with guns drawn
Stopping the run andBy Paul Arnett
protecting Carey get high priority
as the Rainbows prepare
to rassle Wyoming
Wally English hopes his University of Hawaii offense does a better job the second time around.
After watching film of the University of Wyoming defense this week, the first-year offensive coordinator for the Rainbows was struck by the similarities of the Cowboys' defense and what Minnesota used in the season opener.
Granted, Minnesota lines up in a 4-3 and Wyoming comes at you in a 3-4, but both teams enjoy putting eight men across the line of scrimmage to force the action.
English recalls all too well just how effective the Gophers were in limiting the Rainbows to a mere 174 total yards. He also realizes that won't be enough against the high-powered Cowboys Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
"They're a big, strong outfit," English said. "And they try to put a lot of pressure on you, just like Minnesota did.
"It's important that our line give our quarterback (Tim Carey) time to set up and throw. They've done a good job in their first two games of getting to the quarterback."
That they have. The Cowboys are second in the league to Hawaii in quarterback sacks with 11. What makes it particularly impressive is Wyoming sacked Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson five times in the Cowboys' 24-10 loss.
Talented defensive tackle Stuart Hanson leads the way with two sacks. It will be Adrian Klemm's job to keep the 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior out of Carey's face.
If the sophomore left tackle can't, look for English to employ some roll-out passes for Carey, who has proven to be particularly effective while throwing on the run.
Carey already has been sacked eight times in two games, meaning Wyoming could be coming at him early and often.
"Our entire offense is predicated on pass protection," English said. "If Tim doesn't have time to throw, then we're in trouble.
"Obviously, we can hold off that rush somewhat if we can run the football. They can't just come right on through if we can create some holes for Quincy Jacobs and Charles Tharp."
Statistically, Wyoming's defense isn't that imposing, but playing Ohio State of the Big 10 and Iowa State of the Big 12 may have something to do with the Cowboys yielding 378 yards a game.
Strong inside linebacker Brian Brown joins Hanson as a formidable force. The 5-11, 215-pounder leads Wyoming in tackles with 22, including two for losses, and 1.5 quarterback sacks.
"This is a big test," English said. "They are a good football team, but if we're going to be a good football team, then we're going to have to beat teams like Wyoming.
"We're going to have the same game plan every week, we're just going to implement different parts of it that we think will be effective against our opponent."
UH defensive coordinator Don Lindsey is taking a similar approach. He knows the defensive packages that worked well against Cal State Northridge last week won't be in Saturday's game plan.
For one, Wyoming doesn't throw the football all over town. The Cowboys also are a much more effective running team. And if they move the ball well on the ground, then it sets up the play-action passes that could pose problems for the Rainbows.
"As I've said before, you must go into a game trying to stop the run," Lindsey said. "If we can do that, we put them into obvious passing situations that allow us to use a corresponding defense -- nickel, dime packages, whatever.
"If they run the ball effectively -- and they did against Ohio State and Iowa State -- then that puts you into a guessing game. Nobody wants to be in that position."
Wyoming averages 188 rushing yards a game thanks to running backs Mike Jenkins and Marques Brigham. Jenkins -- who at 5-7 and 205 pounds is built like a bowling ball -- leads the way with 131 yards on 22 carries.
Brigham also has carried the football 22 times, for 112 yards. They have scored five touchdowns on the ground between them.
One area in which Wyoming hasn't proven as effective as last year is the passing game. Senior Jeremy Silcox has completed 25 of 56 passes for 248 yards and no touchdowns. He has tossed four interceptions. His top target is receiver Wendell Montgomery, who has 12 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown.
"It's too early to say how effective their passing game will be later in the season," Lindsey said. "They're not using the same system. Instead of just one back and three or four receivers, they often use two backs, two receivers and a tight end. So, it takes time to get used to it.
"This is a good football team, probably better than any team we've faced. They won 10 games last year and are the defending Pacific Division champions, who beat us 66-0. So, it's a challenge and a good measuring stick to see how far we've come."
UH Rainbow Warrior