play because you never know when you’re going to get it again with all the playmakers we have.” (IFA)

About how they do not need to depend on Tebow to do everything on offense this year, James said:
“We don’t have to depend on him. We’re capable.” (SFSS)

Claiming that UH’s players were giving up during the game, Florida senior WR Louis Murphy said:
“We were breaking so many big plays. They were tapping on their heads asking to sub out, and we knew they didn’t want any more of us.” (DBNJ)

Impressed with the runs by Rainey and Demps, Murphy said:
“I wouldn’t imagine them doing that in their first game. It adds another dimension to our offense. We have a lot of depth.” (IFA)

Confident that they will make these types of big plays against any team, Murphy said:
“With all the talent and the depth we have, I believe we’re going to be making plays like this all the time.” (DBNJ)

About Miami, Murphy said:
“I don’t refer to them as ‘The U.’ Because ‘U’ stands for university, and we’re the real university.” (MH, IFA)

GS Note: “Florida fakes a punt, and even punter Chas Henry is able to outrun Hawaii’s defense. In fact, Henry seems to be pulling away from Hawaii defenders as he hits the sideline. There is some discussion in the press box as to whether Western Carolina would be able to beat Hawaii.”

Pregame quotes from the local papers

August 30, 2008

About Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp), JD said:
“It’s pretty amazing. This thing holds 90,000 people. I have a feeling there will be a lot of chomping (motions by Gator fans), and not too many people cheering for the Warriors. It’s very impressive, and there’s nobody here right now. Imagine what it’s going to be like when it’s full.” (HA)

About walking through the stadium yesterday, Mack said:
“This was just showing them the stadium.” (HA)

When asked if he would have first-day butterflies, Mack said:
“This isn’t my first luau.” (HA)

About choosing Alexander to start at QB, Mack said:
“We went with the guy who’s going to give us the best chance to win. And (Alexander) has been getting the most reps in the last two weeks. That was important.” (HA)

About choosing Brent 2 weeks ago as the starter, Mack said:
“at that point, Brent was better. But Greg was hurting then. His feet were bothering him. Now he’s fine. And Brent has been playing good. He’ll be the next guy in the game.” (HA)

About how they play for and represent Hawaii, Mack said:
“We play for Hawai’i and the people of Hawai’i. That’s who I feel responsible for. I have to have these guys ready to play. This is a big challenge. There are a lot of brick walls to get through. But I believe in my players and I believe in my coaches.” (HA)

About how he’s talked with his players about how they represent Hawaii, Mack said:
“I’ve said, over and over, that we’re playing for the State of Hawai’i. I told the players they have two names on their jerseys: the name on the back is theirs and their family’s and the name on the front is Hawai’i — and we play for both. It is important for us to play our hearts out every game because of who we represent. That’s why we have to give our best effort each week. All the time.” (HSB)

About how they won’t schedule many games on the East Coach again, JD said:
“I won’t rule it out completely, but we’re only going to do home-and-home (series) and we’re not going to do them often. It has to make sense for us. That means it would be a program that would be good for us to play and that would help us draw people when they came to Hawaii.” (HSB)

About how they won’t travel to the Eastern time zone again, Mack said:
“I think there’s enough teams on the West Coast and the Colorados (scheduled to play four games against UH starting in 2010) and those people that I probably wouldn’t come out here and spend all that money.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “From a financial perspective, Donovan said UH will net between $300,000 and $350,000 by playing the Gators.”

About The Swamp, Mack said:
“It’s a really nice stadium, but I’ve been in big stadiums and so have these kids. It’ll be a college game-day experience and that’s going to be exciting for everybody. But I don’t even know how big a crowd is when you’re coaching because you’re focused in on what’s going on.” (HSB)

About the 3,000 or so UH supporters attending the game, JD said:
“I think it’s awesome that they made the trip here to show their support and it’ll mean a lot to the players and coaches.” (HSB)

Quotes from the local papers

August 29, 2008

About how they practiced at 8:30am, Mack pointed to the sleepy reporters and said:
“I thought my players would have a hard time getting up, but look at you guys.” (HA)

After their 2-hour practice, Mack said:
“It was a good practice.” (HA)

HA Note: “Although the announcement of a No. 1 quarterback remains, according to McMackin, a “game-time decision,” Greg Alexander is expected to start. Alexander was the quarterback for 59 of 81 snaps during 7-on-7 and team drills yesterday. In the past two practices, he has received 104 of the 138 snaps. He worked mostly with the first-team offense.”

