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Medeiros gets his chance


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POSTED: Friday, October 23, 2009

Through the practices, running countless routes, Jon Medeiros stayed steady.

Though playing time came sparingly, his even approach rarely, if ever, wavered.

Now that he's approaching his first start, the Hawaii slotback maintains the outlook that carried him through the past two-plus seasons.

“;It doesn't really change my mentality of how I practice and what I do in my position,”; Medeiros said. “;You just have to continue to work hard and keep doing what you're doing.”;

Medeiros is in position to make his first career start when the Warriors (2-4, 0-2 Western Athletic Conference) face No. 6 Boise State (6-0, 1-0) tomorrow at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:05 p.m.

Backing up Greg Salas didn't provide many openings for playing time early in the season. But with Kealoha Pilares sliding over to outside receiver this week, Medeiros has seen extended playing time with the first unit in practice.

“;Jon Medeiros is a guy that has made plays for us the past two years; now he gets his opportunity,”; UH head coach Greg McMackin said.

“;What we want to do is play our four best receivers. He's always been a reliable receiver, he knows the offense, he deserves to play.”;

The former Kapolei quarterback had 10 receptions in his first two years in the program while playing a back-up role, and scored his first career touchdown in a loss to Cincinnati last season.

Medeiros was awarded a scholarship in the offseason and is now looking to provide a steady hand at a position where Pilares caught 41 passes in the first six games of the season. Medeiros played much of the second half against Idaho last week and finished with three catches for 25 yards.

“;He never complains, really does a good job in practice,”; offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. “;He filled in the last couple weeks, does everything right, he's where he's supposed to be. Now he gets his chance.”;

; Said Medeiros: “;When your number gets called you want the coaches to have confidence in you. They see that work ethic in practice, so you have to continue to work hard and stay focused.”;

Injuries to Rodney Bradley and Royce Pollard thinned the ranks at the outside receivers. While Jovonte Taylor holds down the right side, Pilares has worked on the left this week and appears primed to start there tomorrow. Lee said Joe Avery could see action at either the X or Z receiver spot.

“;I feel more comfortable. I'm just trying to learn every day, trying to be a sponge, gather as much information as I can,”; Pilares said. “;I have to be ready when Saturday comes.

“;I like it out there. You have the opportunity to make big plays.”;

Medeiros delivered one of the biggest in yesterday's practice by closing out a 2-minute drill period by making a tough catch on a post pattern for a 22-yard touchdown from Shane Austin.

“;It pretty much gets everybody hyped up,”; Medeiros said. “;We're all capable of making big plays. I'm just glad I could be that guy today. There's a lot of playmakers on this team, so we just have to transfer that to game day.”;

Satele set to start

Changing sides led to another chance for defensive end Liko Satele to join the starting lineup.

McMackin said Satele will start tomorrow, sharing time with Elliott Purcell on the left side. Satele started the first two games of the season at right defensive end when Fetaiagogo Fonoti was recovering from a knee injury.

“;It gives us good depth and he can still play on the other side,”; McMackin said. “;He showed us when Fonoti wasn't playing that he's a good player. Now we're trying to get him ready at both ends.”;

Role playing

For a few days, David Graves was the most efficient passer in the country. Well, he at least played the part in practice.

The freshman had the task of emulating Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore for the Warriors' scout team in helping the starting defense prepare for the Broncos. Moore leads the nation in passing efficiency with a 171.2 rating. The sophomore has completed 69.5 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns against just two interceptions.

“;Their offense is solid. They've got a good system up there, so I'm trying to do everything I can to give the defense a look,”; said Graves, who is redshirting this season.

“;We've got some scout team meetings, watched film on what they're doing. We're all into it to help the defense get better.”;

“;He did a great job for us,”; McMackin said. “;He's really a good quarterback and gave us an excellent picture.”;

Pulling rank

Since the 2001 blowout of ninth-ranked BYU, UH is 2-10 against nationally ranked opponents. The Warriors' victories came against Boise State in 2007 and at Fresno State last year.

A win tomorrow would be the program's biggest upset since closing the 1990 season with a 59-28 win over No. 4 BYU.