FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Tyler Graunke was one of three Warriors who received game balls for their performances in Saturday's win over Weber State.
Graunke nets WAC award same way he did in ’07
earned his second career Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week award yesterday in much the same manner as he did his first.
Graunke again came to the rescue of a Hawaii team which saw its starting quarterback get knocked out of a game with a concussion and rallied the Warriors (1-1) to victory, this time a 36-17 win over Weber State.
"I was really happy with how he (Graunke) moved it. ... Guys were making plays and that's what we have to do. Maybe the offense has been born now."
Greg McMackin / Warriors coach
He completed 13 of 20 passes for 218 yards and tied a career-high three touchdown passes in just a half of work as he stepped in for the dazed Inoke Funaki to open the third quarter.
Graunke rallied the Warriors over Nevada, 28-26, last season to keep the team's BCS Bowl hopes alive after Colt Brennan was forced to sit out most of the game with a concussion he suffered the week before against Fresno State. Graunke, then a junior, was subsequently honored with the WAC award.
Coach Greg McMackin was pleased with the improved flow of the run-and-shoot system when Graunke stepped into the game on Saturday, and was quick to name him his starter against Oregon State this weekend.
"I was really happy how he moved it and it seemed like the receivers, who hadn't been catching the ball, were catching the ball now," coach Greg McMackin said. "Guys were making plays, and that's what we have to do. Maybe the offense has been born now."
Three game balls given out
Graunke received the offensive game ball for his efforts against the Wildcats, while defensive tackle Josh Leonard
got the defensive ball for posting eight tackles (five solo), including three for loss. Punter Tim Grasso
averaged 44 yards on four punts, and placed three inside the Weber State 20-yard line to garner the special teams ball.
It’s on the chart
McMackin explained the team's decision to go for a 2-point conversion in the third quarter (after Graunke found Aaron Bain for a touchdown to put the Warriors up 27-17) was based on a mathematical chart for such situations.
"Yeah, exactly," McMackin said. "It told us to go for 2 and we did."
Graunke hit Mike Washington successfully for a 12-point lead.
Helmet hit in the past
McMackin has decided not to file a complaint on a helmet-to-helmet hit on running back Leon Wright-Jackson
in Hawaii's season-opening 56-10 loss at Florida.
He considered sending an official complaint to the Western Athletic Conference last week, noting it was a "point of emphasis" among officials this year, but decided against it after speaking to WAC commissioner Karl Benson.