History says Enos could be difference vs. Fresno


POSTED: Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some people, you just know you're going to like before you even meet them.

The first things I notice about Scott Enos as he walks toward me are his purposeful stride and piercing glare. Not an arrogant or intimidating look, but certainly a confident one.

And his Michael Jordan gear. An MJ jersey on a 5-foot-9, 20-year-old college kicker says a lot. A certain respect for old-school excellence, a certain respect for crazed competitiveness.

A certain respect for ... animation?

“;I've been a fan since I saw 'Space Jam',”; Enos says. Now I know I like the guy. Space Jam is on the short list of cartoon flicks I've enjoyed in the past quarter-century. Actually, it is the short list.

OTHER THINGS to admire about Scott Enos, especially if you're a UH football fan hoping for an upset of Fresno State tonight:

» Production: Enos, in his first season at UH, leads the Warriors with 28 points. He has made six field goals, and many say the one miss was not his fault. “;A lot of our guys weren't aware of the clock,”; holder Inoke Funaki says. “;We had to rush.”;

Enos wasn't as good in fall camp. “;He's definitely been more consistent in the games,”; special teams coordinator Chris Tormey says. “;He thrives on pressure.”;

» Inside information: Fresno State has blocked the most kicks in the nation since 2002, a total of 45. Enos is concerned, but not too worried about this; he knows the moves of the one Bulldog who has a block this season. Fresno State junior Devon Wylie is one of his best friends from high school. Devon is the younger brother of Doug Wylie—many of you will remember him as a tough UH scout team running back in 2003.

» A real athlete: Enos played point guard, quarterback and defensive back in high school. He says his fastball was timed in the high 80s and he might try out for the UH baseball team.

“;There was interest (from the pros) because I threw hard,”; Enos says. “;But then they saw my height and that was that.”;

SO WHY talk about the kicker when Hawaii is a 10-point underdog? Doesn't that mean it's unlikely he'll be a factor?

That's what we thought last year, but Dan Kelly kicked a game-winner in OT and the Warriors upset the nationally ranked Bulldogs at their kennel.

I still believe the Fresnonians spoil the starting debut of their former neighbor, UH quarterback Bryant Moniz—and in a big way.

But if the Warriors can somehow keep it close—in a bizarre role reversal, Hawaii should shorten the game to keep Ryan Mathews curbed as much as possible—maybe Enos can be the decider-in-chief.

The Fresno State kicker, Kevin Goessling, is actually better than most Hawaii fans think. He's made 12 of his last 14. He's on the Groza Award Watch List, which is nice, because he ain't gonna get an Oscar nomination any time soon. Goessling's bad acting last year (in an attempt to draw a roughing call on a miss that would've won it) attracted ridicule from UH fans.

“;That's what you've got to do as a kicker,”; Enos says in his defense. “;I've been coached to do that since high school.”;

Like Kelly last year, Eric Hannum beat Fresno with a field goal, in 1999. So if history means anything, Hawaii wins if it comes down to a kick.

But it probably won't.


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.