A little respect
Frazier expects UH fans to rush the field Saturday, buts asks that Senior Walk be allowed
Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier fully expects another mad dash to the Aloha Stadium field by fans celebrating a likely BCS bowl bid if UH beats Washington on Saturday.
He just asks that the admirers be respectful and allow the Warriors' annual Senior Walk to proceed.
"I think everybody knows what a tradition the Senior Walk is," Frazier said. "The thing is, the reason you want the fans to get back up in the stands, if they do rush the field, is because everybody can't get down there, at least some of our older fans that we have. And it wouldn't be fair to them if the players aren't able to do their lap around the stadium. So we hope everybody understands the magnitude of that."
He said the considerable police presence that guarded the goalposts at the conclusion of the 39-27 win against Boise State last week would be there again. It is "for the safety of those people down there to ensure no young people get hit in the head or sustain any kind of life-threatening injuries," Frazier said.
As the result of last week's field rush, three UH players' helmets remained missing yesterday.
A win Saturday over the Pac-10 Huskies would likely mean a berth in the New Orleans-based Sugar Bowl, carrying a payout of roughly $4.5 million to Hawaii, and between $400,000 and $600,000 to other Western Athletic Conference schools -- similar to Hawaii's share of Boise State's Fiesta Bowl berth last year.
Frazier said the net income from the bowl would be somewhat less, depending on which bowl the Warriors would go to. The Fiesta Bowl, for example, mandates a parade and band participation, and the costs of those are subtracted from the payout.
As for what he would do with the profit, Frazier isn't ready to disclose exactly what the UH athletic department would upgrade.
"I've thought about it a little bit, but again, we gotta get there first," he said. "It's just like your own personal checkbook. Don't spend it until you get it. But I will tell you, whatever it is, it would go back toward our programs. I would certainly hope it's all athletics."
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ryan Mouton is working his way back from a knee injury suffered last month against Idaho.
Mouton makes the grade
Ryan Mouton seems to chaotically run all over the football field making big defensive plays.
He and his Hawaii defense teammates play like their "hair is on fire," as Boise State coach Chris Petersen said after his team took a licking from the Warriors last week.
But there's method to the Hawaii cornerback's madness, and sticking to the plan is the reason he shined in Friday's 39-27 victory over the Broncos for the Western Athletic Conference championship.
Mouton, the Warriors' third corner, got plenty of action, especially as a fifth defensive back with the Broncos in many second and third and long situations. The junior transfer from Blinn College (Texas) responded with four pass breakups.
He and the rest of the Hawaii secondary will be tested again Saturday, when the 11th-ranked Warriors (11-0) try to complete an unbeaten regular season against Washington (4-8) at sold-out Aloha Stadium. The Warriors likely earn a bid to a BCS bowl game with a win.
"Yeah, we won the WAC, but now we have to go ahead and get ready for Washington," Mouton said after yesterday's practice.
Coming out of high school, Mouton was recruited by several Big 12 schools, but needed to firm up his academics and went to Blinn. Boise State was among the teams that tried to recruit him.
"But when I came here to visit, I knew this is where I needed to be," Mouton said. "I knew we could win the WAC."
On several of the plays Friday, Mouton seemed to instinctively be in the right place, or speed to the receiver to make a hit and jar a ball loose.
While Mouton is a great athlete, defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said the plays were more a result of Mouton's preparation, as well as that of his teammates.
"Everything has to do with responsibility," McMackin said. "That's why we're improving as a defense, everybody's playing responsibly. Ryan's very disciplined. He plays within his responsibility, then when he has the opportunity he makes the play."
Mouton echoed the coach.
"I learned a lot of discipline in high school," said Mouton, who was a two-way star at Texas 5A state champion Katy High. "It's just about doing your job, not trying to make the spectacular play. I have to trust my teammates like they trust me. You can't think like an individual, it takes all 11 guys."
Mouton suffered a knee injury during the Idaho game last month that forced him to miss two games. He's performed steadily and sometimes spectacularly since his return.
"It feels good, I'm almost back to 100 percent," said Mouton, who also returned kicks for the first time since the injury last week. "I've been trying to get back there the past couple weeks and I'm glad Coach Jones put me back there for the championship game."
Before the injury, Mouton returned an interception for a touchdown against UNLV and then ran a kickoff back all the way against Charleston Southern.
He has 18 tackles this season and is tied with Myron Newberry with seven passes broken up.
Mouton is listed at 5-feet-9 and 185 pounds, just a little bigger dimensions than diminutive starting corners Newberry and Gerard Lewis.
"It's not all about height," Mouton said. "There's heart, and how hard you play."
There's also speed, strength, athleticism and technical proficiency, all of which the Warrior corners possess.
"I've never had a problem with short, as long as you can jump," McMackin said. "We just have to mix up our coverages. Our corners are one of our strongest units."
The Warriors are 13th nationally in interceptions with 18 and 19th in pass efficiency defense.