Hawaii players get gist of McMackin's defense already
Greg McMackin isn't as flashy as Jerry Glanville, but his credentials are as impressive.
Hawaii's new/old defensive coordinator (he held the same post here in 1999) has been in charge of the X's with six other college and pro teams, including the 1993 to 1995 Miami Hurricanes. The players he's tutored include Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis and Jeff Ulbrich.
Yesterday, McMackin, 59, officially took charge of the Warriors defense after a week of "observing" the start of spring practice.
"Greg and Jerry have different ways of doing it," UH coach June Jones said. "Jerry's one of a kind that way. But we look at the way the kids took the ball away in '99, and Greg had an uncanny way with that (34 forced turnovers).
"You know, when we got to looking at tape we're really still doing the same things as in '99, with zone blitzes and all that kind of stuff. So it's going to be a fast transition for the players."
Glanville used a 3-4 base defense. McMackin is bringing back the 4-3 scheme.
Senior defensive end Karl Noa has gone full circle from 4-3 end to 3-4 end to 3-4 linebacker, back to 3-4 end and now 4-3 end.
"Sort of (the same), with some little tweaks in there. The fundamentals are all the same," Noa said.
McMackin said speed is a key component to his defense.
"We try to get the fastest guys on the field. It goes back to the Miami days," McMackin said. "We really only have two defensive linemen. The ends are like outside linebackers. They can run. So we have two linemen that are big, 280-300 pounds, like Mike's (Lafaele) a great example. And we have about six of those guys. They're going to get up the field and set another line of scrimmage. Basically we have guys who can run and blitz. The kids are picking it up already."
McMackin said Glanville set a good foundation for the UH defense in his two years at Manoa.
"I really thought Jerry did a great job," McMackin said. "He got them hitting, causing turnovers and running to the ball."
Schedule still in limbo
UH's 2007 schedule remained undone yesterday, as the athletic department did not confirm the Warriors would open at home Sept. 1 against Division I-AA Northern Colorado, as was reported in the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune on Tuesday. Hawaii has announced only 11 of a possible 13 games.
"We'll announce our schedule when the schedule is completed," UH athletic director Herman Frazier said.
Frazier offered no other comment on the schedule, which has become a source of discontent for Warriors fans.
Viva Las Vegas
Season-ticket holder Barry Tanabe
of Honolulu won a trip for two to Las Vegas. Tanabe was among 3,329 individuals who qualified for a drawing by renewing their 2007 UH football season tickets or placing a $50 non-refundable deposit for new season tickets by March 28. The deadline for football season-ticket renewals is Monday and deposits for new season tickets will be accepted until June. For more information, visit HawaiiAthletics.com.
UH is slated for national television four times during the 2007 season, according to the ESPN schedule released by the WAC yesterday.
The Warriors will play three Friday night games: Oct. 12 at San Jose State on ESPN, Nov. 16 at Nevada on ESPN2, and Nov. 23 against Boise State on ESPN2. The fourth nationally televised game will be the regular-season finale Dec. 1 against Washington on an ESPN network to be announced later.
The June Jones Foundation is planning an event in advance of the upcoming season that will feature 16 quarterbacks from UH history.
Details will be announced next week.