UH offense in sync early
The word is Hawaii will run the ball more in 2008 after losing its starting quarterback and all four receivers. But the Warriors didn't show it in yesterday's first offense against defense team drills of spring practice at the lower campus practice field.
UH ran 15 plays, and six quarterbacks combined to complete seven of 10 passes, with No. 1 Inoke Funaki completing both attempts and top contender Tyler Graunke going 2-for-4.
Slotbacks caught five of them: Jon Medeiros (two), Aaron Bain (two) and Mike Washington. Wideout Dylan Linkner caught the other two.
It was a solid showing for a rebuilding offense against a veteran defense. Coach Greg McMackin said he was pleased.
"I thought both sides of the ball came out and worked real hard. The offensive timing is way ahead of where I thought it was. I thought the quarterbacks were throwing well," McMackin said. "I think we're all standing a little too high, which is natural when you're just getting the pads on. But the hustle is really good, the effort was good."
Defensive end John Fonoti provided a highlight by batting down a pass. Linebacker Solomon Elimimian was a force in seven-on-seven and 11-on-11, using just enough force to make his presence felt, but without injuring teammates.
"Coach is emphasizing fast and hard, but we're not out here trying to hurt our teammates," Elimimian said. "We're just trying to get everybody better and increase the intensity. Not trying to kill anybody."
Funaki said the offense gained confidence with its performance yesterday.
"It was better than a lot of people were thinking we would do, especially because our defense has so many good players returning. It's the strong point of our team," Funaki said. "I think our offense is believing in itself now since we made some plays against a good defense. Maybe we're better than what people are thinking we are."