About how LWJ is their starting RB, Mack said:
“He had a great camp.” (HA)

About how Libre will backup LWJ and get playing time, Mack said:
“They’re both good backs. They both have their style.” (HA)

About how their OL cannot forget their struggles in the Sugar Bowl, Keoni Steinhoff said:
“We have to remember what happened in the Sugar Bowl.” (HA)

Asked if he was hurt to be demoted to the scout team 2 weeks before the Sugar Bowl, LWJ said:
“Not at all. If they needed me on scouts, I was going to give them my best look.” (HA)

About how RBs cannot slack off with Coach Gerke watching them, LWJ said:
“When Gerke is your coach, and he’s on you, you get in shape real fast. I can’t explain him. You have to observe him. He’s unique. But he gets us in shape, so you can’t complain.” (HA)

About how his snap-to-punt time is now consistently under 2 seconds, Tim Grasso said:
“It’s because of Jake (Ingram). He’s one of the best long-snappers in the country.” (HA)

Praising Tebow, Rich Miano said:
“He’s the best player in the country.” (HA)

“They run sweeps with him, they run power with him. He can do it all.” (HA)

Praising Florida’s kick and punt returner Brandon James, Ikaika Malloe said:
“Brandon James is what I would call a difference maker. If he gets the ball, he can change the tempo. He’s short, but he’s fast. It’s hard not only to see him, but it’s hard to catch him. What he does best is use his blocks to his advantage. He knows how to set up blocks.” (HA)

About the full police escort they got for their 45-minute ride from the airport to their Ocala hotel, UH SID Derek Inouchi said:
“It wasn’t an escort, it was a motorcade. Six motorcycles, cars. I mean, they stopped cars like three lights ahead of us.” (HA)

Downplaying how the heat might affect the Warriors, Urban Meyer said:
“It is football, they’re used to that. They have heat. It is just a matter of execution.” (HA)

“You get a team from the North, you get a team from the Midwest, they’re not used to the heat. I saw (Hawai’i’s) travel plans. I don’t think there’s (much) impact there than the fact I think the crowd will be really into it. Probably not as much as if it were a night game, so I think it will just be the execution of two teams on the field is all it is gonna be.” (HA)

UF fan Joe Colorio said:
“you have to feel it to believe it. There are no (ocean) breezes. The heat is bad, really bad. With a 12:30 p.m. game it is almost dangerous for the fans sitting there and the sun. I saw people fall out last year.” (HA)

About playing at Florida for his first game as head coach at UH, Mack said:
“When you play the best you find out where you are. But this will be a big challenge.” (HSB)

Not reflecting much on his head coaching debut at UH, Mack said:
“I’ve been thinking of the team and the things we need to get done, just trying to set the last-minute details. I haven’t even thought about that.” (HSB)

About playing in front of the huge crowd tomorrow, Alexander said:
“There’s not much else you can do (to prepare for the atmosphere). I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big, but I don’t know if it’s really going to change things that much. The game is still played between the lines and it’s still football.” (HSB)

Looking forward to wearing their new Under Armour uniforms in a game, Adam said:
“I’m excited to don that uniform and, like Coach said, he put ‘Hawaii’ on the front for a reason. We’re playing not only for our families and ourselves but the people of Hawaii.” (HSB)

Playing down talk about how the Florida game could be redemption for the Georgia game, Mack said:
“That’s last year, that’s a whole different team. Every team has its own personality, so this is a whole different team than the team that played in the Sugar Bowl. A lot of the defensive guys are the same, but a lot of the offensive guys weren’t even there.” (HSB)

About Florida’s speed, Alexander said:
“Their speed is probably the biggest thing. Everything’s going to have to happen that much faster as far as reads and getting the ball out.” (HSB)

