Feature stories on Inoke Funaki

About how a Fresno heckler repeatedly called him a “Potato dumpling!” after they had beaten Fresno State, Inoke said:
“I don’t know what a potato dumpling is. I’ll take it as a compliment. It sounds like a really delicious food.” (HA)

HA Note: “It was a reference to a gnocchi (pronounced noh-kee) potato dumpling, which was a play on Funaki’s first name, which was an acknowledgement that Funaki had made a name for himself. Hecklers do not research second-tier players.”

About how they called Inoke a gnocchi, Rolo said:
“That was funny. I used to deliver pizza when I was in high school. I worked in an Italian restaurant. I know what a gnocchi is.” (HA)

About Inoke’s improvement in their modified offense, Rolo said:
“He’s showing a lot of comfort.” (HA)

HA Note: “During this week’s practice, Funaki made a “level-5 read” on a play, the gold standard in UH’s offense, the equivalent of a 55 rating in Call of Duty 4.”

About Inoke’s “level-5 read” in practice, Rolo said:
“It’s top notch. It’s seeing everything.” (HA)

About their modified offense that uses a lot of rollouts, Rolo said:
“We didn’t build a new offense, we modified it. Ninety percent of the plays we run now we would have run in the first week of practice. We put in a few things to keep (the defense) off guard.” (HA)

About how they still are a pass-first offense, Rolo said that Inoke:
“will have to make the throws. He’s not (former Nebraska quarterback) Tommie Frazier.” (HA)

About how he struggled before they modified the offense, Inoke said:
“I was struggling to run the run-and-shoot the way it was supposed to be run. I don’t consider myself a stereotypical run-and-shoot quarterback, like Colt Brennan, who has a really good, accurate arm, and is really good in the pocket, and can make all of those great throws. I wish I were. I’m trying to get to that point.” (HA)

About how he learned to be tough when he grew up with his brothers, Inoke said:
“You have your battles when you’re playing sports with one another. Basketball turns into no-rules basketball.” (HA)

About how when he was growing up he was supposed to help plant taro and the root plants to make tapioca at the farm his family owns on the North Shore, Inoke said:
“We didn’t want to go there in the first place. We always complained. We always tried to get away from doing the work. We’d make mudballs, or we’d take rocks, and we’d throw it at each other. We were hiding behind bushes, and throwing them at each other.” (HA)

Inoke added that back then was when:
“literally, I started throwing the rock.” (HA)

About adjusting to their offense now, Inoke said:
“I’m trying to get used to this whole offense. Hopefully, we’ll get it working. It doesn’t matter what they call it, as long as we can move the ball and get some points.” (HA)

About how he prefers rollout and bootleg plays, Inoke said:
“I have a better view.” (HA)

HA Note: “It also celebrates his elusiveness. Last week, Funaki averaged 1.29 broken tackles per scramble; he averaged 4.42 extra yards after an initial hit.”

About how he has been told to throw away passes instead of getting sacked, Inoke said:
“Incompletions, are better than completions to the other team.” (HA)

About Inoke’s improved play, Rolo said:
“He’s learning from mistakes, instead of worrying about them.” (HSB)

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