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Question marks galore with Fresno on the way


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It's back to basics for Hawaii football, and anyone who saw what happened to the Warriors last Wednesday against LaTech knows that's how it has to be. UH seemed to forget the fundamentals; some of the biggest breakdowns in the 27-6 loss were in blocking and tackling. It's quite simple — if you don't block and you don't tackle, you won't win ... and you'll probably be embarrassed. The players were, and good on them for deciding to practice on their own Saturday.

But is that kind of spirit enough to deal with Fresno State this Saturday? We'll see; UH tackled just fine in its first three games. But a tired-looking group — some dealing with missing family and friends in Samoa — forgot that premise of low-man wins; pad level is one of the most underrated aspects of football, and he with leverage usually wins the battle.

Fresno State is more than just Ryan Mathews, who is second in the NCAA in rushing. In their careers, Mathews, Lonyae Miller and Anthony Harding have combined for 5,438 rushing yards, 53 touchdowns and a 5.5 average gain per run.

Hawaii stopping the run somehow and new quarterback Bryant Moniz are the biggest question marks in this game. Others are if the homefield makes enough difference and if 1-3 FSU can win a big game.

» Online jerk of the week:

Let's break it down… who is making the mistakes on oline? I think it's time for us to start naming names.

Of course, this person declined when it was suggested he start with his own. The Internet culture of anonymity is supposed to be liberating, but I'll never get used to it when it comes to ripping from the shadows. There's a word for it: cowardice.

» UH volleyball might make the final four this year. But it will be even better next season, with stars Kanani Danielson and Dani Mafua continuing to improve. Dave Shoji has also brought in plenty of big, young blockers ... and that's what the Wahine have been missing against the very best teams in recent years.

» What happened to daytime national sports talk radio on 1420? The station decided to expand its local lineup with Josh Pacheco and Scott Robbs bridging Bobby Curran and the Sports Animals. I can live without the midday ESPN national guys, but we also lost all sports talk on 1500 recently, including my favorite national voices of Tim Brando and David Stein.

Pacheco — whose hour each weekday is simulcast on the Big Island — is a talent with a big future. The St. Joseph grad's main weakness will take care of itself; he's just 22. His approach is way beyond his years; his voice, knowledge and insights are already fairly solid and will only improve.

“;Right now he's technically the best on-air personality we have,”; says Chris Hart, the 1420 program director (and one half of the Sports Animals). “;He has a plan for everything he does on the air, and he executes it.”;

I made Hart repeat that quote; the group includes himself, as well as Curran, the state's alpha sports talk host the past two decades.

Felipe Ojastro, 21, is another young one to keep an ear on. The Moanalua product was the board op for Rob and Russ on 1500 and keeps busy now with high school and Division II games.

» The WAC needs to do the right thing and not schedule UH with a road game on the heels of its West Point-Colorado voyage next year.

» Brett Favre = the Nolan Ryan of this generation, but with a better winning percentage.

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Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at starbulletin.com, and twitter.com/davereardon.