Alexander's season is over


POSTED: Saturday, October 03, 2009

A loss on the field is one thing.

Yesterday's news hit much deeper for the Hawaii football team.

The Warriors' fears were confirmed yesterday when an MRI taken on senior quarterback Greg Alexander's left knee revealed “;major ligament damage.”; Alexander will have season-ending surgery today, according to a release from UH.

“;To me, this is a lot worse than a loss,”; Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin said yesterday. “;To lose a player, that's the toughest thing for me in this game.”;

The injury occurred in the third quarter of Hawaii's 27-6 loss to Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, with Alexander suffering damage to the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and cartilage in his knee.

McMackin confirmed that sophomore Bryant Moniz will be the Warriors' starter entering next Saturday's Western Athletic Conference game against Fresno State (1-3, 0-1) at Aloha Stadium. Sophomore Shane Austin will be his backup.

“;He's played and has been getting reps,”; McMackin said of Moniz, who passed for 109 yards stepping in for Alexander against Louisiana Tech. “;He didn't have as many (reps) as Greg or Brent (Rausch), but he's a guy who has a lot of talent. You feel bad, but the next guy has to step up.”;

; Rausch, the No. 2 quarterback to begin the season, is recovering from a broken bone in the pinkie finger of his throwing hand. Moniz, a Leilehua graduate who transferred from Fresno City College, is the only other quarterback to take a snap this season. He has completed six of 12 throws for 145 yards.

Alexander was hurt as he scrambled out of the pocket and was drilled by Louisiana Tech linebacker Adrien Cole as he approached the UH sideline. After the game, Alexander said his foot stuck in the turf as he was hit, causing his knee to buckle.

Alexander used a redshirt year at Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College in 2005. By playing in Wednesday's game, he passed the 25 percent threshold of games played to remain eligible for a medical hardship.

“;I'm deeply disappointed with these results, but it's part of the game and I wish the team the best throughout the rest of the season,”; Alexander said in the UH release. “;After my surgery, I plan on concentrating on my academics so I can stay on pace to graduate next year.”;

“;He's such a class guy and he's strong,”; McMackin said. “;He's positive, he's disappointed, but he's just a class act.”;

Alexander's stat line for the 2009 season will have him completing 98 of 150 passes (65.3 percent) for 1,433 yards and nine touchdowns against four interceptions. He entered this week's play leading the nation in total offense. He closed the season by throwing for 199 yards on Wednesday.

He is also UH's leading rusher with 103 yards on 37 carries.

“;He's worked so hard through last year and in the spring and fall, and elevated himself to become one of the best quarterbacks in the country,”; McMackin said.





        Greg Alexander's numbers in his 13-game career at Hawaii:



Passing yards3,328





Alexander started last season's opener at Florida but was replaced after a shaky debut. He took over again at midseason, leading UH to a dramatic win over Nevada on the way to helping the Warriors reach the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

He entered the spring entrenched as the starter and teamed with the Warriors' receiver corps to produce one of the nation's most productive offenses through three games.

“;He did everything we asked of him in the offseason. He got himself ready, he was showing great leadership,”; offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. “;This was kind of his year. He had a great start and with eight more games to go ... it's too bad. I feel awful for Greg. It's just a tough deal.”;

Seven members of the coaching staff stayed on the mainland for recruiting after Wednesday's game. McMackin said the staff will meet to discuss personnel issues when the coaches return this weekend. He said the possibility of moving Inoke Funaki to quarterback or activating any of the three freshman quarterbacks slated to redshirt this season had yet to be discussed.

Funaki started six games at quarterback last season, including UH's win at Fresno State. He was moved to running back in the spring and has played sparingly in the Warriors' first four games, with four carries for 14 yards.

McMackin gave the Warriors the weekend off. They return to practice Monday.