About how he thought about their Sugar Bowl struggles all offseason, Estes said:
“I thought about it every (day), at least one time a day. For the last five, six, seven years, the O-line has been the strongest point of those teams and we just have to bring that back this year. We were good last year and the Sugar Bowl we didn’t play well at all. We have to bring that swagger back to the O-line.” (HSB)

Sol, Adam, Keala, and Estes selected as team captains

August 29, 2008

About how a lot of Warriors got votes for being a captain (each player on the road trip got to vote for 2 players), Mack said:
“Quite honestly, there were a lot of guys who got votes, so we have a lot of leaders. Those guys were separated. Those were very good choices. The team really respects them.” (HA)

HA Note: “Elimimian and Leonard are fourth-year starters. They have never redshirted. Elimimian calls the defensive signals. Leonard was one of the organizers of the unsupervised workouts this summer, often providing the water. Estes, the only junior of the quartet, is a third-year starter. He makes the blocking calls. Watson has been a part-time starter the past three seasons. But he is considered one of the team’s spiritual leaders. He also has co-authored two ha’a chants, including the version the Warriors will use this season. The Nanakuli High graduate is the only one of the four who was raised in Hawai’i.”

Honored to be a captain, Keala said:
“The few and the proud. It’s an honor to join them as a captain. One of the best things is we have so many good leaders on our team. All of the positions have leaders. Every position has people who will step up and take charge and get everybody motivated.” (HA)

Honored to be a captain, Estes said:
“I’m honored my teammates look at me as a leader. There are so many other guys who are deserving. I’m so happy they picked me.” (HA)

“I’m just honored that my teammates voted for me. There’s so many guys who are deserving to be captains.” (HSB)

Honored to be a captain, Adam said:
“Humbled and hungry. It’s a great honor. I’m appreciative. I’m happy to know my teammates feel this way about me. At the same time, I’m not going to be any different than when I first came in. I want to go out there and work hard and lead by example.” (HA)

Sol was named the WAC’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year but said that being named captain:
“is the biggest honor. Any time you get your teammates’ admiration and respect, it goes a long way. It’s a blessing. Being voted captain by your peers, the guys you go to war with, is definitely significant.” (HA)

About moving from MLB to outside LB, Sol said:
“I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team. The team is the most important thing.” (HA)

News from the local papers

August 28, 2008

About how they had overcast skies with gentle breezes during their practice in Atlanta yesterday, Dan Kelly said:
“Let’s hope this weather now translates over to the Florida game. Coach has us prepared for the worst. If we get the second-to-worst (weather), hey, we’re better off.” (HA)

Pleased with their practice yesterday, Mack said:
“We got a lot of things done. I thought they were loose and in good spirits. Their attitude is great. They ran around good.” (HA)

“The team is in good spirits, everybody felt good and I think they adjusted very well. Practice was sharp and I thought the trip was good. We lifted weights here today and (Georgia Tech head coach and former UH offensive coordinator) Paul Johnson has opened up everything for us, so it’s worked out really good for us.” (HSB)

HA Note: “The final drill was six 50-yard sprints. All but one of the 66 players competed in the sprints. Kelly did crunches on the sideline. The Warriors have used the same itinerary for this trip as they did in 2005, when they trained in Atlanta for two days in preparation for the season opener against Alabama.”

About how they are more focused this year than they were against Alabama, Sol said:
“A couple of years ago, the guys were star-struck a little bit. A lot of young guys kept looking around and around. … The Sugar Bowl was a big stage. It definitely will help us.” (HA)

Mack said that the Warriors are:
“humble and hungry. That’s what we talked about. … There’s a lot of inside confidence on this team, a lot of winners on this team. We just need game reps. It’s time to get some game reps. That’s what we need to do.” (HA)

HA Note: “Slotback Rick Taylor, who was a high school teammate of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, is not on the 66-player travel roster. But Taylor paid his own way, and will attend the game as a spectator.”

