Revolving door stops for Mock
Hawaii receivers continue to thrive in the Warrior's run-and-shoot offense, with Chad Mock as the latest beneficiary of the team's pass-first philosophy.
Since entering the starting lineup as UH's left-side receiver two weeks ago, Mock already has 14 catches for 207 yards, boosting him to fourth on the team in both categories.
Mock got some experience in the run-and-shoot as a junior at Farrington High School under coach Harold Tanaka, and picked up on the Warriors' system as a redshirt transfer last year and in practices early this season.
"I really had to know my stuff to get in there," Mock said. "Coach saw something in me in practice one day, and I knew what I had to know and I got the job done."
Injuries created a revolving door effect at the X receiver spot this season, and Mock took full advantage when his turn came around.
He had four catches for 60 yards in his debut against Louisiana Tech and followed up with a breakout performance in UH's 49-28 win over New Mexico State last Saturday.
He caught 10 passes for 147 yards and scored his first UH touchdown by hauling in quarterback Colt Brennan's seventh scoring pass of the game in the fourth quarter.
It was the type of performance Mock had envisioned when he transferred to UH from Avila University in Kansas City last year.
"I always wanted to come back home and play for Hawaii because this is where I live and I love it here," he said. "I like the system and I always wanted to play for Coach (June) Jones.
Mock impressed Jones with his athletic ability and quickness when he arrived on campus last year. But he had to wait for his chance to get in a game.
"It got frustrating for a while, but I got over it," Mock said. "I want what's best for the team. I finally got my opportunity and I showed what I got."
Mock was the seventh UH receiver to score a touchdown this season and the third to turn in a 100-yard outing. Ryan Grice-Mullen leads the team with seven scores, including four last week, and Davone Bess has six touchdowns.
Bess leads the WAC and is 16th in the country with 6.83 receptions per game. Grice-Mullen is third in the conference at 21st nationally at 6.5.
Ilaoa returns: Running back Nate Ilaoa returned to practice yesterday after sitting out last week with a case of turf toe.
"It's feeling better. It's a matter of time," Ilaoa said after participating in yesterday morning's workout.
Although Ilaoa has been slowed by a variety of injuries this season, he leads the Warriors with 179 rushing yards on 26 carries, an average of 6.9 yards per attempt. He's also scored UH's only two rushing touchdowns this season.
He didn't suit up for last week's game against New Mexico State, and freshman David Farmer started in his place in the backfield, finishing with seven catches for 52 yards and 11 yards on his only rushing attempt.
"It's frustrating, but we got the win and that's all that matters," Ilaoa said. "The next game is the most important one."
Movin' on up: After accounting for the bulk of UH's offensive explosion last week, Brennan moved up to third in the nation in total offense with 348.8 yards per game.
Brennan, the WAC Offensive Player of the Week, continues to lead the WAC in passing with 332.2 yards per game and leads the nation's second-ranked passing attack (369.8 ypg).