2010 Hawaii Preview - Offense
Hawaii WR Greg Salas
CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Hawaii Warrior Offense
Preview 2010 - Offense
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What You Need To Know: Former star quarterback Nick Rolovich and legendary assistant Mouse Davis, the architect of the modern run ‘n' shoot attack, will try to keep the production going for the nation's third best passing game and an offense that finished 14th in the nation. Greg Salas leads a tremendous receiving corps that should put up huge numbers once again, while QB Bryan Moniz should be better now that he has a year of experience under his belt. The problem is the line that loses four starters and should be a disaster in pass protection. There's no proven line depth and there should be some juggling of the lineup early on, so Moniz might be running for his life way too often. But in the end, it's Hawaii. The passing yards will come in chunks, the attack will still be exciting, and there will be moments when the explosion will be breathtaking. The consistency, though, won't be there.
Star of the offense: Senior WR Greg Salas
Passing: Bryant Moniz
182-319, 2,396 yds, 14 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Alex Green
86 carries, 453 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Greg Salas
106 catches, 1,590 yds, 8 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior OT Austin Hansen
Unsung star on the rise: Senior WR Rodney Bradley
Best pro prospect: Salas
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Salas, 2) WR Kealoha Pilares, 3) Bradley
Strength of the offense: Receivers, Passing Game
Weakness of the offense: Offensive Line, Pass Protection
Projected Starter: Junior Bryant Moniz wasn't supposed to be a part of the mix last year coming out of Fresno City College, but injuries and ineffectiveness put him in the spotlight and he came through completing 57% of his throws for 2,396 yards and 14 touchdowns with ten interceptions. He bombed away for 366 yards and three scores in the win over Navy and for 374 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to Nevada, and he'll be certain to do far more. Only 6-0 and 190 pounds, he's not huge, but he has a good arm for his size and he's a decent runner with 117 yards and a score including 76 rushing yards against Utah State.
Projected Top Reserves: 6-0, 200-pound junior Shane Austin got a little bit of work here and there throwing for 299 yards against San Jose State and 174 yards with a touchdown and three picks in the blowout loss to Boise State. He's smart with a good arm, but he's not going to get a shot at the starting job unless Bryant Moniz goes down.
After not getting used last year, 6-4, 180-pound senior Brent Rausch redshirted after seeing a little bit of mop-up work in 2008. The former JUCO transfer threw for 2,653 yards and 28 touchdowns for College of the Desert in California, and now he'll be part of the mix for the No. 2 job. While he doesn't have a big-time arm, he's accurate and throws well on the move.
Watch Out For … Moniz to be allowed to open things up a bit more. He was just trying to bomb away and survive last season, and while he'll be challenged for the job and for playing time, he'll be allowed to do more with his mobility and his decision making.
Strength: The offense. Hawaii was going to be throwing for 300 yards per outing as is, and now there are pieces in place that know what they're doing. Moniz should up his completion percentage and hit on closer to 65% of his throws (after completing 57% last year).
Weakness: The line. Hawaii always has problems in pass protection (the numbers look bad when you throw 569 times), but last year was a big issue as then-starter Greg Alexander was knocked out for the year and Moniz got bounced around. With a patchwork line coming back, the Warriors will be lucky to keep the sack total to the 36 of last season.
Outlook: Moniz isn't all that big and he's going to get beaten up, but he's a baller who isn't afraid to keep on chucking. He'll throw for well over 300 yards per game, as will Austin is he's thrown into the mix. It's Hawaii; the quarterbacks will put up big numbers.
Unit Rating: 7
Projected Starters: Former JUCO transfer Alex Green finished second on the team with 453 yards and two touchdowns including 110 yards against Utah State. At 6-2 and 220 pounds, the senior is a big bruiser of a back with good quickness through the line. Decent as a receiver, he caught 11 passes for 98 yards and a score as he got more work as the year went on. He led Butte CC to the 2008 JUCO national title running for 1,037 yards and 14 touchdowns before with 119 yards in the championship.
Projected Top Reserves:
5-9, 190-pound senior Chizzy Dimude got a little bit of work running 11 times for 67 yards and catching four passes for 27 yards. The former JUCO transfer led Laney College in California with 546 yards and five scores, and while he's not a workhorse by any stretch, he's a lightning quick prospect who can tear off yards in chunks.