HA Note: “Aaron Bain is the primary backup to punt returner Michael Washington. Ryan Henry was a candidate for that position, but now it appears he will redshirt. Others expected to redshirt are slotbacks Miah Ostrowski and Dustin Blount, wideout Mike Tinoco, quarterback Steele Jantz, defensive linemen Geordon Hanohano and Haku Correa, linebacker Paipai Falemalu, and cornerbacks Steven Christian and Lewis Walker.”

About how Florida will not travel to Aloha Stadium, Urban Meyer said:
“(There’s) no chance the University of Florida will ever go to Hawai’i and play… as long as I’m here.”

“I’ll go visit Hawai’i and take a look around out there and hang around out there but we won’t play out there.” (HA)

Asked why they won’t play in Hawaii, Meyer said:
“because there is no reason for us to. We don’t recruit Hawai’i. To be honest with you, we have a challenging enough schedule. I know what they are like over there on that island. I know what those fans are like, too.” (HA)

HA Note: “UF has not played a non-conference regular season game outside Florida since 1991.”

About how he and Mack are against them making any more road trips to the Eastern time zone, JD said:
“It just doesn’t make sense for us.” (HA)

About why playing UH in their home opener made sense for them, Meyer said:
“I (did) it for a lot of reasons. I want to make sure our guys have a good first game. I think any time you schedule a team like Hawai’i in the first game it makes your off-season that much more productive and focused because when you have a smaller school team — you can’t say (Division) I-AA after what Appalachian State did (to Michigan in 2007) — but … our focus has been much greater because of who we are playing in this first game and what Hawai’i did last year … the way we speak about them.” (HA)

About UH, Meyer (who was the head coach at Utah) said:
“I know Hawai’i very well. I’ve played over there several times. I want to say at least four times. I’ve played Hawai’i off the island a few times. I’ve coached Polynesian players. I’ve watched them (the Warriors) play.” (HA)

About playing Florida, Mack said:
“I think it’s great to play the best. They’re the fastest offense in the country, they have the Heisman Trophy winner and they probably have 10 first- and second-round draft picks on their team. It’s exciting to play a team like that — you find out where you are real fast.” (HSB)

About the running threat that Tebow poses, Mack said:
“It’s like putting another (running) back in the backfield. So they have an extra back that you have to account for.” (HSB)

About how they faced a running QB last year in Washington’s Jake Locker, David Veikune said:
“That’s a huge challenge when the quarterback is a dual threat. It’s really not a big difference (in speed between Tebow and Locker), but Tebow’s arm is more accurate.” (HSB)

About facing Florida’s speed, Adam Leonard said:
“We’re going to trust in the system we’ve got and I feel we have good speed on our team. I don’t feel we’re totally outmatched.They’ve got some speedsters, bu t I’m just thankful we’re not running track, we’re playing football.” (HSB)

Praising UH, Tebow said:
“They’ve got a pretty strong defense. They do a lot of good things. They’ve got a good coordinator who puts their defensive packages together pretty well. They mix some of their blitzes really well. We’ll have to be very sound in our protection with changing calls and different things like that. That’s really one of their strengths.” (HSB)

About his approach to this trip, Sol said:
“We’re not here to do anything but compete. We’re not here to fraternize or take pictures. We’re here to play football.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “In 2006 the Warriors performed like themselves in Atlanta, as they did last night, with a crisp, efficient practice. But at Bryant-Denny Stadium the day before the game, it was more like 10-year-olds on a field trip to a toy factory than a college football practice.”

About playing at Florida, Peoples (who is from Tampa) said:
“I’ve been there (The Swamp) plenty of times. Games, camps. I’ve never been a Florida fan, more of a Florida State fan. Florida overlooked my dad (Auburn star and NFL running back George), so the Peoples family has never been big fans of Florida.” (HSB)

About how he is more ready to play now than he was against Alabama, Peoples said:
“The difference between this scenario and Alabama is I didn’t have the mental maturity then. Now I’ve been out here a while and I’ve seen a couple of things. Now I’m ready. If I get in there I’m going to do exactly what I’ve been told to do.” (HSB)

About how their Sugar Bowl experience and vets who played at Alabama will help them prepare for Florida, Sol said:
“We have a lot of guys who played in the Sugar Bowl, a lot of guys who played against Alabama. I don’t see us being star-struck. We know what we’re here for.” (HSB)

Alexander appears to be the new #1 QB

August 28, 2008

About how Alexander is ahead of Brent now, Mack said:
“If the game (were) today, I’d go with Greg.” (HA)

Note: According to HA, Alexander took 45 of the 57 reps during 7-on-7 and team drills yesterday. According to HSB, in 7-on-7 drills Alexander went 21-29 with an INT while Brent was 6-11 and in team drills, Alexander went 5-7 and Brent had just 3 plays.

