The Hawaii football team debuted its new haka last night before its game against UNLV. The new dance is Hawaiian, rather than Maori.
Warriors have their own haka now
LAS VEGAS » After a week inwhich the haka got its fair share of publicity nationwide -- due in part to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty prior to the Louisiana Tech matchup -- last night's performance before the nonconference game with Nevada-Las Vegas went smoothly.
In fact, the Warriors unveiled their revision of the haka to the delight of the thousands of Hawaii fans jammed into Sam Boyd Stadium. The new chant/dance is Hawaiian as opposed to the original UH haka, which is Maori.
"For us, I think it's a lot more fitting," senior defensive end Karl Noa said. "There's been a lot of controversy with the old one. This gives us an identity for this year. It's special because it's made by guys on the team."
Last week, UH received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for doing the haka while LaTech was still on the field warming up. No penalty was assessed last night. Most of the UNLV players were off the field.
Head coach June Jones said last week that he wants the haka to be a positive for the program, not something controversial.
UH senior quarterback Colt Brennan
broke the NCAA record for most consecutive games with 200 or more yards passing, previously held by Kliff Kingsbury
of Texas Tech. Brennan's mark is 29.
But Brennan's streak of 14 games with 300 or more passing yards was halted when he gave way to Tyler Graunke in the fourth quarter, finishing with 298 passing yards.
The crowd of 38,125 was the fourth-largest ever for a UNLV home game. About half were UH fans.
Three unsportsmanlike penalties were called against UNLV in the first three quarters, and the Rebels were flagged seven times for 98 yards. UH was penalized 12 times for 97 yards.
"I don't know how many personal foul penalties we had, but we had way too many," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. "We are a blue-collar football team and we can't have those kind of mistakes."
It was evident even from the press box that more than the usual amount of smack talk was going on.
"Some of them played dirty and didn't respect the game," UH defensive tackle and tri-captain Mike Lafaele said of the Rebels. "We felt like some of them didn't show class on the field. They have a lot of young guys."
As for crowd control, several fights were observed in the stands, but violence did not seem to be as rampant as in 2003, when the teams last played here.
The Warriors were scheduled to arrive at the airport at 3:45 a.m. today. ... Ryan Mouton
, who intercepted a pass and ran it back 40 yards for a score in the third quarter, nearly had another pick in the fourth quarter against UNLV backup QB Omar Clayton
. ... Linebacker Beau Bell
led the Rebels with 12 tackles. "We had a good plan, but all of our mental mistakes were frustrating tonight," he said. ... Defensive lineman David Veikune
and kicker Dan Kelly
were the Warriors' game captains.