Hawaii Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
Hawaii Warriors
Posted Aug 9, 2006

Hawaii Warriors Preview 2006 - Hawaii Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Pitch and catch, run and shoot – Before the spread offense explosion.  About the same time that the West coast offense hit the west coast.  There was the run and shoot.  When the Houston Cougars brought the run and shoot to the college game (of course, kicking the Bill Yeoman veer offense to the curb), it seemed as though the run and shoot would be the flavor of the month by every school across the nation.  Alas, if not for June Jones’s Hawaii Warriors running the run and shoot, it would be a relic along the lines of the veer, the wishbone and the single wing (okay, so we’ve got to give some credit to Mike Leach and his version of the run and shoot as well, but this is about Hawaii, so focus, bro, back to the point).  But, what’s somewhat baffling is that the run and shoot has never stopped working.  Never.  Behind the leadership of junior QB Colt Brennan, the Warrior offense continues to stockpile points and yards as if playing a video game.  Consequently, it’s a simple game when the Warriors are playing pitch and catch.  Brennan’s quick release and strong arm are a perfect fit, as Timmy Chang’s were in this offense for 12 years.  Well, maybe it just seemed that way.  Now, add to the mix receivers like Davone Bess, Ryan Grice-Mullen, Ross Dickerson and Chad Mock and this offense might be as strong as it’s been in a while.  What makes the run and shoot offense flourish is a complete understanding of the offense and an undying synergy between QB and WRs.  Suffice it to say, having spent an entire season with each other last year, this offense will only get better and push the boundaries of what they can do in the run and shoot.  And, as Andre Ware and Jason Phillips once proved, there really are no boundaries in this offense.  Pitch it.  Catch it.  Score.  Simple game, really, one that June Jones and his players know how to play.

2nd and Seven – Bookends – In a 3-4 defense, the ‘optimum’ defensive end would be 290 pound run stuffer who, as a luxury, could rush the passer decently well.  For Hawaii, that might be the reverse - Melila Purcell and Ikaika Alama-Francis aren’t nearly as big as typical 3-4 defensive ends, but they’ve got the quickness to blow up the edge on their pass rush.  The key for Purcell is to stay healthy and to play the run a bit better this season.  The key for Alama-Francis is to stay healthy and to play the run a bit better this season.  Okay, so Alama-Francis was actually healthy last year, but the Warriors can’t afford to play without either he or Purcell at any point this year.  With five sacks in 2005, Alama-Francis is the returning leader in that category, but teams will want to run right at this duo to wear them down and slow that pass rush ability.

3rd and Three – Give and ye shall have to score more points – Even with the pass rush of Purcell and Alama-Francis in front of them, the secondary will have its own problems stopping the passing games in the WAC.  Luckily they don’t have to face their own offense.  In a game that is.  The safeties, Leonard Peters and Brad Kalilimoku, are a solid pair, but Peters is coming off of a knee injury and Kalilimoku played linebacker last season.  When healthy, though, Peters can be a special player, and Kalilimoku should’ve been playing safety all along.  But, it’s not at the safety spot where the problem really exists.  The corners are inexperienced, inexperienced and, well, you know the rest.  Not the recipe for success in this conference.  They can run, though, which is good (duh).  Either way, if this secondary can’t gel quickly, the offense is going to have to score a lot of points.  That’s not good, either (although the offense can).

4th and One – A Return to WAC superiority? – When a coaching staff sees the Hawaii Warriors on the schedule, they immediately fret over having to play against this offense and never take the game for granted.  Sometimes that worry is warranted, especially when Hawaii is playing at home.  Sometimes the Warriors will show up and that’s about it.  Case in point, last season against Boise State, the Warriors lost a battle 44 – 41, but then went to Louisiana Tech and got thumped by 32.  But, the offense this year is at a different level than maybe it’s ever been, so stopping them on a consistent basis is as difficult as quantum physics.  However, is that offense enough to get them into the championship mix in the WAC, as they were a few years ago?  They do go to Boise State, which was about as ugly a game as ever two years ago and to Fresno State, so on paper it doesn’t look good.  But, get in a track meet with them and you’ll pay.  Dearly.  Enough such that they can make a run for a title?  Not this year.  But, they’re still fun to watch.

Related Stories
Hawaii Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006
Hawaii Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006
Hawaii Preview 2006 - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Hawaii
[View My HotList]