About why Alexander has moved up in the depth chart despite Brent saying he’s “100 percent” recovered from his arm ailment, Mack said:
“What’s happening is that Brent’s arm got hurt. While Brent’s arm was hurting, Greg started healing up and playing well. … We’re going to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win. … Both of them are getting plenty or reps right now. Greg is getting reps with the No. 1s (first team).” (HA)

Praising Alexander, Mack said:
“He’s mature. He’s got a strong arm. He has great size (6 feet 4, 225 pounds). He has 22 college games under his belt. I believe he can go out there and not get intimidated by their fans.” (HA)

About the decision over who starts at QB, Alexander said:
“It’s the coaches’ decision, but I have to be prepared like I’m going to be the guy. … No sense in stressing myself out about it. I can only control what I do. The decision is going to happen one way or the other. I can’t stress about it.” (HA)

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Feature on the Lee Brothers

August 27, 2008

About his brothers, oldest brother Tommy Lee said:
“We’ve always been close.” (HA)

About his brothers, middle brother Ron Lee said:
“We all loved sports and that gave us a closeness that lasts until this day.” (HA)

About his brothers, youngest brother Cal said:
“Togetherness.” (HA)

HA Note: “At UH home games, Ron and Cal don’t need to scan the stands to know where their parents are. They know that long before the rest of the crowd arrive, their father, Thomas — slowed but not stopped by arthritis — will have already wheeled himself to the south end zone where he and wife Hazel will sit together until the last whistle. They know also that their older brother, two time zones away, is also keeping track of their success.”

About the Lee brothers, their mother Hazel said:
“I always wanted my boys to play sports. I didn’t know that they would all coach, but it’s what they love and they’ve done well for themselves.” (HA)

HA Note: “It was love of sport, Thomas Lee says, from which the loving family grew. Unbeknownst to his mother, who feared the injury the sometimes brutal game might inflict on her son, Thomas was an accomplished fullback by the time he reached his teen years. With nothing but a thick sweatshirt to absorb the contact, Thomas played with a selflessness he learned by his mother — a widow who worked long hours at Waimano Home to pay her son’s $9-a-month tuition at Saint Louis — and an intensity and intelligence he would eventually pass on to his young sons.”

About how he loved football, Thomas Lee said:
“I loved the game, loved the contact. I played until I couldn’t run anymore.” (HA)

HA Note: “Each weekend, Hazel would visit her Hawaiian grandfather at his home on Mokihana Street. It wasn’t long before she noticed the group of young men who congregated down the street, and in particular the athletic and personable one they called Tom.”

About how she got to know Thomas during those Sunday visits to her grandfather, Hazel said:
“That was where our romance blossomed.” (HA)

About his sons, Thomas said:
“My boys played everything — football, baseball, basketball. And my house was just like the park.” (HA)

About how his brothers were his closest friends, Cal said:
“Everything we did was with each other. It wasn’t like one goes here and another goes there. Where you might have friends outside your family, my brothers were my friends.” (HA)

About how he volunteered for night shifts so that he could make sure his sons could make it to practices and games, Thomas said:
“That gave me a lot of time with my boys. I’d run around with them all day and rest when I got to work. I had no social life. I was always with my boys.” (HA)

About how they stressed education to their boys, Hazel said:
“My husband and I really pushed our boys to get their diploma and go to college so they could get a good job. We always checked who they were around and we pushed them to complete their education.” (HA)

Praising his mother, Tommy said:
“My mother doesn’t get much credit, but she was right there with us in a silent way. She’d go to church every day to pray for our family. Whenever there was a game or an event, she was the team mom. She was our strength.” (HA)

HA Note: “Tommy and Ron followed their father’s footsteps to Saint Louis; Cal attended the recently opened Kalani. All three were excellent athletes, particularly in football.”

