McMackin puts pressure on special teams
has decided it's time to light a fire under the Iceman.
At his weekly press conference yesterday, a self-described "surly" McMackin voiced overall disappointment with the Warriors' special teams unit in all three games this season.
Senior kicker Dan "The Iceman" Kelly was part of that criticism after going 1-for-4 on field goals to start the season.
"Our place-kicker, we're going to film him, we're going to do everything to get him kicking correctly," the Hawaii head coach said. "And we're going to put somebody behind him, just like every other position, give him some competition.
"We want the ball kicked to where we want it kicked to."
Freshman Brett Symonds and sophomore defensive back Kenny Estes - who set a Kauai Interscholastic Federation record with a 50-yard field goal at Waimea High - will get some looks behind Kelly, he said.
Kelly, an All-Western Athletic Conference selection last season, was 12-for-17 on field goals and 70-for-74 on extra-point attempts in 2007.
New special teams full-speed scrimmages are part of a redoubled effort on that front planned at practices this week with Hawaii ranking 90th of 119 teams in kickoff return average (18.15) and 116th in punt return average (minus-0.5 yards) among all Division I-A teams.
The Warriors are also 111th in kickoff return defense (27.33 yards allowed) and 105th in punt return defense (21.63 per punt).
"There were some personnel breakdowns, and we've already made changes in the personnel," said McMackin, who didn't say which players were changed. "They hustled, they just didn't make the play. This is a good (bye) week to do it, we've some time to do it. Getting reps are so important."
AhSoon situation dour
Left tackle Keith AhSoon
, who slid over to the position from guard and went down early in the OSU game, was to have an MRI on his knee yesterday. McMackin wasn't optimistic about AhSoon's chances to play in the near future.
"I just know it's not good," McMackin said. "I think Keith is really hurt, and I think he's gonna miss time."
Running back attack
The Warriors' two primary running backs - junior Leon Wright-Jackson
(turf toe) and senior Daniel Libre
(sprained ankle) - were walking around freely yesterday in team meetings after aggravating their injuries in the loss to the Beavers.
Offensive coordinator Ron Lee said the team would take stock of their health today - as well as David Farmer's - at practice. Kealoha Pilares and Jayson Rego are the primary backups.
McMackin voiced the possibility of closed practices to the public leading up to the game with San Jose State on Sept. 27 to help keep secret his starting quarterback if Tyler Graunke
(day-to-day) is unavailable.
"This may be the first time we close practice. I don't know, I haven't thought that far ahead," he said.
The Warriors will practice today through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the UH-Manoa grass practice field. The players will have Friday through Sunday off.