Funaki learns via the footage


POSTED: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It wasn't the most pleasant of viewing options.

But Inoke Funaki sat there and watched, knowing the painful plot twists that awaited.





Hawaii (1-3, 0-1 WAC) at No. 22 Fresno State (3-1, 0-0), 4 p.m. Saturday, PPV Ch. 255, KKEA, 1420-AM


“;It's never easy, but it's something you have to do whether you want to see it or not,”; Funaki said of reviewing the game tapes following Hawaii's loss to San Jose State.

“;It's almost like going through it again, going through the whole thing. It's not the greatest feeling, but that's part of it.”;

The Warriors' starting quarterback had some rousing scenes early in the footage, but those moments were ultimately overshadowed by a series of pivotal turnovers in the Warriors' 20-17 defeat.

But in those frames were lessons Funaki will take into Saturday's Western Athletic Conference game at No. 22 Fresno State, when he's expected to make his third start of the season.

“;That's what we're trying to do, correct those mistakes,”; Funaki said. “;There were a lot of them.”;

Unlike last week when it was unclear whether Funaki or Tyler Graunke would start against San Jose State, UH coach Greg McMackin said on Sunday that Funaki would get the call when the Warriors visit Bulldog Stadium, giving the junior a full week taking the first-team snaps.

“;Either way, if they name a starter right away or if they wait to the last day, you have to take advantage of every rep,”; said Funaki, who will be the first UH quarterback to start back-to-back games this season.

“;You never know what can happen, its been a very roller-coaster season thus far.”;

Funaki is the only quarterback to play in all four games and is completing 58.3 percent of his throws for 406 yards and a touchdown against five interceptions.

With Graunke still on the mend from a sprained thumb and wrist, Funaki started strong against San Jose State, leading the Warriors to a 17-7 halftime lead.

But the second half started with an interception. Two lost fumbles (one by Funaki) and another pick followed and Graunke was brought in to try to spark the Warriors offense in the fourth quarter. But he was unable to rally the Warriors, who enter this week's play 107th nationally in scoring offense.

“;We need to be able to pull ourselves out after a mistake,”; UH quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said. “;It seemed like it steamrolled. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's how you respond.”;

The UH staff modified the game plan a bit to utilize Funaki's running ability, rolling him out on several occasions and calling a few option plays. Rolovich said Funaki also did a better job of sticking in the pocket rather than scrambling at the first sign of trouble.

“;Obviously, turnovers hurt,”; Rolovich said. “;But if you look at the plays he made when nothing was there, he got three first downs that should have been sacks, he kept drives going and for the most part, went through his progression and was disciplined in the offense.”;

The coaches said Funaki has a little more zip on the ball than earlier in the season, the result of a subtle adjustment in his throwing motion. Rolovich said the velocity has come as Funaki worked on opening his left side more, thus pulling his arm through as he throws.

“;He's got a lot of torque and he's got a lot of power in his body and I just couldn't understand why we weren't getting anything out of it,”; Rolovich said. “;I have to give credit to the new camera system and the ability to zoom in on his drills. You'll see the ball spinning better, it's cutting through the air and he's throwing it to a spot instead of letting it hang out there and hoping.”;