Crediting his father for his passion for football, Cal said:
“He was ahead of his time. Even when we were losing, he never said anything negative, never blamed the coaches or the players. I think if he had been negative, I might have gone away from the game.” (HA)

About how sports motivated him to keep up with school, Cal said:
“To be honest, I wasn’t the best student. I was at the bottom of the pack, but I knew that I had to work hard academically to be able to play. The great gift is that sports help you to attain goals that might not even realize are there at the time. I hate to think where I would be now if I wasn’t fortunate to have two loving parents to help me achieve that.” (HA)

HA Note: “Tommy would go on to earn All-America honors as a quarterback for Willamette University in Oregon. Ron and Cal, an All-American at linebacker, would also play for the school after stints in junior college.”

About his response when his brother Tommy asked him if he wanted to be an assistant coach under him at St. Louis, Cal said:
“He asked me if I wanted to come home. So I said, ‘When do I leave?'” (HA)

HA Note: “Ron later took over the head coaching position at Kaiser, where Cal joined him as an assistant. Together, they led the Cougars to four consecutive Honolulu District titles and a Prep Bowl championship in 1979.”

About his early coaching career, Cal said:
“It wasn’t always easy, and we weren’t always successful in the beginning. But our parents were always there supporting us. We didn’t want to disappoint them. My mom would come to games but she wouldn’t watch, she’d be praying for us. We never wanted to let her down.” (HA)

HA Note: “Reunited, Cal and Ron turned Saint Louis into a national powerhouse. Under the Lees, the Crusaders would win 14 Prep Bowl titles, 18 Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships and the inaugural Hawai’i High School Athletic Association state championship, inspiring equal measures of respect, fear and despondency throughout the local prep landscape. The Lee brothers’ success would continue with Tommy coaching at Portland State, San Antonio’s World League entry, at Montana-Western, Ron at Oregon Tech and Saint Louis, and Cal at St. Louis (as athletic director) and the Hawaiian Islanders arena football team.”

About how she didn’t know that her sons would go into coaching, Hazel said:
“We pushed them so that they could one day get good jobs and live happy lives. I didn’t know that they would all be coaching, but we don’t mind because that’s their passion and they are helping others.” (HA)

HA Note: “Each Sunday, the Lees attend church together at Star of the Sea, then retire to Zippy’s for their weekly family breakfast.”

About his family, Cal said:
“We’ve been hanging out since we were kids and we’re still hanging out.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Lee lineage in coaching continues with Tommy’s son Pohai, the former Damien athletic director, assuming the role of offensive coordinator at Montana-Western.”

Justifiably (in my opinion) proud of his sons, Thomas said:
“I’m not a boastful person, but I am awfully proud of my sons. My wife and I have good boys.” (HA)

JD talks about how UH athletes represent the state

August 27, 2008

About how he told the women’s soccer and volleyball teams that they represent the state, JD said:
“I told them about the ‘ohana feeling, that this is one of the few places in (major college) athletics where you represent a whole state. Here, you’re not just playing for yourselves and your team but the entire state. I told them it is an honor and a responsibility and that we are the only game in town. I told them, ‘You are a focal point of the community and can actually lift the spirits of the whole state with your performance.'” (HA)

About the importance of Hawaii to him, JD said:
“This is where I grew up and, really became an adult. UH — and the state — are where I have shaped my life.” (HA)

HA Note: “Indeed, it was where he met his wife, Tracy Orillo, on their first day of employment. A picture of Donovan in his football playing days (he started on the offensive line for Dick Tomey) hangs in son Joshua’s room. Part of the way he evaluates coaches is by whether he’d feel comfortable if his own children played for them.”

About how it is an honor to play for UH and represent Hawaii, JD said:
“Representing UH and the state is a tremendous honor and that’s something we should never lose sight of.” (HA)

HA Note: “It is a point he has pressed with not only UH staff but in addressing Aloha Stadium staff and to business and community groups.”