Watch Out For … the back to not be used in the passing game all that often. The offense uses the receivers for pass catching, and while the backs have the quickness and the hands to make things happen in the open field, they're used to run and in pass protection. Green caught just 11 passes and Dimude caught four.
Strength: Quickness. The idea is to open up big holes for the speedy backs to dart through, and Hawaii has the wheels. Green cam move despite being a powerful 230 pounds while Dimude can cut on a dime.
Weakness: Options. The Warriors got over 1,000 yards combined from Leon Wright-Jackson and Green, and now it'll be up to Dimude and Green to handle the light load. Outside of the quarterbacks and the occasional trick play to a receiver, the ground game will be up to the top two runners.
Outlook: Considering all the lost yards taken away for sacks, if Hawaii hits the 1,500 mark in net yards (after getting 1,306 with 12 scores), consider it a win. Green and Dimude will each average over six yards per carry, but as always, the backs are the role players in the attack. They'll be productive when they get their chances.
Unit Rating: 4.5
Projected Starters: Senior Greg Salas went from being part of the crowd to one of the nation's most productive receivers. He got on the map in 2008 catching 57 passes for 831 yards and three touchdowns, and then he blew up catching 106 balls for 1,590 yards and eight touchdowns. At 6-2 and 200 pounds, he's a big target who can work inside or out, starting the season at the H, and he's deadly with the ball in his hands. Steady throughout, he became unstoppable over the second half with four double-digit catch games in the final eight including a 16-catch, 196-yard, one score day against New Mexico State. However, four of his worst games came against four of the best teams on the schedule (Boise State, Nevada, Wisconsin and Fresno State).
Working at either the Y or the outside X will be senior Kealoha Pilares , a 5-11, 200-pound former slotback who was the team's leading rusher in 2007 with 388 yards and three scores before turning into a wide receiver. He followed up a 29-catch 2008 season with 66 grabs for 690 yards and four touchdowns as a perfect complement to Greg Salas. The lightning quick veteran caught 13 passes for 146 yards against UNLV and was a solid producer throughout the year.
Former JUCO transfer Rodney Bradley was on his way to a big season, making 31 catches for 575 yards and five touchdown, averaging 18.5 yards per catch, but he suffered a leg injury and missed the second half of the season. The 6-0, 190-pound speedster is a blazer at the outside X position, lighting up UNLV for 189 yards on eight catches and Washington State for seven catches for 150 yards and two scores. He's healthy again and will go back to being a big part of the attack.
Working once again at the inside Z position is junior Royce Pollard, who caught 15 passes for 157 yards in a reserve role. Only 6-0 and 175 pounds, he's thin and doesn't block, but he moves well with next-level speed and can jump out of the stadium. Now he‘s healthy after missing most of last year with a leg problem and he should be ready to blossom with more passes thrown his way.
Projected Top Reserves: The rail-thin 6-5, 180-pound Joe Avery will get a long look at the outside X position. While he's not a physical receiver in any way, and he only caught six passes for 64 yards last year as a backup, he has enough deep speed and jumping ability to create matchup problems. He'll be seeing single coverage all season long with all the attention being paid to Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares.
JUCO transfer Darius Bright is a 6-5, 225-pound physical target with the deep speed to play on the outside at the X. The type of home run hitter who could average over 20 yards per catch in a limited role as a backup behind Rodney Bradley, he'll have his moments where he'll show off his athleticism and talent to make big plays.
Redshirt freshman Billy Ray Stutzmann is a promising local product who'll work on the inside Z position. At 6-0 and 165 pounds, he's not all that big, but he's very smart and extremely quick. A Hawaii state champion sprinter, he'll be a killer with his ball in his hands on the move.
Watch Out For … Bradley. He could've gone to Arizona, and was given the full court press by several big name places, but he was a great get for Hawaii. Healthy again, he should blow up for at least 50 catches while hitting home runs all over the field. He's an All-WAC star if he lasts the season.
Strength: Experience. The offense always finds targets to step in and shine when needed, but this group has three veterans who should make the attack sing. Salas will put up All-America numbers, while Pilares is a great midrange target and Bradley is a special deep threat. The pressure is off everyone else.
