Hawaii defensive end Maka may return against Washington
Hawaii defensive end Francis Maka has recovered faster than expected from a leg fracture and may play Saturday against Washington.
Maka suffered the injury Nov. 5 in practice and has missed the last three games. At the time of the injury, it was expected that Maka would probably miss the rest of the season.
Yesterday he ran for the first time and said he felt some discomfort. He is expected to try some drills today.
"He has a chance. He's been cleared," defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said. "We just want to get him used to being out here again."
Maka contributed as a rush end in several defensive packages. He totaled 17 tackles including one sack in seven games.
"I'm hoping I can play. We'll see how it goes this week," Maka said. "I feel good. Every day was treatment, then the weight room."
Maka is a senior, but he will petition the NCAA to grant him an additional year because of injuries his first two years at Arizona.
The Warriors won't rush him back too fast, especially since they are deep at defensive end.
"We're going to try to be smart. We don't want to re-activate his injury," McMackin said. "We feel good about our depth on the line."
Sophomore John Fonoti has emerged as a force as a reserve end, with sacks in each of the last two games. He also forced a key fumble recovered by Joshua Leonard to end Boise State's last scoring threat Friday.
"John is playing strong and physical and with great quickness and discipline," McMackin said. "On our defense you have to play with discipline."
McMackin also said starting strong safety Jake Patek should be able to play Saturday. Patek, who had a sack and an interception in back-to-back plays Friday, suffered a sprained ankle later in the game. He did not practice yesterday as a precaution.
WAC scolds Bess
Hawaii junior slotback Davone Bess
was reprimanded yesterday by the Western Athletic Conference for his actions following the game at Nevada on Nov. 16, according to a release from the conference.
Bess ran onto the field and into the end zone and taunted Nevada fans who were seated in the stands, according to the release.
"His actions clearly violate the WAC sportsmanship code and won't be tolerated," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said. "Any further actions of this type may result in a one-game suspension."
Said Bess in the release, "I apologize to the Nevada fans for my behavior at the end of the game that night. It was an emotional win and my actions were inappropriate. I can assure you that it will not happen again."
Bess is a two-time All-WAC player and is the first UH receiver to go over 1,000 yards in three seasons. He is the school's all-time leader in touchdowns.
Bess also said on Monday that he apologized to his teammates for somersaulting into the end zone concluding a touchdown play in Hawaii's 39-27 victory over Boise State last Friday. Hawaii incurred a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty and kicked off from its own 15-yard line.
Bess received two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties in the Hawaii Bowl last year for celebrating touchdowns, and was ejected.
In the Sept. 8 game at Louisiana Tech this season, Bess said Bulldogs coach Derek Dooley swore at him when he ran out of bounds. Dooley, through a spokesman, denied swearing at him.
Yesterday's reprimand and warning is a result of accumulated incidents, a source said.
UH coach June Jones declined comment.
Big game for Leonard
wouldn't admit to it after practice yesterday, but don't think Saturday's game against Washington isn't extra special for the UH linebacker from Seattle.
Leonard was a two-way standout at Rainier Beach High, and had visions of playing for the hometown college.
But Washington never offered him a scholarship. After two knee injuries chased away many other schools, he ended up in Hawaii.
"Udub never put an offer on the table so it was something that wasn't an option for me," Leonard said.
Leonard's mom, Lila Leonard, went to Washington, and his grandfather, Nathaniel Davis, played for the Huskies.
Lila, Adam's father, Richard Leonard, and his two brothers, will be in the stands Saturday, along with most of Adam's high school coaches.
Lila has been a Huskies fan all season long, but there isn't any doubt who she will be cheering for on Saturday.
"I wanted Washington to win all their games this year," she said. "At least, until this game."