About how the athletic department, coaches, and players represent Hawaii, JD said:
“As an athletic department staff, as coaches and as players, we owe it to the fans and people of the state to put our best efforts forward.” (HA)

Feature on how the Warriors with children are motivated by them

August 27, 2008

About how he plays harder due to his children (Kanoa, 4, and Keamalu, 6 months), Keao Mohnteilh said:
“It makes me play a lot harder. You never know, an opportunity might arise, and I might make it to the next level and I might not, but I can always fall back on my degree. But it’s always on the back of my mind; I want to give them what they want. I want to buy them whatever and take care of my family and my dad and my mom, and that kind of motivates me.” (HA)

About the demands on Keao’s time due to sports, Keao’s wife Kamele said:
“(Kanoa) misses his dad a lot when he’s gone, like right now, when they are at camp. That’s why (Kanoa is) really excited to be here right now. When we do spend time with him, Keao tries to make the most of it.” (HA)

About how Keao visits Kanoa (who goes to the UH preschool) during the school day, Kamele said:
“If (Keao) has extra time off, some of the guys will go with (Keao) and hang out with the kids, and that kind of helps.” (HA)

About Kamele, Keao said:
“I go home and to the house and I do abs and make her come outside to the yard and throw the ball and she’ll say, ‘No, I’m tired already, go call my brother;’ And I say, ‘No, you have to help me. Do you want me to make it or not?’ I give her the old guilt trip. And she gives in.” (HA)

About how having kids has given him “more maturity”, Keao said:
“My mom still teases me about still being a little kid, asking how I can have kids if I’m still a little kid myself, but it’s because I still like to play around. It made me settle down a lot.” (HA)

About how Keao wasn’t really a “party-party guy” but has done even less partying this season, Kamele said:
“And it’s not because of me … He’s just more focused on football.” (HA)

About how having a child makes football more important, Mana Silva said:
“It makes you set your priorities correctly and makes you make the right decisions in life.” (HA)

HA Note: “Silva’s wife Keilah and son Kauahe, 1, live in Hilo, and he rarely gets to see them. In the spring, he flew back on weekends.”

About his family, Silva said:
“The family is the cornerstone for me. My wife keeps me in line and we stay close and take care of our son. It’s tough when you first leave, but you just try to get through it. My wife takes it hard. Having a child, I had to mature pretty quick. There’s more responsibility. You can’t just go to the beach and play around and stuff, your family is always first.” (HA)

About how he doesn’t get to see his daughter Layla much because she lives in San Francisco with her mother (his girlfriend Addie Cortez), Calvin Roberts said:
“The life is not necessarily hard. I miss her every day, but I have a job to do. I need to go to school, and play football, so overall I think it’s fantastic. I visit her and she tries to come down once in a while.” (HA)

About how having Layla changed him from spending his time playing video games or hanging out with his friends to spending that time with her, Calvin said:
“Now it’s crucial timing. I have to play with her and spend time with her. I watch TV with her. We watch cartoons and I think it’s really fun. It’s like being a kid all over again.” (HA)

HA Note: “He thinks about her “every day” wondering how she enjoyed her first day at preschool, what she liked the most about it, or if she cried. Every time he thinks about her, it makes him push harder.”

HA Note: “Unlike Roberts, defensive tackle Josh Leonard brought his fiancee Christa Sariaba with him when he came to UH. Now, with 11-month-old son Blayne in the picture, Leonard said he works harder to make sure he will be able to provide for his family.”

About how having a son has motivated him to work harder, Josh Leonard said:
“I’d say I work a little harder to push myself and hopefully make it to the next level. I matured more, starting thinking about the degree and making sure I’m financially stable when I get older for my son.” (HA)

Josh said that the:
“hardest part is dealing with the family life, going to practice, going to school, going to meetings, going to sleep at midnight and waking up at 5 in the morning. But it’s good, because it’s good having a kid. I’m glad I have one. The only way I can describe it is it’s just pure love for him.” (HA)