Weakness: Backup experience. The Warriors don't have much to rely on, but there are plenty of practice veterans who have seen just enough time to be decent when put into the mix. Forming a good early rotation will be a must so everyone can get more involved.
Outlook: Boise State's receiving corps is loaded with talent, but it'll be hard for anyone outside of Houston to match the production that's about to come from Salas, Pilares and Bradley. If they don't combine for well over 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns it'll be a major disappointment. As long as the depth comes along and Pollard grows into a fourth receiver, the fun will continue.
Unit Rating: 7.5
Projected Starters: Junior Austin Hansen is one of the few returning linemen with any semblance of experience, starting the final eight games of the season at right tackle. A bit of a surprise after doing next to nothing over the first part of his career, the 6-4, 285 pounder struggled with his consistency and pass protection, but because of his experience he'll move over to the all-important left side.
In a big break for the Warriors, tackle Laupepa Letuli was granted a sixth year of eligibility. He started the first three games of the year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. The 6-4, 310-pounder will take back his right tackle job with Hansen moving over to the left side, and he needs to use his 6-4, 310-pound size to be more of a mauler. He's a pounder when he gets to run block.
Junior Matagisila Lefiti has the unenviable task of replacing longtime star center John Estes. The 6-0, 280-pounder is versatile enough to have seen practice time at guard, but he only got a little bit of mop up work last year and is hardly a sure thing in the middle. He's defensive-tackle tough and can move a little bit to go along with a great frame to get leverage for the ground game.
At 6-5 and 310 pounds, JUCO transfer Brett Leonard is a big body ready to step in at left guard. A nice recruit last year, he sat on the sidelines and now should be a key blocker for the next two years with the toughness to be a strong run blocker. He has just enough mobility to not be awful in pass protection, but he'll be at his best when he gets to shove someone around.
Senior Adrian Thomas stepped in for a few games early on at right tackle and showed why his natural position is at guard. At 6-6 and 310 pounds he's built for the outside, but he's too raw to be a steady pass protector. The Australian is in his fifth year with the program, but he's still working to become consistent, and now he'll get the first look at right guard.
Projected Top Reserves: 6-2, 310-pound senior Brysen Ginlack is the team's most experienced backup seeing time in nine games and getting a start against Weber State. A pure guard, he'll work in a rotation at right guard but could see time on the left side if needed. He's not the quickest lineman in pass protection, but he's a veteran.
The Warriors desperately need to develop some young linemen to go next year meaning Chauncy Winchester-Makainai has to become a player. The 6-4, 330-pound redshirt freshman is very big and very talented as an all-star from O'ahu ready-made to see time at tackle. An all-star track star as well as on the football field, he's the future anchor of the line.
The team's top recruit this year was David Lefotu , a 6-4, 290-pound local product who was considered a top guard prospect. He could've gone to play in the Pac 10, but he'll be needed as soon as possible to provide another option somewhere across the line. While he needs to get a bit bigger to be a guard, he could end up working at tackle if needed.
6-5, 275-pound Frank Loyd was considered to be one of the state's top tackle prospects, and now the Hawaii product needs to spend the next year adding 20 pounds or so to be ready to start next year. It'll be a major disappointment if he's not a major factor early in his career.
Watch Out For … a lot of shuffling. The line is going to be a work in progress for the entire year with several seniors who haven't seen meaningful time yet about to be thrown into the fire to show what they can do. Don't get comfortable with the starting five that starts the year.
Strength: Uhhhhhhh, upperclassmen? On the likely starting two-deep to start the season, only one player is younger than a junior, so the hope is that this will be a mature group that comes together quickly.
Weakness: Pass protection. That's sort of a problem for a team that only throws. The Warriors have allowed 128 sacks over the last three seasons, and while that's partly because defenses know they don't have to deal with the run and pin their ears back to get to the quarterback, the line hasn't been a rock.
Outlook: Uh oh. The line was a strength at times last year, even with all the sacks allowed, but now it's going to be very, very shaky with so many untested new starters and just one returning regular. There's no proven depth whatsoever and there will be plenty of hopes and prayers that the line can patch things together and be decent.
Unit Rating: 4.5
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2010 Hawaii Defense |
Hawaii Depth Chart
- Hawaii Previews